How-To Configure Windows 7 Public Libraries (Recorded TV) From Explorer

By default, Windows 7 ships with a number of pre-configured “Libraries” that exist on a per-uses basis. Each user has their own set of Libraries and each of those Libraries includes both a public folder and private folder intended as storage for file types based on the name of the Library.


Users of Media Center and Windows Home Server’s “TV Archive” plug-in may notice that there’s a second type of Library that exists on a system-wide basis instead of a per-user basis. So far, the only “Public Library” that exists by default is for “Recorded TV”. However, Public Libraries don’t appear in a user’s list of Libraries and the Recorded TV Library is only visible in Explorer after a user has configured a TV Tuner from within Media Center.


This behavior makes sense for networks where only a Windows Home Server is used for storing Recorded TV, however in this age of home networks and multiple PC’s, Recorded TV is frequently stored on multiple machines and/or multiple folders on those machines.

Fortunately, there’s a fairly easy solution:

  1. From Windows Explorer, navigate to: C:\Users\Public\Libraries
  2. Create a shortcut for the “Recorded TV” Library in that folder
  3. Move the new shortcut to a location easily accessible from Explorer (such as Favorites)
  4. Select properties for your newly visible Recorded TV Public Folder and configure as desired

This solution will allow you to configure the built-in Recorded TV from within Windows Explorer on machines that don’t have a tuner card installed.

Thanks to Ed Bott for tuning me into the location of system-wide Libraries.