Windows introduced Library feature in latest Windows 7 OS which is known as organizational element of your computer. It makes easier to navigate to various folders stored inside your computer, network and external drive. In first glance it looks complicated but it is not very difficult to understand. This article describes each and every feature of library point to point.
What is Library
Library is a new organizational feature of Windows 7 which lets you jump, view, search similar items (music, photos, songs, video, documents etc.). Ultimately it makes easier to manage your files and folders.
How Library is beneficial
Suppose you have several folders in your computer. Now you want to open a movie folder inside which you stored all the movies. What will you do? Definitely you click on Computer-> Drive-> Folders –> Folders…… This is a time consuming process. Library makes it easy to jump to any important folder. All you have to do is go to library and click on “Videos” link. If your folder is added inside library, you’ll find it instantly (later in this guide I will describe how to add folders inside library).
Library can be called up as virtual folder which is connected to various folders of your computer and external hard drive. Instead of visiting to those folders through their original path, you can open them simply by visiting Library. In easy words it will save your time and effort.
How to open a Library
Opening Library is easy. There are several ways to open it but the easiest one is click on the folder icon on the taskbar.
Other way to open library is to open the Windows explorer first (use “Win+E” keys of your keyboard). Then on the navigation pane, click on Libraries.
The third way is to type libraries in the start menu search box and hit “Enter”.
Looking Inside Elements Of Library
Windows 7 default library contains four elements namely Documents, Pictures, Podcasts, Music, Videos. You can always add more elements to the library (we will look it later).
To explain all the features of Library let’s focus on any one element of library, lets say “Music”. Open the library and click on the “Music” link.
After clicking on Music link, you’ll find some folders inside it. These folders are called locations. You wonder how these folders (locations) included inside library. Windows automatically includes “My music” folder present inside C:\Users\Administrator and C:\User\Public. Also few applications (such as Zune) installs folders inside My music folders during installation therefore you will see those also in the list.
To see all the locations inside the music library, click on “x locations” link next to “Includes”.
The music library locations window will open. You can see all the locations present inside current music library. Any time you can add and remove locations from the library with the help of “Add” and “Remove” button. In the screenshot below you can see there are three default locations present namely “My Music”, “Public Music” and “Zune (created due to Zune installation)”.
How to add and remove locations inside library
The real use of library is when you add several location inside it so that you don’t need to go to that location path by path. Adding locations inside library is easy. Just go to any folder and right click on it and select “Include in Library” from the drop down list.
In the screenshot below, I clicked on Songs folder present inside F drive of my computer and add it to music library. Now, next time I don’t have to visit F drive to access music files present inside “Songs” folder. Just a click to music library will give me access to that folder. Cool, isn’t it.
There is one more method to add locations to library. Click on the folder you want to add and the click on drop down present at the top of explorer below address bar. Select any one of the given library. The location will included inside the library soon.
To delete any location present inside any library, first open the library and then click on “x locations” given next to “Includes”. It will open the “Library locations” window. Now select the folder you want to remove and click on “Remove” button. The folder will be removed.
How to create new libraries
It is possible to create one or more library to take advantage of its feature. You may ask the question that what is the need of second library if we already have one? Well, there is a simple answer to this question, if you are moving more and more folders inside library then it is better to have more than one library to customize your work.
Creating new library is easy. Just open the Libraries and click on “New library” button given below the address bar. A new library will be created. Now give a name to it.
I gave a name “Office work” to my new library to manage all my office folders at the single place. Now its time to add some folders. To add folders I clicked on “Include a folder” button.
Now go to any location on your computer and select the folders. You can add one folder at a time. For example in the screenshot given below I added “Office1” folder. Similarly I added all my Office related folders.
Few other points to note about Library
- Deleting library won’t delete any folders or files attached to it.
- If you delete any of the four default library (music, pictures, videos, documents), you can restore it by right clicking on “Libraries” in the navigation pane and selecting “Restore default library”.
- If you delete any folder from its original location then it will be automatically removed from the library.
- You can add or include folders inside library from your computer hard disk as well as external hard drive, USB drive (NTFS, FAT32 formatted), computers in homegroup network and other network locations.
These are the things about Windows 7 library. If you are not using it then you are missing one awesome feature of the new OS. Obviously it is difficult to start but after you get your hands on it, then you’ll notice that how easy it is to use. Do you use this feature? Mention your experience in the comments.