GuidesError FixesWindows 11 Quick Access Missing

Windows 11 Quick Access Missing [Proven Fixes]

Learn different methods like restarting File Explorer, repairing Windows files and more to bring back your Quick Access menu in Windows 11.

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If the Quick Access Menu is missing in Windows 11, it can be frustrating as this feature provides convenient access to frequently used folders and files. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to fix this issue. The Windows 11 Quick Access menu may disappear due to glitches, corrupted cache, updates, user profile issues, third-party software, or malware interference.

Key Takeaways
  • Quick Access is a feature in Windows 11 that provides easy access to frequently used files and folders. When it goes missing, this feature is no longer visible in the navigation pane of File Explorer.
  • Quick Access may disappear for various reasons, such as a glitch in the File Explorer settings, a corrupted Quick Access cache, or changes made during Windows updates. Understanding why it disappeared can help you prevent future occurrences.
  • To fix this problem, you can try multiple methods, including enabling Quick Access through FileExplorer settings, resetting File Explorer options to default, manually resetting Quick Access by clearing its history, and using Windows PowerShell to re-register Windows apps.

Method Difficulty Rating

Edit Access Menu
Rated: 5/10

Restart Explorer
Rated: 6/10

Reset File Options
Rated: 6/10

Repair Windows Files
Rated: 7/10

Enable Quick Access Menu

If Quick Access is missing from Windows, you must ensure the menu is enabled in your Windows settings. We tried this method as it worked for many users on Microsoft Community, and it seemed to work for us. Follow the steps below: 

  1. Press Win + E: Open File Explorer by pressing the Win + E keyboard shortcut or clicking the File Explorer icon in the taskbar. 
  2. View: In the File Explorer window, click the “View” tab in the ribbon at the top.
    Select the View tab
    View – (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  3. Check Navigation Pane: In the “Show” section, ensure the “Navigation pane” is checked. This will ensure that Quick Access is visible in the navigation pane.
    Show section, then Navigation pane to fix Windows 11 Quick Access Missing
    Show > Navigation pane – (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Restart File Explorer 

If Quick Access is still not visible, you may need to restart the File Explorer process. Doing this has resolved the issue for many users, so we tried the same, and it also worked for us. On Microsoft Learn, users discussed how this fix worked for them. To do this, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to Task Manager: Right-click on the taskbar  > “Task Manager.”
  2. Restart: In the Task Manager, find “Windows Explorer,” right-click on it, > “Restart.”
    Restarting the Windows Explorer
    Restart Windows Explorer – (Image by Tech4Gamers)

This will restart the File Explorer, and Quick Access should be accessible again.

Reset File Explorer Options 

Another method that has worked is resetting the File Explorer options to their default settings. We tried the same, and it worked for us as well.

  1. File Explorer: Press Win + S > Windows Search bar, > type “File Explorer Options”  > Enter.
  2. Go to General: In the File Explorer Options window, click the “General” tab. 
  3. Clear File Explorer History: Under the “Privacy” section, > “Clear” button next to “Clear File Explorer history.” This will reset your File Explorer settings, including Quick Access settings.
    Clear File Explorer history for Windows 11 Quick Access Missing
    Clear File Explorer history – (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  4. Reset Folder: Now go to the “View” section, > “Reset Folder” option. 
  5. Apply Changes: Click the “Apply” button> “OK” to confirm the changes. 
  6. Restart: As in the previous method, restart the File Explorer process.

Repair Windows Files 

If Quick Access is still missing, some system files may be corrupted; as per users on Microsoft Forum, you can try using the built-in System File Checker (SFC) utility to repair them. Here’s how: 

  1. Command Prompt: Search for “Command Prompt” in the Start menu> run it as administrator.
  2. Type the Command: In the Command Prompt window, type the following command > press Enter: 
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth 

    This command tells Windows Update to check for corruption in your system files and download new files to replace them.

    Entering the command
    Enter command – (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  3. Enter sfc /scannow: In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter: 
    sfc /scannow
  4. Restart: After the scan is finished > restart your computer. 

After trying these methods, Quick Access should be restored in Windows 11. If you continue to experience issues, consider checking for Windows updates or contacting Microsoft support for further assistance. 


Important: Wait for the scan to complete. This may take some time, and the tool will attempt to repair any corrupted system files it finds. 

Final Thoughts

If you’ve suddenly lost your Quick Access folders in Windows 11, you’re not alone. It’s a common headache that can happen due to weird updates, mischievous settings, or pesky system gremlins. Users on different platforms have raised their concerns against Windows over this particular issue. Hopefully, Windows is working on this issue. 

With clear instructions suitable for users of all levels of expertise, it offers multiple fixes tailored to different causes. This guide is here to save the day. No need for tech mumbo-jumbo – it gives you straightforward fixes that work fast, without dragging you into hours of troubleshooting. Whether it’s resetting to default, putting your favourite folders back one by one, checking privacy settings, or dealing with rogue updates – we’ve got you covered. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Does Quick Access Disappear After Windows Updates?

Yes, Quick Access can be affected by Windows updates. To minimize such occurrences, regularly check for and install Windows updates, and after an update, follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in our guide to restore Quick Access.

Can I Customize Quick Access After Restoring It?

After restoring Quick Access, you can customize it by adding, removing, or rearranging files and folders. Right-click on any item in Quick Access and select “Pin to Quick Access” to keep it there for easy access.

Are There Any Alternative Ways to Access Frequently Used Files and Folders?

Yes, there are alternatives. You can create desktop shortcuts to your frequently used files or a dedicated folder for quick access.


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