Computing: Computer Basics

System and Security: Removing files and folders in Windows 11 Quick Access.

Windows 11 Quick Access is a section in File Explorer, where the user can directly access their desktop and their Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads folders (pinned items), as well as the most often accessed folders (the recently accessed files are not displayed by default, I think). Having direct access to these folders can be practical. On the other hand, if you are not the only one, who uses the computer, this is not really compatible with the concept of privacy. And the folders displayed are not necessarily those that you frequently access during "every-day work". If, for example, you worked a lot with some temporary storage locations the day before, these folders will appear in Quick Access even though you don't need them today and perhaps not for a longer time, or even ever.

If you right-click such a folder in File Explorer and choose Remove from Quick access, the Quick Access item (not the real folder) is deleted, however Windows 11 automatically adds another folder. This help text explains how to proceed to remove all not-pinned folders from Quick Access and how to disable their auto-adding to File Explorer.

Open File Explorer and on the menu bar, click the three dots on the right of the Filter menu item, then, from the expanded menu, choose Options.

Removing files and folders in Windows 11 Quick Access [1]

At the bottom of the Folder Options window, General tab, you find the section Privacy. To clear the history of File Explorer, push the Clear button. This removes all non-pinned items. However, when you access some folders afterwards, these will be automatically added by Windows. To disable this, unselect the Show frequently used folders checkbox. Also make sure, that Show recently used files and Show files from (not sure if this is present by default in Windows 11) are unchecked.

Removing files and folders in Windows 11 Quick Access [2]

Note: By default, Windows 11 File Explorer opens displaying the content of the Quick Access folder, i.e. the user's Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, and Downloads folders. If you prefer that it opens showing the content of This PC (corresponding to My Computer on older Windows releases), you can set this here by selecting the corr. item in the Open File Explorer to combobox.

If you find this text helpful, please, support me and this website by signing my guestbook.