How can I hide the Places bar in Widows XP's and Windows 2000's Open and Save common dialog boxes?

A. The Open and Save common dialog boxes display a bar along the left-hand side with quick links to the following default locations:

  • History
  • My Documents
  • Desktop
  • Favorites
  • My Network Places

You can hide this bar by performing the following steps:

  • Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  • Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\comdlg32 subkey. (If this subkey doesn't exist, select New, Key from the Edit menu to create it.)
  • From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
  • Enter a name of NoPlacesBar and press Enter.
  • Double-click the new value, set it to 1, and click OK.
  • Close the registry editor.

The registry change will take effect immediately. To enable the Places bar again, either delete the NoPlacesBar registry value or set it to 0. This change will not affect applications within the Microsoft Office suite but will affect applications, such as Notepad and Paint, that use the Open and Save common dialog boxes.

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