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Windows 7: Are Libraries Completely Useless?

12 Aug 2016   #1

Windows 7 32-bit
Are Libraries Completely Useless?

I just switched from XP to 7. After removing Aero and other frou frou, W7 seemed not so bad--even good. But what am I to make of "Libraries"? They seem to provided a limited capability similar to a more general capability that we have had all the time.

We have Folders (once called directories, but let that pass). Folders are File System entries that contain other File System entries. Generally speaking there are three types of entries: File entries which provide OS access to the file as stored, sub-folder entries, and shortcut entries (once called links, but let that pass too), to other files and folders (and probably other shortcuts as well. I've never tried).

So what are Libraries? They appear to be folders that are limited, in that they can only contain shortcuts to other folders--not files, and not libraries. Am I wrong?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2016   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello sprokofiev, and welcome to Seven Forums. :)

Libraries let you access and arrange items from one or more folders quickly without moving them from their original location. Libraries themselves don't store your files or folders. Instead, they point to different locations on a hard disk or external drive attached to your computer. This gives you easy access to a category of files no matter where they are stored. For instance, if you have music files on your hard disk and on an external drive, you can access all of your music files from within the "Music" library.

In addition, see the related tutorials links at the bottom of the tutorial below.

Library - Include a Folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2016   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Whatever you do, do not attempt to "adjust" [non-access-granted] Libraries Prime, or you might find yourself reaching for your Windows install DVD or the Factory Recovery to adjust big-time your Windows. The directories that let you have EZ access, those are the directories to make sub-directories, copy, move, delete files within.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Aug 2016   #4

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Yep they do take a little to get used too but can be a good thing

I believe the weirdest part is the Public libraries listings :)
They to can be useful if other users use the same machine but can be the most confusing or seem like you have duplicate files
That would happen if you had the same files in both locations My Pictures and Public Pictures for an example.

So if you're the only user account on this machine you can likely do without those Public listings
Just click on the Public listing and click on Remove.
Are Libraries Completely Useless?-locations-2.jpg

Once that is done libraries are a little more straight forward :)
Favorites is another interesting one :)
Which are actually in your Links folder
Click Start and click on your User name near the top right of the start menu
Are Libraries Completely Useless?-masqww-1-folder.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2016   #5

Windows 10 x64

Yes, useless. If you have an established way of doing your working and managing your "stuff", the "library" notion seems alien and unnecessary. I simply ignore them. (Fortunately, ignoring them requires no action and no effort.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2016   #6

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

I find Libraries an essential aid to my file organisation,
As an Example... ...

I actually use separate Disks or disk partitions for different file types so actually have a set of "libraries" to start from, In each of these file areas I have a folder or folder structure for "New ..." and "Work in Progress ..." The Libraries functionality allows me to create two libraries One that links to all the New files and One to all my Work in Progress. I can also add folders that are not actually in a Work In progress or New folder if needed temporarily, even add things from the New folder to the Work in Progress library if needed and sort the library as suits my needs and the original structure is untouched.

It's just a useful extra aid to file organisation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2016   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

+1 Barman! My earlier warning was aimed at Windows Prime's Libraries.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2016   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Libraries are not for everyone but they can be very useful for some people. One use no one has discussed yet is they can be used to provide a single directory for several drives. For example, if you have two or more drives with movies on them, you can view a single alphabetized directory of all the movie titles located on both drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2016   #9

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Exactly, my Pictures library (the original one created by Microsoft ), now contains links to ... My Pictures Library (Photographs taken by me around 500GB), an Image resource folder (things I may use), Image Processing Folder (WIP), Image folder on OneDrive, in addition to the basic Pictures Folder that was originally there. (these are spread over several disks )

I can sort that by all sorts of criteria for working with and the originals are still available in their original locations (and indeed in Other libraries)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2016   #10

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

For what it's worth even in win-8 and now 10 libraries are disabled they do exist just not in view :)
8-10 use This PC and storage places which is I guess the same basic scheme and just another term
I haven't really looked into storage places too much though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Are Libraries Completely Useless?

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