One of my favorite features of the taskbar is the Quick Launch toolbar. This small yet useful toolbar was located near the Start button in previous Windows versions like Windows XP and earlier. It was enabled by default for the last time in Windows Vista, but with the release of Windows 7, Microsoft decided to drop official support for the Quick Launch toolbar in favor of pinning icons to the taskbar. Quick Launch has not been completely removed and can be revived in Windows 10. It is not so obvious to a novice user how to enable Quick Launch in Windows 10 as it involves numerous steps and cannot be automated. In this article, we will see how to add the Quick Launch back to the taskbar in Windows 10.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to enable Quick Launch.
- Even if you set pinned icons to a small size, they are still spaced too far apart from one another.
- The taskbar mixes running programs with non-running ones, whereas if you use the Quick Launch toolbar, running programs will always appear to its right.
- Quick Launch has a more customizable appearance; you can easily put any shortcut or folder there without having to use tools like Winaero Taskbar Pinner or Pin to 8. You can change their icons, have multiple rows of icons if you make the taskbar larger, and save overall space on the taskbar.
To restore the Quick Launch toolbar, follow these simple steps:
In this dialog, select the following folder:
C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Replace the "YOUR USER NAME" text with your actual user name in Windows 10.
Alternatively, you can type or copy-paste the following text into the Folder text box in the dialog above and then press Enter:
The shell: protocol gives quick access to special folders as I covered previously.
Yet another way to access the Quick Launch folder is by entering the following path instead of the shell command:
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
%userprofile% is an environment variable which points directly to your user profile in Windows 10. This way, you don't have to enter your user name in the path.
Now click the Select Folder button.
Now drag the Quick Launch toolbar from the right to the left, using the dotted bar which appears after your have unlocked the taskbar. Drag all the way to the left of any pinned icons you may have.
After that, right click on the Quick Launch toolbar and untick the following options:
- Show title
- Show text
That's it. Now you have the good old Quick Launch enabled in Windows 10.
Now see: Add Quick Launch to the Send To menu to create new shortcuts faster
This trick to enable Quick Launch also works on Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can also get rich tooltips to show useful information if you do this Registry tweak: