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Libraries are a way to store and manage documents, music, pictures and other files. Libraries can be browsed in the same way as any other folder. The key difference is that the library is not a folder in itself and instead monitors other folders. The contents of these folders can then all be shown in the same location as a library. Libraries are only available on Windows 7.

How do I create or modify a library

There are 4 default libraries, one each for documents, music, pictures and videos.

Creating a new library

  1. Open the libraries folder in Windows Explorer (click on the folders icon pinned to the task bar, press shift first if another folder is already opened.)
  2. Click the New library button near the top left of the screen in the toolbar.
  3. Type the name of your library and click enter.
  4. Before you can use it you must include a folder.

Include folders in a library

Either:

  1. Right-click the folder you want to include in the library
  2. Select include in library
  3. Choose the library from the list.

Or:

  1. Navigate to the libraries folder
  2. Right click on the library you want to add a folder to and click properties
  3. Click include a folder
  4. Select the folder you want to include then click include folder

Remove a folder from a library

  1. Navigate to the libraries folder
  2. Right click on the library you want to add a folder to and click properties
  3. Select the folder you want to remove
  4. Click remove

Set the save location of a library

  1. Navigate to the libraries folder
  2. Right click on the library you want to set the save location for
  3. Select the folder you want to set as the save location
  4. Click Set save location

Change the type of file a library is set up for

  1. Navigate to the libraries folder
  2. Right click on the library you want to modify and click Properties
  3. In the Optimize this library for list, select the file type
  4. Click OK

When a library is deleted

The library itself will be moved to the Recycle Bin, however the contents will still be in their original locations. If you accidentally delete one of the default libraries it can be restored by right clicking libraries and selecting restore default libraries. If you delete files or folders within a library they are deleted from their original locations and if you delete them in their original locations they are no longer available in the library.

Which file locations are supported

On your C Drive Yes
On another hard drive or partition inside your computer Yes
On an external hard drive Yes (although files wont appear when not plugged in)
On a USB flash drive If it appears under Hard Disk Drives in my computer (this is set by the manufacturer) then see external hard drive, otherwise no.
CD or DVD etc. No
On a network See below
On a different computer in your homegroup Yes


Adding a folder from a NAS device

Libraries do not, at present, natively support NAS (Network attached storage) folders because of the way they are indexed. So far there are four known work-arounds which are not fully tested.

  • Set the folders as a folder to watch in windows media player (this adds them to the my pictures/my music libraries)
  • Use the off-line files feature to make the files available off-line, then add to the library. (this won't be available in all versions of windows 7 once it is released)
  • Use the mklink command to create a Symbolic link (If you don't want to store the files locally this is the only available method.)
  • If the 'NAS' is a computer then a windows OS could be installed. Both windows server 2008 and windows 7 would be suitable and allow for inclusion in the libraries.

Using the mklink command to create a Symbolic link

This is another method for adding NAS folders to libraries. Note that it is not tested on the official release of Windows 7, and therefore may yield unexpected results.

  1. Create a folder on your hard drive for each NAS folder you want to add to a library. For this example I will use c:\Shares\MyShareName
  2. Add the new folder to your library using windows explorer in the standard way.
  3. Delete the folder using the command prompt.
  4. use the mklink command to create the symbolic link with the local name and the name on your share, for example, if my server was called Server001 and the share on it was called MyShareName I would use: mklink /D MyShareName \\.Server001\MyShareName

Note that to use this command you will need to run the command prompt as an administrator.


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