How to Use Windows 10 Quick Access

Use, customize, or disable this Windows 10 Favorites replacement

A screenshot of the Windows File Explorer with Quick Access Enabled.

The Windows 10 Quick Access feature provides an easy way to find the files and folders that you use most often. It's possible to customize the folders that are shown in the Quick Access view, disable Quick Access altogether, or clear your Quick Access history to reset the files that are shown in the window.

Information in this article applies exclusively to Windows 10.

How to Use Windows 10 Quick Access

Quick Access takes the place of the Favorites feature, which allowed users to bookmark frequently used files or folders in previous versions of Windows. With Quick Access, you can see up to 10 frequently used folders, or the 20 most recently accessed files, in the File Explorer window.

Open Windows File Explorer and select Quick Access in the left pane to see your frequently used files and folders.

Open Windows File Explorer and select Quick Access in the left pane to see your frequently used files and folders.

How to Pin Folders to Quick Access in Windows 10

Quick Access is enabled in the Windows 10 File Explorer window by default. The folders and files that show in Quick Access are those you use most frequently or recently. You can, however, customize which folders are displayed under Quick Access by pinning them to the Quick Access view.

To do so, click on the folder in File Explorer, then select the Home tab and select Pin to Quick Access in the top-left corner.

Alternatively, right-click the file and select Pin to Quick Access.

Click on the folder in File Explorer, then select the Home tab and select Pin to Quick Access in the top-left corner.

Pinning a file to the Quick Access window or removing a file that was previously pinned to the Quick Access menu won’t change the physical location of the file on your hard drive.

You can also remove folders from Quick Access. Right-click the file you want to remove and choose Unpin from Quick Access.

Right click the file you want to remove and choose Unpin from Quick Access.

How to Disable Quick Access in Windows 10

If you prefer how File Explorer looked in previous versions of Windows, you can disable the Quick Access feature. It's also possible to hide frequently used folders so that you only see your recent files under Quick Access:

  1. Open File Explorer and select the File tab, then select Change folder and search options.

    Open File Explorer and select the File tab, then select Change Folder & Search Options.
  2. In the Folder Options window, select the drop-down menu next to Open File Explorer to and select This PC.

    If you only want to see your frequently used files, deselect the box beside Show frequently used folders in Quick Access.

    In the Folder Options window, select the drop-down menu next to Open File Explorer to and select This PC.
  3. Select Apply and OK.

Even if you disable frequently used folders, you can still add folders to the list by pinning them or dragging the file under Quick Access in File Explorer.

Select Apply and OK.

How to Clear Quick Access History

Even if you are comfortable using the Quick Access File Explorer view, you may want to start fresh once in a while. For example, let's say you finished one project and started another, but you don’t want to wait for the folders you’re using on the new project to replace the folders you used on the old one. You can reset your Quick Access history like so:

  1. Open File Explorer and select the File tab, then select Change folder and search options.

    Open File Explorer and select the File tab, then select Change Folder & Search Options.
  2. Select Clear next to Clear File Explorer history to erase your previous usage history and start anew.

    Select Clear next to Clear File Explorer history to reset the Quick Access menu.

How to Customize the Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access toolbar appears in the top-left corner of the File Explorer window. By default, the options available in this Quick Access menu are Properties and New Folder, but there are additional options that you can add to the menu such as Undo, Redo, Delete, and Rename.

Select the down arrow in the top-left corner of File Explorer to configure the Quick Access toolbar.

Select the down arrow in the top-left corner of File Explorer to configure the Quick Access toolbar.