How to Customize File Explorer’s Quick Access Toolbar in Windows 10

The Quick Access Toolbar is a small, customizable toolbar that exposes a set of commands that are specified by the application or selected by the user. It provides a lot of customization opportunities to help make the commands and actions you use most often in File Explorer quicker and easier to use.

If you can’t remember all the keyboard shortcuts and want a better way to access your frequently accessed commands and options, then this article is for you. Today we’ll show you how to customize the quick access toolbar in File Explorer on Windows 10.

Quick Access Toolbar at a Glance

By default, the Quick Access Toolbar is located in the title bar of the application window but can be configured to display below the ribbon. In addition to exposing commands, the Quick Access Toolbar also includes a customizable drop-down menu that contains the complete set of default commands (whether displayed or hidden) and ribbon options.

The Quick Access Toolbar consists of a combination of up to 20 commands either specified by the application or selected by the user. It can contain unique commands that are not available elsewhere in the ribbon UI.

Change the Position of the Quick Access Toolbar

Click on the Quick Access Toolbar drop-down menu arrow or any command button in the Ribbon and choose “Show below the Ribbon” or “Show above the Ribbon”.

Add or Remove Commands From the Quick Access Toolbar

Initially you’ll only have a few commands to choose from. They’ll be Properties, New Folder, and Redo. Click on the Quick Access Toolbar drop-down menu arrow and select the unchecked command to check and add additional commands.

Alternatively, right-click on any command/button in any Ribbon tab and click on “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”. If this option is grayed out, then it means that this command/button has already been added.

Click on the Quick Access Toolbar drop-down menu arrow, and select the checked command to uncheck and remove it.

Alternatively, right-click on a previously added command on the Quick Access Toolbar, and click on “Remove from Quick Access Toolbar”.

Add Useful Commands to the Quick Access Toolbar

The Empty Recycle Bin icon in Windows 10 is embedded into the Ribbon by default. You can add this icon to the toolbar to delete all the files in your Recycle Bin quickly in a single click. Open the Recycle Bin and click “Manage” at the top of the Ribbon.

Right-click on the Empty Recycle Bin icon and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” from the context menu.

Moving or copying files from one location to another is really simple in Windows. Choose cut or copy command from the context menu and paste the contents in the destination folder. In Windows 8 and 8.1, the “Copy to” and “Move to” command was added right to the Home tab in the ribbon of File Explorer. You have to click on “Choose location” to see the “Copy Items” or “Move Items” dialog.

Right-click on the “Move to” and “Copy to” icon and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” from the context menu.

Sharing has been a part of the Windows for long time. In Windows 10, you’ll see three integrated options: Share, Email, and Zip. Right click on the “Share” icon and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” from the context menu. Now you can share files from your PC with single click.

Reset the Quick Access Toolbar

If you notice that some weird issues related to Quick Access Toolbar, then you may want to reset them to its default state. Press “Win + R” key to open the Run box. Type “regedit” to open the registry editor. Navigate to the following location

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Ribbon

In the right pane of this location, look for the “QatItems” named binary DWORD. The value data inside this DWORD helps Windows remember what preferences you’ve selected for Quick Access Toolbar.

Right-click on “QatItems” DWORD and select “Delete”. Restart your PC to have your Quick Access Toolbar to get reset.

Concluding this article, the Quick Access Toolbar may not seem like a hugely important feature for users who have mastery over keyboard shortcuts. Mouse reliant users will find this feature useful in their day-to-day tasks with PC.

Rahul Saigal is a writer and all-around computer geek. Born in Kolkata, India, he works from home with all the geeky stuff and gadgets. When not working he loves to read, listen podcasts, and try new software. You can follow him on Twitter if you'd like.