How to Fix the “Pictures.library-ms is No Longer Working” Error in Windows 7

Windows has an excellent library feature that makes it easy to navigate to various folders within your user directory. Unfortunately, this library is prone to error. A slight change in the directory structure, interrupted write process, or even a new program installation can cause an error with Documents.library-ms.

The issue presents itself as an error window as you attempt to open or modify your Pictures, Music, and Videos libraries. It can also impact your Documents library, but not necessarily in tandem with the other three. (I came across this error after installing a new music program, and the error occurred with the Pictures, Music, and Videos libraries, but not with Documents.)

Windows 7 introduced libraries as a way to allow users to easily access folders containing certain data from all over their file structure without having to keep them in a specific documents directory within their user profile. The library itself can be accessed and controlled by third-party programs using an API. Unfortunately, that opens the library structure up to occasional crashes and other bugs.

In this case, the very purpose of the libraries API can also be its downside. If you know of a program that may be causing a problem with your libraries structure, it might be worthwhile to place a bug report in with the developer so that they can resolve the problem in a future update.

The image below shows one variation of this error code. Other error message headers resulting from this issue are:

  • Pictures.library-Ms is No Longer Working
  • Documents.library-Ms is No Longer Working
  • Videos.library-Ms is No Longer Working
  • Music.library-Ms is No Longer Working

So, how do you get your libraries back in working order? Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Open Computer in the Windows Start Menu.
  • Verify which libraries are no longer opening by double-clicking on each one in the sidebar.
  • Right-click the broken libraries in the sidebar and select Delete. This will not delete your files, just the library link in the sidebar itself.
  • Once the broken libraries are deleted, right-click the main Libraries folder in the sidebar and select Restore Default Libraries.
  • Verify that the restored libraries are functioning correctly by opening each one.

Once you’ve completed this process, everything should be back to normal and no further action is required. If the problem persists, you may want to examine any applications that frequently add or otherwise manage files that exist with the directories tracked by the library experiencing issues. Was anything recently installed that may be causing the problem?

Libraries are a useful addition to Windows 7, though it can be prone to error and issue as third-party developers start adapting their products to work in tandem with these changes to the OS.

If you know of any creative (or better) solution to this problem, please leave a comment below and let us know.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson