How-To Geek

Quick Add Links to Windows Vista Explorer Favorite Links

If you’ve used Windows Vista for 5 minutes, you’ll have seen the Favorite Links when browsing around your filesystem. What is annoying is that by default the favorite links doesn’t include enough useful links.

Here’s the default links list (I’m sure you have seen this)

If you want to add a new link to the links bar, all you have to do is drag and drop the folder onto the links bar. I’m going to add my Computer link to the menu:

Now, it shows up in the list:

Much better!

Managing your links is extremely simple. Just open up your home directory by clicking on your icon on the start menu. You’ll see the LInks folder:

This folder contains all of the shortcuts to your favorite locations.

To remove an item from the list, you can either right-click the item and choose Remove Link, or just go to your Links folder and delete it from there.

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 01/21/07

Comments (44)

  1. john

    Is there anyway that I can turn the damn Favorite links bar off. I hate it.

  2. The Geek
  3. B0000rt

    What is unfortunate is when removing the “Favorite Links” you also remove the Drive tree :(

  4. danny

    Vista won’t let me add a web link to any folders in favorites. It will only let me put them in the favorites link.???

  5. Eric

    It should be noted that you can add %TEMP% (default location: “C:\Users\{user}\AppData\Roaming\Temp”), but you can’t single-click it to open it in the current window. You can only open it by right-click=>open|explore, which opens it in a new window.

  6. Necaradan666

    Isn’t the temp folder C:\Users\{user}\AppData\Local\Temp? Thats the location I’m given when I type %temp% into the search bar. It also works fine in the Fave Links panel.

  7. HateTheInterface

    What i did is open the stupid ‘fav’ folder up (make it big and rt click in the freespace and delete everything in hte folder)

    Truely hate the new style interface, and the most frustrating thing about it is the inability to truely disable it. Yes they let you change a few things but why are items like this soo complicated to alter, a simple ‘view’ > ‘stupid dumb ass new interface’ woud have sufficed for me. then grandma could have left it on, and i could have unclicked it.

    and we dont want to remove the folder tree just the pointless ie shortcut crap to your own hard drive.

  8. Jodie Miners

    I LOVE the Links Panel – I used to have a whole heap of My Network Places shortcuts but now I just have links because they are accessible anyhwere. As a big tip if you have Vista and not Office 2007, Add your Links folder to the My Places Bar in word and Excel. Adding it to the My Places Bar means that you can access your Links shortcuts from anywhere within your Office 2003 apps.

  9. Josh

    somehow pictures was deleted from my favorite links, so I go to add it back and now it says pictures (1) or w/e…I rename it and it wont let me JUST use “pictures” I don’t want a number by it….how do I fix this?

  10. Natalie K

    I’d like to stop seeing details like the date of the link in the Favorites in Windows Vista. It clutters up the screen and I can’t read the rest of the list.

    How can I tell it not to show a rollover of useless information like the date of the bookmark?

  11. MohammadReza

    My favorite link on vista doesn’t work properly it has link Empty and I can not add to it any link, however, it has some links on links folder at my home directory. :(

  12. budha

    whenever i drag and drop it into the favorite links folder instead of under it saying “create link in links” it has one of those red circles with a diagnal cross going through it.

  13. Yvette

    Most of short cuts in my Favorites will not launch. Even the right-click open option doesn’t do anything. This is driving me crazy. Any suggestions?

  14. arlo mason

    I decided that I wanted to put my “client” folder into the favorites bar. What windows did was move my entire client folder from the original directory and put it in a new folder labeled “document” and moved my links folder in there as well. The worst thing…well second worst thing is that my “client” folder is buried about 16 folders deep into the “document” folder. Now the worst thing is that I cant move the “client” folder out of the “document” folder and back to the original directory. If any body has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

  15. Sam

    The favorite links folder is very useful when folders setup by different applications must be frequently navigated.

    I’ve found that the sort-order of favorite links seems random in Office 2007 and Windows explorer. I can’t figure it out, and don’t see any way to control it.

    If there’s a way to specify the sort order of favorite links, I’d like to know what it is.

  16. Jordan

    ^^^ I had the same problem as most of you.

    Simply create a folder in your home folder- mine is “Jordan” – entitled Links.

    Then right click drag the links you want from there into the links folder and choose “create shortcut here.”

    I know this is annoying as all hell, but that’s the only thing that seems to work for me on vista…

    Just another thing we are going to learn to deal with… =]


  17. Gregg

    I really don’t understand all these complaints about the Favorites bar in Vista. I love it, use it all the time and find that it, plus the breadcrumb navigation, is great. Moving from XP, Vista is a dream.

    It’s funny to see so many people bitch ‘n moan about it. I don’t know if it’s the OS or just the person.

  18. Tessa

    Thank you so much.
    That has been irritating me for a while now.

  19. milk

    somehow completely deleted my music link under my favorite links. it still shows up on on the start menu. it just isnt accessible. is there any way to create a new link? or possibly restore it?

  20. da5id0o

    ok, so i’ve found a way to add files and not only folders to the “Favorite Links” area. what you want to do is create the shortcut in the original folder- that is “c:\users\\links” and not the area labeled “Favorite Links”. further you will notice that you can’t see the new shortcut in “Favorite Links”, that is if you extend “Favorite Links” to the maximum. what you need to do is, instead decrease the “Favorite Links” until you have the button “More >>”. Now when you click on the “More >>” button you can choose the new shortcut that are files and not folders.

  21. Cleanrom Products and Supplies Guy

    Thank you so much for the tutorial.

    That has been irritating me.

  22. partogi

    hey, i just deleted the “links” folder. now i cant fill anything and cant use favorites at all :(

    how can i revert this? i want to use favorites again.

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  24. temp

    partogi, just create a new folder named “Links” under c:\users\”user name”,

    ex: c:\users\partogi\Links

    than right-click on the “Favorites” and choose something like “reset favoritelinks”. Close Windows Explorer, and open it again. That should work.

    Actually, this comment is a copy of my comment to you on onmydigitallife :)

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  30. Viv

    Is there a way I can add “Desktop” to the favorite links in Explorer

  31. Rich

    Appears to me I can’t move Desktop along the favourite links like the others. Any idea why?

  32. Tony Montana

    You are the man. i have had a problem with my pictures folder for a week now and could not figure it out so i copied it and then re-added it an bam! its fixed!

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    awesome! thanks much for the info. been wanting to save stuff to the most used folder and this sure saves plenty of time!

  34. Jason

    Great Post…will save us a lot of time.

  35. Eric

    All it says on it is Empty and wouldn’t let me drag anything into it.


    i also want to know VIV’s question.

  37. Phil

    VIV, cnpottery.
    You can put a link to your users desktop (not the root desktop) using the procesdure below.

    Eric. Go into Windows explorer.
    Create a folder called “Links” in the user folder (Probably called “Eric” for you)
    For a folder you want as favourite, get it to appear in the RHS windows explorer pane then right click it and select “create shortcut”
    Rename the shortcut if you want, then drag it into the “Links” folder whilst still in Explorer.

  38. emily

    i can’t figure out why certain programs show different links in the favourite links bar. eg, i’ve only left two links in my c:\users\username\Links folder, which are the ones that show up when opening windows explorer. but, when using word or firefox, eg, I get a longer list of links, specifically including links that no longer exist in my \Links folder. anyone know where these links come from??? and how can i delete them…

  39. Dave


  40. Rex

    Cool tip thanks for this solution

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    the information which you have provided is great will keep in touch with you,thanks

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