How to Add the Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 10

Tired of pinning apps? You can get your quick launch toolbar back!

What to Know

  • The quick launch toolbar has been gone since Windows 7, but you can bring it back.
  • Right-click the taskbar and navigate to Toolbars > New Toolbars to add a quick launch toolbar.
  • Consider using the pin feature if you want easy access to a handful of commonly used apps.

This article explains how to add a Quick Launch toolbar to the taskbar in Windows 10.

How to Add the Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 10

Microsoft added the quick launch toolbar in Windows XP to provide an easy way to access common apps from your taskbar, but it disappeared with the introduction of Windows 7. If you miss the quick launch toolbar and pinning apps to the taskbar isn’t good enough, it’s pretty easy to add a quick launch toolbar yourself.

Here’s how to add a quick launch toolbar to the taskbar in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click your taskbar to bring up the menu.

    Right clicking the Windows 10 taskbar.

    Make sure to click a blank area. Don’t click an app icon, the search field, the system tray, or anything other than a blank area of the main taskbar.

  2. Navigate to Toolbars > New toolbar.

    Opening the New toolbar menu in Windows 10.
  3. Enter %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\ into the navigation field at the top of the window, and press Enter.

    Selecting the quick launch folder in new tool bar creation.
  4. Click Select Folder.

    Selecing the quick launch folder in new toolbar creation.
  5. You now have a quick launch toolbar on your taskbar. However, it’s on the right side, and the original quick launch was on the left. If you prefer it on the left, continue following these directions.

    The Quick Launch toolbar in Windows 10 on the right side
  6. Right-click the taskbar, and make sure the taskbar is unlocked.

    Checking to see if the taskbar is unlocked

    If there’s a check next to Lock all taskbars, click the check to unlock the taskbar. If there is no check, it’s already unlocked.

  7. Click the vertical line that’s located to the right of the search field and Cortana button, and drag it all the way to the right.

    Dragging the quick launch bar.

    If you do this successfully, it will push the quick launch menu to the left side of the taskbar.

  8. The quick launch bar is now on the left.

    Quick Launch bar on the left of the taskbar
  9. To hide the icons, click the vertical line that’s between your quick launch icons and the rest of the taskbar, and drag it left.

    To hide the icons, click the vertical line that’s between your quick launch icons and the rest of the taskbar, and drag it left.
  10. You now have a quick launch toolbar on your taskbar. Click the >> icon to access your quick launch toolbar.

    The Quick Launch menu in Windows 10.
  11. If you want to hide the quick launch text, right-click the quick launch toolbar and click the checkmark next to Show title. When the checkmark is gone, the quick launch text will disappear from your taskbar, leaving just the >> icon.

    Show Title highlighted in the Windows 10 taskbar menu.
  12. For a more classic Windows XP look and feel, right-click the taskbar and navigate to Search > Hidden to hide the search box. Then click the checkmarks next to the Show Cortana text and Show task view button.

    Removing the search box and Cortana from Windows 10.
  13. You now have a quick launch toolbar directly next to the Start menu, just like Windows XP, either with or without the quick launch title text, depending on your own preference.

    The Quick Launch menu restored in Windows 10.

Why Was the Quick Launch Toolbar Removed?

While the Quick Launch toolbar was quite helpful, and many people liked it, the ability to pin apps to the taskbar took its place in the default Windows design. If you don’t already take advantage of app pinning, it’s pretty useful in its own right. You can right-click any app on your taskbar and choose to pin it to either the start menu or taskbar for easy access.

If you have a set of apps that you use regularly but don’t necessarily want them to run on startup, consider pinning them to the taskbar. The quick launch menu is better if you have more than a handful of apps you want easy access to, but pinning is convenient for a handful of your most commonly used apps.

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