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How to Manage a Windows 8 Library’s Folders

The Windows 8 library system may seem confusing, but you can safely ignore the mechanics behind it. Just treat a library like any other folder: a handy spot to store and grab similar types of files. But if you want to know the inner workings behind a library, read on.

Introduced in Windows 7, libraries constantly monitor several folders, displaying all those folders’ content in one window. That leads to a nagging question: How do you know which folders are appearing in a library? You can find out by double-clicking the library’s name.

For example, double-click the Navigation Pane’s Documents library, and you’ll see that library’s two folders: My Documents and Public Documents.

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If you keep files in another location, perhaps a portable hard drive or even a networked PC, feel free to add them to the library of your choice by following these steps:

  1. Right-click the library you want to expand and choose Properties.

    If you choose the Documents library, for example, the Documents Properties dialog box appears.

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  2. Click the Add button.

    The Include Folder in Documents window appears.

  3. Navigate to the folder you want to add, click the folder, click the Include Folder button, and click OK.

    The library automatically updates itself to display that folder’s contents, sorting the contents into groups.

  • You may add as many folders to a library as you want, which is handy when your music files are spread out across many places. The library automatically updates to show the folders’ latest contents.

  • To remove a folder from a library, follow the first step but click the folder to be removed and click the Remove button.

  • So, when you drop a file into a library, which folder does that file really live in? It lives in the folder known as the Default Save Location — the folder that currently holds the honor of receiving incoming files.

    For example, when you drop a music file into your Music library, the file goes into your My Music folder. Similarly, documents end up in your My Documents folder, videos go into My Videos, and pictures go into My Pictures.

    What if you want a different folder to receive a library’s incoming files? To assign that noble task, call up the window, right-click the desired folder, and choose Set As Default Save Location.

  • You can create additional libraries to meet your own needs: Right-click Libraries in the Navigation Pane, choose New, and choose Library from the pop-up menu. A new Library icon appears, ready for you to type in a name. Then begin stocking your new library with folders by following Steps 1–3 in the preceding step list.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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