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.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • ryex

    did not work for me

  • Ricardo Costa

    and for me :(

  • Kim Byskov

    worked, thanks

  • ItsAToniCake!

    Thank you sooooo much! I thought I was the cause of this mess. It’s all better now and you’re amazing.

  • Mafafa

    Thank you! I had shitted my pants when I had deleted my recycle bin and thought my pictures went with it. I am a starting event photographer and had a recent shoot in there.

  • adizzy

    life saver! thank you

  • Evellyn Almeida

    sua dica foi otima….
    obrigada, me ajudou bastante.

  • Cail

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. Today was the first time I’ve had that problem and I almost restarted the whole laptop! I didn’t realize it was that easy to fix.

  • Toni

    thank you. sounds as easy as one two three. That’s what dummies need.

  • Janae

    Thank you so much!!



  • Julie

    My problem was with my music library,when I finally stopped pouting and cussing at my computer I started asking questions. Even my local computer geek didn’t know what was wrong. So you are my HERO for the day because I now have all my music back to my media player. THANK-YOU SO MUCH :)

  • Juan Carlos Pachón Espitia

    Thanks a lot.

  • Charlene

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! It worked perfectly and everything is back where it should be!!!

  • Gladia Felisme

    it worked!!!! thanks!

  • Kim

    THANK YOU! I was so worried I had lost all my pictures!

  • JenyfurD

    Worked for me! Thanks so much for posting this info. :)

  • John

    Didnt work on my W7.. It donst even open that dialog box!!

  • Wendy Lee

    YOU ARE AWESOME. completely fixed everything…. THANK YOU!!

    • Wendy Lee

      btw…my system is windows 8……..

  • Jon

    Thank you – simple solution for what is a rubbish os. Windows 8 is rubbish – should’ve bought a mac!

  • skedkey

    Thank you!!! Been trying to import photos into W8 and get message that says something wrong, but no details as to what is wrong or how to fix. Been searching for a fix thru Nikon and W8, but no solution. Your instructions were the ticket. Thank you. Now how do I replace the hair I pulled out – LOL.

  • twillner

    Thank you for posting! That fixed it for me in Windows 8.

  • Writergal

    Thank you that worked perfect. These errors began to occur right after installing the video software converter for Rabbit Tv movies..

  • ktpalamino

    Thanks for the instructions!!!! They fixed my problem.

  • Chris

    Thank you my friend. You’re a live saver.

  • Dashippy

    My libraries went down yesterday. Turns out the problem was much easier than I thought to solve. Cheers for this.

  • Katherine

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU This worked restoring my music, pictures and video folders. Its amazing what happens overnight to a computer while one sleeps! haha

  • Mandy Dowd

    I’ve tried this multiple times and it doesn’t correct the problem for me. I’m running Windows 7 Professional.
    Any ideas? This is killing me.
    Thank you:)

  • Avastbrr

    Works fine, thanks :)

  • Bluefos

    Works fine. Thanks!

  • Stephanie Stewart

    All libraries end with -ms and none of them open. I tried the given solution for restoring the libraries but end up with restoring the problem. Obviously the given solution works for some people but not all. If Microsoft can’t offer a suggestion/explanation/solution then who can?