How to Disable and Remove Quick Access from File Explorer on Windows 10

Previous versions of Windows had a feature called “Favorites” which used to list out the links to folders we want. The Favorites was visible in My Computer. We could customize this list by dragging and dropping folders from and to it.

In Windows 10, Microsoft replaced this Favorites by something called “Quick access”. When you open My Computer (Or ‘This PC’ if you like to call it like that), you can see a list of folders and files which you have accessed recently.
Microsoft is trying to provide you a better user experience by automatically listing out these folders and files, thinking that you might need to access them frequently. This is a good feature. But for some people, this is an annoying feature. I, for example, don’t like to see my recent accesses displayed on the sidebar. I would rather go for my customized list of a folder for quick access.

Disable Quick Access

To disable Quick Access, first, open File Explorer. Then go to View -> Options and then go to the “Folder Options” tab in there. Now you can see the folder options settings. If you look at the window now, you can see that the default option for file explorer is selected as “Quick access.” Click on the list and you can see “This PC.” Simply go ahead and select that option and save you settings. Now you have only enabled File Explorer to open “This PC” by default, instead of the quick access screen.

How to Disable and Remove Quick Access from File Explorer on Windows 10
Uncheck the “Show recently used files in Quick Access” and “Show frequently used folders in Quick Access”. Now you have successfully disabled this feature, and your recent files and folders will stop appearing in Quick Access menu.

Some of the folders might still be visible in the quick access menu in This PC. To clear out these, click on the “Clear” button displayed right next to the “Clear File Explorer history” in the Folder Options settings. This will remove all the existing links.

Getting the ‘Favorites’ menu back

It is not possible to bring back the old Favorites feature. But you can use the quick access to your Favorites menu. Simply drag and drop the folders you want to display to the Quick Access menu in the left sidebar. Even though the name is still “Quick Access”, the functioning will be like our old Favorites. What we did here is, we took out the capability of Quick Access to display our recently accessed files and folders. But the menu still exists, and we are utilizing that menu by using it as Favorites. You can also remove the existing ones there by right clicking on the folder you want to remove and then clicking on the “Unpin from Quick access” option.

Removing Quick Access permanently

Still, don’t like to see the Quick Access menu in your file explorer? No worries. We can disable quick access completely. This process requires a little bit of work.
Let’s begin. First, make sure that you are logged into windows through an account having administrator privileges.
Open up registry editor. You can do this by going into ‘Run’ (Windows key + R) and then type regedit and hit enter key.

How to Disable and Remove Quick Access from File Explorer on Windows 10
Once you open Registry Editor, you can see a few folders on the left side. Find “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT” from it and expand it. You have to find “CLSID{679f85cb-0220-4080-b29b-5540cc05aab6}” from the long list of folders you can see there. Once you find out it, expand that one too.

Under there you can see a few folder again. Just right click on the “ShellFolder” and select “Permissions” and then go to the “Advanced” option.

You are now going to change the permission of this folder. You can see a “Change” button in the “’Advanced Security Settings for ShellFolder”. Click it, then go to “Advanced” and then click on the “Find now” button. Doing this will list out many usernames. An administrator will be one of them. Just select it and hit OK on all the windows.

After giving permissions, click on the “ShellFolder”. You can see “Attributes” on the right side. Double-click on it and change the value to a0600000.

Now the quick access feature will be removed. Take note that you can always enable the feature by changing the value back to a0100000.

Restart your system when all the process are complete to see the changes in effect.

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