How to add Quick Launch bar to Windows 7 taskbar [Guide]

The Windows Vista Quick Launch bar added small shortcuts icons to the left of the taskbar. Windows 7 phased out the Quick Launch bar with pinned taskbar shortcuts, but you can still restore it on Windows 7. A little customization of the Windows 7 taskbar will add a new Quick Launch bar to it.

Right-click the taskbar, select Toolbars and New toolbar to open the window below. In the New Toolbar – Choose a folder window’s address bar you should input: %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch. Then click the Select Folder option.

Quick Launch2

Then there should be a Quick Launch toolbar on the right of the taskbar. If the taskbar is locked, you should right-click it and select Lock the Taskbar so that you can drag the toolbars. Then drag the Quick Launch toolbar to the far left of the Windows 7 taskbar as in the shot below.

Quick Launch

To remove the text from the taskbar, right-click the Quick Launch toolbar on the left of the taskbar; and then click the Show Text and Show Title options to remove text. That transforms the toolbar into a Quick Launch bar, with a variety of software shortcut icons, as below. You can expand the icons by right-click the Quick Launch bar dotted lines, clicking View and Large Icons.

Quick Launch3

Now you can drag and drop Start menu or desktop shortcuts to the Quick Launch bar. As its shortcut icons are smaller than others added to the taskbar, you can fit more of them on the Windows 7 Quick Launch bar. It’s an exact match of the Windows Vista Quick Launch bar.

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  • David Roper

    I enjoy this “Matthew” tip. I also got tired of too many icons on my desktop. I am a Freeware program junkie. I created a folder on my desktop and labeled it LINKS, changed its icon to some chainlinks for visual effects, and I just drag and drop the little used desktop icons over into it where I can have larger icons. Win 7 64.

  • sl0j0n

    Hello, “MatthewA”.
    Good tip, thanks. I put a shortcut to the Quick Launch folder on the desktop, & usually open it first. That way, I always have access to all my shortcuts by just clicking the Quick Launch folder icon on the taskbar. I also add shortcuts to folders, files, programs, or anything else that often use, putting them in the Quick Launch folder. I also drag almost all desktop icons into the Quick Launch folder to keep the desktop clear, which, BTW, can help speed up a slow system because its takes system resources to display the icons, & the more icons, the more resources its takes.

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbor!

  • patara

    The Quick Launch Bar also works in Win 8. I always add it back to my Taskbar.
    I increase the height of my Taskbar a little so I have QL and Folder Toolbars on the bottom row and Pinned and Opened items on the top.