Linux folder on Windows in File Explorer

An unknown Linux folder with a penguin icon appears on Windows 10 or 11 in file explorer navigation pane. This is a common issue if you had Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) installed and later removed it. This was once a shortcut used to access the WSL distro you had installed. But since WSL was removed, you'll find it is empty and that you can't directly delete it.

Linux Folder on Windows in File Explorer

Here is an example of how it appears from File Explorer navigation pane on Windows 11.

Linux Folder in File Explorer

The following simple solution covers removing the Penguin Icon and deleting the Linux folder.

NOTE: Proceed if this "Linux folder" is empty and you are sure that no Linux distributions are currently installed in Windows.

How to remove the Linux Folder on Windows

To remove Linux from the navigation pane:

  1. Create a text file on your desktop called remove-linux.reg
  2. Open the file with a text editor.
  3. Copy and past the following registry code into the file and then save it.
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  4. Then double click the file to import it into the registry

If all went well, the Linux folder should now be gone from File Explorer.

To add back the Linux Folder on Windows

If for some reason you find the need to add Linux back to the navigation pane, just change the last line in step 3 above to the following:


Registry code snippet Source.