From the Tips Box: Pin Any File to the Windows 7 Taskbar

By Jason Fitzpatrick on June 23rd, 2011

2011-06-23_155836

Every week we dip into the tip box and share the tips you send in. This week we’re highlighting a great tip and the accompanying tutorial video that shows you how to pin any file to the Windows 7 taskbar.

Robert Jasiński writes in with a clever way to pin any file you want to the task bar. By default if you drag a text document to the taskbar it will pin it to the Notepad executable—the same thing happens with any other file that has an association with an executable.

What if you want to pin that specific text file to the taskbar and not to the executable (or any other file for that matter)? Robert shares his method: 

1. Create a place holder file (like a New Text Document).

2. Rename the file with the .EXE extension

3. Drag the extension onto the Windows Taskbar to pin it.

4. Go “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar” where USERNAME is the username of the account you are using.

5. Replace the “empty” executable file with a real shortcut to your file. Make sure you amend the shortcut you create so that the new shortcut matches the pinned shortcuts name exactly.

6. Restart Windows (or use Taskmanager to force restart Windows Explorer) to force the taskbar icons to refresh. Enjoy!

And there you have it. You’re no longer restricted to pinning files to the taskbar attached to their applications but can pin them independently if you desire. Thanks for writing in and create a video to go with your tip Robert!


Have a tip of your own to share? Tutorial video or not, shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and you might just see your tip on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/23/11
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