Geeks in Phoenix

Geek Blog


How to backup and restore the registry in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Updated January 30, 2024

Everyone knows that when you make any significant change to your computer, you must backup the registry first. But not many casual computer users understand what the registry is and how to back it up. So here's how to backup and restore the registry in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to backup and restore the registry in Windows 10

So, what is the registry? The registry is a database that contains information on the hardware, software, and user(s) installed on your computer. Even though it may sound like a single entity, it consists of several different files. The collection of these files is called the registry hive.

FYI: The information in the registry hive is stored in two (2) essential elements: Keys and Values. Keys are like folders; they can contain values and keys. Values are like files; they contain data in various formats.

Automatically backup and restore the registry in Windows 10 and Windows 11

The System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box inside of Windows 10
The System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box inside Windows 10

Now, the simplest way to backup the registry is to create a restore point. Restore points contain backup copies of the registry, most drivers, and files with particular extensions.

Restore points can be a lifesaver if your system fails to start after a change or modification. Just make sure to create a system repair disk or recovery drive (instructions below) and have it on hand only in case your system won't start up correctly. You can use it to boot your computer and access a restore point.

How to create a restore point in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Bring up the System > About page by either:
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + Pause.
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu and press Y to select System.
    • Right-clicking on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start menu to bring up the Power User menu and select System.
  2. In the right-hand column, left-click on the System protection link.
  3. In the Protection Settings field, check and ensure system protection is enabled. If it is not, then highlight the drive's name and left-click on the Configure ... button. Once you have verified that system protection is enabled, proceed to the next step.
  4. Highlight the C: (System) drive, and left-click on the button labeled Create ....
  5. Type in a descriptive title for your restore point (the date and time are automatically added).
  6. Left-click on Create.

How to use a restore point in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Bring up the System > About page by either:
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + Pause.
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu and press Y to select System.
    • Right-clicking on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start menu to bring up the Power User menu and select System.
  2. In the right-hand column, left-click on the System protection link.
  3. At the top of the System Protection tab, left-click on the button under the System Restore section labeled System Restore ....
  4. When the starting screen appears, left-click on Next >.
  5. Highlight the restore point you want to use, then left-click on Next >.
  6. When the confirmation screen appears, left-click on Finish.
  7. A warning should appear telling you not to interrupt the system restore process. Left-click on Yes to proceed.
  8. Your computer will start restoring the system (including the registry) to how it was when the restore point was created and reboot.

Creating a system repair disk or recovery drive in Windows 10 and Windows 11

System repair disks and recovery drives are essentially the same thing. They are bootable drives that contain the essential system tools to repair your Windows installation. The only difference is the media they use; system repair disks use CDs/DVDs, and recovery drives use USBs. Recovery drives can also reinstall Windows. Click here for more on Recovery Drives for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to create a system repair disk for Windows 10 or Windows 11 (requires a blank CD/DVD)

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box by either:
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R
    • Right-click on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start Menu or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X and then select Run
  2. In the Run dialog box that appears, type recdisc and select OK. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. Just follow the prompts.

How to create a recovery drive for Windows 10 (requires an empty USB drive 16GB or larger)

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Accessories.
  3. Double left-click on Recovery Drive. Just follow the prompts.

How to create a recovery drive for Windows 11 (requires an empty USB drive 16GB or larger)

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Double left-click on Recovery Drive. Just follow the prompts.

Manually backup and restore the registry in Windows 10 and Windows 11

The Registry Editor interface inside of Windows 10
The Registry Editor interface inside of Windows 10

Another way to backup the registry is to use the built-in Registry Editor. The beautiful thing about using the Registry Editor is that you don't have to backup the whole registry if you don't want to. You can just backup any key or value you want.

There is a downside to using the Registry Editor to manually backup the registry. To restore anything with the Registry Editor, you must boot your computer in either standard or safe mode. A system repair disc doesn't have the Registry Editor included.

How to manually backup the registry using the Registry Editor in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box by either:
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R
    • Right-click on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start Menu or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X and then select Run
  2. In the Run dialog box that appears, type regedit and select OK. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. When the Registry Editor appears either:
    • Highlight Computer in the left-hand column to backup the complete registry.
    • Highlight the key or value you want to backup.
  4. Left-click on the File pull-down menu and left-click on Export.
  5. Select the location and a descriptive file name for the backup file, and then left-click on Save.

How to manually restore the registry using the Registry Editor in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box by either:
    • Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R
    • Right-click on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start Menu or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X and then select Run
  2. In the Run dialog box that appears, type regedit and select OK. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. When the Registry Editor appears either:
  4. Left-click on the File pull-down menu and left-click on Import.
  5. Navigate to the location of the REG file you want to import and left-click on it.
  6. Left-click on the Open button. You should get a confirmation screen telling you successfully imported the file.

How to disable or enable auto-start programs and drivers in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Updated March 26, 2024

In doing computer repair, I often get asked, "Why does my computer take so long to start up?". Quite frequently, it turns out there are items set to auto-start that don't need to or don't exist anymore. Here's how to disable programs, drivers, and services that auto-start in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to disable or enable auto-start programs and drivers in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Now, this one doesn't cost any money and can dramatically improve the time it takes for your computer and programs to start up. By minimizing the number of applications that launch at startup, you can also free up memory.

Now, there are three (3) programs I use to enable or disable programs, drivers, or services that start up in Windows 10 and Windows 11. The built-in programs (Task Manager and System Configuration) are pretty safe to use but still can degrade performance if not used properly. The third program (Autoruns / Autoruns64) can be dangerous because not only can it enable or disable entries, but it can also delete them.

Note: I recommended that you make changes one at a time and restart between them. That way, you can find out if you need that program or service you just disabled. Yes, it's time-consuming, but sometimes you have to do it.

Task Manager (Auto-start programs)

The Startup tab inside of Task Manager
The Startup tab inside of Windows 10 / Windows 11 Task Manager

Using Task Manager is the most comfortable and safest way to enable or disable programs that auto-start with Windows 10 and Windows 11. None of the programs listed here are going to prevent your computer from starting if disabled. You will not find any program listed here that Windows 10 or Windows 11 requires to operate.

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Task Manager, it's a built-in program that does a lot of different things. It monitors running programs, system performance, and active processes. And it also manages programs that auto-start with Windows.

How to start Task Manager in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Right-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Task Manager.

or

  1. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL all at the same time.
  2. From the security screen that appears, left-click on Task Manager.

or

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the Taskbar.
  2. On the context menu that appears, left-click on Task Manager.

Sometimes, the first time you run Task Manager, it will only display running apps. You have to left-click the More details arrow to view all the tabs. The location of the tabs varies from Windows 10 (across the top) to Windows 11 (down the left side).

Once the tabs are displayed, left-click on Startup (Windows 10) or Startup apps (Windows 11). From here, all you have to do is highlight the program name and select the Enable / Disable button.

System Configuration (Auto-start services)

The Services tab inside of System Configuration
The Services tab inside of System Configuration

This program is used mainly for diagnostics, so there are no splashy graphics. With System Configuration, you can change the services that auto-start with Windows. Be careful about making changes here, as they can have a significant impact on system performance.

How to start System Configuration in Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo and scroll down the list of applications to Windows Administrative Tools.
  2. Left-click on Windows Administrative Tools to expand the contents.
  3. Scroll down and left-click on System Configuration.

How to start System Configuration in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Left-click on System Configuration.

How to start System Configuration in both Windows 10 and 11

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.
  2. Type in MSCONFIG and left-click on OK.

From the default dialog box, select the Service tab. There, you will find all the services that auto-start with Windows. Remember that some of the Microsoft services listed cannot be disabled, so it's always best to select the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox at the bottom of the services section.

Once you have made your changes left-click on the Apply button, then left-click on the OK button. You will get a dialog box prompting you to either Restart or Exit without restart. Left-click on Restart, and you're ready to go. Remember to make changes one at a time and restart in between changes.

Autoruns / Autoruns64 (Auto-start programs, drivers, and services)

The Everything tab inside of Microsoft Autoruns
The Everything tab inside Microsoft Autoruns

Autoruns.exe (32-bit) and Autoruns64.exe (64-bit) are part of Microsoft's Sysinternals Suite of troubleshooting utilities and do not come with Windows 10 or Windows 11. But they are free, require no installation, and can be downloaded separately or with the complete suite (see links below).

Now Autoruns.exe will only run on 32-bit versions of Windows 10, and Autoruns64.exe will only run on 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11. Windows 11 does not come in a 32-bit version. Most versions of Windows 10 are 64-bit, so if you have any doubt about what version of Windows 10 you have, download Autoruns64.exe first.

This program is the most complex of them all. And the most dangerous! Why do you ask? Besides being able to disable programs, drivers, and services that auto-start, you can also delete their load points altogether. So be careful!

Once you have downloaded the files and extracted them to a permanent location, open that folder with File Explorer. Locate either Autoruns.exe or Autoruns64.exe (depending on your version of Windows 10). Right-click on the release of Autoruns for your version of Windows 10 / Windows 11 and select Run as administrator from the context menu.

When you start Autoruns, it automatically scans your computer for auto-start programs, drivers, and services. Autoruns has multiple tabs for the different Windows auto-start locations (logon, services, drivers, etc.), including one called Everything. And if you select the User pull-down menu on the toolbar on top of the program, you can also select the different user profiles.

If you want to disable/enable a program or driver, left-click on the checkbox on the left-hand side of the entry. You can also delete an entry, but I recommend that you back it up first, just in case. If you find you don't need the backup, you can delete the file later.

To back up an entry in Autoruns, you right-click on it, and a context menu will appear. Left-click on Jump to entry ... and the Registry Editor opens to the location in the registry of that entry. Right-click on the selected entry in the Registry Editor, and a context menu appears. Left-click on Export and select a location and file name for your backup file.

Autoruns
Sysinternals Suite

Navigating Windows 10

Updated June 4, 2020

It seems nowadays everyone is looking for ways to get things done quicker. The same holds for your computer. The faster you can open a program or document, the better. So here are my favorite tips for navigating Windows 10.

Navigating Windows 10

Since I do computer repair for a living, I've had to find ways to navigate Windows' different versions. With Windows 10, Microsoft keeps some of the cooler features while adding some new ones. And they even brought back one feature from previous versions. Let's take a look at my favorite ways to get around inside of Windows 10.

Power User menu

This little pop-up menu is a fast way to find some of the core features inside of Windows 10. It first appeared in Windows 8 to supplement the loss of the Start Menu. It never got the publicity it deserved, and only real geeks knew it existed. My customers are still amazed the first time I use it in front of them.

Lucky for us, Microsoft decided to keep the Power Users menu in Windows 10. It is still the fastest way to get to features like the Apps and Features, Network Connections, and Computer Management. Here's how to display the Power User menu in Windows 10.

Windows 10 Power User menu

There are two (2) ways of displaying the Power User menu in Windows 10: Mouse or Keyboard.

Using your mouse to display the Power User menu in Windows 10

Right-click on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start Menu

Using your keyboard to display the Power User menu in Windows 10

Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X

If you use the keyboard to bring up the Power User menu, you'll find that the programs/features listed have a single letter in their name underlined. These are also keyboard shortcuts to that particular program/feature. Here's a link to the complete list of the Power User menu keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10.

Power User menu keyboard shortcuts

Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 10

Here's is another handy feature that nobody knows about, the Windows logo key. I have customers ask me, "What does that key with the Windows logo do?". Well, its primary use is to bring up the Start Menu, but it does more. Allot more.

The Windows logo key was introduced over twenty-five (25) years ago alongside Windows 95 and the new Start Menu. There were only a handful of Windows logo key shortcuts at that time, and you had to purchase a Windows 95 compatible keyboard to use them. Now you can't find a Windows-compatible keyboard without it.

There are now close to forty (40) Windows logo key shortcuts in Windows 10. Once you try them out, you'll wonder how you lived without for so long. Here's a link to the complete list of Windows logo key shortcuts.

Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 10

Shortcut keys in Windows 10

Here is one of those 'old school' features that I love to use. Did you know that you can open almost any shortcut with just your keyboard? By simply editing a shortcut, you open it with a combination of three (3) keys.

Now, if you have used Windows for a while, you know what a shortcut is. And if not, no biggie. Here's how to create a shortcut in Windows 10.

Allot of people don't know that they can edit a shortcut and change how it works, including adding a keyboard shortcut to it. The keyboard shortcut for your shortcut needs to be a combination of three (3) keys, and the first two (2) keys have to be CTRL and ALT. The third key is your choice, but I try to use either the first letter of the program/file or a letter close to CTRL and ALT keys.

The shortcut key field inside of the properties a shortcut
The shortcut key field inside of the properties of a shortcut

How to add a keyboard shortcut to an existing shortcut

  1. Right-click on the shortcut you want to modify and from the context menu that appears select Properties.
  2. When the properties dialog box appears, make sure the Shortcut tab is selected.
  3. Go down to the Shortcut key field and left-click inside the area (the cursor will blink).
  4. Press the CTRL key and the key you want to be assigned to the shortcut simultaneously (Windows will automatically add the ALT).
  5. Left-click on Apply and you are done.

Start Menu

And last but not least is the Start Menu. After a brief disappearance in Windows 8, Microsoft decided to bring it back. It's now got a slightly different look and feel, but it still does what it is supposed to do: Navigate.

How to create ISO files from your software disks

Updated January 20, 2021

So over the years, you've been purchasing software on CD's / DVD's and now have quite the collection. So what do you do with all of the media you are no longer using? How about creating ISO files from them? Here's how to create ISO files from your software CDs / DVDs.

After working with computers for over twenty years, I've managed to amass quite the collection of software disks. One of my biggest problems is that I'm not particularly eager to throw away software disks. You never know when you might need them again.

Now in my book, there are two kinds of disks; Keepers and Tossers. Software that you paid for is a Keeper; software that comes in the mail/paper is usually a Tosser.

I'm old enough to remember the AOL disks used to come in the newspaper (1 gazillion free hours!). The AOL disks were always quite colorful and made a great wall collage or mobile.

Now I realize that properly stored CDs/DVDs can last quite a long time. I have some CDs that are around 20 years old, and I can still read them with my Windows 10 computer. So why would you want to change?

Well, first off, disks can get damaged. You can use a unique tool to buff it out if you scratch the bottom of a disc. But if scratch the top of a disc, you can damage the layer that stores data. Geek Tip: To destroy the data on a CD / DVD before throwing it away, scratch off all of the top layers of the disk with a sharp object, like a nail.

Second, not all devices have nowadays have CD / DVD drives (tablets, netbooks, and ultra-thin laptops). Not having an optical disc drive can make installing older software on a newer computer a bit of a problem. So what is the solution? ISO (International Organization for Standardization) files.

ISO (.iso) files are an archive file format for optical disks, like CDs and DVDs. They contain an exact sector-by-sector, non-compressed copy of a disc. All you need is a computer with a CD/DVD drive, your original disc(s), a program that creates ISO files, and plenty of free space on your hard drive.

Here's a list of a few free programs that create ISO files.

AnyBurn

Casper ISO Creator - CMM Solutions

The Official ImgBurn Website

CDBurnerXP: Free CD and DVD burning software

Once you have created your ISO files, you can do some cool things with them. Archiving your ISO files is the first thing you probably want to consider. External drives (flash, portable, or desktop) are great for storing ISO files. I've taken several small ISO files and burned them on to DVDs for off-site storage.

Now, what can you do with an ISO file? Sure, you can make a new CD / DVD using an ISO file. This feature is built-in to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. You can use a program like Rufus if you want to burn an ISO file to a USB drive. And if you're using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, you can even mount (open as a virtual drive) an ISO file and install directly from it. Great for when you don't have a CD/DVD drive.

How to burn an ISO file to disk inside of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

  1. Open File Explorer
    • Windows 7 - From the desktop, left-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E.
    • Windows 8.1 - From the desktop, left-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E or right-click on the Start button and left-click on File Explorer from the Power User menu.
    • Windows 10 - From the desktop, left-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E, left-clicking the Start button and left-clicking on File Explorer or right-click on the Start button and left-click on File Explorer from the Power User menu.
  2. Locate the ISO file you want to create a disk from.
    The ISO file context menu inside of Windows 7
  3. Right-click on the ISO file and then left-click on Burn disc image.
  4. Insert a blank disk into the CD / DVD drive.
  5. Left-click on Burn.

How to mount an ISO file as a virtual drive inside of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

  1. Open File Explorer
    • Windows 7 - From the desktop, left-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E.
    • Windows 8.1 - From the desktop, left-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E or right-click on the Start button and left-click on File Explorer from the Power User menu.
    • Windows 10 - From the desktop, left-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E, left-clicking the Start button and left-clicking on File Explorer or right-click on the Start button and left-click on File Explorer from the Power User menu.
  2. Locate the ISO file you want to mount as a virtual drive.
    The ISO file context menu inside of Windows 10
  3. Right-click on the ISO file and then left-click on Mount.
  4. Locate the new drive inside of File Explorer and use it as an actual CD/DVD drive.

How to use Libraries in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Updated October 2, 2022

Remember the old saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place"? The same holds for your files inside of Windows 10 and Windows 11. And managing your data in Windows 10 and Windows 11 can be a breeze when you use Libraries.

One of my favorite Windows file/folder organization features has to be Libraries. Libraries are nothing more than a collection of shortcuts to the original file/folder locations. But the places can be on your local computer or a network drive. Once you add a location to a library, it's just one click away inside of File Explorer.

Now let's not confuse user file folders with Libraries. User file folders are actual folders; Libraries are collections of shortcuts to user file folders. Your user files are already included in the Libraries by default. User file folders must be located on your computer, but Libraries can be shortcuts to both local and network file folders.

It's somewhat ironic that one of the coolest features that I can think of inside of Windows 10 and Windows 11 is hidden by default. But you can un-hide Libraries in just seconds. Here's how:

How to enable the Library view in Windows 10

  1. Open File Explorer by either
    • Left-clicking on the File Explorer icon (manilla folder) on the Taskbar.
    • Left-clicking the Start button, scrolling down and expanding the Windows System folder and left-clicking on File Explorer.
    • Right-click on the Start button and left-click on File Explorer from the Power User menu.
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E.
  2. Left-click on the View tab on the top of the Ribbon.
    How to enable the Library view in Windows 10
  3. Left-click on the Navigation pane button and left-click on Show libraries.

How to enable the Library view in Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer by either
    • Left-clicking on the File Explorer icon (manilla folder) on the Taskbar.
    • Left-clicking the Start button, left-clicking on All apps, scrolling down and left-clicking on File Explorer.
    • Right-click on the Start button and left-click on File Explorer from the Power User menu.
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E.
  2. Left-click on the See more three horizontal dots (...) in the upper right-hand corner
  3. In the context menu that appears, left-click on Options.
    Where to find Folder Options in Windows 11 File Explorer
    The Folder Options dialog box will appear.
  4. On the Folder Options dialog box, left-click on the View tab.
    Folder Options inside of Windows 11
    Scroll to the bottom of the Advanced settings, select Show libraries, and then left-click the Apply button.

How to modify Library properties in Windows 10 and Windows 11

We are all familiar with files and folders, but when Windows 7 came out, we got another way to manage them, Libraries. Libraries are where you go to manage your documents, music, pictures, and other files. You can browse your data the same way you would in a folder, or view your files arranged by properties like date, type, and author.

In some ways, a Library is similar to a folder. For example, when you open a Library, you'll see one or more files. However, unlike a folder, a Library gathers data stored in several locations. This is a subtle but significant difference. Libraries don't hold your files, just shortcuts to them. Libraries monitor folders containing your data and let you access and arrange the files differently. For instance, if you have music files in folders on your hard disk and an external drive, you can access all of your music files at once using the Music Library.

Windows 10 and Windows 11 have four (4) default libraries (Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos) and include links to your user files by default. Remember that you can add up to fifty (50) folders to a Library. And if you like, you can also create your own Libraries. Here are some other ways you can modify an existing Library.

  • Include or remove a folder. Libraries gather content from included folders or Library locations.
  • Change the default save location. The default save location determines where an item is stored when it's copied, moved, or saved to the Library.
  • Change the type of file a library is optimized for. Each Library can be optimized for a specific file type (such as music or pictures). Optimizing a Library for a particular file type changes the available options for arranging your files.

How to add a folder to a Library in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer (see enabling Library view).
  2. Right-click on the Library you'd like to change and select Show more options (Windows 11), Properties.
  3. Below the Library Locations box, click on Add, navigate to and highlight the folder you want to add to the Library, and left-click on Include folder.
  4. Left-click OK.

How to change a Library's default save location in Windows 10 and Windows 11

A Library's default save location determines where an item will be stored when it's copied, moved, or saved to the Library. You will need two or more folders in a Library to change the default save location.

  1. Open File Explorer (see enabling Library view).
  2. Right-click on the Library you'd like to change and select Show more options (Windows 11), Properties.
  3. Select the Library location you want as default, left-click on Set save location, and then left-click Apply.
  4. Left-click OK.

How to change the type of files a Library is optimized for in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Each Library can be optimized for a specific file type (such as music or pictures). Optimizing a Library for a particular kind of file changes the available options for arranging the data in that Library.

  1. Open File Explorer (see enabling Library view).
  2. Right-click on the Library you'd like to change and select Show more options (Windows 11), Properties.
  3. In the Optimize this library for list, select a file type and then left-click Apply.
  4. Left-click OK.

How to create a new Library in Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer (see enabling Library view).
  2. Right-click on Libraries and select Show more options (Windows 11), then New, then Library.
  3. Enter a name for the new Library, and then press Enter.

How to remove a folder from a Library in Windows 10 and Windows 11

If you don’t need a folder in a Library anymore, you can remove it. When you remove a folder from a Library location (shortcut), the folder and everything in it is still kept in its original location. Remember that when you delete a folder from a Library (folder), the folder and everything in it is deleted in its original location.

  1. Open File Explorer (see enabling Library view).
  2. Right-click on the Library you'd like to change and select Show more options (Windows 11), Properties.
  3. In the Library Locations dialog box, left-click on the folder you want to remove, left-click Remove, and then left-click OK.

How to add a network folder that is not indexed to a Library in Windows 10 and Windows 11

There will be times when you cannot get a shared network folder added to a Library due to indexing issues, and I found a way to get around this problem by creating a symbolic link.

  1. Open File Explorer (see enabling Library view).
  2. Left-click on This PC and create a folder on your drive for your network folders, for example, c:\share.
  3. Create another folder within that folder, for example, c:\share\music.
  4. Right-click the subfolder you just created and select Show more options (Windows 11), Include in library, and then select the library to which you want to add the folder or create a new Library.
  5. Delete the folder.
  6. Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges
  7. Enter mklink /d, and then enter the path of the folder you just deleted and the path of the network folder. For example, mklink /d c:\share\music \\server\music. If either of the folder names has spaces, encase the path(s) inside of quotes. For example, mklink /d "c:\shared files\music" "\\server\shared music". This creates what is called a symbolic link.

Here's how to create a symbolic link in Windows 8. It's the same procedure for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Free computer diagnostics

Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

Check out our reviews

Geeks In Phoenix LLC, BBB Business Review

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (602) 795-1111  and talk with one of our Geeks. Or you can send us a message from our contact page , and one of our Geeks will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can stop by and see us. Here are our hours and location.

Like Geeks in Phoenix on Facebook

Follow Geeks in Phoenix on Twitter

Watch Geeks in Phoenix on YouTube