The navigation pane in Windows Explorer provides quick access to items such as Libraries, Favorites, and Computer. There may be items you don’t use much in the navigation pane. You can use the registry to remove seldom-used items from the navigation pane. However, we found a free tool, called Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer, that allows you to show, hide, and even rename items in the Windows Explorer navigation pane.
Download Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer from
If the navigation pane is not showing, you can show it by clicking the Organize button in Windows Explorer and selecting Layout | Navigation pane from the drop-down menu.
You must run the Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer with administrator privileges. To do this, right-click on the Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer.exe file and select Run as administrator from the popup menu.
If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.
NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings. See our post, Windows 7 – How to configure UAC (User Account Control), for more information.
The Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer window displays. A list of the items available for display in the navigation pane is available on the left side of the window. Check the check boxes for items you want to show on the navigation pane and uncheck the check boxes for items you want to hide. For example, we decided to add the Control Panel to the navigation pane.
Once you have checked or unchecked the desired items, click Apply Settings. Windows Explorer is automatically restarted to apply the new settings.
NOTE: If Windows Explorer does not restart correctly when the Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer automatically restarts it, see Restart the Explorer.exe Process Correctly in Windows or Restart the Explorer.exe Process Correctly in Windows the Quick and Easy Way for instructions on restarting the explorer.exe process correctly.
The Control Panel is added to the navigation pane, providing a quick way to access the Control Panel if you use Windows Explorer often.
You can also change the name of the items in the list. To do so, click on the name of item you want to change. The item’s name is highlighted. Type the new name you want to use and press Enter.
You must click Apply Settings for the name change to take effect.
To close the Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer, click the X button in the upper, right corner of the window.
The item’s name in the navigation pane displays the new name.
This method of showing and hiding the items in the navigation pane is quicker and easier than editing the registry. If you edit the registry, you must edit a separate key for each item you want to show or hide.
by Lori Kaufman