Pinning apps or programs to the taskbar is a very easy thing to do. And doing that is very handy if you want to have one-click access to all the apps and programs you use most. But did you know that it's also possible to pin folders to the taskbar, for the same ease of access? If we managed to make you curious, read on to find out how you can pin any folder to your taskbar.
How To Pin A Folder To The Taskbar
First, you need to know that you can't just right-click a folder in Windows Explorer or File Explorer and choose "Pin to taskbar" as you do with programs, but the process is still not difficult.
For starters, you will need to create a shortcut to your chosen folder on the Desktop. Whether you use Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, right-click or press and hold on an empty space from the Desktop, until the contextual menu is displayed. Then, select New and choose Shortcut.
Next, click or tap Browse and navigate to the folder you want pinned, select it and press OK.
This will put the full path of the folder into the Location field, in the Create Shortcut wizard.
Before you click/tap Next, you will need to insert the word explorer, followed by a space (the space is important - without it, this procedure will not work) before the folder's path.
Then, you'll be asked to enter a name for this shortcut. Type in whatever you want and click or tap on Finish.
The folder shortcut will show up on your Desktop.
From here on, it's a simple matter: drag and drop the shortcut onto the taskbar. Or, if you prefer, you can right-click or tap and hold the shortcut and choose "Pin to taskbar" from the menu that pops up.
Now, your folder is pinned to the Taskbar.
Note that, once your folder shortcut is pinned, you can delete it from your Desktop. Doing this won't affect the pinned folder shortcut from your taskbar.
How To Pin A Folder From The Start Menu To The Taskbar In Windows 7
Open the Start Menu and navigate to the folder you want to pin. To make a folder shortcut you will need to hold down the Shift key, right-click the folder you want to pin to the taskbar, and choose "Copy as path".
Then, create a Desktop shortcut as you did in the previous section of this tutorial, but just press Ctrl-V to paste the path you copied. As before, add the word explorer, press Finish and you've got yourself a new shortcut. Now, pin it to the taskbar as shared in the section above.
How To Change The Icon Of Your Folder Shortcut
Since the folder icon looks a lot like the Windows/File Explorer icon, you'll probably want to change it to something else. You'll need to do this before you pin it to the taskbar.
In all Windows operating systems, right-click (or tap and hold) your new shortcut, choose Properties, then the Shortcut tab, and select Change Icon.
Windows' first choice of icons (stored with File/Windows Explorer itself) is pretty limited.
For more icon choices, change the icon path to
"%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll" and you'll have a much wider selection.
You may also want to check our Windows 8.1 icon collection here: Download the Windows 8 Logo & Other Windows 8 Icons.
Anyway, choose the icon you prefer and press the OK button.
The icon of the shortcut has been changed. Now, pin it to the Taskbar and see the difference.
NOTE: In Windows 7, if you happen to have Windows Explorer and your new folder shortcut open at the same time, because of the way the shortcut is created, it shows up stacked with the Windows Explorer icon on the taskbar. This is another good reason to change the icon. You can hover over the icon stack and pick the one you want. Windows 8.1 works a bit differently. If you open your shortcut folder and then try to open File Explorer from the taskbar, you'll see that the File Explorer icon is already illuminated because that's what's on your screen. If you open File Explorer first and then open your folder shortcut, you'll get the two stacked icons like in Windows 7 and two separate instances of File Explorer will open - one for the default app and one for your shortcut.
Pinning a folder is not difficult, as you can see. If you follow the steps exactly as we've outlined above, you'll have your favorite folders pinned in no time, for much easier and faster access. We know there are other icon sets out there. If you've got a favorite source for good icons, please share it in the comments below. For more articles on Windows, check out some of our related guides and if you have any questions or problems, do not hesitate to ask us about them.