Quick Access is a directory present in the File Explorer application of Windows 11. The purpose of the Quick Access section is to present you with a list of your recently or frequently opened files and folders and help you to easily get back to your work. When you enable the Quick Access feature, you also get easy access to important folders like Desktop, Download, Documents etc.
A feature similar to Quick Access used to exist in older versions of Windows, which was the ‘Favourites’ section. Quick Access was first introduced in Windows 10. By default, the Quick Access feature is disabled in the File Explorer application on Windows, Although, enabling it is quite simple.
Enable Quick Access in File Explorer
First, open up File Explorer by pressing Windows+e on your keyboard or by looking for it in Windows search and selecting it from search results.
Once the File Explorer window opens, click on the 3 horizontal dots from the tool bar.
A small menu will appear. From there, click on ‘Options’.
The ‘Folder Options’ dialog box will open. From here you can enable the Quick Access feature. Click on the dropdown menu next to the ‘Open File Explorer to:’ text and select the ‘Quick access’ option.
Recent and frequently used files and folders in Quick access. Under the Privacy section in the Folder Options, you can enable or disable the recent and frequently used files and folders from showing up in the Quick Access section.
In the Privacy section, either check both boxes that say ‘Show recently used files in Quick access’ and ‘Show frequently used folders in Quick access’ or uncheck them if you don’t want your recently opened files and folders from showing in the Quick Access menu.
Disabling Quick Access in File Explorer
You can use the Registry Editor to disable the Quick Access directory. To start, press Windows+r key on your keyboard to open up the Run window. Once the Run window appears, type ‘regedit’ inside the command line and then press Enter.
Once the Registry Editor window appears, copy the following text inside the command line and press Enter.
On the right panel, you will see a string labeled as ‘LaunchTo’.
Double-click on the ‘LaunchTo’ string and a small window will appear. From there, set the ‘Value data’ to 0 and then click on ‘OK’.
Now, all that it’s left to do is to restart your computer and the Quick Access section in the File Explorer will be disabled.
Completely Remove Quick Access from File Explorer using Registry Editor
With the Registry Editor, you can permanently remove the Quick Access directory from the Navigation panel of the File Explorer. Remember, that while editing Registry Files you must be very cautious. If you delete or modify any value by mistake it can crash your whole system. Therefore, we recommend you carefully and strictly follow the steps mentioned here.
First, open up the Registry Editor by searching for it in the Start Menu search.
The Registry Editor window will appear. Copy & paste the following text in the adress bar and then press Enter.
Now, on the right panel, right-click over any blank space, select ‘New’ and then select ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’ to create a new string.
Rename the newly created string to ‘HubMode’.
Double-click on the ‘HubMode’ string and when the new window appears, set the ‘Value data’ to one and then click on ‘OK’.
Now, restart your computer and this change will take effect.
This is how you Enable or Disable Quick Access in Windows 11.