The Quick Launch bar on the taskbar in previous versions of Windows was my favorite component to customize. I spent hours organizing and ordering shortcuts to numerous applications aiming to create the perfect setup. In Windows 7, Microsoft turned my world upside down by removing the Quick Launch toolbar from the taskbar. Thankfully, Microsoft realized the value of Quick Launch and built the same functionality into the new taskbar.
Now the taskbar is not just a place to view open applications, you can start applications from it too. This is done by pinning application shortcuts to the taskbar. Pinning will create a shortcut that permanently stays on your taskbar, just like an old Quick Launch shortcut. Different from previous versions of Windows is how the shortcuts appear. Open but not active applications have a border around them. Active, open applications have a border around them and a glass highlight effect. Closed, pinned applications just show up as an icon.
The process of pinning an application can be done two ways:
- Drag any shortcut from your desktop or Start menu onto the taskbar.
- Right-click any open taskbar application and select Pin this program to taskbar.
Folders and drives that you attempt to pin will show up in the Explorer Jump List instead of an individual icon on the taskbar. This was a design decision made by Microsoft to clean up the taskbar and keep it organized.
Removing a pinned application is as simple as right-clicking the pinned application on the taskbar and selecting Unpin this program from the taskbar.
In this tutorial:
- Customizing User Navigation
- Customizing the Start Menu
- Customizing Navigation Shortcuts
- Customizing the Frequently Run Programs List
- Keeping Programs off the List
- Pinning Programs
- Customizing the Program List and Search
- Disabling New Program Highlights
- Customizing the Taskbar
- Pinning Applications
- Modifying Icon Locations
- Enable Classic Taskbar Look and Behavior
- Customize Taskbar Icon Sizes
- Restore Classic Quick Launch Bar
- Modifying the Taskbar Location
- Using Group Policy Editor to Customize the Start Menu and Taskbar
- Setting Policies with the Group Policy Editor
- Start Menu and Taskbar Policies