How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer

SkyDrive1

When it comes to lightweight laptops and compact tablets, space is often at a premium. For this reason, Microsoft has chosen to downplay local storage in favour of SkyDrive, and your libraries are no longer shown by default in the navigation pane in Explorer windows.

However, the libraries are still there, and can be easily restored to their former place: all you need to do is right-click in the pane and tick Show Libraries to restore the familiar dropdowns.
If you want to get rid of the SkyDrive dropdown, things are trickier. One way is to turn off the feature entirely by going to the PC Settings app, selecting the SkyDrive pane and disabling the “Save documents to SkyDrive by default” setting.
Annoyingly, there’s no officially supported way of hiding the dropdown from Explorer while keeping the service working, but it’s possible via a Registry hack. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t try this unless you’re comfortable making technical tweaks, and you should back up your Registry first, in case you make any mistakes.
If you’re willing to take the plunge, open regedit.exe (from the search interface or a command window) and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}\ShellFolder. In order to edit the contents of this Registry location, you’ll need to take ownership of it – right-click on the ShellFolder icon, then select Permissions | Advanced | Change, enter your own username and click OK three times to close all the open requesters. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to edit a DWORD value called Attributes. By default, its value should be set to f08004d; to hide SkyDrive, simply modify this to f09004d and restart your PC. The dropdown will no longer show up from your Explorer windows, but you still will be able to access SkyDrive via your user profile folder in C:\Users.
SkyDrive1
SkyDrive1

On lightweight laptops and compact tablets, space is often at a premium. For this reason, Microsoft has chosen to downplay local storage in Windows 8.1, in favour of SkyDrive. Your libraries are no longer shown by default in the navigation pane in Explorer windows.

The libraries are still there, however, and can be easily restored to their former place: all you need to do is right-click in the pane and tick Show Libraries to restore the familiar dropdowns.

If you want to get rid of the SkyDrive dropdown, things are trickier. One approach is to go to the PC Settings app, select the SkyDrive pane and disable the “Save documents to SkyDrive by default” setting. This turns the feature off entirely, however, which may not be what you want to do.

There’s no officially supported way of hiding the dropdown from Explorer while keeping the service working, but it’s possible via a Registry hack.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t try this unless you’re comfortable making technical tweaks, and you should back up your Registry first, in case anything goes wrong. There's no guarantee that the tweak will work on all systems, or with future versions of Windows or SkyDrive, so be warned.

Editing the registry to hide SkyDrive

If you’re willing to take the plunge, open regedit.exe (from the search interface or a command window) and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}\ShellFolder.

In order to edit the contents of this Registry location, you’ll need to take ownership of it – right-click on the ShellFolder icon, then select Permissions | Advanced | Change, enter your own username and click OK three times to close all the open requesters.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to edit a DWORD value called Attributes. By default, its value should be set to f08004d; to hide SkyDrive, simply modify this to f09004d and restart your PC. The dropdown will no longer show up from your Explorer windows, but you still will be able to access SkyDrive via your user profile folder in C:\Users.

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