How to pin Switch between windows to the taskbar or the Start screen in Windows 8.1

Switch between windows is a special button which can open the same dialog as you see when you press the Alt + Tab shortcut keys together on the keyboard. Using that dialog you can quickly preview all of your open windows (for example, open files, folders, and documents) without having to click the taskbar. It displays your open windows in a table. To switch between windows, you can press Alt + Tab the required amount of times. In Windows 7 and above, the Switch between windows button is gone with the Quick Launch toolbar. It is possible to get that button back again. Here is how.


To pin Switch between windows 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:::{3080f90e-d7ad-11d9-bd98-0000947b0257}
  4. create switch between windows shortcut

  5. 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 the Switch between windows shortcut

    set Switch between windows icon
    Tip: you can find the appropriate icon in the C:\windows\explorer.exe file.

  6. Now right click the shortcut and select "Pin to Taskbar" or "Pin to Start". Switch between windows will be pinned to the appropriate location.
    pin Switch between windows to taskbar

Switch between windows pinned to taskbar
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 Switch between windows item that you want to pin.
    Switch between windows - 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.


1 thought on “How to pin Switch between windows to the taskbar or the Start screen in Windows 8.1

  1. dj

    Thank you, Sergey Tkachenko.


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