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Two Ways to Add Shortcut Icons to the Windows 7 Taskbar

written by: John Garger•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/27/2010

There are two ways you can add an icon to the Windows 7 taskbar so you can get to your files, folders, and programs quickly. Learn two ways to add shortcut icons to the Windows 7 taskbar.

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    With two ways to add icons to the Windows 7 taskbar, you can have easy access to all of your important and often-used files, folders, and programs. Unlike the popular Quick Access Toolbar familiar to users of Windows XP, Microsoft’s newest operating is conspicuously missing this toolbar.

    Luckily, you can either pin icons to the taskbar or create a custom Quick Access Toolbar for yourself. Read on to learn how to easily add icons to the Windows 7 taskbar for quick access to files, folders, and programs.

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    Pinning Icons to the Taskbar

    The quickest and easiest way to add icons to the toolbar is to pin them. The Quick Access Toolbar was so popular in Windows XP that many people didn’t realize that you could also pin icons to the taskbar in that operating system as well.

    Let’s say you use Microsoft Word often and you want to pin its shortcut to the program on the taskbar so you can open it more quickly. Click on Start and then click on All Programs. Locate the Microsoft Office folder that contains the Word shortcut. Drag the Word icon to an empty space on the taskbar and Windows 7 will automatically pin it there.

    Drag the Icon to the Taskbar Notice that there is now a small Word icon on the taskbar right next to the Start button.

    A Program Pinned to the Taskbar You can add as many icons to the taskbar as you want using this method. Also, remember that you are not limited to pinning only program shortcuts to the taskbar. You can also pin folders and individual files there as well

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    Creating a Quick Launch Toolbar

    If you are familiar with Windows XP, then you probably remember the Quick Launch Toolbar that was so popular. Microsoft dropped the Quick Launch Toolbar from Windows 7 but you can create your own.

    Start by creating a new folder in your My Documents folder. Truthfully, you can store it anywhere but My Documents is a convenient place. Name the folder Quick Launch Toolbar. Now place any shortcuts to programs you want into the new folder. Remember to put only shortcuts into the folder and not the actual programs themselves.

    When done, right click anywhere on an empty space on the taskbar and select Toolbars and then New Toolbar. Locate the new folder named Quick Launch Toolbar you just created in My Documents and click Select Folder.

    Notice that the new toolbar appears all the way to the right on the taskbar. Right click on the new toolbar and de-select Show Text and Show Title. Move the toolbar toward the Start menu and place it where you like.

    Create Your Own Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 You will find that this new toolbar operates just like the Quick Launch Toolbar from Windows XP.

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    Conclusion

    There are two ways to add icons to the Windows 7 taskbar. The first method involves pinning shortcut icons by simply dragging them to the taskbar. The second method involves creating a Quick Launch Toolbar that operates just like the one in Windows XP. Either method makes your life easier by placing icons right where you can get to them.