How to Replace Quick Access With Favorites in Win­dows 10

Gaurav Bidasaria

Windows 10 offers a Quick Access menu in File Explorer's sidebar. However, the folks using the File Explorer since Windows 7 prefer the Favorites menu in the sidebar. Thankfully, you can replace Quick Access menu with Favorites in Windows 10.

Replace Quick Access With Favorites in Windows 10

You will need to tweak a few files in the Registry Editor to bring back Favorites from the dead. We recommend taking a backup of Registry Files before moving on, as it could break how your system works. Another way is to make a restore point, which also works great.

Let's begin.

Use Registry Editor

You will need to tweak a few files in the Registry Editor to bring back Favorites from the dead. We recommend taking a backup of Registry Files before moving on, as it could break how your system works. Another way is to make a restore point, which also works great.

Step 1: Search for the Registry Editor in the Start menu and launch it.

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Step 2: Drill down to the below folder structure.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace

Step 3: Create a new key under the NameSpace folder and name it as:

{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}
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It should look something like this.

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Step 4: Now, navigate to the below folder structure.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel

In the right window-pane, right-click in an empty area to select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value (even if you are running 64-bit version) and name this file with the same key that you created above in Step 3 like this:

{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}
Replace Quick Access With Favorites in Windows 10 4

Step 5: Double-click on the newly created file and set the Value data to 1. Save changes.

Replace Quick Access With Favorites in Windows 10 5

Step 6: At this moment, you should view the familiar Favorites menu at the bottom of the File Explorer.

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You need to move it to the top to access it easily. To do so, navigate to this folder structure in the Registry Editor.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID

And create a new sub-key by the same name again. Right-click on CLSID to do so just as before.

{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}
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Step 7: Under the newly created key in step 6, you will create a DWORD (32-bit) Value file and name it:

SortOrderIndex
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Step 8: Double-click to open the newly created file and set the Value Data to 4.

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The Favorites menu should be visibly higher in the sidebar inside File Explorer.

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So, we shared how to hide the Quick Access menu and bring back Favorites in the File Explorer sidebar menu. But we are not done yet. The problem is that you can access everything that's inside the Favorites folder, but you still can't expand it in the sidebar. Clicking on the arrow (that expands a folder) yields nothing, and the arrow disappears when you try.

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Command Prompt to Create Links

This is where we will switch to CMD or Command Prompt. We will then use a Windows tool called 'mklink,' which is a command-line tool. It allows users to create a symbolic link allowing us to link one folder to another's location. It can be useful in several conditions.

Step 1: Search for and open CMD from the Start menu and select Run as administrator.

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Step 2: Give the below command to change the directory.

cd %userprofile%/links
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Step 3: I will be adding the Downloads folder and name it Downloads123. Here's the command syntax for that.

mklink /d SomeName %USERPROFILE%\SourceFolder

Replace SomeName with the name of the link that you want to be and SourceFolder with the location where the link should point to. So for linking to the Downloads folder, the command should look like this:

mklink /d Downloads123 %userprofile%\Downloads
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It created a new folder in Favorites named Downloads123 but more importantly, the dropdown menu works perfectly.

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Don't Play Favorites

Quick Access is not so bad, but many users are used to the old ways, and we understand that. This is why we found a way to fix it for you. The steps can be a little complicated, and there are certainly quite a few. I suggest you go through the steps once before actually doing anything and then start afresh. That way, you will understand what we are doing and why. Take it one step at a time and check where your screen looks and functions like the one shown in the screenshots.

Let us know in the comments if you got the Favorites menu back. Found another or a better way to fix the issue? Again, do let us know in the comments section below.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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A C.A. by profession and a tech enthusiast by passion, Gaurav loves tinkering with new tech and gadgets. He used to build WordPress websites but gave it all up to develop little iOS games instead. Finally, he dropped out of CA to pursue his love for tech. He has over 5 years of experience as a writer covering Android, iOS, and Windows platforms and writes how-to guides, comparisons, listicles, and explainers for B2B and B2C apps and services. He currently divides his time between Guiding Tech (writer) and Tech Wiser (editor).