Thursday, 14 November 2013

Remove SkyDrive and Homegroup from Windows 8.1 File Explorer

Today I got sick of scrolling past SkyDrive and Homegroup nodes in the left pane of File Explorer in Windows 8.1.   I did a search and found a good post on Lifehacker and another post from a forum on how to remove them from the Explorer window.

Removing SkyDrive

I am adding the details here for my own reference but here is the link to the article from Lifehacker titled How to Get Rid of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 Explorer.

The root of the change is to set a registry key called Attributes to a value of 0.   There is one problem though. The parent key called ShellFolder does not give read/write permissions to user accounts.   You will need to take ownership of the ShellFolder key and give your user account read/write permissions to change the Attributes value.

The key of interest is

Removing Homegroup

This one is a little easier.   Make sure you are not a member of any Homegroups and then disable two Homegroup related services in the services.msc utility.

The services are;

  • Homegroup Listener
  • Homegroup Provider

After you have made the above changes simply reboot the machine and the explorer windows will look like this;

Ah, that's better. No SkyDrive or Homegroup tree nodes.


  1. And just how do you "take ownership of the ShellFolder key"?

    1. Hi Terry,
      Sorry for the confusion. This is more of a stub article from the original as I stated above. The original is linked in the paragraph under the title "Removing SkyDrive". Please go to the original article for the detailed steps.
      This article was written for my own reference to remove SkyDrive and the Homegroup.

      Here is the link;

  2. I had to change the startup type for the homegroup listener and provider to disabled too otherwise it kept coming back after each reboot. Nice article though, thanks very much.