75 replies on 9 ways to pin shortcuts to the Windows 10 taskbar

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ah, create a shortcut, create a shortcut to that shortcut, and put a word in front of the name of the shortcut to the shortcut-how intuitive! Can you believe on a Mac you have to drag something and THEN drop it on the dock to do the same thing?!

    • Ciprian says:

      I agree that it’s not very intuitive. However, a drag & drop works on Windows 7 for most things anyway.
      It’s just you get some special scenarios and exceptions, like the one in this article. I’m sure on Mac or Linux there are some exceptions too, where things are not that friendly/intuitive.

      • fdsfsdfsd says:

        “I’m sure on Mac or Linux there are some exceptions too, where things are not that friendly/intuitive.”
        Linux maybe, but Mac? no

        • Ciprian says:

          Unfortunately I am not a Mac user so I cannot give examples where Mac can be unfriendly too. Anyway, there is no point in continuing the discussion as it will not lead to anything constructive.

          • PCandMacUser says:

            The DEL key doesn’t even delete files on a mac. And pushing the red button sometimes still leaves the program running but just hides it.

        • Derek says:

          I love and work with both Macs and Windows all day.

          There are many examples where things are not as expected, and certainly not intuitive, on each.

          The one that drives me crazy on a Mac?

          Create a folder.
          Put some files in it.
          Now create a folder with the same name on another disk.
          Put a different file in that folder.

          Now try and copy that folder from the other disk with the same name on to the Mac. What should happen?

          Most of us would expect the files in the folder from the disk to merge with the files in the folder on the Mac. That’s what happens in Windows.

          With the Mac it literally deletes all of the files and subfolders in the folder on the Mac and replaces the contents with the folder from the disk.

          Aaaarrrggh!

          Oh… by the way… select a folder on a Mac and press Enter. You’d expect the folder to open right? Nope. You have to press Command+O or Command+DownArrow…

          Most of the religiously zealous comments from Windows users towards Mac and vice-versa are due to ignorance of the other platform.

    • Joe says:

      Ah, another pious Mac user. Like a Jehovah Witness of the computing world.

    • GG Rekt says:

      Gaming.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have used Windows, Linux and Macintosh systems over the last 15 years. Each has it drawbacks and Macintosh is no more intuitive today than it ever was, although arguably the most intuitive of the bunch. It’s all about what you are used to and if you aren’t used to a Macintosh, it is no easier to use than Windows 7 all things considered. Just last week I helped a Mac user share a folder from another Mac across the office so he could access it remotely. Simple enough, and this user has only ever used Macintosh computers, but he couldn’t get it done. Sorry Mac fan, you’re just used to driving on the left side of the road.

  3. Maarten says:

    Man, what a hassle to put a freaking shortcut in the taskbar! Hope Microsoft will update Win7 soon to fix this problem… I just changed the taskbar to the old XP one.. Much better + you have the ‘show desktop’ icon next to start 😉

  4. Maarten says:

    just follow these simpel steps:

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/888-quick-launch-enable-disable.html

    Then you have a ‘quick launch’ bar where you can drag your shortcuts in… Just as XP

  5. Dan says:

    Pins to Taskbar, then Doesn’t Work
    “make almost any item “pinnable” to the taskbar: create a shortcut, save it somewhere safe so you don’t delete it by mistake, create a shortcut to that shortcut and add the explorer word before its path. Then you have a shortcut which you can pin to the taskbar.”

    The pinning to the task bar portion of this worked perfectly, unfortunately the functionality of the root app was lost. Adding the word explorer caused the root application (show desktop), two shortcuts away, to simply not execute. Adding explorer and then hitting apply or OK, causes string to change to

    C:\Windowsexplorer.exe “C:\ – then the directory string”.

    That may be what is causing the disconnect, however the system insists on putting it there even after repeated deletions.

    Major Fail.

    Windows7, not my idea.

  6. The Bevastator says:

    You can simplify the process of pinning a file to the desktop by doing this:

    Right Click
    New
    Shortcut
    Browse
    c:folderfile.exe
    Edit filepath to : explorer “c:folderfile.exe”
    Drag the shortcut on to the taskbar

    You can also change the icon:
    Right click shortcut
    Properties
    Icon
    Left click new icon
    Ok

    You need to change the icon before pinning in to the taskbar otherwise the icon on the taskbar will be a folder icon.

    Hope somebody finds this useful.

    • Commodore Crush says:

      Nice. This option works the best and is not hard to do at all. People need to stop whining.

    • AsktheRick says:

      This method actually WORKS in even more extreme conditions!! (Like when you are attempting to have 2 separate icons pinned that run a single program with different startup parameters!

  7. Anonymous says:

    where can i find the icon used for games

  8. Eric Graham says:

    Wow, I’ve never thought you can actually pin to the taskbar special Windows folders this way. This has been very helpful. Thanks a lot.

    Eric

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      I’m glad this guide helped you. Hope you will other good & useful stuff on our website.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I find you don’t need to make a shortcut of a shortcut. Just make one shortcut and rename it using the “explorer” trick, and that’s sufficient. Just drag the first, renamed shortcut to the task bar.

  10. Evgeniy says:

    Any way to change the icon? Otherwise you get a ton of indiscernible standard “folder” icons in the task bar for all the shortcuts created with that hack

  11. Anonymous says:

    You can change the icon of that folder by right clicking on the folder and going to the “Properties” option at the bottom..

    Ok, this didn’t work for me. I hate the fact that Windows 7 decide to the Desktop shortcut ALL the way on the right side of the bar when all along it has been on the LEFT side – sorry but I HATE that. So, actually got a installed a little free program to a link to it there but now that link went bad and I had to delete it so I am trying to figure out another way to put the Desktop shortcut icon on that left side of the taskbar!!!! Why did Microsoft do this? Why can’t we pick where we want to put things? You can do it with all the other things why not the Desktop shortcut. Sorry but I use that thing ALL the time and it is dumb to move your cursor all the way to the other side to use it. Just dumb microsoft just dumb.

  12. Adam says:

    I have a shortcut with two arguments in the target field:
    “C:Program FilesFOOBARCLIENT” “^001FOOBAR^002”

    When I try putting explorer before that, the shortcut only opens My Documents… I know this is an edge case of an already pretty specific situation but I’d love some help here. Thanks!

  13. mahks says:

    When I enter as the target
    explorer “C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe” -p
    it converts to C:Windowsexplorer.exe “C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe” -p
    and when clicked, opens MyDocuments as stated above,
    if I remove the (-p) it works fine…

    Is the conversion what other get?

    Is there any way to allow the switches?

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      You don’t need to add any explorer.exe in front of the target. That is needed only for the special items mentioned in this tutorial (libraries, folders, etc.)

      I will publish a tutorial about how to create such shortcuts in the next two days and post a link towards it, so that you can all get things done the way you need them.

  14. John says:

    Would be better if it actually worked for documents and links. But it apparently doesn’t. Leave it to Microsoft to make it impossible to pin a frequently used document to your “taskbar.” Ridiculous.

  15. Leroy says:

    I found this to be very helpful. Thank you. I used it to create a shortcut to the Pen&Touch item in the Control Panel. It would be greater if I could make the shortcut open to a specific tab in the window.

    Does anyone know how to modify the shortcut so that it opens to a particular tab?

    W7

  16. http://anxiety-in-children.org/ says:

    Boy! I never thought it can actually be done that way. I’ve been using windows based computers for like decades now but this is my first time to hear about this stuff. Thank you so much.

    Michael

  17. Ana says:

    Easy way! 1 step only!

    click on the address bar that you want the shortcut and drag the little page symbol to your desktop or to a folder if you wish!

  18. williamwclee says:

    can the task be more specific?
    i want to pin the LAN on the “change adapter settings” page to the taskbar.
    Control PanelNetwork and InternetNetwork Connections

  19. nilesh says:

    I am not able to Pin the folder because the the option is not displayed the list when i right click the mouse button on the created short cut.

  20. jathan says:

    Worked great! Thanks 🙂

  21. Clark says:

    Those of you that are adding the explorer at the beginning of folder shortcuts and getting something like: “C:WindowsSystem32explorer.exe” show up before your shortcut, you have to do an extra step. Add the shortcut icon that you want to be on the taskbar (so it isn’t a folder), then pin it to the taskbar. After doing so if you click on it, it will just open the explorer and not your shortcut that you chose. To work around this, right click the folder shortcut on the taskbar, right click the folder itself (Should be above the statement “unpin this program from the taskbar”), and go to properties. Then once in properties, delete the “C:WindowsSystem32explorer.exe” line and apply changes. You should be able to click the shortcut to the folder and it will open the folder then. Hope this helps!

  22. Bill Elliott says:

    I haven’t seen this “pin to” foible referenced on the web so far: If you are using Windows 7 for business, and want to pin an executable that resides on a network drive, it won’t work. Easiest solution is to copy the exe to your C-drive and pin that copy.

  23. ww says:

    The author states:
    “If you don’t want to leave this folder on your Desktop, move it somewhere else, where it won’t be deleted.”

    I’d like to remove the “taskbar shortcuts” folder from my desktop, but when I do it somehow strips the newly-created shortcuts in the taskbar of their functionality. What are some locations in a computer where one might “hide” the folder w/o compromising the shortcuts’ functionality?

    • Marte Brengle says:

      Can you tell me where you’ve tried putting it so far? I tried it with it in the root directory of my C: drive and it still worked for me.

      • ww says:

        Thank you for responding, Marte. I must admit I simply don’t know what I’m doing.

        Specifically, I tried moving the folder to the root directory of my C drive as well. So then it’s gone from my desktop, which is what I want. But, then, each of the several shortcuts contained in that folder and which I have pinned to the taskbar opens to My Documents; none of them opens as labeled or as they were set up to do. So, I undid the procedure by simply returning the folder to my desktop and the pinned shortcuts work as designed.

        • Marte Brengle says:

          I’m sorry it’s not working for you. I’ll fiddle around with it and see what I can figure out.

          I’m with you on not wanting it on my desktop (I only allow two icons on my desktop) so I did move the shortcut icon. I’ve since removed it from there so I’ll have to recreate the situation and get back to you.

        • Marte Brengle says:

          Ciprian has the right answer. Create the shortcut after moving the folder. Which is what I actually did, but apparently my brain was out to lunch when I wrote the article.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      You should move that folder prior to pinning it to the taskbar, not after pinning it.

  24. Christian says:

    Hey, great workaround – was looking for something like this for a long time.
    Now, I just have on problem with it. I use a server-based program which means, it is started with a shortcut.
    I did your workaround with it and changed the icon to have the original program icon. The program starts fine from the taskbar but then I have two icons in the taskbar:
    1.) the original pinned shortcut
    2.) the open program
    Usually, when starting programs from the taskbar, the icons do not dublicate but getting highlighted. Any idea what I could do to prevent the dublicate item?
    cheers
    Christian

  25. Jonny Hotchkiss says:

    how about changing the tasks so I don’t have to confirm my selection with an enter keypress?

    example: sticky notes/chrome. new window/tab option (only) available (to notes) by clicking a note icon (mouse) or right clicking on sticky note taskbar icon and selecting new note. this can be achieved with alt+winkey+app# (right-click ) then the first letter of the task… then an enter.

    I understand the benefit of NOT ‘just’ performing the first command that matches that actionKey (default behaviour is to cycle through ‘like’ objects if more than one) but I’d LIKE TO THINK that the &Underlining convention we used to have a) ain’t dead yet and b) will fit this foot.

    Just a though, for the registry-seeing

    • Marte Brengle says:

      I think that’s an interesting idea, but I must admit I don’t know how it would be done. 🙂

  26. jb says:

    great advice, apreciated!! cheers

  27. SwahiliWizz says:

    You also mention Windows 8 in your article.
    Although I’ve now upgraded to Windows 8.1, I can pin all items you mention as being “difficult” above – needing your extra shortcut in a folder – I find I can drag-and-drop all mentioned directly from their source folder and drop them onto the Taskbar pinned File Explorer, which adds it to it’s pinned list.

    So Microsoft must have changed Windows taskbar pinning behaviour from Win7 to Win8.1 (possibly Win8 too – can’t test this anymore) – making it easier to pin items to the taskbar!

    Any confirmations?

    • Marte Brengle says:

      Thanks for the information! I hadn’t tried doing this in Windows 8.1 (which I just recently installed) but it’s definitely worth exploring further.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Our article is about pinning the libraries themselves to the taskbar or individual Control Panel items. The procedure works the same in Windows 8.1.

      What you recommend only pins File Explorer or Control Panel to the taskbar and they have those shortcuts pinned to their shortcut. That’s something very different.

      • SwahiliWizz says:

        Sorry to contradict, Ciprian Adrian Rusen,
        For my Windows 8.1 system (?are all identical), I can pin the libraries container, any individual library, just about any folder directly (not using your intermediate step) to the File Explorer that is already ! on my Taskbar by the outlined simple (standard Windows) drag-and-drop method.
        Also, similarly, I can drag and drop most Control Panel items to the already pinned Control Panel icon on my Taskbar.

        Maybe you would like separate pinned icons, but though your method obviously works, its a long way to the same result. Your method allows customization of start in the properties, before pinning to the Taskbar, however.

        Would supply a screen capture, but no option here.

        • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

          Please read what you are saying and what I am saying.

          You are saying that you can pin libraries to the File Explorer shortcut that’s already on the taskbar. That is correct. What you are saying is true.

          Our tip/article is for pinning the libraries themselves directly on the taskbar, not on the File Explorer shortcut that’s on the taskbar.

  28. krishna says:

    Awesome and it was very helpful. we have one windows scripting based tool developed. and it is used day in and out. thank you Sir for the easy tutorial.

  29. Heywood Jablowme says:

    You failed to mention that the “icon” we are now pinning to the taskbar has the “explorer folder” icon by default and that icon can’t be changed. Now I have 15 explorer folder icons pinned to my taskbar and no clue what any of them do.

    Thanks for being completely useless…

    • Marte Brengle says:

      What have you pinned that comes up with an Explorer icon? Your message doesn’t make this clear.

    • Rick75230 says:

      I just wrote a comment about this. What you need to do is copy explorer.exe to a new name and then pin that. You can change the icon for that, since Windows will consider it a different program.

  30. mamatha s says:

    Sir, I can’t pin scan shortcuts, its all in one printer, what to do?

  31. ben says:

    Thanks! you are one clever individual. 🙂

  32. F says:

    best way for linking sound devices:

    Playback Tab
    %windir%System32rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,0
    Recording Tab
    %windir%System32rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,1
    Sounds Tab
    %windir%System32rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,2
    Communications Tab
    %windir%System32rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,3

    source:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/56892-sound-shortcuts-create.html

  33. johan says:

    awesome, thanks!!

  34. Chris Harris says:

    Thank you for that. I have just discovered why mine weren’t appearing in the explorer sub menu (when you right click – in Windows 7 – on the explorer icon in the task bar. It is because there is a limit to the number of items that can appear in the list. Mine shows a maximum of 14 including the sub header which indicates the drive they are located on. If you fill this up you don’t get the Recent list!

  35. JHS says:

    Not working in Windows 10 and I have tried several times 🙁 Can only pin programs/apps. I am trying to create a taskbar button to access my client directory. It will add the shortcut to the Explorer shortcut but won’t make it’s own entry to that location.

  36. Texan says:

    Thanks for this tutorial! I did this before, but lost my shortcuts, and this helped me to get them back again.

  37. Bill says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do this article. I really appreciate it.

  38. Stella says:

    Fantastic advice, thank you!

  39. Courtney says:

    What if you have a shortcut to a bat file in a network location? How can you get that to pin to the task bar? Do you have to make a folder and then add the “shortcut folder” as a taskbar toolbar? Looking to figure this out for Windows 7 and Windows 10

  40. Dan T says:

    Sorry but none of these methods worked. I am trying to add a shortcut to a batch file or powershell script. There does not seem to be a way to do that.

  41. Max Winkeler says:

    I would like to pin a specific file (not folder) to the taskbar

  42. rlawrence@azgfd.gov says:

    I created a link on my desktop to a webpage. None of the options for pinning to taskbar that are mentioned in your article are successful in create a taskbar item for this shortcut. The right-click menu doesn’t even contain the Pin to Taskbar option.

  43. David W. says:

    I would like to add ‘ms-settings:apps-volume’ to the taskbar. I have created a desktop shortcut, but that doesn’t have a ‘pin to taskbar’ option.

  44. Rick75230 says:

    Yes, you can pin File Explorer to the taskbar and you can pin explorer.exe {folder} to the taskbar.

    What if you want to pin 3 different folders–and have each with a separate icon so Windows won’t combine them?

    COPY explorer.exe to a new name, e.g. Media_Explorer.exe, then pin THAT to the taskbar and change the icon.

    One caveat–every time there is a Win 10 twice-annual update, e.g., 1904 to 1909, you will have to RE-COPY the new version of explorer.exe to your renamed copies.

  45. P. DuBois says:

    Windows 11 does not allow you to put shortcuts in the taskbar. The “Pin to” option only offers to pin to the start menu!

    There is a way around, though:

    To add a shortcut to Win 11 taskbar:

    Pin another program (i.e.: I use the 7Zip app). Once that program is pinned on the taskbar, shift right click on it to open properties and change the program info to the shortcut you want.

    The easiest way is to also right click on the desired shortcut and then transfer (copy/paste) the “Target data”, “Start in” data to the pinned program.

    Then change the name to what you need (renaming the app you pinned, i.e.: change 7zip.exe to the new name).

    Then change Icon to the one you need.
    SAVE

    Click on old icon (7Zip) in taskbar. Program will open and icon will be updated to new one. Otherwise reboot, it will be updated after rebooting..

    Now you have your shortcut in the taskbar!

    Hope this helps someone.

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