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How to Customize and Use the Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 11


How to Download and Use the Quick Launch Bar in Windows




If you are looking for a way to access your commonly used apps and files from your taskbar, you might be interested in the quick launch bar. The quick launch bar is a handy feature that allows you to add shortcuts to your taskbar and open them with one click. In this article, we will show you how to download and use the quick launch bar in Windows 10 and Windows 11, as well as some alternatives that you can try.


What is the Quick Launch Bar?




A brief introduction to the quick launch bar and its features




The quick launch bar was introduced in Windows XP as a way to provide easy access to common apps from your taskbar. It was a small toolbar that contained icons for programs, folders, or files that you could drag and drop onto it. You could also customize it by resizing it, hiding or showing its text, and changing its position on the taskbar.




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Some of the benefits of using the quick launch bar are:


  • It saves you time and clicks by opening your favorite apps or files with one click.



  • It reduces clutter on your desktop by keeping your shortcuts organized in one place.



  • It gives you more control over your taskbar by letting you choose what icons to display and how to arrange them.



Why was the quick launch bar removed from Windows?




The quick launch bar was removed from Windows 7 onwards, as Microsoft introduced a new feature called pinning. Pinning allows you to pin apps or files to your taskbar or start menu, so you can access them quickly. Pinning is similar to the quick launch bar, but it has some differences:


  • Pinning only shows icons, not text, on your taskbar.



  • Pinning does not let you drag and drop shortcuts onto your taskbar. You have to right-click an app or file and select "Pin to taskbar" or "Pin to start".



  • Pinning does not let you resize or move your pinned icons on your taskbar. You can only rearrange them by dragging them left or right.



While pinning is useful for some users, others might prefer the old quick launch bar for its flexibility and simplicity. If you are one of them, don't worry. You can still bring back the quick launch bar in Windows 10 and Windows 11 with some simple steps.


How to Add the Quick Launch Bar in Windows 10




The steps to create a new toolbar and enter the quick launch folder path




To add the quick launch bar in Windows 10, you need to create a new toolbar on your taskbar and point it to the folder that contains the quick launch shortcuts. Here's how:


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  • Right-click on a blank area of your taskbar and select Toolbars > New toolbar.



  • In the window that opens, enter %APPDATA%\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Quick Launch\\ into the navigation field at the top and press Enter.



  • Click Select Folder.

  • You should see a new toolbar on the right side of your taskbar with the label Quick Launch. If you don't see it, you might need to unlock your taskbar by right-clicking on it and unchecking Lock the taskbar.



How to customize the quick launch bar and move it to the left side of the taskbar




Now that you have added the quick launch bar, you can customize it to your liking. Here are some tips:


  • To add shortcuts to the quick launch bar, you can drag and drop any app, file, or folder onto it. You can also right-click on any shortcut and select Copy, then right-click on the quick launch bar and select Paste.



  • To remove shortcuts from the quick launch bar, you can drag and drop them off the taskbar, or right-click on them and select Delete.



  • To change the size of the icons on the quick launch bar, you can right-click on it and select View > Large Icons or View > Small Icons.



  • To show or hide the text labels on the quick launch bar, you can right-click on it and select Show Text or Hide Text.



  • To move the quick launch bar to the left side of the taskbar, you can drag it by its handle (the dotted vertical line) and drop it where you want. You might need to adjust the size of the other toolbars on your taskbar to make room for it.



Once you are happy with your quick launch bar, you can lock your taskbar by right-clicking on it and checking Lock the taskbar. This will prevent any accidental changes to your taskbar layout.


How to Use the Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 11




The steps to download and extract a ZIP file that contains the quick launch toolbar




If you are using Windows 11, you might notice that the method above does not work. This is because Windows 11 does not have a folder for the quick launch shortcuts. However, there is a workaround that you can use to get the quick launch toolbar in Windows 11. Here's how:




  • Extract the ZIP file to a location of your choice. You should see a folder called QuickLaunch that contains several shortcuts.



  • Right-click on a blank area of your taskbar and select Toolbars > New toolbar.



  • In the window that opens, navigate to the folder where you extracted the ZIP file and select the QuickLaunch folder.



  • Click Select Folder.



  • You should see a new toolbar on the right side of your taskbar with the label QuickLaunch. If you don't see it, you might need to unlock your taskbar by right-clicking on it and unchecking Lock taskbar.



How to pin the quick launch toolbar to the taskbar and access its shortcuts