Hide Navigation Pane with GPO or Registry Setting RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am looking for a way to remove the Navigation Pane from Explorer.  There is nothing in GPO that allows it and I have been unable to locate it in the registry. 
    Monday, December 7, 2009 7:15 PM

All replies

  • If you would like to disable or hide the navigation pane for some reason, you can try the following steps

    1. Open Windows explorer.
    2. Click on Organize > Layout.

    3. To Turn Off the Navigation Pane

    A) Click on Navigation Pane to unhighlight the icon.

    4. To Turn On the Navigation Pane -
    A) Click on Navigation Pane to highlight the icon.

    I hope this would help you!




    Tuesday, December 8, 2009 8:15 AM
  • Thanks for the help, but we have to do it with GPO and not allow it to turn back on.  This is on a Terminal Server.

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009 2:40 PM
  • According my test, we can't modify the GPO to get it work.

    Friday, December 11, 2009 3:03 AM
  • were you able to find anyway to do this via a GPO or logon script? we're in the same boat.
    Monday, February 22, 2010 7:32 PM
  • Why on Earth would you want to disable your users from seeing a Navigation pane?  Just curious.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 3:13 AM
  • I can answer that; Take a good look at the Navigation pane. It allows access to practicaly everything. I work in a library where we have the same issue as I am guessing is the reason for the original question. In my case my users are library patrons and I can't control what they will want to do on my computers. I don't want my patrons to have access to practicaly everything! As a matter of fact I only want them to have access to the Internet, some Office apps and storage space where thay can save files. I certainly don't want them navigating to other computers on my network, some of which are very critical servers. But what I don't understand is, why on earth does Microsoft think that it is their responsibility to decide what I want to do with my computers and what options or features I want to dissable. I'm an adult, I have been working in my environment on a variety of Windows operating systems for eleven years and I am fully capable of making that kind of decision myself!


    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:09 PM
  • That is the exact reason for the question.  It is very frustrating that you cant remove it.  Months later there is still no answer.  We have begin to build other workarounds.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:27 PM
  • I think your problem is that you're trying to apply a generic desktop operating system to a very specific purpose.

    If you could disable the navigation pane, would you then be wishing for a way to disable the Breadcrumbs bar?  A user could type in C:\ and voila, they're at the root and they could navigate anywhere.  Or they could type C:\ into Internet Explorer.  Or run CMD.  There are dozens of ways to "see everything". 

    Would you consider it a valid request to ask Chevrolet make a car without a gas pedal because in your particular application it was only going to be driven downhill?  Do you think they'd do it for you? 

    The navigation pane is a fundamental part of Explorer, and hiding it isn't going to get you what you want.  Worse, if somehow Microsoft DID make that possible, it's quite likely that they'd screw up its use for the rest of us.

    Perhaps what you must do is to use permissions to prevent a non-privileged user from doing things to files/folders you don't want them messing with.  That's not particularly difficult.

    And, having set permissions, you could cause the Explorer window to be opened to a particular folder to look like the "root" of the navigation pane.  You'd do that by running something like:  explorer.exe /root,c:\blahblah\UserRoot

    Or, if you want utter and complete control over what the users do I suspect you'll be needing to write an application that cannot be exited and simply keeps the users captive.


    Saturday, May 15, 2010 1:18 AM
  • Ah! Noel, I can see you don't have much experience with public access workstations. No matter; for the rest of you I have the answer. If you search for "Windows 7 - Network - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane" you will find a link to instructions on how to do this. You could use the same search but substitute computer, Libraries or Favorites for Network because if you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see that there are links to instructions for each. These are registry hacks that will apply to all users so you might want to script them so that you can turn them on or off. I didn't need to go that far but I may re-visit this after I have a good working image and can make time to refine it a bit.


    Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:30 PM
  • Say what you will, I'm just back from CompUSA where they had tied a small Windows system to each display monitor for showing off the monitor's capabilities.  On a few of the systems the captive application they have that runs continuously had faulted out, and even though they'd tried to set up the system to block most user activity it took all of about 30 seconds to find ways to browse around and see what was on those computers.  The only ones I couldn't hack into in half a minute were those that had the captive application running, and I didn't find a quick way to kill it.

    :) Your search above turns up my post on removing Libraries, Favorites, Homegroup... :)


    Sunday, May 30, 2010 2:49 PM
  • Noel,

    My daughter's school uses Win Professional, on laptops, and the sysadmin has VERY successfully locked down those machines. Run, CMD, msconfig, regedit, etc. etc. etc. are invisible except in the admin account. I'm quite sure the navigation pane is a very simple matter for him compared to other ways into the machine. I heard one student WAS able several years ago to put in a keylogger into his user account and got the admin password. Boy did he ever get into trouble. I bet that would not work now.


    Thursday, April 19, 2012 5:17 PM
  • I miss XP's 3 buttons to handle Windows Explorer Left Pane

    Thanks John Cena Tue 08 Dec 2009 08:15 for your Organize > Layout > Navigation Pane to toggle that left pane On-Off.

    However what I miss is Windows Explorer XP's 3 buttons:

    • the "Folders" and "Search" buttons
    • the "x" button in top right corner of that left pane

    that enabled me to add or remove any left pane with a single click.

    Is there a way to revive those buttons in W7? TIA,

    Versailles, Sat 04 Aug 2012 07:54:00 +0200, edited 14:02:00 +0200

    Saturday, August 4, 2012 5:53 AM
  • This is an old post, but I have created an answer. 

    Create a ADM template, and import it in the GPO that was being applied to PCs. I imported them under Computer Configuration.


    CATEGORY "Windows 7 Explorer Navigation Items"
    POLICY "Hide Libraries"
    KEYNAME "Software\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder"
    VALUENAME Attributes
    VALUEON NUMERIC 2962227469
    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 2961178893
    POLICY "Hide Homegroup"
    KEYNAME "Software\Classes\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}\ShellFolder"
    VALUENAME Attributes
    VALUEON NUMERIC 2962489612
    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 2961441036
    POLICY "Hide Networking"
    KEYNAME "Software\Classes\CLSID\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}\ShellFolder"
    VALUENAME Attributes
    VALUEON NUMERIC 2962489444
    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 2953052260
    POLICY "Hide Computer"
    KEYNAME "Software\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\ShellFolder"
    VALUENAME Attributes
    VALUEON NUMERIC 2962489612
    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 2961441036
    POLICY "Hide Favourites"
    KEYNAME "Software\Classes\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder"
    VALUENAME Attributes
    VALUEON NUMERIC 2839544064
    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 2693792000
    POLICY "Hide Control Panel"
    KEYNAME "Software\Classes\CLSID\{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}\ShellFolder"
    VALUENAME Attributes
    VALUEON NUMERIC 2693791748
    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 2684354564

    • Proposed as answer by J. Cota Monday, August 22, 2016 8:24 PM
    Monday, August 22, 2016 8:23 PM
  • just today, I felt to need it disable this feature due to it was causing crash problem on network folders by giving "not responding" error. Disabling the "preview pane" or/and "details pane" worked to fix it. I think it is so reasonable :).
    Friday, February 1, 2019 5:51 PM