navigation pane – Windows Blog by Brink

navigation pane

Add or Remove Windows C Drive in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

All drives are shown under the This PC group in the navigation pane of File Explorer by default.

Removable drives are shown as separate groups in the navigation pane of File Explorer by default in addition to being shown under the This PC group in the navigation pane.

You could Pin to Quick access the Windows C: drive to also have it under the Home group in the navigation pane.

If you like, you can add the Windows C: Drive as its own separate group to the top or bottom of the navigation pane of File Explorer for even easier and faster access.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the the Windows C: Drive in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Recycle Bin in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The Recycle Bin provides a safety net when deleting files or folders. When you delete any of these items from a hard disk, Windows places it in the Recycle Bin and the Recycle Bin icon changes from empty to full.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Recycle Bin in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Duplicate Drives in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

Removable drives are shown as separate groups in the navigation pane of File Explorer by default in addition to being shown under the This PC group in the navigation pane.

OS drives and fixed drives (ex: internal drives) will only be shown under This PC, and not separately in the navigation pane.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the drives showing twice in the navigation pane of File Explorer for all users in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Expand to Current Folder in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.

When you have a folder or drive open in File Explorer (Win+E), you can press the Ctrl + Shift + E keys to have the navigation pane expand to the current folder or drive on demand.

You can turn on Expand to current folder to have the navigation pane automatically expand to the current folder or drive as you open them in File Explorer.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off automatically expand to current folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Show all folders in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.

If you like, you can select to show all the folders on your PC in the navigation pane, including your user folder, Control Panel, Libraries, and Recycle Bin.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off show all folders in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Linux in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The¬†Windows Subsystem for Linux¬†lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment — including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications — directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dualboot setup.

WSL 2¬†is a new version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux architecture that powers the Windows Subsystem for Linux to run ELF64 Linux binaries on Windows. Its primary goals are to increase file system performance, as well as adding full system call compatibility. This new architecture changes how these Linux binaries interact with Windows and your computer’s hardware, but still provides the same user experience as in¬†WSL 1¬†(the current widely available version).

When you install WSL, it adds Linux to the navigation pane of File Explorer for access to the file systems of your installed distros.

If you like, you can remove Linux from the navigation pane of File Explorer without having to uninstall WSL.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Linux in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove OneDrive in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

OneDrive is built-in to Windows 11 by default.

With OneDrive, you can sync files between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere Рyour computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at OneDrive.com. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove OneDrive in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Quick access in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

Quick access in the navigation pane of File Explorer (Win+E) allows you to quickly access and view your pinned locations, frequent folders, and recent files from one location in Quick Access.

  • Frequent folders¬†= Displays up to ten folders that you frequently opened on the system.
  • Recent files¬†= Displays up to twenty files that you most recently opened.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Quick access in the navigation pane of File Explorer for all users in Windows 11.

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How to Reset Navigation Pane Expanded State in Windows 10 File Explorer

You can use the navigation pane in File Explorer to browse locations such as Quick access, OneDrive, Libraries, This PC, Network, and Homegroup. You can also move or copy items directly to a destination in the navigation pane.

As you open folders in the right pane of File Explorer, the navigation pane will not automatically expand to the current open folder by default.

When you expand open a folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, this expanded state setting is saved to the registry. The next time you open File Explore, you will automatically see the last navigation pane expanded state.

While you can manually set the navigation pane expanded state to how you want, you could also reset it back to default as wanted or needed.

This tutorial will show you how to reset the navigation pane expanded state in File Explorer to default for your account in Windows 10.

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How to Add or Remove Linux in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 10

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a new Windows 10 feature that enables you to run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows, alongside your traditional Windows desktop and modern store apps.

Starting with Windows 10 build 18836 version 1903, Linux will be added to the navigation pane in File Explorer whenever you enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

If you like, you can remove Linux from the navigation without having to disable WSL.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Linux in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 10. When you click/tap on the Distro shortcut in Linux, it will show all currently running WSL distros.

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