Say it with me: "Windows 8 sucks".
But, many of us have to live with Windows 8 or 8.1.
One of the problems I ran into with Windows 8.1 is that (after you figure out how to get your libraries back) you don't seem to be able to include folders on networks in a library.
This is a big deal for me as a university professor: I have a private network folder, a network folder that's accessible to students, a network folder that's accessible to other faculty, a network folder for the journal that I edit (that's not accessible to anyone but me), and so on.
There is a workaround for this, and amazingly (to me), I was able to do this without an administrative permission from the control freaks that have taken over IT at my school.
The explanation is at this page, which offers 4 solutions for including a network folder into a library. The case I'm describing is the last one.
Basically, you fake out Windows 8.1. First you add a folder you don't care about to your library. Then you do an easy edit to the XML file that is the guts of the library. And ouila, there's your network folder in your library. Sweet.
This is, in my experience, the better way ... It works on all versions of 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows 8 but does not index the network locations.
... You will have a toolbar at the top of the Explorer window that says some features are unavailable when you open the library. This can be ignored by right clicking the toolbar and selecting to not be notified again.
- Add an extra local folder to your library. (ex: C:\temp)
- Browse to this folder: C:\Users\REPLACEME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries\
- Copy the library file you added a folder to from step 1 to your Desktop.
- Right click on the library file on your Desktop and select “Open with” and choose Notepad.
- Search for the local folder you added in step 1 (ex: C:\temp). Replace this value with the location of your shared network folder (ex: \\MyNAS\NetworkFolder) and remove the entire line that contains the <serialized> and </serialized> tags.
- Save your changes to the library file on the Desktop.
- Cut the library file from the Desktop back to the folder in step 2 and override the existing file.
A couple of notes are in order.
First, it is a disadvantage that those network locations won't be indexed, but it shouldn't be a deal killer. It basically means that search of those locations won't be as fast as other locations. But, if you think about it, you had this problem before you included that network folder in your library ... you just didn't know about it yet ;)
Second, where it says "REPLACEME" in step 2, it means replace it with your username on your PC.