Fix this Windows 10 “feature” in 5 minutes or less

Digital Citizen

As Windows 10 becomes the dominant operating system on the planet, you’ll slowly find that along with the good stuff — and there is a lot of good stuff — there’s some bad stuff. Microsoft still has a tendency to push you in directions you don’t want to go. It’s not as blatant as the Windows 8 start menu, but some of Microsoft’s “features” are really just annoying and the trick turns out to be making them go away. Luckily in most cases the new stuff can be hidden if you would like to go back to the way things were.

Here’s a perfect example: Microsoft puts a shortcut to Windows Explorer in the taskbar. You can put whatever shortcut there you want, but this one is sort of special as it’s the “official sanctioned one” and that seems to mean something (I don’t know what.) None of that is different, a shortcut to Explorer has been there by default for a decade. However, instead of a well-ordered list of common locations, you now get a messy quick-access menu that changes according to your usage, and a list of recent files at the bottom.

That’s great, if you like it. I think it’s a confusing mess. I want things back to where they were: Common “library” folders at top, This PC at the bottom. Here’s how you do that.

Open up a File Explorer window and choose View, then Options.

Under General, change the top dropdown to “This PC.”

And that’s it! No more messy quick access menu, no more recent file list which doesn’t really relate to the files I want to open. Just a clean list of locations where I might find stuff. That suits me a lot better.

Now if Windows 10 would just fix the way it connects over VPN. But that’s an article for another day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.