How to use IE pinned sites on Taskbar without disabling addons

Internet Explorer 9 introduced a nifty feature to pin a website by dragging it from the address bar and dropping it onto the Taskbar. It is present in IE10 and IE11 too. While the Quick Launch also allowed creating shortcuts to websites, pinning allowed users to use a large icon for the site shortcut. However, the problem with pinned sites is that all IE addons are disabled when you open a pinned site. If this is a deal-breaker for you, you will be pleased to know that there is a way to pin websites to the Taskbar without disabling addons.

When you normally pin a site to the Taskbar by dragging it, a special kind of shortcut (*.website) is created. It is this shortcut which tells IE to disable addons.
Facebook
The trick to make sure that addons don't get disabled when you pin a website to the Taskbar is to create a regular .URL shortcut and then use Winaero's Taskbar Pinner or Pin to 8 apps to pin it to the Taskbar.

  1. Create the .URL shortcut anywhere you want. Open File Explorer by pressing the Win+E keys together on the keyboard.
  2. Navigate to your Desktop folder or C:\Users\<your user name>\Favorites folder.
  3. Right click in an empty area of this folder and choose New -> Shortcut.
    Create Shortcut
  4. In the New shortcut wizard, type the website address (URL) of the site which you want to pin. Complete the wizard to create the shortcut.
    Shortcut Name
  5. Now Windows 7 users should download Taskbar Pinner.
    Windows 8 users can download Pin to 8.
  6. Start Taskbar Pinner or Pin to 8 and choose the option to Pin a file.
    TP
  7. In the Open dialog that comes up, select the shortcut you created in step 4 to pin.
    Facebook shortcut

That's it! Now the shortcut of the website will be pinned to the Taskbar. You can also Shift+right click the pinned site to open its Properties and change its icon to anything you want using the instructions in this article.

The shortcut you pinned to the Taskbar will open in your default browser, so it's not just IE that you can use this trick for to enjoy pinned websites. If IE is your default browser, you will see that addons are fully functional when IE opens after clicking this shortcut.

Another benefit is that if you have a browser window already open, then your pinned site can open in a new tab within the same window depending on your Tabbed Browsing Settings, instead of opening the pinned site in a new window.

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About Gaurav Kale

Gaurav is a software enthusiast from India and Classic Shell tester & UX consultant. He started with Windows 95 and is good at software usability testing. He firmly believes that user experience is just as important as software code quality and architecture for software to be successful.

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