"Special Folders"

started getting in my way with Windows 7. I had started using a partitioning scheme with Windows 2000 Professional to keep track of and help locate a growing volume of downloads and data, and with XP I was getting it laid out to suit my uses and getting quite comfortable with it.

When I clicked "File > Save As..." I could quickly navigate to the appropriate partition and folder and save the file, and continue with whatever I was into at the moment. When Windows 7 introduced its "Special Folders", it got a bit more complicated.

I already had a dedicated partition for Music, a dedicated partition for Pictures, a dedicatee partition for Video. Whenever I open File Explorer, my dedicated partitions are easily identifiable, no less so than "Special Folders".

"Special Folders" were only cluttering up my File Explorer view. Then Windows 10 added a couple more. I don't need "Downloads", I have a partition for that. I don't need "Quick Access", it's no quicker than picking a file out of a folder I already use habitually. Just wasted space and clutter.

I found a couple on the internet, and the rest I tracked down in the registry, but I eventually put together a way to completely eliminate those nuisance folders by eliminating all references to them in the registry. That leaves only the empty folders in the user profile, and they are easily deleted.

I have them all in a single .reg file, but I didn't go about this cavalierly. I navigated in the registry to each individual key, exported that key to a particular folder, then made my changes. I went through the process a few times by restoring my OS partition image, then removing the offending "Special Folders" again.

Before any registry editing, you must first go to Control Panel > File Explorer Options and on the General tab, at the top, click the dropdown by "Open File Explorer to", select "This PC" and click OK at the bottom.

On the following page are the annotated keys for Windows 10 up to and including Version 1909. You can separate these into individual .reg files for each "Special Folder", or copy them all into a single text file and give it the .reg file type. I would advise that you separate them into individual .reg files and remove one "Special Folder" at a time.

Windows 10 Version 2004 made extensive changes to the registry entries for Special Folders, which will be on page four. Be sure to run the 1909 .reg file before the 2004 .reg file to avoid any difficulties.

And again, I offer absolutely no guarantees.

Please remember

this web site is targeted toward experienced users. I don't include every little detail, becauee in my estimation you should be quite familiar with the little details at this experience level. If you are not comfortable working in Windows' registry, this is not the place to start.