I’ve resigned myself to the fact that some questions just don’t have answers. For example, who built the pyramids? What really happened to Amelia Earhart? And why did Microsoft disable the Libraries feature in Windows 8.1?
Unsurprisingly, the feature carried over to Windows 8. Surprisingly, it vanished in Windows 8.1. The only explanation I can conceive is that… actually, no, I can’t conceive of any explanation. Did Libraries generate too many tech-support calls? Did research show that not many people used it?
Again, I’m stumped, but I do think it’s yet another slap-users-in-the-face change that makes absolutely no sense.
The good news is that you can easily restore Libraries in Windows 8.1. Here’s how:
1. Open File Explorer. You can do this in Desktop mode by clicking the File Explorer icon in the taskbar, or in the Start Screen by typing file and then clicking File Explorer.
2. Click the View tab.
3. Click the Navigation pane button (left side of the toolbar), and then click Show libraries.
Presto! They’re back! Ah, Windows–always with the hoop-jumping.
What do you think of Libraries? Essential feature? Not something you’d miss? Share your thoughts in the comments.
For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.