Windows 7: How To Bring Back the Quick Launch Taskbar

One of my favorite features in XP was the Quick Launch taskbar. This toolbar made it so much easier to launch programs than doing it via the Start button. Windows 7 doesn’t have this option turned on by default, but here’s how you can bring back the Quick Launch taskbar.



Pelican Rapids, MN: One of my favorite features in XP and Vista was and is the Quick Launch taskbar. It makes it a lot easier to launch programs than it is if you just use Start.

Windows 7 unfortunately doesn’t have this option by default. Here’s how you can bring back the Quick Launch taskbar.

First to remind you what you’ve been missing: You remember the Quick Launch taskbar, right? There it is Vista, below.


Windows 7 doesn’t have the Quick Launch taskbar anymore. Presumably because Windows 7 lets you pin regularly used applications to the desktop.


To to bring Quick Launch taskbar into your Windows 7 experience,  just right click an open area on the taskbar. Then go to Toolbars >> New Toolbar.


The New Taskbar window comes up. In the location bar type:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Then click Select Folder.


The Quick Launch toolbar appears on the taskbar over by the clock. But you want it to be over by the Start menu like it appears in Vista and Windows XP. At least, I do.


To move it, right click an open area on the taskbar and uncheck Lock the Taskbar.


Now that the taskbar is unlocked, you can move the Quick Launch toolbar just created. Click and hold the dotted lines and drag it over to the left side of the taskbar so it’s next to the Start menu.

Notice the Quick Launch toolbar is now at the left by the Start menu. But you’ll need to move the regular taskbar — using dotted lines — over to the left, too. This part of the process is a bit tricky. But if you play with it for a bit you’ll get it. And it’s worth it.


Now right click the dotted lines again and uncheck Show Text and Show Title.


Now right click the taskbar again and check Lock the Taskbar.


There you go. Now you have the Quick Launch taskbar back to where I think it ought to be.


Now just drag the program shortcuts you want to the Quick Launch toolbar. It works exactly like how it does in Vista and XP.


I love the Quick Launch Taskbar and wasn’t happy that Microsoft made in non-default in Windows 7. It’s good to know you can get it back if you want to, and make it work just like it did in Vista or XP.