The Quick Access menu helps Windows 11 users quickly find the recently or frequently opened files/folders. It is a customizable built-in toolbar that contains a list of features, commands, and options. However, Quick Access is hidden and disabled by default in Windows devices.
Hence, you must know how to enable this advanced Windows feature to access important office files without hassle. Let us clarify that enabling the Quick Access menu is easy, and you don’t need to be tech-savvy.
Quick Access was first released for Windows 10 computer and laptop users. Microsoft replaced the Favorites section from File Explorer with the Quick Access toolbar in Windows 11. Favorites and Quick Access have similar functions.
Let’s learn the easy steps to enable and disable the Quick Access Toolbar on Windows 11:
Quick Steps to Enable the Quick Access Menu on Your Windows 11 Devices
Quick Access is unavailable in Windows 8 or older versions. Thus, you must check your computer’s operating system version before enabling this feature. Follow these step-by-step instructions to turn on the Quick Access toolbar if you use a Windows 11 device:
1. Open File Explorer
There are several ways to open your Windows 11 device’s File Explorer window. You can simultaneously press the Windows and E keys to access this file manager application. Alternatively, Windows users can press the Windows and S keys together to open the Search box and write “explorer”.
Locate “File Explorer” and click “Open” to get the File Explorer window. However, Microsoft has added File Explorer to the Windows 11 devices’ taskbar. So, you must tap on it if the Windows and E or Windows and S keyboard shortcuts don’t work.
2. Select Options from the Menu
Look for the three horizontal dots when the File Explorer window opens. Click on it and choose “Options” from the pop-up menu. Your Windows device will open the Folder Options window on the PC or laptop screen.
3. Enable the Quick Access Feature
Navigate to “Open File Explorer”, click the box next to it, and choose “Quick Access”. Quick Access will display the recently and frequently opened files and folders. You can modify this section in Quick Access if you don’t want to see the frequently or recently opened files/folders.
4. Reconfigure the Quick Access
Don’t you want the Quick Access toolbar to display the recently used files? Go to the Privacy section in the Folder Options window and remove the tick mark next to “Show recently used files in Quick access”. Moreover, you must uncheck the Show frequently used folders in Quick Access if you don’t want to see the frequently used folders.
How Can You Disable the Quick Access Toolbar on Windows 11 Devices?
Windows 11 users can disable the Quick Access menu from the Registry Editor. How can you access the Registry Editor? Press the Windows and X keys simultaneously and choose “Run” from the built-in Windows tools list.
Write “regedit” in the Run box, hit Enter, or tap the OK button to open Registry Editor. Go to the navigation panel, copy and paste this – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
Press the Enter button to see the Advanced folder in the Registry Editor window. Tap on this folder and navigate to the “LaunchTo” string. Double-click on LaunchTo and wait until the pop-up window opens.
Change the Value Data to “0” from “1”, click “OK” or hit the Enter key. Restart your Windows 11 computer or laptop. Open the File Explorer window; there will be no Quick Access menu.
What Can You Do in Your Windows 11 Device’s Quick Access toolbar?
Many Windows 11 users need to be made aware of this built-in file or folder shortcut feature. Moreover, they don’t know that the Quick Access menu can be customized. For instance, you can easily pin and unpin the system files and folders in Quick Access.
Additionally, Windows lets you reset the Quick Access toolbar if you accidentally modify any settings. Here, we have mentioned the steps to pin/unpin files and reset the Quick Access menu:
How to Pin or Unpin the Windows 11 Files and Folders in Quick Access?
The Quick Access menu opens automatically after enabling it when you access File Explorer. It shows the 10 most accessed folders and 20 recently opened files on your device. Though this feature helps to see the new files or folders list, some don’t like it.
Thus, you must unpin the folders or files if you don’t want them to display in the Quick Access menu. Pin the folders if you must access them regularly to store sensitive organizational data. Let’s learn the easy steps to pin and unpin files or folders in Quick Access:
Pin the Required Folders in Quick Access
Tap on File Explorer from your Windows 11 PC’s taskbar. Open the folder you want to pin in the Quick Access menu. Right-click on the folder and click “Pin to Access” when the pop-up menu opens. The folder will be added to File Explorer’s Quick Access toolbar.
Unpin the Folders or Files in Quick Access
Let’s say, you have mistakenly pinned a new folder in the Quick Access toolbar. You can unpin it easily using some simple steps. Right-click on the folder you have recently pinned in the Quick Access menu. Choose “Unpin from Quick Access” from the options list. The same steps will be applied for unpinning a file from the Quick Access toolbar.
How Can You Reset the Quick Access Menu on your Windows 11 PC?
Most people add more than 10 folders and files in the Quick Access menu to locate them easily. However, adding too many files or folders can make it difficult to find the right one on time. Thus, you must reset the Quick Access menu and only add the files or folders required for your work.
Here is how you can reset the Quick Access menu on a Windows 11 computer:
- Press the Windows and S keys simultaneously and write “cmd” in the search box.
- Locate “Command Prompt” from the search results and tap on “Run as Administrator”.
- Copy and paste del /q /f %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent* in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.
- Write del /q /f %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations* and hit the Enter key.
- Type del /q /f %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations* and press “Enter” to execute the command.
These three command lines will help you to reset the Quick Access menu. However, you must also clear the Quick Access history to permanently remove the recently accessed files and folders.
Open the File Explorer window, click the 3 horizontal dots, and opt for “Folders Options”. Head to “Privacy”, and find the Clear button in the Folder Options window’s bottom. Select this option to erase your Windows 11 device’s Quick Access history.
Quick Access Not Working on Your Windows 11 PC? Try these Easy Fixes
Your Windows 11 device will not show the Quick Access menu if you have disabled the Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer options. Thus, you must access the Settings app using the Windows and I keyboard combination.
Scroll down to “Personalization”, select “Start”, and move the Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer option toggle from left to right. Open the File Explorer window to see the Quick Access toolbar.