Windows 7 Tutorial

Hide or show drives and folders in Explorer for Windows 7 (Navigation Pane)

Visible navigation pane in Windows Explorer When you open a folder or zip file in Windows Explorer, Windows 7 will by default display a "Navigation Pane" on the left side of the window: this navigation pane will show your "Favorites" (and you can add favorite folders in Windows Explorer), your "Libraries" (Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos), your "Homegroup", your "Computer" with internal and external drives, and your local "Network", as applicable. The screenshot on the left shows the Windows Explorer Navigation Pane highlighted in green; in this tutorial, we will show you how to show or hide these drives and folders on the left of Explorer, and restore them later on.


Customize the Explorer Navigation Pane to visible or hidden

Since Windows Explorer displays the Navigation Pane by default, we'll assume that you are trying to hide it; the steps are the same to show it back on the side of the window:

A compromise: resize the Navigation Pane in Windows Explorer

Since showing or hiding the Navigation Pane is a three-click, slightly tedious process, here's a tip that may allow you to achieve the desired effect without necessarily changing the visibility of that pane:

When Windows 7 shows the Navigation Pane on the left side of a Windows Explorer window, move your mouse pointer above the border that separates the left pane from the content of the selected folder; notice that the cursor now becomes a horizontal resizer:

Resize the Navigation Pane in Windows Explorer
Just drag and hold to the left to make the Navigation Pane narrower, or to the right to make it wider. As an indication, here is the narrowest Navigation Pane Windows Explorer allows you to have: (and you can make it as wide as ~80% of the Windows Explorer window's width.)

Make the Navigation Pane smaller in Windows 7

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