SEARCH

How-To Geek

Add the Quick Launch Bar to the Taskbar in Windows 7

In yesterday’s article we showed you how to make the Windows 7 taskbar work more like XP or Vista, but we left one thing out: the Quick Launch bar. It’s really not too difficult to add it back, although it will take a few more steps.

You should note that the new Windows 7 taskbar allows you to dock items to the taskbar, combining the features of both the normal taskbar as well as the Quick Launch. For more on this, be sure to read through our coverage of the Windows 7 beta if you haven’t already.

Windows 7 with the Quick Launch bar

The above screenshot is the Windows 7 taskbar after changing back to XP/Vista mode, and adding the quick launch bar back. Looks just like Vista doesn’t it?

Adding the Quick Launch Bar Back to Windows 7

To add the toolbar back, you’ll want to right-click on an open area of the taskbar, and choose Toolbars \ New Toolbar from the menu. You should probably also unlock the taskbar at this point.

Windows 7 Taskbar Menu

Now’s the slightly tricky part… you’ll want to paste the following path into the location bar:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Windows 7 Add Quick Launch

Make sure that the location bar shows the full path, like the next screenshot, before you choose the “Select Folder” button.

Windows 7 Quick Launch Full Path

You’ll immediately notice the Quick Launch toolbar on the taskbar, but it’s all the way over on the right, so you’ll want to click on the dotted lines and then drag the toolbar all the way to the left (which is slightly tricky sometimes). Note that you’ll need to right-click and unlock the taskbar before you can move the toolbar.

Windows 7 Quick Launch on Right

There we go, it’s over on the left… but now you’ll want to adjust the regular taskbar toolbar to be closer to the left, so use the dotted lines to drag it over as well.

Windows 7 Quick Launch on Left

The normal Quick Launch that we’re used to doesn’t have text, so right-click on the dotted lines and uncheck “Show Text” as well as “Show Title” from the menu.

Windows 7 Remove Text from Toolbar

Once you’re sure it’s the way you want it, you should check the “Lock the taskbar” again.

Windows 7 Quick Launch

And there you are, the quick launch bar has returned and there’s virtually no way anybody would know this is Windows 7.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/21/09

Comments (190)

  1. lilsting10

    haha, I like the last comment “and there’s virtually no way anybody would know this is Windows 7.”, after having read in a previous article that The Geek is a W7 taskbar enthusiast. I’m going to try to get W7 working for me, but it’s not because of ‘new features’ that didn’t ‘need’ changing because they weren’t broken, but to test out the supposedly fixed features which did need changing (e.g. all the Wireless and Networking issues present in Vista).

  2. mjschmidt

    There is another way to do this.

    1. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Toolbars > New Toolbar
    2. The new dialogue box will ask you to select a folder to be the new toolbar. You create a new folder (in the Libraries area, or on your C: drive root) and name it Quicklaunch.
    3. Change the setting like the Geek says (remove text etc)
    4. For any programs you want in the Quicklaunch bar, create shortcuts to those programs in your new Quicklaunch folder (wherever you created it) and they will appear in your Quicklunch toolbar.

    Note: You won’t be able to click on this new tool bar until you put at least one shortcut into the folder.

  3. boe

    Please let me know if you figure a way to load the classic start menu, put the ie icon on the desktop (not the shortcut), and or make the search box in the start menu of Windows 7 have a drop down box like Run has so you can use search like Run and run your last app.\

    OH and if you figure a way to put the up folder back in explorer that would be aces.

    Thanks

  4. jd2066

    I’m glad to see the Quick Launch toolbar is gone in Windows 7 by default as far to many programs used it as a dumping ground for their own shortcuts without even asking (Like the first couple versions of iTunes).
    With the replacement method of pinned shortcuts, only be the shortcuts I put there will be shown (Assuming it’s like the Start Menu pinning and there is no API for programs to mess with it).

  5. Zach L

    “there’s virtually no way anybody would know this is Windows 7.”…except for the text on the desktop that says “Windows 7″.

  6. jd2066

    @Zach L: True for now but when Windows 7 is released, that text will be removed.
    That notice (Version Number plus testing purposes only) is displayed for all Microsoft pre-release software as a reminder that it’s not a finished product and shouldn’t be relied on for daily use.

  7. bill

    How can i remove the yahoo nag “this link is not authorized by yahoo”?

  8. Hate 7 Taskbar

    THANK YOU!

    I’m not a fan of the “dock” style bar at all and was desperately searching for the quick launch capabilities.

  9. jd2066

    @bill: Where are you seeing “this link is not authorized by yahoo”? In the Windows 7 Quick Launch, in pages on this site or somewhere else?

  10. Damascus

    While I don’t mind the docking system, I prefer having a Toolbar on my desktop. Scrolling Vertically. In XP you could drag the Toolbar off your startmenu, in Vista you could drag a folder to the edge of a screen. But in Windows 7, You can’t do either of these anymore, I’m not sure why they disabled this feature. I have about 60 programs on my Desktop Toolbar, I can’t sacrifice that much space to where I switch between what programs are running.

  11. Steve

    I’ve dual booted XP / Vista / Windows 7 – and the only time I use Vista or Windows 7 is using the boot loader program to choose Windows XP. Why? Because they both ignore the best things that worked so well with XP – simple interface (great classic UI, Windows Explorer) speed and reliability.

  12. cammell

    Allright, but like Damascus i also found moving quick launch bar somewhere else (my preferable left side) is impossible.
    Anyone know how to do this ?

  13. Jamie

    this was the only thing I did not like about windows 7… now that I know it can be added back I am pretty happy over all (so far)

  14. newscientist2000

    I am glad to have the Quicklaunch back, as I like having it as a dumping ground for all my applications. Where else would all those GOTD apps go!

    However the superbar is interesting, it wasn’t immediately obvious to me that you could launch another instance of a running application by right clicking the application on the taskbar and then left clicking the lauch icon that appears above the “pin/unpin this program to the taskbar” option.
    The running apps on the taskbar can essentially function as a quick launch for that app.
    Certainly an innteresting approach to the user interface in Windows 7. I think I will use the Quick Launch for all my non commonly used apps and pin the rest to the taskbar.

    Best of both worlds, great job with the workaround. I may just have to delete the Show desktop shortcut from the QuickLaunch area though its pretty useless now the new Show desktop is in Window 7.

  15. Marc Erickson

    @ boe: From: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945402

    Important Windows 7 no longer supports the ability to modify the registry to get the special Internet Explorer icon to appear on your desktop. This change was made to ensure Internet Explorer could be removed easily for compliance reasons. The only way to add the Internet Explorer icon to the desktop in Windows 7 is to create a shortcut. To create a shortcut to Internet Explorer on your desktop, follow these steps:”

  16. boe

    Mark,

    Thanks unfortunately you can’t right click on the ie icon and clear your cache or anything useful in case you are doing speed tests or other verification.

  17. LORDRAHAB

    LOL could be a lil easier if we type in the search field “Quick Launch” then it will show a shortcut placed on “all the tasks” of control panel, from there we can get back quick launch ;)

  18. Ben

    boe you might to try the browser link in the start menu I still have throw the new client on hard drive but if you right click on whatever browser you set as prefered in the start menu you get those options you used to have on the desktop icon.

  19. Jim Hanson

    i am using windows 7 rc 1. small icons won’t show text in the quicklaunch even with text checked. it works for large icons but that takes up too much space.

    anyone have a solution? i assume this is a bug.

  20. Eric

    Thank you so much for this post. I was desperately searching for a way to get it back to Vista style. Why on earth would Microsoft make my quick launch icons (FireFox for example) disappear when I have them open. Extremely annoying. Once again, thank you and yes if you figure out a way to get the classic start menu and real IE desktop icon, please post it up!!

  21. Ashe

    Thanks for explaining how to create the Quick Launch folder and the moving of it to the far left next to the Start Button. Is there any way within Windows 7 to assign a key sequence or combination that will open this structure, e.g. Win-Q?
    That would make my day.
    I have discovered AutoHotkey and have it doing what I wish but it would be more elegant to have W-7 do it.
    Thanks again

  22. Hassan

    Seven Rocks. Else Sucks.

  23. ashish

    Thank you very much. I was hating 7 for not having QL but now no more complains!!

  24. Prasenjeet

    thanxxxxxxx buddy………….

  25. Richard

    I tried to accept the “Windows 7 way” for several months, but I finally had to have my quick launch bar back–I’m just so used to being able to single-click over there to launch a new instance of a program (versus the Windows 7 right click and click the program name, which is really not intuitive). Thanks for the detailed instructions!

    This also solves the problem of Google Chrome application shortcuts not pinning to the taskbar properly (they all combine under a single Chrome item–apparently this is a known bug the chromium team is working on, but for now quick launch to the rescue).

  26. Jason

    Now if I could change the control pannel to “classic view”

  27. Jeff

    It’s easy to create the new “quick launch” toolbar in the taskbar, but HOW in the world can you get it to be there the next time you reboot! I’ve tried every suggestion I can find on the internet under different postings and NONE of them work. I quit using Vista and went back to xp because of this, not Win7 has the same stupid problem! MICROSOFT – PLEASE fix it!

  28. Raoul

    Hmm…it seems that the problem Damascus and cammell said – can’t move quick launch bar to somewhere else in the desktop – does not solved yet.

    I desperatly want to move my QL bar to the right side of my desktop :(

  29. exo

    Raoul, i have my QL on the right side of my taskbar.. you just drag the dots as you would normally do.

    Doesn’t it start on the right side? You cannot drag the QL bar onto the actual desktop though, if that’s what you’re asking. Why would you want it on the desktop anyway? That’s not even a bar anymore.. lol

    Just turn on single click file opening then if you want it like that.

    @Jeff, why doesn’t it save your settings? I think it’s just you, because my settings remain the same even after i reboot. Also, try lock the taskbar.

  30. quicklaunch user

    There are two reasons why I really liked this page one from it being EXACTLY what I was looking for.
    two: It recreates the quicklaunch folder exactly in the same path/place it was in vista.

    I couldn’t wait for release so I updated my Vista64 Ultimate to Win7 Ultimate even though I have two copies pre ordered. Not only did it disable quicklaunch, it gave me no way of finding it. I couldn’t remember what the path was. The most logical would have been to disable it, but leave it as an option under toolbars like it was before. There is ZERO reason to take it out of that list since whoever prefered it would need to recreate it anyways. The most annoying part is if you upgrade, you lose all the shortcuts you were using in it with no way if finding it again. Thank you for this. I used to have other toolbars which I also saved under different folders under %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ to keep them all in once place.

  31. John

    This is SO Cool!

  32. Bobo

    newscientist2000:

    Two words for you: middle click.

    Middle clicking any item in the taskbar also starts a new instance.

  33. Niv

    Thanks, It works :D

  34. anon

    this is all good and all but i need help ! i got the QL set up but i want it exactly like vista had it where a simple winkey +1 etc opens it ! not where winkey +1 etc opens whatever tab i have open (eg Firefox), to further explain this pressing the winkey + a number will do what the alt tab does but without the bar and without the scroll right to left.

    on a side note: ive made it look like vista but it still groups buttons like messenger together (want 1 instant on one side and another on the other) maybe registry edit ? any help would be helpful

  35. Rob

    Thanks for this info, I was trying to get this back. I don’t know why they would remove it!

  36. John

    Some time I’ve spent to find the solution abd bring back my beloved quick launch bar without success…
    Great job, thanks this is outstanding!

  37. dave

    Awesome, I really hate how they leave alot of good things for dead. pinning stuff to the taskbar is crappy compared to quicklaunch. Now ive got to get all my x86 programming stuff working in windows 7 i hate upgrading sometimes. Java and mingw without dos its gonna complicate things..need a new dos command line type program for windows 7 so old dos/console only stuff can still be used

  38. Jimmy

    you’re super genius!!! you helped me solved my big stupid problems

  39. SuperFLY

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This was a huge help to me, and very well explained. You are a credit to geeks everywhere. :)

  40. indyDean

    Just to spice this up a little, create a shortcut to your Quick Launch folder and then add it to your Send To list (see how to access Send To here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/customize-the-windows-vista-send-to-menu/) so that you can right-click > Send To > Quick Launch and have it appear in your quick launch area. A little more work then adding things to quick launch in Vista (but I am glad to have this feature back after a few weeks in Win7).

  41. Amanda

    i got my QL over to the left side, but the god forsaken keyboard icon is infront of the QL icons!! >:[
    any idea how to move the keyboard icon to the right side?

  42. Suki

    Thanks. I’m behind on Win7 because I liked XP and missed by QL. Gr8 site!

  43. Randi

    Thank you very much for this info. Very glad to have my Quick Launch menu back in Win7. Funny that Windows Help and Support says “The Quick Launch toolbar isn’t included in this version of Windows.”

  44. Tobias Mathes

    Thank you very much! Windows 7 is a pain.

  45. Helpful

    to shift the QL to the left. hold down both left and right mouse buttons on the dotted lines.

    found this out on trial and error.

  46. Bengt

    I manage to get the QL allright but I cannot move it to the left. Not with any combo of mouse buttons held down. It just compresses the part of the taskbar where all running and pinned programs are. Anybody else got this problem? Tips, tricks, solutions?

  47. TR

    Thanks for this. It took me awhile to get it working. I finally realized that I had to click the blue arrow to the right of the box after copying the text there. Before that, I kept just making a link to the documents folder! LOL

    I noticed a couple of comments about not being able to move the Quick Launch toolbar to the side of the screen. I didn’t have any trouble with that. I couldn’t drag it, but by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Properties”, you can simply choose the location from the drop-down box next to “Taskbar Location on Screen”

  48. TR

    Bengt said:
    I manage to get the QL allright but I cannot move it to the left. Not with any
    combo of mouse buttons held down. It just compresses the part of the taskbar
    where all running and pinned programs are. Anybody else got this problem?
    Tips, tricks, solutions?

    ———————–

    First of all, be sure that your taskbar is unlocked.

    Then be sure that your grabbing onto that little “handle” that looks like a bar of dots that is on the right of the toolbar that you want to drag. It won’t show up unless your taskbar is unlocked.

    The dots are kind of hard to see – at least on the color scheme that I am currently using.

  49. TR

    Wow – I can’t believe that I spelled “you’re” the wrong way. I never do that and grimace when I see others misusing common homonyms!

    LOL

  50. E30TECH

    Thanks for the info on the QL toolbar.

    I don’t like the docking.

  51. Robert

    Ah, at last!
    This guide really helped me! I’m used to fix this in XP but in “7” i needed some help. Just wanted to say i’m so happy now! Everything looks just the way i want it!

  52. Yuri_

    Thanks you very much for the tutorial, this kick ass!! I wondered about downgrading back to vista because of annoying chaos taskbar.

  53. Mart

    Thanks for this!

    I’m not adverse to the new docking system, but when you end up with lots of shortcuts intermingled with open instances down on the task bar it feels a bit strange IMO. There are one or two things I’ve kept pinned there on the far left, but most things now sit on my QL on the right hand side where I like them.

    Enabling the QL has also revealed a pretty swanky, (albeit Mac-inspired,) “Switch between windows” function. It amazes me that this feature resides in a place that MS never intended the user to find, (even if it is just a glorified alt-tab.)

    Also, having apps on the QL allow you to do an “open with” by drag-dropping a file onto the QL icon. This is something I do often and it did not work on the dock, so thankyou for saving me from a massive headache!

  54. blodybond007

    thanks! u just make me feel like a moron for not knowin how to do this. but none the less thanks!

  55. Jim

    Once again, the How To Geek comes through. All the more power to the people who like the docking system, but I’m much happier the old way and now the old way is happily running on my new 7 machines.

  56. Sergio

    Pressing shift when clicking on a taskbar”pinned” icon opens a new instance of the respective program.

  57. Kamal

    Hey friends,

    Just forget all….. Actually it’s very easy to fix any program shortcut on taskbar/quick launch bar in Windows7.

    How?

    On START—->ALL PROGRAMS—> Right click on any program you want to fix on taskbar. You will get an option as “Pin to taskbar”. Click on that & you’re done! And for removing it from the taskbar, again right click on that program icon and “unpin” it.

    Isn’t it easiest than any other methods or even any other previous versions of Windows?

    Cheers,
    KAMAL

  58. Sebastian

    Is there any way to make this look new quick launch toolbar look better using big icons??? I don’t like using small icons on the taskbar… And when I use big icons, my new quick launch toolbar keeps the small icons…

    Any way to change those icons size?

  59. Sebastian

    Oh sorry, I already fixed my problem, yet, I have a new one :D

    When I do this trick of adding the Quick Launch Bar, the space between the opened windows and the system tray is “un-right clickable”, so its really hard to get to the properties menu of the taskbar.

    Any way to return it to “right clickable” mode?

    Thanks!

  60. Karthik

    Hi,
    This is very useful, rather than big bold icons on the tackbar… pooff…

    Please post more tips on win7

    Rgds
    Karthik
    INDIA

  61. Thomas

    Thank you so much, I loved so bad the Quick Launch toolbar, now I feel better!! Thanks again!

  62. matt

    thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!
    I love you so much for this!!!!

    since i installed win7 yesterday i’ve been just hating everything about….

  63. Ariete

    I have the same problem as Jeff:
    each time I reboot the quick launch bar vanishes. Can it be because I disabled UAC?

    Ariete

  64. Ariete

    I answer myself,

    if you shut down instead rebooting the quick launch bar remains. So you have to shut down at least one time prior to rebooting to keep the bar.

    Ariete

  65. Lenka

    Thank you so much! I installed 7 yesterday and this was the only thing i missed sofar. Im so happy to have it back. Thank you for easy step by step directions!

  66. Tina

    Bless you for this tutorial! Worked perfectly!

  67. Marco77

    Ariete, your tip only worked once for me. On the second startup, it had disappeared.
    For me, deleting the desktop.ini (and setting attrib -s on the folder) did the trick.

  68. Zoso

    Microsoft has a KB about this…

    Guided Help: Enable the Quick Launch bar in Windows 7
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/975784

  69. Rajiev Ranasinghe

    Thanks a lot.
    Show Desktop button was a real Pain in the (you know what)

    I didnt think this was this simple. :)
    thanks a ton

  70. Ngoo Nam

    Thanks, how-to-Geek!
    You’re always a time-saver!

    Microsoft should have kept the quick launch bar (and a pinnable-to-taskbar recycle bin ) for Windows 7.

  71. igor

    thanx!!!

  72. Noah

    One Thousand Thank You’s!

  73. Stamatis

    Thanks !
    Its also a good way to have the “show desktop” icon in this position, cause with 2 screens the new button in the right corner is a little bit comfusing….

  74. leap

    i cant seem to drag the quick bar to the extreme left in windows server 2008 R2. It just wont go to the extreme left. it stops 3-4 inches from the left. And if you open any program it opens it in that small 3″ space and not after the quick lauch. MS has totally Fkedup a simple thing like taskbar

  75. leap

    and oh my build version is 7600 windows server 2008 r2

  76. Geeks Online

    Hi,

    Good info and laid out instructions. If you are having issues, you do know right, that there is now an online computer geek service that runs 24/7.

    You can also grab yourself a free pc tuneup, it is for a limited time however, but gives the ability to try out the service for free.

  77. Gaynor

    Thank you so much for this! I really don’t understand why Microsoft don’t give users an easier option – we’ve had the Show Desktop in that location for years and years and we’re used to it there. Silly to put it on the right and then make it immovable.

  78. zylstra

    Thanks for this how-to. I’d like to do a couple more things though.

    1) How do I remove the Windows 7 show-desktop button in the far right lower corner? I have an armrest mousepad so that every time I let go of my mouse it slides to the lower right and everything on my desktop disappears!

    2) How do I increase the height of the taskbar to two lines so that I can see QL on the bottom line and the open apps on the line above it.

    Thanks,
    z

  79. Don Thornton

    Regarding your article on SE-Tray Menu – I had trouble implementing it. Each time tried to open to “Settings” – the program ballooned into a menu with no “Settings” access. Eventually I opened it (after 4 hours of trying but the ap as delivered wasn’t user firendly to install. The clue to finally open it was your “Notification Area Icons Window” . Altho’ you didn’t tell us how to find it (in vista)eventually I got in. Once inside I set it to open upon a single click and it was easy from then on.
    Windows provided no Help when searching “Notification Area Icons Window.
    Suggest you amend your article to include detail info on arrival to that point.
    Also, once i got it ruunning – I thought it was great as to Translucense but didn’ really approach the two similiar free programs I currently use. They are Micro-Sys Launcher and/or P S Hot-Launch. Both provide additional menu options not found in SE-Tray Launch :
    1. Ability to add separators between Menu Launch groups.
    2. Ability to add Directoy options to open.
    3. Easy Hot-Key set up.
    4. Easy set-up and do NOT put multiple instances of the program running in the tray simultaneously.

    Thanks for all your efforts for us “users” benefits
    Don

  80. sarygallag

    Thank you so much! I was so frustrated with that aeuro peek think ugh! and having to right click the move up and choose show desktop was irritating me to no end!

  81. naligaw

    i really love the new taskbar..
    but i had to admit that the quicklaunch is better…
    more or less, the change is good..
    people really have their own preferences..

  82. jp of nyc

    Great tip….I just love it! I don’t understand why MS would take away this fundamental aspect of Windows…one click launch has been huge for me.

    Only one question, in XP and Vista, all the QL icons were to the left of the open programs. As far as i can tell this puts QL to the right of the open applications, regardless of how far over to the left one drags it. Is there a fix for this????

    Thanks, and again, great tip!

    JP

  83. Jan

    Thank you, you made my day

  84. Misha

    I got stuck at the step “Move the toolbar to the left”
    I was not able to move the newly created toolbar to the left. Even resizing was not working properly: I could not move the limits back and forth as it was always dropping the handle once I tried to go the other direction.
    As it turned out the LANGUAGE BAR was causing all the problems.

    UNDOCK the LANGUAGE BAR from the task bar before trying to move around other toolbars.

  85. Nader Balata

    This was very helpful thanks!

  86. chinablues

    Great, thanks.

  87. Dr.

    Thanks man for this good trick

  88. jon

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OMFG

    You would not believe how unbelievably annoyed I was without Quick Launch!!! I HATE how when you pin something to the task bar that it opens up a window right where you pinned it!! It was annoying the @##$# out of me because I hate having to hunt for where the icon moved.

    I thought MSFT got rid of quick launch just like how they got rid of the classic start menu functionality, which is so stupid, but thank you for showing me!!!

  89. bruce

    For those here who have asked for the classic start menu and/or classic explorer view, go to sourceforge.net and find Classic Shell. It will give you both. I use it and it is great and is THE only reason I now use Win 7 (along with this quick launch tip) as my default OS. You will be a happy camper.

  90. John

    Quoting leap
    “i cant seem to drag the quick bar to the extreme left in windows server 2008 R2. It just wont go to the extreme left. it stops 3-4 inches from the left. And if you open any program it opens it in that small 3″ space and not after the quick lauch. MS has totally Fkedup a simple thing like taskbar”

    This is the same problem I have! Pretty sure I followed the directions to a the T.
    Any help?

  91. dev

    A million THANK YOU’S..
    dev

  92. dev

    LOVE Windows 7..

  93. dora

    hi l lost my windows 7 task toolbar and l want to get it back can you please tell me how can l get it back thanks

  94. Tim

    Thanks for this! I’ve just upgraded to Win7 and the new ‘pin to taskbar’ option just doesn’t cut it for me, so I was delighted to get the QuickLaunch bar back.

    Only problem I have is that it’s stuck over on the right-hand end of the taskbar. Where do you have to click to drag it to the left? Whatever I do, it just resizes it instead of moving it?

  95. mesc

    Genius! thank you!

  96. Taylor

    muchas gracias señor! You da man!

  97. Blaine

    Thank you. The quicklaunch makes the difference between liking Windows 7 and hating it. Now I just need to figure out how to make the icons in the quicklaunch smaller than “small”

  98. Educator

    Brilliant. Thanks a million!

  99. Billy

    Thank you. I have been trying to find a way to launch multiple copies of my computer with Win 7. Now I can easily do it like before.

  100. Elliot

    Thank you. You have saved my computer from many beatings.

  101. Bartram Rowland

    Yay, HowToGeek to the rescue! Microsoft is a strange company. They got themselves so worked up about this great new “pinning” taskbar it didn’t occur to them some people might find it unhelpful or worse, so they didn’t include a switch to the taskbar they had trained millions of users on for what, 9 years? Actually what’s strange is not so much Microsoft, but how monopoly power destroys corporate sensitivity to the user community.

  102. patti

    now how the fsck do you actually add anything to this quick launch area??? It doesn’t seem to support drag and drop…

  103. Max

    thank you – helped alot

  104. MarcC

    For people looking for how to get a classic shell menu and explorer back in Windows 7, type “classicshell” in Google. Thank me later. :-)

  105. Tom

    My show deaktop short cut button is missing from the quick launch bar. i tried to copy it from the explorer window, but it open the desk top folder, not show the desk top.

    Any guesses?

  106. Tom

    I found it!

    C:\Users\Jim\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

    Then in open box at the top use; $RJDK5VZ

    Sorry to waste anyones time.

  107. mark

    OMG…

    Thank you so much. Without this I was going to cry.

    mark

  108. jim wastemytime

    I never write to these comments but I am adding a GREAT BIG KUDOS for this tip!!! It is the least to say annoying when something works well to have it removed and no longer an option “don’t re-invent the wheel…it is already round…good option”

    To answer one of the questions…I initially could not…pull…the bar completely over to the start button but after a moment of frustration on my second try…I aggressively “slammed” it across and voila!!! The particle accelerator must have kicked in an it is nested nicely against the button…comfortably where I USE IT ALL THE TIME!!!!

    CHEERS!!!

  109. jim wastemytime

    I am so happy I may just keep 7!…now if I could get a quick way to right click on a toolbar window on the bottom to maximise in one click without all the step used in 7…can’t have everything…(yes yes yes \i know about the winD key and ‘altspacex’…too many steps)
    Now smash that QL home!!!

  110. Jamie

    Thank you! This has restored some sanity to my world.

  111. PugLives!

    @Helpful

    THANK YOU!!! I had no hair left to pull out …. they showed the pics with it on the left, but no mention on how to get it there!!!! They forgot that step. I thank them, but you more due to the added frustration the answer (with missing step yet finished result). All is well with the world….till my next task starts anyway.

    FOR ANYONE WONDERING HOW TO GET THE QUICK LAUNCH TO THE LEFT, LIKE WE ALL WANT IT…..SEE “Helpful’s” post

  112. Carl

    Thanks! At first I thought MS had ditched this feature all together – but they had just hidden it instead. So thanks Microsoft for screwing people around. Quicklaunch == the bomb!

  113. jer

    thank you most profusely.
    … microsoft is on it’s last strike with me.

  114. jk

    thank you bud!

  115. Abdur

    thanks a lot

  116. Jjunk

    Wasted another half hour trying to drag the quicklaunch to the left – and it’s still not there. They’ve trashed the only good thing I ever found in Windows.

  117. Hp

    This works – but something keeps making it disappear – i havent found a solution for that aspect of it yet.

  118. John Donne

    To the person who wrote this article:

    You are a genius and my hero for the rest of my life. Thank you sooooooo much!!!

  119. Espen

    THANK YOU! Stupid too not includ this in win7 form tha start!

  120. Greg

    Excellent!
    Thx :)

  121. Kate

    Thanks! I’ve had Windows 7 foisted on me, and I’d go crazy without quick launch.

  122. ProovenN

    MARCO77 or anyone else can you help me i have the problem that im almoust sure everyone do …when i turn off my computer or restart it i lose my quick Launch bar and i have to re open it DONT get me wrong I LOVE YOUR WORK ON THIS and im realy greatfull for giving us back QL but this is getting realy anoing…if anyone can please give us a hand with it :)

  123. Svandenh

    Thank you so much – never would have found this feature and I live by my Quick Launch.

  124. tj

    Great article, thank you! So glad to have this back!!

  125. jeap

    i have win 7 ope. home pri. but i problem how to open internet explore in multiple windows, when i clik internet explore windows minimiz and maximix not open other windows so how to set open multiple windows i click on taksbar reside in internet explore icon ( i don’t go to every time right click and going the new windows.

    pl give some sugge.

  126. Tom

    Skip QuickLaunch if you have Win7. Just get FreeLaunchBar, which has all of the features of QuickLaunch, plus most of the features of the paid TrueLaunchBar.

    Amazing program, and much better than Microsoft’s “improvements.”

  127. bernard bof

    Ha ha, brilliant!

    Thanks, really good article. I use the quick launch all the time in XP, and was really missing it in Win 7.

    But why oh why oh why does Win7 help tell me it’s “not included in this version of Windows”?

  128. Kalwant

    It shows you how rubbish the Windows 7 user interface is in the fact for such a simple task, you have to go through so many ridiculous steps. If it was intuitive and easy, it would be easy to work out and as easy as creating / dragging a shortcut onto the task bar, just as it is on any Mac OS or how it was in XP / Vista. Microsoft are really losing the plot.

  129. Octavian

    My friend give my your adress! You just won the Nobel Prise! Thanks a lot!

  130. Roger Sanchez

    You have saved my life, LOL…Was beginning to dislike many features with Win 7 (I still don’t like some of them [and disable them], but those are personal preferences, not an OS flaw)…Thanks for helping out with this tutorial – I’m getting back to liking it again. : )

    Rog

  131. psycros

    Thanks so much for this info. Its astounding how the company which made “point and click” household words has gotten so lost. Microsoft now seems hellbent on churning out increasingly unfriendly, non-intuitive and inefficient means of getting things done on your computer. Despite the loads of marketing dollars, Windows Seven was NOT my idea, or yours, or anyone else’s outside of the Redmond campus. The mountains of feedback during the beta program were completely ignored and we got Vista 2.0 More Awful Edition. If Ballmer’s gang doesn’t get a clue, someone WILL eventually knock them off the desktop. It might be Google, but probably not any time soon – they seem as deluded as Microsoft with their greedy fantasies of putting your desktop in the cloud. Nobody with any brains will pay for access to their own computer or their own data, and no, Facebook doesn’t count. Anyone who puts their contact list in the cloud, with no backup and no control over it deserves to be violated just as FB and others have done repeatedly. The internet is nowhere near capable of dealing with a massive shift to thin client computing anyway. I’d like to see someone with very deep pockets and some vision develop an OS that has compatibility layers for OTHER operating systems built right in. Imagine a Linux that could run almost any Windows or Android program natively. Think that wouldn’t take off like crazy? People are desperately ready for a system that keeps what is familiar and reliable while still embracing innovation. This is what we used to call “progress”. Windows and the rest of Microsoft’s ecosystem has become the opposite of this. For almost twenty years the trend was towards systems that evolved to fit the user, and now Microsoft and a few others want to go back? That’s just asking to become irrelevant. My dream of legacy Windows and cutting edge Android apps working side by side on my desktop is admittedly Utopian, but I have no doubt regarding other aspects of the PC’s future. The next great OS is going to have a beautiful, highly customizable desktop with optimized performance on all native hardware, a fast and flexible search system, real standards compliance and a dead-simple app store built in. Anything else will be relegated to the dustbin of tech history.

  132. sagar

    It’s good article. thanks so much.

  133. Jilltre

    Thanks for this posting! I have users remote desktop’ing into Windows 2008 R2, and this was the fist thing they were looking for.. the quicklaunch toolbar….

  134. emr

    Thank you!

  135. CD

    Awesome. Thank You!! Thank You!! This is just simply perfect. I just did it and it worked GREAT. Something so simple yet it makes such a difference. I just do not understand why Microsoft has changed things simply for the sake of changing things. I really do appreciate this article. Great Job and THANK YOU again.

  136. Lis

    Thank you, thank you! I realize a lot of people like the new interface but I suffer from eyestrain and believe me, Windows 7 is very hard on the eyes! I need these shortcuts that I can find fast and easy without a lot of hunting and looking.

    Now- is there a way to make the quicklaunch use larger icons?

  137. Lis

    Psycros, you are so right on. I do not understand what is with Microsoft. I thought Windows was supposed to be all about making the computer accessible. Now they seem to have gotten bored with that and playing hide and seek with the features just for the fun of it. I first noticed this in Office 2007. Nothing was wrong with the way the menus were organized- it was immensely user-friendly, intuitive and quick to learn. Suddenly you are spending chunks of time just searching for a simple command, where did they hide it? Lots of lost time in productivity. How did this ever pass through development? Are they just developing for each other now and not the public? I do not get it.

  138. capsx

    Lis: on QL toolbar right mouse button View->Large Icons

  139. Humaid

    Thank you
    Very useful

  140. BenDover

    So happy I have my Quick Launch back again. I was about to pull my hair out. I think the new task bar works for those that might have one or two windows open at a time. It definitely is cumbersome for those that have a gazillion windows open like me. Thanks for taking some stress out of my life.
    Ben

  141. PCGeek

    Why would anyone want to do this?

  142. Magnus Larsson

    Thanks for the article, as I finally moved from XP to Windows 7 x64 – but finding the Quick Launch toolbar always ending up on the right hand side after a log off/reboot – I do have Automatically Log On enabled as I have PGP disk encryption installed. Does anybody know if there is a fix for this behavior? I found the following MS article/fix but still not resolving the behavior: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979155

  143. Yemi Ogunbase

    HAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    I defeated you and your “Show Desktop Button on the Right Despite Years of Conditioning that Have the Average PC User Looking on the Left” Taskbar Windows 7!

    Seriously…thank you. This had me longing for Vista…despite its ineffective usage of RAM.

  144. Qasim

    thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!

  145. jcarerra

    Somebody help please. I have followed the instructions at the beginning, and I have the quicklaunch created, but it is at the right, and I cannot get it established on the left side.

    He said, “…click on the dotted lines and then drag the toolbar all the way to the left (which is slightly tricky sometimes).” I can do that, but all it does is squeeze any open ‘icons’ on the taskbar– and the new quicklaunch just won’t go all the way to the left.

    What is the trick I am missing.?..yes, toolbar is unlocked BTW.

  146. jcarerra

    SOLVED. In a different forum, someone said they did it not by sliding the quicklaunch handle from the right over to the left, but by grabbing the handle on the left end of the taskbar and dragging that one to the right, past the new quicklaunch toolbar.

    That worked!

  147. jcarerra

    OK, here it is…for people who are having difficulty getting the created quicklaunch toolbar moved from the right side (where it initially appears) over to the left…

    a. People previously here said “slamming” it over to left worked for them.

    b. ibeltchev at
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/forums/forum/1049756/topic/4398429
    said that grabbing the handle AT THE LEFT and moving it to the right, past the new quicklaunch area works to move the quicklaunch where it belongs on the left side.

    (b.) worked for me.

  148. awesome

    LOL. I just went into search and opened the “What Happened to quicklaunch?” help file. I clicked no and where it said to put the comment i said, responding to the message above the comment box, “Yes, a p****.” LOL

  149. Ben Glenn

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  150. Bo Forester

    nice.

  151. COMPUTER.HLP

    I’m glad to get the Quick Launch feature back in Win7 – the new ‘pinned’ Apps feature is okay, but ‘pinning’ several frequently used Apps takes up too much space across the Taskbar, leaving not enough space for other running Apps (too cramped/crowded). I’d prefer not to have to increase the taskbar height to two rows.
    I’m still annoyed that I can’t DETACH the Quick Launch from the bottom taskbar and move it to the top, thus creating another/second ‘taskbar’ area. This was possible in previous versions. Then I could add other favorite folders at the top (quick drop down lists), including the IE Address bar – a very convenient feature.
    Anyone know how to accomplish this without having to revert back to classic views or older styles?

  152. obbm

    There’s an easy way to get an icon on the quick launch bar. Unlock the taskbar. Create a shortcut on the desktop. Drag the desktop shortcut to the quick launch bar.

  153. Vishnu Kamisetty

    Thank you, that was easy!

  154. Sarah Jones

    Thank you!!

  155. Kemaria

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

    For those who have had problems getting the beloved quick launch toolbar all the way over to the left, here’s what I did. If you’re like me, and have the oldschool Windows Classic scheme (no silly aero previews, etc!), try switching to the Windows 7 scheme just long enough to drag the QL bar over. I couldn’t get it over to the left at all when I was in my classic scheme, but when I switched over to try it that way, it worked instantly.

  156. Tom

    Kind of a little odd and strange that the Quick Launch toolbar folder should originate in the Internet Explorer folder under App Data: i.e. %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

    I would have thought it would naturally be under C:/users/ (!??)

  157. sadi

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  158. mug

    no longer works, the newest version of windows 7 they have taken out the “taskbar – Toolbars \ New Toolbar”

  159. B.

    Thank you!
    I can’t believe this isn’t an automatic thing for Windows 7.

  160. Scott

    Many thanks! Like commenter about, I too cannot believe the popular “Quick Launch” was pulled from default Windows 7.

  161. NIck

    I was getting very frustrated with the darn desktop button on the right hand side. THANK YOU for the help, so much easier feel, after so many years of it being on the left

  162. Idefix

    It’s awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!! :D

  163. SGT

    First, i would really like to thank Google for bringing me to this site.

    To the author of this site, there are millions of users out there that would definitely appreciate your sharing for this matter.

    Again, Thanks.

  164. NeedHelp

    I have this old shitty taskbar I need the new one for free how do I get it?!?

  165. pradeep

    Thanks! Exactly wat I was looking for!

  166. Sagar Jagtap

    I cant open Control Panel & Windows Explorer from Start menu or (Windows + E) some file missing error that time, any solution for this problem.

  167. Tony

    I want to thank you for your site I have used it several times today to help with Windows 7. W7 is absolutely awful in my opinion but I had no choice because of 64bit processing. I was on windows XP and it was much easier. Thank you again for your site.

  168. MakDag

    Greetings from Greece!
    Thank you very much for your help, you are doing a brilliant job!

  169. Hololo Shota

    I like that!!!!!!!!!!1

  170. LeeS

    As for moving Quick Launch all the way to the left, I was able to first try on my first Win7 PC I tried this on, but couldn’t get it all the way to left on the 2nd PC I tried this on. Figured out what I did differently and then it worked.

    I was unable to move the QuickLaunch to the far left beyond the normal Taskbar when the Taskbar was already empty – after I had already unpinned all my apps from the Taskbar. When the taskbar still as apps pinned to it, you can slide the QL just past the normal taskbar just fine.

    So – if you can’t move the QL to left, and you have already unpinned all, just pin something – I did IE – back to the taskbar, then grab the QL by the dotted area and drag all the way to the left. Worked for me first try as soon as I did this.

  171. matt

    wow, now i’m starting to like win 7 finally

  172. Harv

    Nice trick if it was written with ALL the required steps. Missing are two steps. After pasting, the “go” arrow needs to be clicked before “select folder”
    second it is not explained that to move the new QL to the far left one needs to move any other “buttons” to the right and unpin them.
    thaaaaat’s the way I see it.
    Thanks
    HM

  173. Michael Higham

    There is no need to add the Quick Launch toolbar to your taskbar if you are running Windows 7 on your computer. However, you can pin programs to taskbar for quicker access. It saves you time from enabling the Quick Launch toolbar on your taskbar.

  174. Jake

    Does Microsoft ever speak to a customer? Is there even one SINGLE user that finds Windows 7 or more importantly Office 7 to be superior to the XP versions? The drop-down menus worked great. The Chart Wizard in Excel was one of the most useful tools ever made for people who do REAL work on their computers. To Mr. Higham’s point, there IS a need to add Quick Launch to Windows 7. The NEED is a personal preference. It’s convenient and easy to find the applications you wish to run that way. You may prefer the Windows 7 work around, but others of us liked the way it was. Microsoft should only add new features, not take away the old ones. A company with competition would never treat it’s customers the way Bill Gates has.

  175. Antigonus

    This has been asked but not answered fully yet:

    Is there a way to keep the toolbar from disappearing once you get it set up? The fix described in this article works GREAT (and THANK YOU for posting it!).

    But when I reboot, the toolbar is gone, and I have to do it all over again. Someone suggested shutting down once, and then it’ll be good. This didn’t work for me.

    Any ideas? We’re so close to making Windows 7 marginally less annoying!

  176. pgowda

    thanks, a very quick fix.

  177. Navjot

    Can anybody tell me how to remove encryption from a file / folder
    i am using windows 7

    i have tried by going to properties but always recieve access is denied error

    Help me plz
    Regards and thanks in advance

  178. dayton

    wow. these were great instructions !!! perfect !!! visual and text !!

  179. bras

    I followed this procedure to have the quick launch bar active. To a certain extent I succeeded, all my folders I can add and they are shown in the left hand side of the taskbar and vista says quick launch is active,

    but for some reason when I press windows key + 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 nothing happens, none of my folders/applications pop up. Of course they work when I left click with the mouse but I want to use the windows key………..

  180. AdmiralSirJohn

    Is there ANY way to UNPIN the QL bar from the Taskbar? I got used to having it on the left side, with the main taskbar on the bottom.

  181. luciana micaela perez

    hola como estas

  182. elisa

    i actually did this a couple months ago, but today it just disappeared on me so i had to get it back. thanks.

  183. terri

    Thank you x 1000000. I just had windows 7 not long ago and it has been stressing me out without the quick launch toolbar. thanks again !

  184. Jeff

    Thanks, l love this site!

  185. Lisa

    I appreciate this article because I love the Quick Launch toolbar. To me it is way easier and quicker to access than all the Windows 7 stuff that floats around and changes position. However, I have the problem that whenever I restart my computer, it resets the taskbar and I have to redo this. Do you know how to make it save the taskbar settings? Locking the taskbar isn’t doing it. Thx!

  186. mad

    @Lisa

    i had same problam with one of comp. at last i left it left side of the taskbar instead of moving to right. Try things like show txt . That solved my problem.

  187. dave

    hi thanks a lot, great work! I feel a little bit old and conservative that I always go back to the winxp-logic and look, but for me that is the most logical logic haha

  188. Cheryl

    OMG–this is perfect! It even brings back the old Show Desktop and Switch between windows icons! I HATE the new taskbar. One thing that really annoyed me was (I prefer my taskbar ungrouped and with text on because I may have several files open in the same program) that it would sometimes stick the new file BEHIND the one I had open because of the pinned icons. It was very annoying. I wish MS would concentrate on function over form so they can make it look like Apple.

  189. Mary M

    PERFECT!!!

    I LOVE YOU TECHMAN!!!!

  190. Mary M

    I MEAN >GEEKMAN< !!!

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!