Include folders in a library

A library gathers content from various folders. You can include folders from different locations in the same library, and then view and arrange the files in those folders as one collection. For example, if you keep some of your pictures on an external hard drive, you can include a folder from that hard drive in your Pictures library, and then access that folder's files in your Pictures library whenever the hard drive is connected to your computer.

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

To learn more about what types of folders you can include in a library, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.

Watch this video to learn how to include or remove a folder from a library (1:17)
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To include a folder from your computer in a library

  1. In the taskbar, click the Windows Explorer button Picture of the Windows Explorer button..
  2. In the navigation pane (the left pane), navigate to the folder that you want to include and single-click it (don't double-click).

  3. In the toolbar (above the file list), click Include in library, and then click a library (for example, Documents).

To include a folder from an external hard drive in a library

Make sure the external hard drive is connected to your computer and that your computer recognizes the device. (For more information, see Install, view, and manage your devices and printers.)

  1. In the taskbar, click the Windows Explorer button Picture of the Windows Explorer button..
  2. In the navigation pane (the left pane), click Computer, and then navigate to the folder on your external hard drive that you want to include.

  3. In the toolbar (above the file list), click Include in library, and then click a library (for example, Documents).

Note

  • Folders from removable media devices (such as CDs and DVDs) and some USB flash drives can't be included in a library.

To include a network folder in a library

A network folder must be added to the index or made available offline before it can be included in a library. To learn how to make a network folder available offline, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.

  1. In the taskbar, click the Windows Explorer button Picture of the Windows Explorer button..
  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the navigation pane (the left pane), click Network, and then navigate to the folder on your network that you want to include.

    • Click the icon on the left side of the address bar, type the path of the network, press Enter, and then navigate to the folder that you want to include.

  3. In the toolbar (above the file list), click Include in library, and then click a library (for example, Documents).

Note

  • If you don't see the Include in library option, it means that the network folder is not indexed or is not available offline.

To remove a folder from a library

When you no longer need to monitor a folder in a library, you can remove it. When you remove a folder from a library, the folder and its contents are not deleted from their original location.

  1. In the taskbar, click the Windows Explorer button Picture of the Windows Explorer button..
  2. In the navigation pane (the left pane), click the library that you want to remove folders from.

  3. In the library pane (above the file list), next to Includes, click Locations.

  4. In the dialog box that appears, click the folder you want to remove, click Remove, and then click OK.