Windows 11 offers a user-friendly File Explorer interface that aims to make your file management tasks more efficient. However, it also automatically adds frequently used folders to the Quick Access section, potentially compromising your privacy. If you wish to protect your privacy by removing frequently used folders from Quick Access, this comprehensive guide will walk you through two methods to achieve this in Windows 11. Kindly see Latest Improvement to File Explorer on Windows 11, and Change the default start page for File Explorer on Windows 11.
Understanding the Issue “Quick Access in Windows 11”
By default, Windows 11 automatically populates the Quick Access section in File Explorer with frequently used folders. While this feature can be convenient, it may raise privacy concerns if you don’t want certain folders to be easily accessible or displayed in Quick Access. Additionally, these folders can appear under the “Frequent” section when you right-click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.
Here are other related guides: Windows Stickers: Creating Desktop Stickers on Windows 11, How to Fix System Tray Icons not showing in Taskbar on Windows 11, How to Unblock Microsoft Store on Windows 11, and Microsoft Phone Link: Connect Android to Windows 11.
Step-by-Step Guide on Removing Recently Used Folders from Quick Access
Method 1: Manually Remove Frequently Used Folders
Click on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar or press Win + E to open File Explorer. In the left navigation pane, you’ll see a list of frequently used folders.
Right-click on one of these folders that you want to remove from Quick Access, and select “Remove from Quick access” from the pop up menu.
This action will remove the selected folder from Quick Access, but it will not delete the folder itself.
Method 2: Permanently Disable Frequently Used Folders
Launch File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar or pressing Win + E.
In the File Explorer window, locate and click the “See more” button represented by three dots (ellipses) on the toolbar. From the dropdown menu, choose “Options.” This will open the Folder Options window.
In the Folder Options window, under the “General” tab, uncheck the box that says, “Show frequently used folders in Quick access.”
Click the “OK” button to save your changes.
This action will not only remove the existing history of frequent folders but also prevent Quick Access from automatically adding any frequently used folders in the future.
In this guide, you’ve learned two methods to hide frequently used folders from Quick Access in Windows 11 File Explorer. By either manually removing specific folders or permanently disabling the feature, you can protect your privacy and customize your File Explorer experience to better suit your needs. Choose the method that aligns with your preferences and enjoy a more tailored file management experience in Windows 11.
The privacy concern arises from the fact that Windows 11 automatically populates the Quick Access section with frequently used folders. This means that anyone with access to your computer can easily see which folders you use most frequently. If you have sensitive or private folders, you may want to hide them to protect your privacy.
Unfortunately, Method 1 involves manually removing one frequently used folder at a time. You need to right-click on each folder you want to remove and select “Remove from Quick access.” If you have several folders to remove, this process can be a bit time-consuming.
No, disabling frequently used folders using Method 2 only removes them from Quick Access. You will still have access to these folders in their original locations in File Explorer. They will not be deleted or hidden from your file system; they just won’t appear in the Quick Access section or under the “Frequent” section when you right-click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.
Furthermore, I hope you found this blog post on how to Remove Frequently Used Folders from Quick Access in Windows 11” helpful. Please let me know in the comment session if you have any questions.