Windows 8.1 File Explorer Features

If you have installed Windows 8.1. the first thing you will notice when you open Windows Explorer or rather File Explorer, is that when you click on the Explorer icon in the taskbar, the following window opens.

Windows 8.1 file explorer

windows 8.1 file explorer

No longer are the Libraries displayed. Instead all your Devices & Drives along with your personal folders like Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos and Desktop are displayed.

Those who did not like the Libraries opening when they clicked on the Explorer icon, changed it so that the Computer folder opened.

However, with this change, users will be able to access their Drives as well as their personal folders when they open the My Computer or Computer folder – which is now called as This PC.

If you wish to hide these folders, you can click on the small arrow to collapse and consequently hide them.

Show, Hide Libraries, Favorites in Windows 8.1 explorer navigation pane

Right-clicking in the left navigation panel will offer you several options to:


  • Show favorites
  • Show Libraries
  • Show all folders
  • Expand tocurrent folder.

I never liked my Explorer opening to Libraries, and so prefer the current look of My PC.

How are you liking this change?

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.