Working with libraries

In previous versions of Windows, managing your files meant organizing them in different folders and subfolders. In this version of Windows, you can also use libraries to organize and access files regardless of where they're stored.

Picture of the navigation pane, showing the Pictures library with three included folders
The navigation pane, showing the Pictures library with three included folders

A library gathers files from different locations and displays them as a single collection, without moving them from where they're stored.

Here are some things you can do with libraries:

  • Create a new library. There are four default libraries (Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos), but you can create new libraries for other collections. For more information, see Create a new library.

  • Arrange items by folder, date, and other properties. Items in a library can be arranged in different ways using the Arrange by menu, located in the library pane (above the file list) in any open library. For example, you can arrange your Music library by Artist to quickly find a song by a particular artist.

  • Include or remove a folder. Libraries gather content from included folders, or library locations. For more information, see Include folders in a library.

  • Change the default save location. The default save location determines where an item is stored when it's copied, moved, or saved to the library. For more information, see Customize a library.

For more information about libraries, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.