How to pin Favorites to the taskbar or the Start screen in Windows 8.1

The Favorites folder in File Explorer is a very useful way to visit your favorite hard drive locations quickly with one click. It is a folder located at the top of the Navigation Pane of the File Explorer window. The user is able to add folders to Favorites by dragging the select folders to the Favorites icon or clicking the 'Add current location to Favorites' context menu item of the Favorites icon in the Navigation Pane. Here is how you can pin the Favorites folder to the taskbar or the Start screen in Windows 8.1.


To pin Favorites to the taskbar or the Start screen, you need to follow these simple instructions below.
Option one
  1. Minimize all windows with the Win + D hotkey. Tip: See the ultimate list of all Windows keyboard shortcuts with Win keys.
  2. Right click in an empty area of the Desktop and select the New -> Shortcut context menu item to open the Create Shortcut wizard.
  3. Type the following in the Location text box of the wizard:
    explorer shell:::{323ca680-c24d-4099-b94d-446dd2d7249e}

    create favorites shortcut

  4. Click Next and complete the steps in the wizard to finish creating your new shortcut. Give it a name or an icon according to your preferences.
    name favorites shortcut

    set favorites icon
    Tip: You can find nice icons in Windows DLL files like C:\windows\system32\shell32.dll, C:\windows\system32\imageres.dll, or C:\windows\system32\moricons.dll. The last one contains very old-school icons which were used in Windows 3.x.

  5. Now right click the shortcut and select "Pin to Taskbar" or "Pin to Start". Favorites will be pinned to the appropriate location.
    pin favorites to the taskbar

favorites opened and pinned
This trick uses the standard Windows feature called "Shell Folder" to directly open the item you need. Shell folders are ActiveX objects that implement a special virtual folder or a virtual applet. In some cases, they provide access to physical folders on your hard drive or to special OS functionality like "Show Desktop" or the Alt+Tab switcher. You can access an Active object via shell:::{GUID} commands from the "Run" dialog. For a complete list of GUIDs, refer to the most comprehensive list of shell locations in Windows 8.

Option two

  1. Download Winaero's Pin to 8 app. Windows 7 users can download Taskbar Pinner instead of Pin to 8.
    Pin Special Item
  2. Run the correct EXE for your platform, that is, 64-bit or 32-bit.
  3. Click Pin Special Item in Pin to 8. In the window that appears, pick the Favorites item that you want to pin.
    pin favorites  - pin to 8
  4. Click the Pin button.

Pin to 8 can save you a lot of time and effort if you need to pin some Windows location directly to the taskbar or the Start screen. Unfortunately, with Windows 8.1, Microsoft has restricted access to the 'Pin to Start Screen' menu command for 3rd party apps. However, Pin To 8 allows you to unblock the native Start screen pinning ability for all files with just one click. If you are interested in knowing how it works, see How to add the "Pin to Start Screen" menu item to all files in Windows 8.1.
That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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