Rename Quick Access pinned folders in Windows 10

The Quick Access location is a new folder in File Explorer of Windows 10. It is where Explorer opens by default instead of This PC. Quick Access shows recent files and frequent folders in a single view. You can also pin various locations inside Quick Access. But unlike Favorites from earlier versions of Windows, Quick Access does not let you rename pinned items when you right click them. In this article, we will see how to change the displayed name for folders pinned to Quick Access.


Suppose you have the following folders on your disk drive.

C:\Test folder\Folder 1\Pin me
C:\Test folder\Folder 2\Pin me
C:\Test folder\Folder 3\Pin me
C:\Test folder\Folder 4\Pin me

See this screenshot: Windows 10 pin me folder example

Now, let's pin every "Pin me" folder to Quick Access.

See the result: Windows 10 folders are pinned same name

All folders are pinned under the same name. There is no way to tell which folder is located on which drive without clicking it.

Once you rename the target folder, it becomes clear. Unfortunately, sometimes you cannot rename the target folder as it can be in use by other apps and services.

The Quick Access location does not offer an option to rename pinned items: Windows 10 quick access no rename command

Here is a workaround.

Rename Quick Access pinned folders in Windows 10

  1. Unpin from Quick Access all folders you want to rename.
  2. Create a new empty folder on your disk drive. I suggest you to create it in your user profile folder (%userprofile%, c:\Users\username), because you won't need to use this folder every day but you will need it to organize the data we put there. Inside the user profile folder, the folder will remain safe and you will not see it often.
    So, create the following folder:

     c:\Users\your_user_name\Pinned Folders

    See the following screenshot: Windows 10 pinned folders folder in user folder

  3. Now, open a new command prompt window and type the following command:
    mklink /J "%userprofile%\Pinned Folders\New Name for Folder" "c:\path to original\folder you want to pin to Quick Access"

    The mklink command will create a symbolic link to the folder you want to pin to Quick Access but this symbolic link will be stored with a new name inside the "Pinned Folders" directory.
    So in my case, I should execute the following commands:

    mklink /J "%userprofile%\Pinned Folders\Pin me 1" "C:\Test folder\Folder 1\Pin me"
    mklink /J "%userprofile%\Pinned Folders\Pin me 2" "C:\Test folder\Folder 2\Pin me"
    mklink /J "%userprofile%\Pinned Folders\Pin me 3" "C:\Test folder\Folder 3\Pin me"
    mklink /J "%userprofile%\Pinned Folders\Pin me 4" "C:\Test folder\Folder 4\Pin me"

    The result will be as follows: Windows 10 create symbolic links Windows 10 symbolic links created

  4. Now right click the items in the "%userprofile%\Pinned Folders" folder and pin them to Quick Access.
    Windows 10 pin symbolic links
    They will have different and recognizable names: Windows 10 symbolic links pinned

This is quite a tedious method, but it works to give unique names i.e. rename folders pinned to Quick Access. Maybe some day, Microsoft will improve Quick Access feature and add native ability to rename pinned items. As of this writing, the most recent Windows 10 build 14388 does not come with the ability to rename Quick Access pinned items.

11 thoughts on “Rename Quick Access pinned folders in Windows 10

  1. Danushka

    A great work around!

    The only caveat is that the path of the newly created link is not having the original path instead it has new one (e.g. if you check the path in cmd)

    Thanks,
    D.

    Reply
  2. Terry Hansen

    This only works with local drives. When I tried this I get the cmd window message :Local volumes are required to complete the operation”

    Reply
    1. DeanK

      Has anyone figured-out (yet) how to make this work for Network drive folder(s)?

      Reply
      1. Grogir

        You should try symbolic links : /D argument to mklink instead of /J

        Reply
  3. John Tyra

    Excellent! This solved my problem with “renaming” quick link entries. Thank you! :)

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You’re most welcome John.

      Reply
  4. Dani

    Brilliant workaround. I just needed a quick fix to easily reference and identify local folders, many of which share the same name. The fact that it works well, with instructions that are relatively easy to follow (i.e. this would be beyond some of the people I assist), combined with the images you provided makes this the best solution to this aggravating issue that I’ve found online to date, bar none. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Oliver Hertner

    This way back to stone age. Last time I used this workaround was in WIN XP. Imporant feature to change the “view”-name in favorvites / quick access

    Reply
  6. Thomas

    This is just yet another example of why win10 is a huge leap backwards from win7

    Reply
  7. Adam

    I just tried this (5/8/2019), and it seems like something may have changed with Windows. I am able to created the “Pinned Folders” folder and generate the symbolic links within it. I did have to use “mklink /D…” instead of “mklink /J…” because I am linking to network folders. However, when I pin that symbolic link, the name that shows up in Quick Access is the name of the folder at the end of the link(i.e. “Pin me”) rather than what I named the link (i.e. “Pin me 1”).

    So now this whole method is just a roundabout way to get the same result as if you just pinned the folder itself to begin with. Can anyone else verify that if this method still works for them so I can know if it just doesn’t work anymore, or is specific to me (i.e. me doing something wrong, specific software configuration, etc.)?

    Reply
    1. ryan

      I see the same thing as Adam. They have the original name, not the new name.

      Reply

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