How do I hide Public Libraries on all computers in my organization?

A customer wanted to know how to hide the libraries named Public (Documents), Public Pictures, and Public Videos on all computers in their organization.

It turns out that this is already documented in TechNet under the topic Administrative How-to Guides (I found this page by issuing a Web search for ⟨library-ms⟩.)

The customer is specifically interested in the section titled How to Customize and Deploy Libraries.

I'll let you read that Web page for the details. I'm just posting this here so that the next customer won't burn an expensive support call on something that's already documented on TechNet. (Though if you're the type of customer who can't find the answer via a Web search, then there's a good chance you won't find this page either...)

Comments (18)
  1. Ryan says:

    Your search query is based on a priori knowledge… since you already knew that libraries are actually files with the extension library-ms. This, of course, does not excuse the customer for failing to use a popular search engine of their choice with keywords along the lines of "how to hide libraries in windows 7."

  2. alegr1 says:

    OK. "hide public libraries" in Bing brings a bunch of conversations on, all with bogus advices, such as deleting the folders. The users mention they tried to find a setting in the global policies. Some users called MS support.

    Either Bing is bad, or the article doesn't have proper keywords. Stop blaming the user.

  3. JM says:

    It's indeed remarkable, but none of the reasonable keyword searches I perform with the Major Search Engine That Is Not Bing (including such things as "group policy", in the suspicion that I will need it) yield the advice in the How-to guide. Lots of alternative approaches are presented that may or may not work as well as the advice presented in the How-to Guide (marking the files that represent the libraries hidden). This is true even if I explicitly restrict the search to If I restrict to it's on the first page — in the 10th place.

    While the advice and the link are sound, faulting people for not being able to find it is unreasonable.

  4. Stefan Kanthak says:

    Just in case that someone wants to hide all libraries^W^Wa namespace:





    Cf. <…/292504>

  5. Brian_EE says:

    @JM: Raymond was performing his web search using "Microsoft colored glasses":…/10163578.aspx

  6. Mark (The Other Mark) says:

    True, but once this entry gets indexed, searches should be more relevant!

  7. Mark says: is a pretty good search. Hits 2 and 5 (serverfault and a blog) are spot on, and the others are just forum posts of people saying "I can't do it".

  8. henke37 says:

    I want to customized them as follows: They all disappear. All of them. Libraries are just a waste of screen space to me.

  9. Chee Wee CHUA says:

    Yeah, similar to your story, Raymond, I find I'm getting paid extremely well just to dole out sections of documentation for customers who don't bother to read them…

  10. cheong00 says:

    @alegr1: That's why web searching is increasingly recognised as a valuable (but difficult to prove) skill.

    Most people know how to search by search engines, fewer know which sites are more reputable source of information for the subjects, yet fewer know how to supply effective keywords to them, and yet fewer know how to formulate correct "Advanced query" to feed.

  11. alegr1 says:


    That's why SEO exists. Unfortunately, the Kludgebase still doesn't give good search results, even with Advanced Query. Ever wanted to get rid of all those outdated NT 4 and Foxpro results? No such luck. Ever searched for crashdump, when you should have searched for "memory dump"? And somebody tell Microsoft to stop purging the articles. If it's replaced, add a link.

  12. alegr1 says:

    …and how about returning search results for KB in "most recent first" order?

  13. "Ever wanted to get rid of all those outdated NT 4 and Foxpro results? No such luck."

    Somewhat unrelated, but I really hope that Microsoft does NOT purge these old articles from the knowledge base – like how they seem to do with MSDN (e.g. the process that states CreateWindow now requires Windows 2000).

    Some old articles are still relevant on modern versions of Windows – they just didn't update the list of products its applicable to.  Others may not be immediately applicable, but lend valuable historical context.

  14. alegr1 says:


    Yes, I'd rather had the old articles preserved when I need them, but not cluttering the search results.

    A good way to do that would be returning the search results in the reverse chronological order.

  15. Yuhong Bao says:

    JamesJohnston: Sadly, seems that they recently purged some related to 9x, which hurts me because I like to search version numbers like 4.10.2000. And they purged old 16-it MSC articles probably long ago.

  16. Yuhong Bao says:

    Interestingly, the associated Win9x hotfixes are often still available using the…/KBHotfix.aspx method.

  17. kog999 says:

    "won't burn an expensive support call"

    Maybe the customer has a agreement that allows unlimited support calls. For example my company has an agreement that included unlimited "Web Support", (Email based support) and paid phone support. Sometimes if i dont see an answer within 10 minutes of goog…. i mean Binging i'll open up a case just because why not waste there time instead of mine, particularlly if it is not an urgent issue.

    [Yeah, that's my guess, too. -Raymond]
  18. cheong00 says:

    @Yuhong Bao: But sadly the good old "kbfile <filename>.exe" way to download those patches/hotfixs no longer works after Microsoft renewed the support website.

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