Like folders, libraries are a great way to manage and organise your files. But unlike folders, libraries don’t store files in a single location. They work by gathering together files, such as documents or pictures, from different locations on your hard drive, network or attached drives – and then displaying them as a single collection within the library. The files themselves remain stored at their original location.
Windows 8 has four default libraries – Documents, Music, Pictures (for pictures and home videos), and Videos (for movies and TV shows). When files are organized in these libraries, they show up automatically in the Photos, Music, and Video apps. However, it easy to create a new library or add folders to existing library.
In Windows 8.1, libraries are hidden from the left pane in File Explorer by default but there’s a quick and easy way to bring them back into view. Here’s how: Click the Desktop tile on the Start screen to open the Desktop and click File Explorer from the Toolbar at the bottom of the screen. In the File Explorer window, click the View tab. Click the Navigation pane icon and from the drop-down menu, click Show libraries. You can now get access to all your libraries in File Explorer.
Open a library
Step 1 In File Explorer, click Library in the Navigation pane.
Step 2 Double-click a library, for example Pictures, to open it.
Step 3 The library will open showing subfolders and items within.
Add a library
Step 1 In File Explorer, click Libraries in the Navigation pane.
Step 2 Click the Home tab, click New item, then choose Library.
Step 3 Enter a name for the library, then press Enter.
Add or remove a folder from a library
You may want to add a folder to a library so that you can view and work with files in a single location. For example, if you store photos on an external hard drive, you can add them to a new folder in your Pictures library so that when the disk is connected to your computer, you can view and edit your pictures directly from your Pictures library.
Step 1 In File Explorer, find and select the folder you want to add to the library.
Step 2 On the Home tab, click Easy access, choose Include in library, then select the library to which you want to add the folder.
Step 3 The folder is added to the library with contents grouped by location.
Remove a folder
You can remove a folder from a library knowing that the folder and everything in it will remain safe in the original location. However, if you delete items within a folder in a library, they will be deleted for real.
Step 1 In File Explorer, click the library you want to remove a folder from.
Step 2 Click the Library Tools tab, click Manage library.
Step 3 In the dialog box, select the folder you want to remove, click Remove, then click OK.