Windows 7 / Getting Started

Restore Classic Quick Launch Bar

The classic Quick Launch bar was a great way to start your programs in previous versions of Windows. With the new taskbar in Windows 7, the Quick Launch bar was removed and replaced with the application pinning feature. The ability to pin an application to the taskbar is nice but it does not exactly replicate the old behavior of the Quick Launch bar.

Although the Quick Launch bar was removed in Windows 7, Microsoft left the ability to add more toolbars on the taskbar as in previous versions of Windows. We can exploit the toolbar feature to create a new toolbar pointing to the old Quick Launch location. Follow these steps to resurrect the Quick Launch bar:

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Toolbars and then New toolbar.
  2. On the New Toolbar - Choose a folder screen, type in %AppData%\ Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and click Select Folder.
  3. The Quick Launch toolbar will be displayed on the far right of the taskbar, but you are not finished yet. Next, make sure that the taskbar is not locked so you can customize the toolbar that you just created. You can do that by right-clicking the toolbar and making sure Lock the taskbar is not checked.
  4. After you have verified the taskbar is not locked or have unlocked the taskbar, you will be able to remove the Quick Launch toolbar label. Right-click the Quick Launch label and select Show title to disable that feature.
  5. Right-click the new toolbar again and select Show Text to disable that feature as well.
  6. The toolbar should begin to look familiar now. The last step is to position and size the Quick Launch bar to the location you want on the taskbar. You can resize it by left-clicking and holding on to the gripper bar on the left of the toolbar. Then, just drag left or right to resize. If you want to move it back to where it normally is, to the Start menu, right-click the gripper bar on the left of the normal taskbar and drag it right. That will make the new taskbar icons and the toolbar you just created switch locations.

If you want to replicate the full classic Windows taskbar look, I suggest you also follow the Customize Taskbar Icon Sizes tweak and Enable Classic Taskbar Look and Behavior tweak I mentioned earlier in this tutorial. The combination of all three tweaks is a great help to users that like the old behavior and look of the Windows taskbar.

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