Do you have an external drive connected to your Windows 7 computer and would like to access it from the Taskbar? Here we show you a work around that will allow you to pin it to Taskbar.
Adding Drive to Windows Explorer
You would think the process would be as easy as dragging the external drive icon to the Taskbar. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. If you try to drag the external drive icon to the Taskbar, it just adds it to Windows Explorer.
Then if you right-click on the Windows Explorer icon, you’ll be able to access it from there. This might be enough for some users, but we want to add it to the Taskbar as an icon.
Steps for Pinning External Drive to Taskbar
With a quick work around we can add the drive as an icon. First what you need to do is right-click an empty area on your desktop and select New \ Text Document.
Then name the text doc whatever you want to call it and change .txt to .exe. Like in this example we’re adding the external E:\ drive, so we named it Drive E.exe then hit Enter.
After hitting Enter you will get a message asking if you’re sure you want to change the extension, click Yes.
Now you’ll have the “dummy” executable on the desktop. Right-click on it and select Pin to Taskbar.
Now you’ll have the executable icon on the Taskbar. Right-click on it, then right-click on the name of the file and select Properties.
Under the Shortcut tab change the Target to the drive letter and Start in to the drive letter as well and click OK. You can actually use this technique to add any folder to the Taskbar too. The main thing to remember is changing the Target to the correct path.
While you’re there, you might want to change the icon to something more appropriate like a hard drive icon. Or if you want to change the icon to something not included in Windows 7, check out our guide how to customize icons in Windows 7 and Vista.
And there you go! As you can see we have a more appropriate looking hard drive icon on the Taskbar…
And when we click on it, it opens up to our external USB drive so we can access its content.
Or maybe you want to have the drive open to a specific folder. Just change the Target path to the folder you want it to open in.
Then when you click the icon it will open to the directory you specified.
Although it might seem like a goofy method for simply pinning a drive or other folder to the Taskbar, the work around is effective. This will allow you to access the external drive with only one click and save a few steps in navigating to it.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 09/3/10