One of the best features that came up with Windows 10 is the “Quick Access” view which replaces the old “Favorites” in Windows 8.1.
The items in “Quick Access” are automatically generated based on how frequently the files and folders are accessed.
This is useful but some people – like me – need to have more control over their Windows File Explorer.
But you can make “Quick Access” more like the old “Favorites” menu and choose which folders to highlight instead of leaving it automatic.
In this tutorial you will discover with me how to make your “Quick Access” menu handy and put on your own Folders for better management and fast access to your resources.
Let’s get it!
Why Make “Quick Access” Static?
First of all the “Quick Access” is a tiny yet powerful menu that helps the user access folders and files based on preferences selected by the user.
Let’s not confuse the view and the toolbar, the toolbar is explained in a separate tutorial that you can find here:
But the menu is really useful for people who are heavily changing folders.
As you know, having your recently opened folders on “Quick Access” can be helpful especially if you have the habit of using it that way.
But with time the menu becomes fragmented with random folders that may not be relevant anymore, then the priority becomes to clean it up and only add the folders you actually use. You can also change the menu according to the current need or project you are working on.
How to Clean Quick Access in Windows 10
First we need to open the options which can be found in Folder Options. Right-click on “Quick Access” and choose “Options“.
You can also access Folder Options from “File” > “Change folder and search options“.
Once you have done that un-check the two entries:
- Show recently used files in Quick access
- Show frequently user folders in Quick access
Click “Clear” to clear the history of the File Explorer then “OK” to save the changes and close the window.
All items that are in “Quick Access” are pinned – we call them pins. This means that you can unpin the default folders (e.g Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, …) as well. To remove any item just right click and choose “Unpin from Quick access“.
You can add new items by dragging them to the menu or right-click then choose “Pin to Quick access“, it’s that simple!
You can also pin files by dragging and dropping them according to the desired order.
Keep in mind that every change you do to pinned items in the Quick Access menu will not affect or change the original files or folders, each item acts as a pointer to the original ones, removing pins doesn’t remove the originals indeed.