Is the Windows 10 Home folder bad for privacy? Here's how to get rid of it.

As people continue to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview, they are identifying subtle differences between it and its predecessor. One such feature that seems to be a double-edged sword is the Home folder in the File Explorer. When clicked, the Home folder displays a list of your File Explorer Favorites, folders that you frequent, and your recently-accessed files. It is the last two that have people questioning whether the Home folder is a good or bad idea.

On one hand, it is pretty convenient to have easy access to your recent and frequent items. After all, you frequent them, so why not make it quicker to get to them? On the other hand, some of those frequent folders and recent items may be things that you do not wish to bring to the attention of other people who may use the computer. We'll leave those possibilities to your imagination.

Whatever your opinion may be, there is a relatively easy way to get rid of it discovered by user Cyborg_x9. All the fix requires is a little venturing into the Windows registry.

This is what the Home folder view looks like. If you want to rock it old school with no Home folder, check out the steps below. It is pretty straight-forward, but like any time you play around in the registry, be warned that you do this at your own risk.

Let's get rid of this thing!

  1. Okay, first, open the Windows Registry Editor by clicking Start and typing "regedit" in the search bar. Click on regedit.exe.

  1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HomeFolder\NameSpace\DelegateFolder

  1. Optional: You may want to back up your current Home Folder registry settings, just in case. To do that, right-click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HomeFolder and select Export.

  1. You will notice that each subkey in the DelegateFolders key represents one of the sections in the Home Folder view.

5.Simply right-click on each one that you want to remove and select Delete. Confirm your selection, and you will no longer see them in your Home Folder view.

Have you found any features in Windows 10 that you wish were gone? Weigh in down below in the comments. Maybe we'll have a fix!

Source: Neowin (forums); Thanks, Cyborg_x9, for the tip!

Seth Brodeur
  • The FIRST :p thing I do is pin My PC, Network and the local drives right to the taskbar.
    The home feature does not even get used.
  • And this stops your porn evidence folder Home Folder from being accessed how? :p
  • Hidden archives are fun!
  • Accounting and bitlocker if so, no? And have your pron right on _your_ desktop, just avoid thumbnailing.
  • Yes, cuz first priority is the porn.
  • As I read through these comments... I've realized that... WPCentral fans also like their porn. lol
  • After all, all the WPCentral fans are humans.. 
  • I'm still waiting back on some lab results to actually PROVE that.... 
  • It doesn't. But that's not what he was saying. Dick.
  • Rofl, that helps.
  • I don't understand why people don't just lock their pc's. If you need to let someone else use it, activate your guest account! I actually like the home feature for work. I can see all my latest projects there.  
  • Another problem is when someone is right next to you and you click on it. It's not only when someone else is using your pc. Or if he just wants a minute to check something and you are next to him, you won't tell him "no, log out first" because you are "there" to control everything. So yeah, it is BAD! I don't like this feature :D
  • I think there should be two different folders--"Home"... and "Home Alone" (for those quiet moments with yourself). lol
  • Maybe they should make it so you can "opt out" certain folders (and their contents) from showing up on Home.
  • First thing I do is rename "My PC" to "Computer" :D
  • Good idea!
  • I like the home folder for my end users - ease of use. Put all their important folders in one location and they might actually be able to navigate to things like OneDrive for Business.
  • You can't just move or hide the Home Folder?
  • Just as bad as jump lists or recent documents :)
  • Yeah, I don't see what the big deal is when the OS has had jump lists for years, and many apps have displayed the most recently used documents in their File menus for decades.
  • Jump lists for Excel don't show porn. lol
  • Once if I deleted is any way to restore it?
  • Good question
  • If you exported it, yes.
  • See the step right before deleting that talks about exporting the keys.  It should create a .reg file and if you want them back you just double click it and it will merge that registry bit back in.
  • Create a second user account for porn.
  • Lol!
  • Or, be a real man and not even look at it.
  • ?. That doesn't even sound reasonable for a real man.
  • Yes, that sounds more like a myth man.
  • That man doesn't exist
  • Real men dont cheat. Porn/ masterDEbating (Austin Powers reference) is healthy for you. If your not doing it... There's something wrong with you mentally. Google it, idiots!
  • Gee, so I guess I've been mentally defective for quite a while then, huh? Whatever. I've been in a longstanding relationship and haven't felt the need for any of that for years (24, to be exact). Why? Because I have someone else who takes care of it for me. But I guess that's not healthy, right? Wrong. Masturbation does NOT have the same benefits as actual sex. Medical fact. Google it, idiot! SMH.
  • Maybe you're not doing it right... lol
  • Masturbation may not have the same benefits as actual sex... but it's a heckuva lot better than no sex! lol
  • Amen
  • My point is... If your not sexually active... Then its natural to express yourself. Not all relationships are peachy either. I'm saying that people who've never thought it was Ok have a problem. But this isn't why were on this site.
  • Speak for yourself! It's why I'm here! lol
  • He is right, and you are wrong. Real men do not cheat.  Real men have sex with many women because they are alpha males.  Some real men please themselves as they would prefer not to pollute their privates. Only betas have a commitment with a single woman.  Bet she's fat and has the herpes. EDIT: I know shes fat, and has super herpes.
  • No wonder this society is going to crap with thoughts like that. Seriously
  • Or you could have a different account for each user. I never understood why people don't do this at home, I guess privacy is not a concern for them.
  • Once my parents PC got ruined I made a new account on my PC
  • Absolutely - that's how to handle sharing a computer.
  • Was thinking the same thing.  I have 1 desktop, 2 laptops and a Surface RT.  Everyone in my house has their own user login for each device.  Makes no sense anymore to share a login screen given the fact that you can take your screen to any device. Problem solved and my porn is ready when I want it.
  • Jump lists on File Explorer do this already. And with the trend to sign in using MS accounts, all users should have individual accounts anyway. I'm assuming the Home folder is user-specific.
  • Exactly, if everyone isn't using their own acct by now, get with the program.
  • i don't see it as an issue if you don't want people miss around with things you don't want them to see just creat a guest profile for those who want to use your PC  
  • Exactly
  • Even as a guest, you can still dive into the user specific files through explorer and find stuff... At least you used to be able to, don't know about win10
  • Not as a guest, only as an admin, and even then only after a prompt. Unless the user has encrypted their data and then you can't even do it as admin.
  • LOL what? Don't share logins if this worries you and don't give others administrator access cause all this can be pulled from the NTFS change journal.
  • I noticed multiple porn folders sitting on my 'most used' list. My wife pointed that out and thought it was hilarious.
  • I think that's what the main "privacy issue" is over here. I mean, better safe than claiming it was a ghost that made all the ectoplasm?
  • Hold on and never let her go!
  • The young lady I plan to marry would do the same thing, point at it and laugh. XD
  • And her name is Asa Akira
  • But she's not young anymore?
  • You need to rename your "porn" folder to something dull like "boring work stuff"... then no one will touch it or be the wiser.
  • If you right click the file explorer on the task bar in W8, it shows the same exact thing. I think its a great idea and if its an issue, people should make their own account, which they should be doing anyway.
  • Private accounts dont help when you have to use that particular account.
  • What do you mean "attention of other people who may use your computer?" If you forget to lock your account and you have someone unwanted around your common PC, watched recent files will become a lesser problem for you, won't they?
  • Privacy? This article is such a misuse of the term... Especially in the tech industry where privacy has such a specific meaning.
  • But wait, if other ppl are going to use your computer, are they seeing your info/data if they use a guest or their own profiles? In essence, is the Home folder custom to the user or general to the public... It may not make a difference then, lock your PC. =/
  • Doesn't have every user a separate home folder? If you are concerned with privacy, why in the world would you let someone use your PC with your user account?
    I personally fail to see the problem.
    Create a user for everyone - problem non existent.
  • problem is usually friends who just need to borrow it for a "few" minutes...
  • Which is why you have the Guest account already set up and ready to go. It doesn't require as much effort as a full account.
  • we're all techies here, so ill be honest, the next problem is that by default guest is off, regular joes - for one won't know it/where to activate it and two their regular usage pattern is that they will remain logged in most of the time and when ppl ask to borrow it for a few moments they generally wont log out and make them use a different account   im not saying they should remove the feature, but i do think they should allow some kind of mechanism to exclude certain folders from it
  • I like the idea of excluding folders. There must be some Home Room settings.. Maybe somewhere in the advanced setting they can put that in. Also maybe a disable setting altogether. Wont be a bad idea in the age of customizations!
  • If you give someone else access to your PC they can view pretty much anything they want so this minor feature would be the least of your problem.
  • Agreed
  • This. They can find the stuff anyways. You shouldn't let people use your personal account.
  • My conclusion...
    Nothing bad on your computer, nothing to worry about
  • Pretty much my thoughts on the subject. As someone said, this is a misuse of the word "privacy" as the issue stands currently in the tech world.
  • Stop. Just stop. You sound silly in "the tech world".
  • Ok.dick. Your such a hypocrite.
  • Why is it silly? What should I refer to the collective use and abuse of technology as? Do you genuinely believe that a home folder that has to be physically accessed and can be locked behind separate user accounts is on the same level as companies or the government spying on your internet activity?
  • msft could just create an option to not index frequent documents and settings. Something I turn off in windows 7. But yes, if you've got something you want secured then everyone should have their own log in.
  • In this day and age, when computers are so prevelant and even your kids have their own, there is no need to share a user account.   
  • Privacy? 1. you cuold just make your account password protected, you lock it, and then only YOU can unlock it. I mean, if you use a Microsoft account, there is not way of by passing it unless you allow it. but it would be silly, to complain about home folder but then leave your computer unprotected to others 2. guest accounts for users who want to use your computer. 3. this is an Alpha build, so maybe there will be an option like hiding the libraries and favorites and such. 4. you can always delete those files in home folder= select and delete. so if you are worried you can easily do it. but I guess you are lazy, but you are not lazy with your "top secret" (porn) files.   so what are you doing in regedit and all that stuff? you can already secure your PC for your use. it's funny that you use Win10 knowing it has a "keylogger"... I mean it's not even a keylogger, and people complaining about it, it's annoying and they sound stupid, because the so called keylogger doesn't send every key you type or every file you access like people want to twist it and make it seem, and it's only for preview stuff, so you can send feedback without sending it directly to MS if you don't wnat to use the fedback app. Keylogger and home folder are two different things, but I wanted to point out, because you seem to care about home folder, but not something that sends telemetry to MS automatically and constantly since it's a preview? not like it's privacy concern either, but it's funny you being so paranoid, use Win10 but then worry about a home folder that you can easily delete or just contract....
  • Isn't this a feature that's similar to features found in most versions of Windows just named differently?
  • yep different name, and different way of displaying but frequenly used & recently used files has been available in most versions of windows in one way or another....
  • Must. Hide. Pr0n.
  • What do you have to hide that it worries you so much?
  • Porn. You buffoon. Does noone here get that?
  • You're the buffoon. Go back and look at your posts and wonder how you became like you are.
  • Why do you have to hide your porn? Obviously no woman will be with you so who is going to see it?
  • His mom
  • Or just, you know, have a guest account for letting people use your device?
  •  why the registry tweak ? just just right click on the taskbar , properties, start menu and untick the 2 item on privacy  problem solved
  • Exactly. This was a seriously flawed article directing users(who should never fiddle with such things) to mess around the Registry. Unticking:
    1: Store and display recently opened programs in the Start menu 2: Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar. Honestly, just unticking the second box will remove them.
  • But this is what MS needs to fix, all these deep hidden settings that normal users never find. My mom and sis really don't know you can right click start menu to change things. And wait, according to all weird logic there are many settings there for other parts of the OS that have nothing to do with the start menu itself. Such a mess.
  • There's a much easier way to deal with this non issue. It's called Start>PC Settings>Users and accounts>Other Users>Add a user button. Much better than the convoluted, backwards ass registry edit in the article!!!!
  • For frequently used browser links the solution is to use the ctrl-shift-p privacy browsing option. For the Desktop a kids corner would be great. Kind of like on WP, but with a different intention. Namely that you're kids/partner cannot access archive.
  • "kids corner"... You mean a limited user's account? 
  • If you don't want someone to have access to your PC then don't give it to them, home folder all the way
  • Guess this is a replacement to public folders
  • Nope, the Home folder is User specific.
  • This is incredibly dumb. Each user should have thier own account on the PC. No one should be using your account. If you arent using at least your own account + a guest account you are doing computers wrong. 
  • Best solution for this would be InPrivate Exploring! Just saying....
  • A related issue: Give me the right to set a home page in IE on MY Windows phone. You last look at porn and guess what come up the next time you open IE.
  • Click on tabs. Close that tab before you exit IE. Problem solved.
  • In Private mode
  • LOL! It's easier than what you did there XD OMG
  • Umm I just lock my PC and don't let anyone use my account. Problem solved
  • this is weird. to keep recent files from showing up in Home, all you have to do is right click the taskbar, click the Start Menu tab and uncheck "store and display recently opened items..." this is one of the feedback items I provided to MS. that option should be much easier to discover.
  • +10
  • Whatever, I just want them to get rid of the non-Metro-design icons. Consistency. That's not asking much.
  • Ee... That's why there are different accounts right? Or is that folder universal for everybody??? I don't think so. Just use a damn password on your account, windows asks for it everytime you unlock it right? Or is there no lock screen anymore?
  • Correct, each user has a home folder.
  • Windows 8.1 already has a recent file list in explorer. People who are freaking out over this are idiots.
  • I want to hide recent files and recent folders, how?
  • Read the article and follow the instructions, that is easy.
  • Yes..its bad...
  • Yea don't have this problem I have a kids account and guest account for others mine travels with me
  • "Windows is for p0rn" ;)
  • Not an issue as everyone in this house has their own account.
  • Private browsing makes this issue moot.
  • Just like Recent Files or browser histories, this should not be a problem for *ahem* veteran privacy seekers. Seems like only laypeople will encounter moments of embarassment by such a feature, but regardless, Microsoft should enable a way to hide/disable this without a registry hack.
  • Awesome.  Now tell me how to get rid of all the rest of the garbage Windows 10 brings so I can get back to a decent user experience like I have with Windows 8.
  • This comment amuses me as it's the same thing Windows 7 users said about Windows 8.
  • Why share your account when you can always create another account for anyone who shares your computer. That would be much easier and private
  • Yes pls remove home option this is bad for porn :P
  • Or you could, you know, have separate user accounts instead of sharing the same one!!
  • Can't we just ask Microsoft to give option of hiding it after all we are giving feed back.
  • Make use of your 50GB free OneDrive storage and upload all your porn there! -_-
  • i HATE pressing windows + e and getting that instead of "my pc" - that is where i access system properties and control panel from. I think at least windows + e should go to my pc still or remove that home folder all together
  • This is good. I have removed the recently accessed folders and files and the frequently accessed folders. I left the favorites though.
  • Well is that an issue at all? How about different user accounts? One pass protecred for oneself, and other for everyone else?
  • Why are people sharing accounts? Each user should have their own computer account connected to their own live account in a windows 8-10 world.
  • unticking options in privacy section in taskbar properties>start menu will remove all recent items from the home folder too. it wont remove the whole home folder, just the recent files listed in it - PERMANENTLY. I think, that would be easier than a registry hack. This article is a waste. get rid of it :P
  • I think they might mean if your showing showing someone something and the see your recent files.
  • You hit the nail on the head. The point is that the Home Folder brings all of that stuff right out into the open if someone is looking over your shoulder, etc. Reddit is full of stories of people accidentally showing personal stuff on their devices to people who shouldn't see it. This is just an easy avoidance.
  • Trust me, enterprise users (desk workers) live and die by "recent items" when you switch computers with out roaming profiles and they lose that, it's like you deleted all their data, they can't function with out it. that is what that folder is for. Besides, I don't look at porn locally any more anyway!
  • No one in this thread seems to have an issue with shoulder surfers.
  • For everyone talking about porn folders, who the heck actually downloads porn locally anymore lol maybe its generational thing but the most covert way inprivate browsing and using Bing, which is inadvertently a terrific way to search for da porns cuz it previews da vids in the video results
  • Fair point, but everyone is just assuming porn is the only issue. What about financial info, personal photos, etc.? If someone walks by and sees you have that stuff on your computer, now they know it is there. Many businesses give users admin access to computers, so even if that person logs in with a different account, they can seek out your stuff and possibly gain access to it. Heck, even many home users give their other accounts admin access, so what is to stop someone once they know the files exist?
  • Considering MS said doing stuff like this could block future updates this is pointless. Just do this: Right mouse click on the task bar. Click Properties. In the new window that opens up, click Start Menu. Under the privacy box, uncheck both items. Click Apply.
  • You can just go to start menu hover over file explorer and then right click the folder you want and remove from list..
  • Windows 7's jump lists do the same thing right now. I've never been concerned about them why should I be concerned about this?