How to Replace Quick Access With Favorites in Windows 10

Windows 10 offers a quick access menu in the sidebar of File Explorer. However, people using File Explorer since Windows 7 prefer the Favorites menu on the sidebar. Fortunately, you can replace the Quick Access menu with Favorites in Windows 10.

You will need to edit a few files in the registry editor to bring back favorites from the dead. We recommend that you make a backup of the registry files before proceeding, as this may interrupt the functioning of your system. Another way is to create a restore point, which also works great.

Let’s start.

Use the registry editor

You will need to edit a few files in the registry editor to bring back favorites from the dead. We recommend that you make a backup of the registry files before proceeding, as this may interrupt the functioning of your system. Another way is to create a restore point, which also works great.

Step 1: Find Registry Editor in the Start menu and launch it.



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2nd step: Navigate to the folder structure below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDesktopNameSpace

Step 3: Create a new key under the NameSpace folder and name it as follows:

{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}


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It should look something like this.



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Step 4: Now navigate to the folder structure below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerHideDesktopIconsNewStartPanel

In the right pane of the window, right-click in an empty area to select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value (even if you are running the 64-bit version) and name this file with the same key you created above in step 3 like this:

{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}


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Step 5: Double click on the newly created file and set the value data to 1. Save the changes.



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Step 6: At this point, you should display the familiar Favorites menu at the bottom of File Explorer.



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You have to move it upwards for easy access. To do this, navigate to this folder structure in the Registry Editor.

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREClassesCLSID

And again create a new subkey with the same name. Right click on CLSID to do it as before.

{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}


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Step 7: Under the newly created key in step 6, you’ll create a DWORD (32-bit) value file and name it:

SortOrderIndex


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Step 8: Double click to open the newly created file and set Value Data to 4.



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The Favorites menu should be visibly higher in the File Explorer sidebar.



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So, we’ve explained how to hide the Quick Access menu and bring Favorites back to the File Explorer sidebar menu. But we haven’t finished yet. The problem is, you can access anything in the Favorites folder, but you still can’t expand it in the sidebar. Clicking on the arrow (which expands a folder) does nothing, and the arrow disappears when you try.



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Command prompt to create links

This is where we will switch to CMD or the command prompt. We will then use a Windows tool called “mklink”, which is a command line tool. It allows users to create a symbolic link allowing us to link one folder to the location of another. This can be useful in several conditions.

Step 1: Find and open CMD from the Start menu and select Run as administrator.



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2nd step: Give the command below to change directory.

cd %userprofile%/links


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Step 3: I’ll add the Downloads folder and name it Downloads123. Here is the command syntax for it.

mklink /d SomeName %USERPROFILE%SourceFolder

Replace SomeName with the name of the link you want to be and SourceFolder with the location the link should point to. So to link to the Downloads folder, the command should look like this:

mklink /d Downloads123 %userprofile%Downloads


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It created a new favorites folder named Downloads123 but more importantly the drop down menu works perfectly.



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Do not read favorites

Fast access isn’t that bad, but a lot of users are used to the old ways, and we understand that. That’s why we found a way to fix this problem for you. The steps can be a bit complicated, and there are definitely quite a few. I suggest you go through the steps once before you do anything and then start over. This way you will understand what we are doing and why. Take it one step at a time and check where your screen looks and works like the one shown in the screenshots.

Let us know in the comments if you have recovered the Favorites menu. Have you found another or better way to solve the problem? Again, let us know in the comments section below.

Last updated Jan 29, 2021


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