Quick Tip: Restore Libraries and Remove SkyDrive from Windows 8.1

The much anticipated update for Windows 8 is not without its quirks, as it reorganizes the File Explorer and brings a more integrated SkyDrive experience. Libraries provided quick access to handy locations. such as your Downloads folder - it's still there just hidden after the 8.1 update. In order to have it show up:

  • Open up File Explorer and select the "View" tab
  • Head to "Options" then "Folder Options" towards the right
  • Choose the "General" tab on the new popup and check "Show Libraries" box in the "Navigation pane" section

It seems like Microsoft is also nudging users towards SkyDrive whether they like it or not in this update. You could however remove SkyDrive from showing up in File Explorer, but it requires some edits in the registry and not for the faint heart. Steps are as follows:

  1. Hit "Win+R" and enter "regedit" to open the Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\ {8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}\ShellFolder" key
  3. Below "Owner" near the top, click "Change" and switch it to your current account
    • Make sure to check the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" box and also "Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this subject"
    • Click "OK" after
  4. Going back to original "Permissions" box, select your user (or hit "Add" and add it if not present)
    • Check the "Full Control" box under corresponding user and hit "OK"
  5. Head back to the Registry editor, and now you should be able to change the registry key
    • Expand the "Attributes" key in "ShellFolder" and change the value to "0"
  6. Restart your computer and when File Explorer is opened, there shouldn't be a SkyDrive section