Quick Access is a new feature introduced with Windows 10. With default settings, Quick Access displays recently opened files and frequently access folders. However, the Quick Access in the navigation pane of File Explorer displays only frequently accessed folders (not files).
Windows 10 allows users to pin their favorite folders to Quick Access so that users can access their favorite folders quickly without having to navigate to the original location. Since Quick Access in the navigation pane appears even if you configure the File Explorer to open to This PC instead of the default Quick Access, you can make most of the feature by pining your favorite folders to it.
At times, you might want to rename folders pinned to Quick Access to improve privacy. Unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t allow you to rename folders pinned to Quick Access, unlike other folders. On top of that, the Quick Access will display the original name of the folder even if you create a shortcut to the folder and pin it to Quick Access after renaming the folder shortcut.
That said, there is a workaround to rename folders pinned to Quick Access. If you want to rename folders pinned to Quick Access, you need to take the help of the Mklink command present in Windows 10.
Guide to rename folders pinned to Quick Access in Windows 10
Complete the given below directions to rename folders under Quick Access in Windows 10.
NOTE 1: In this guide, we are renaming Downloads folder to My Downloads.
NOTE 2: This guide might not work for networked folders.
Step 1: Open File Explorer.
Step 2: Navigate to the folder under Quick Access that you want to rename. Hold down the Shift key, right-click on the folder that you want to rename, and then click Copy as path option to copy the folder’s path to the clipboard.
Step 3: Launch the Command Prompt as an administrator. To do that, type CMD in the Start/taskbar search field, right-click on the Command Prompt entry in the search results, and then click Run as administrator option.
Step 4: In the Command Prompt, type the following command:
mklink /J <Link> <Target>
In the above command, replace <Link> with the path to the new folder shortcut (new link) that is being created. Replace <Target> with the path to the original folder that you want to rename. Note that you can choose any location for the <Link>.
For instance, if you want to rename Downloads folder as My Downloads, then the command would be like this:
mklink /J “D:\My Downloads” “D:\Users\Test\Downloads”
In the above command, the Test is your user account name.
Finally, press the Enter key to execute the command. If done successfully, you will see Junction created message, as shown in the picture. For instance, when you run the command mentioned above, it will create a new folder shortcut named My Downloads in the root of the “D” drive.
Step 5: Now, navigate to the newly created folder shortcut, right-click on it, and click Pin to Quick Access option to pin the folder to Quick Access.
You may now click on the newly added folder shortcut in Quick Access to see the contents of the original folder. In other words, you just renamed the folder in Quick Access.
Step 6: If you want, you may now unpin the original folder from Quick Access.
@merhad: When you create a favorites folder with shortcuts to your favorite folders, you are three more clicks away from your destination folder (1 single click, 1 double clock) compared to when te folder is directly under ‘quick access’.
But I think this is the best way for now, let’s hope its on a backlog of Microsoft to fix this.
In current Windows 10 (1909) this MKLINK-method does not work!
In Quick access the name of the original folder is displayed.
Ian A says
“Mario Cardona says
August 14, 2018 at 1:54 am
For the love of all things that were simple at on point in time!!! Why can’t we just simply rename the folder that we pin to the “Quick Access”??? Why do we have to jump through hoops on something that was already working!”
when you have multiple projects with similar folders nested inside, you cant just “rename the folder” otherwise you have a quickaccess list of all the same name. for example, if you have 1000 folders each with the folder “media” inside, and changing each folder is not an option because your project system or programs require it to be named so. your QuickAccess list would be confusing because they would all be named “media”
it’s not that it’s not working, it lacks this simple feature.
I liked Mehrdad idea of creating Favourites folder to store shortcuts and adding that folder to Quick Access.
Thank you for this tip!
Ok programmer’s forgotten it, no problem, now just fix it. Is so simple.
I have a better solution than that guys.
You can create a folder on your desktop or wherever you like, I renamed it to “favorites”, obviously you can change it to whatever you like. Pin this folder on your windows explorer quick access.
Now you just need to create a shortcut for each folder you would like and cut and paste that shortcut inside the “favorites” folder. You can rename the shortcuts and this doesn’t change the name of the source folder.
So you can access your shortcuts by clicking on the “favorites” pinned in the quick access. I know it is one more step than what we did in Windows 7 but it’s easier and quicker than the ways suggested every where I looked. Hope this helps!
Dara Parsavand says
Too bad this solution doesn’t work for those of us using work computers without admin rights. I got very used to renaming my favorites in Windows 7 and to find I can’t do it in Windows 10 is one of the most stupid things I’ve come across with Microsoft (the fact that you can’t or couldn’t anyway link to other Office files with a relative path and have to use an absolute path is the worst thing I’ve come across but this one is close).
Does anyone know a work around that doesn’t require admin rights?
Windows 7 Was So Much Better says
I thought I’d be able to avoid Windows 10 forever but I just started a new job and all the computers have Windows 10 installed. I so badly want to rename Quick Access folders without renaming the folder itself and CANNOT BELIEVE how difficult this is! I’m not used to seeing 20-step workarounds since I helped a friend figure something out on his stupid Mac.
Microsoft (about as demonic and evil as Apple and almost as evil as “Don’t be evil” Google) should just allow users from choosing to use either “Quick Access” or “Favorites” (from Windows 7), both, or none!
Easiest solution for them but given that Windows 10 has been out this long, I don’t have much hope for this ridiculously easy solution.
Mario Cardona says
For the love of all things that were simple at on point in time!!! Why can’t we just simply rename the folder that we pin to the “Quick Access”??? Why do we have to jump through hoops on something that was already working!
Wow.. just tried this after coming from Windows 7 where this was the norm.. so dumb for Windows 10 not to have the rename of QuickAccess.
This workaround is ok, but you can’t then traverse the path of the folder you thought it was accessing, you are in the new link folder.
Windows 10 Enhancement Request (or bug fix, depending on how you look at it) : Option #1 – Allow users to rename (or alias) folders in the Quick Access area without affecting the original folder. Option #2 – Everything in the Quick Access should be a “shortcut.” That way, people can display whatever text they want to for whatever folders they want. I believe this is how “favorites” used to work. Option #3 – Allow users to add shortcuts to the Quick Access area.
Jay L. says
Baffles me how Windows can’t get simple things like this right. It was a great feature before and Windows 10 blows it up. Using this mklink is not a valid option to something that used to take just 2 seconds to do. just plain dumb.
A seemingly simple fix would be to allow you to pin folder shortcuts which can be named separately from the referenced folder.
You’ve got to be joking if this is the solution to such a simple thing
Why not just unpin it, rename and pin back? ?
mad tom vane says
This is not possible in managed environments. Also, I wouldn’t recommend creating symbolic links to network drives. Microsoft should change this “feature” and allow you to change the name of the entry.