Add network folders to Windows 7 libraries

The free Win7 Library Tool improves on one of Windows 7's best features and even lets you back up your library configuration.

I'm a big fan of Windows 7's Libraries feature, which makes it easy to find the documents, music, pictures, and videos scattered across various locations on your hard drive.

Just one problem: Libraries don't support network locations. That's a pretty huge hassle for anyone who has multiple PCs, as sometimes the files you want are sitting on another hard drive.

Enter Win7 Library Tool, a handy little utility that makes it easy to add network folders to your Libraries. So, for example, if I want to view the digital photos on my wife's PC, I can now add her Photos folder to my Pictures Library. Awesome.

Just as handy, the tool provides a centralized location for tweaking your Library settings. It even lets you change the icons for various Libraries. But I think my favorite Win7 Library Tool feature is backups: You can save a set of libraries for later restoration, like after you've done an OS reinstall or migrated to a new PC.

Suffice it to say, this is a must-have app for anyone who spends a lot of time at the "Library." And I'm happy to report it's free.

(Need a Libraries primer? My colleague Dave Johnson recently produced a video showing how Libraries make searches more effective.)

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Rick Broida

PC World (US online)

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