How to pin any folder to the Windows taskbar, in 3 steps

In Windows, it is easy to pin your apps and programs to the taskbar. However, it is not easy to pin folders and add shortcuts on the taskbar, for the folders you use most often. Most users will never figure out on their own how to do this. Luckily, we have a solution for you, that works in Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Read on to see how it is done:

Step 1: Create a shortcut on the desktop, to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar

First, decide on the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar. You need to create a special shortcut to it, on your desktop. Therefore, go to the desktop and right-click or press and hold (if you have a touchscreen), somewhere on the empty space. In the contextual menu that opens, choose New and then Shortcut.

The "Create Shortcut" wizard opens. Click or tap the Browse button and navigate to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar. After you select it, press OK.

NOTE: If you need more help in working with the "Create Shortcut" wizard, read this tutorial: How to create shortcuts for apps, files, folders and web pages in Windows

The wizard places the whole path to the selected folder in the location field. DO NOT click or tap Next. Before you do that, you need to type the word explorer, followed by a space, just before the folder's path. Do no type "C:\explorer" or something else and do not forget the space, otherwise the procedure does not work. Look at the screenshot below and make sure that you have used the same approach. Only then press the Next button.

You are asked to enter the name for this shortcut. It is best that you change the default name to a personalized one, so that you know what folder is opened when you use the shortcut. After you type the name, press Finish.

The shortcut is now created on your desktop and its icon is the same as for File Explorer or Windows Explorer, depending on the version of Windows that you are using.

To verify that it works and it takes you to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar, double-click on the shortcut.

Step 2: Change the icon of the shortcut that you have created

The next logical step is to pin this shortcut from the desktop to the taskbar. If you do this right away, you end-up having the File Explorer or Windows Explorer shortcut on the taskbar and an identical looking shortcut next to it. You will not know which is for File Explorer and which is for the folder that you have pinned.

It is best that you personalize the icon for the folder shortcut to something unique, that makes it easy to identify it. See below how we replaced our shortcut's icon for our Digital Citizen folder, with our website's icon.

If you want to change the icon of the shortcut, follow this detailed guide: How To Change the Icon of Any Shortcut in Windows.

We can also give you the short version here: right-click on the shortcut (or press and hold, if you have a touchscreen), and choose Properties. In the shortcut's properties, go to the Shortcut tab and press Change Icon. Then, select the file containing the icon that you want to use, choose the icon and click/tap OK in the Change Icon window and then in the shortcut's properties.

The icon is now changed for your shortcut to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar.

If you want some free icons that you can use, we recommend these articles:

Step 3: Pin the shortcut to the taskbar

Now it is time to pin the shortcut that you have created, to the Windows taskbar. Right-click on the shortcut (or press and hold, if you have a touchscreen), and choose "Pin to taskbar."

The shortcut is now pinned to the taskbar and so is the folder it points to.

Can I pin as many folders as I want?

With this method, you can pin as many folders as you want. We recommend that you change the icon for each shortcut, so that you can tell your folders apart.

Can I remove the shortcut from the desktop?

After you pin the shortcut to a folder, on the Windows taskbar, you can delete the shortcut from the desktop, that you created at step 1 from this tutorial. The pinned folder will still work. However, as soon as you delete the folder that you have pinned, its taskbar shortcut will open File Explorer (in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1) or Windows Explorer (in Windows 7).

How does the pin to File Explorer option work?

Some people have commented that our guide is useless and that you can pin folders to the taskbar with a simple drag and drop. They say that you have to do the following: open File Explorer or Windows Explorer, and drag the folder that you want pinned to the taskbar. When you do that, you see an option that says "Pin to File Explorer" or "Pin to Windows Explorer." When you see that text, release the left-click mouse button.

This approach works but it doesn't pin a folder to the taskbar, using its own separate shortcut. It pins the folder to the right-click menu for the File Explorer/Windows Explorer shortcut on the taskbar. Right click on it, and you see the folder listed as pinned, alongside other folders that you may have pinned.

As you can see, the end-result is very different from what you get with our tutorial.

How many folders did you pin to your taskbar?

Now you know how to pin any folder that you want to use, on the Windows taskbar. We are curios if things worked well for you and how many folders you have pinned. Don't hesitate to comment below and discuss with us and other readers.