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How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The Windows search box is a replacement for the Run and Find boxes found in Windows 95 to Windows XP. With the release of Windows Vista, the Windows search box is an easy way to find files or documents with a keyword.

How to use the Windows search box

Windows 10

  1. On the Windows desktop, locate the taskbar, usually found at the bottom of the screen.
  2. In the Windows search box, located next to the Start, type in the name of the program or file you want to access.
  1. In the search results, select the file or program that matches what you want to open.

Windows 8

  1. Access the Windows Start Screen.
  2. Start typing the name of the program or file you want to access anywhere on the Start screen.
  3. In the search results, select the file or program that matches what you want to open.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Click the Start Orb. The Windows search box appears right above the Start Orb.
  1. Type in the name of the program or file you want to access.
  2. In the search results, click the file or program that matches what you want to open.

In Windows, it is easy to pin your apps and programs to the taskbar. However, it is not easy to pin folders and add shortcuts on the taskbar, for the folders you use most often. Most users will never figure out on their own how to do this. Luckily, we have a solution for you, that works in Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Read on to see how it is done:

Step 1: Create a shortcut on the desktop, to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar

First, decide on the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar. You need to create a special shortcut to it, on your desktop. Therefore, go to the desktop and right-click or press and hold (if you have a touchscreen), somewhere on the empty space. In the contextual menu that opens, choose New and then Shortcut.

The “Create Shortcut” wizard opens. Click or tap the Browse button and navigate to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar. After you select it, press OK.

NOTE: If you need more help in working with the “Create Shortcut” wizard, read this tutorial: How to create shortcuts for apps, files, folders and web pages in Windows

The wizard places the whole path to the selected folder in the location field. DO NOT click or tap Next. Before you do that, you need to type the word explorer, followed by a space, just before the folder’s path. Do no type “C:explorer” or something else and do not forget the space, otherwise the procedure does not work. Look at the screenshot below and make sure that you have used the same approach. Only then press the Next button.

You are asked to enter the name for this shortcut. It is best that you change the default name to a personalized one, so that you know what folder is opened when you use the shortcut. After you type the name, press Finish.

The shortcut is now created on your desktop and its icon is the same as for File Explorer or Windows Explorer, depending on the version of Windows that you are using.

To verify that it works and it takes you to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar, double-click on the shortcut.

Step 2: Change the icon of the shortcut that you have created

The next logical step is to pin this shortcut from the desktop to the taskbar. If you do this right away, you end-up having the File Explorer or Windows Explorer shortcut on the taskbar and an identical looking shortcut next to it. You will not know which is for File Explorer and which is for the folder that you have pinned.

It is best that you personalize the icon for the folder shortcut to something unique, that makes it easy to identify it. See below how we replaced our shortcut’s icon for our Digital Citizen folder, with our website’s icon.

If you want to change the icon of the shortcut, follow this detailed guide: How To Change the Icon of Any Shortcut in Windows .

We can also give you the short version here: right-click on the shortcut (or press and hold, if you have a touchscreen), and choose Properties. In the shortcut’s properties, go to the Shortcut tab and press Change Icon. Then, select the file containing the icon that you want to use, choose the icon and click/tap OK in the Change Icon window and then in the shortcut’s properties.

The icon is now changed for your shortcut to the folder that you want to pin to the taskbar.

If you want some free icons that you can use, we recommend these articles:

Step 3: Pin the shortcut to the taskbar

Now it is time to pin the shortcut that you have created, to the Windows taskbar. Right-click on the shortcut (or press and hold, if you have a touchscreen), and choose “Pin to taskbar.”

The shortcut is now pinned to the taskbar and so is the folder it points to.

Can I pin as many folders as I want?

With this method, you can pin as many folders as you want. We recommend that you change the icon for each shortcut, so that you can tell your folders apart.

Can I remove the shortcut from the desktop?

After you pin the shortcut to a folder, on the Windows taskbar, you can delete the shortcut from the desktop, that you created at step 1 from this tutorial. The pinned folder will still work. However, as soon as you delete the folder that you have pinned, its taskbar shortcut will open File Explorer (in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1) or Windows Explorer (in Windows 7).

How does the pin to File Explorer option work?

Some people have commented that our guide is useless and that you can pin folders to the taskbar with a simple drag and drop. They say that you have to do the following: open File Explorer or Windows Explorer, and drag the folder that you want pinned to the taskbar. When you do that, you see an option that says “Pin to File Explorer” or “Pin to Windows Explorer.” When you see that text, release the left-click mouse button.

This approach works but it doesn’t pin a folder to the taskbar, using its own separate shortcut. It pins the folder to the right-click menu for the File Explorer/Windows Explorer shortcut on the taskbar. Right click on it, and you see the folder listed as pinned, alongside other folders that you may have pinned.

As you can see, the end-result is very different from what you get with our tutorial.

How many folders did you pin to your taskbar?

Now you know how to pin any folder that you want to use, on the Windows taskbar. We are curios if things worked well for you and how many folders you have pinned. Don’t hesitate to comment below and discuss with us and other readers.

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Bruce Hagen
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Imperial Beach, CA

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MVP’s post on March 18, 2016

Thx. I used to be able to do this in Windows 10 by creating a shortcut, pinning it to start and then pinning it to Task Bar but this ability seems to have been removed. Great pity as I spend most of my time on a computer going from folder to folder.

Contrary to your instructions, no Quick Launch appears when I right click Taskbar/Toolbars.

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Option 1: Create a custom Taskbar Toolbar, pointing to a folder that contains the shortcuts.

Option 2: Pin an executable, say notepad to Taskbar. Then open this folder:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

Right-click the Notepad shortcut Properties and change the target to a folder path.

Click OK. The taskbar icon wouldn’t update immediately.

Option 3 (Easiest): Create a desktop shortcut to the folder you want to Pin to Taskbar. Target should be prefixed by explorer.exe. (say explorer.exe d:\mytools)

Right-click on the shortcut and Pin to Taskbar.

It is possible to pin any folder to the taskbar in Windows 10 . This will allow you to open the pinned folders with one click. This post explains in detail how it can be done.

By default, Windows 10 does not allow pinning folders to the taskbar. This limitation can be quickly bypassed without 3rd party apps.

In Windows 10, it is easy to pin your apps and programs to the taskbar. However, it is not easy to pin folders and add shortcuts on the taskbar, for the folders you use most often.

The idea behind the trick to pin folders to the taskbar is simple – since you can already pin executable files to the taskbar, you can make a shortcut to the folder you want to pin and replace its target path with the explorer.exe file. Add the folder path as an argument for the explorer.exe app, so the folder will be opened when click on the shortcut.

Pin Any Folder to Taskbar in Windows 10

Step 1. Right click the empty space on your Desktop. Select New – Shortcut in the context menu.How to pin folders to the windows taskbarStep 2. In target box, type ‘explorer.exe’ and add the path to the desired folder you want to pin to the taskbar. For example, explorer.exe c:\my documents .How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Step 3. On the next step, enter the desired name for your shortcut.How to pin folders to the windows taskbarStep 4. Right-click on the shortcut you created and open its properties.How to pin folders to the windows taskbarStep 5. Change the shortcut icon to any icon you like. The default Windows icons can be found in the file C:\windows\system32\imageres.dll . The explorer.exe file also contains a few beautiful icons.How to pin folders to the windows taskbarStep 6. Right-click on the shortcut you created and select ‘Pin to taskbar‘ in the menu.How to pin folders to the windows taskbarYour folder is now pinned to the taskbar. You can delete the shortcut you created from the Desktop (it is not required any more).Using this method, you can pin any folder you want to the taskbar. Also, this way you can pin a drive (C:, D:, etc).

Author: The MFTNEXT Team

The MSFTNEXT project is a small team of authors who love to engage with the latest technology and gadgets. Being passionate Windows bloggers, we are happy to help others fix their system issues. View all posts by The MFTNEXT Team

7 thoughts on “How to Pin Any Folder to Taskbar in Windows 10”

You failed to mention whether or not the double quotes shown in the Location field in Step 2 are necessary.

If your directory has spaces in it, then yes it will.

I found that I had to right click on a folder inside the folder that I wanted to pin to the taskbar in order to get the full string to come up so that it could be copied.
Other than that little error in the description, it worked perfectly; I can now go directly to my folder with all my client files!

I fired up my new PC with Windows 10, after leaving it sit in its box for 6 months. (Forced to as the end-of-life for Windows 7 is approaching fast.) Anyways you wouldn’t believe how much nonsense I waded through on Google trying to figure out a way to pin the “Recent Items” folder to the taskbar. Sure, I could get it on the desktop, but that’s not what I wanted. Your article, the only one I could find, explains it clearly. The solution is elegant, simple, and 100% correct.

Why not just “Add New Toolbar”?
Right-click taskbar, Toolbars>New Toolbar
Find and select whatever folder you want, be it local or network.

I followed everything in your tutorial.

I do not have the option when Right Clicking for “Pin to taskbar”.

…and if I just drag the shortcut to the taskbar, File Explorer is re-pinnned back to the taskbar with the location I want merely ADDED as a location .

That is not what I want. I want to ALWAYS open just the one folder All The Time, with an option to see / visit other folders.

95 percent of the time I am adding files to this ONE folder.

Any other suggestions?

Currently not working for me. Windows 7 I could just drag a folder to the explorer icon on the taskbar. Did your way and instead of pinning to the existing explorer icon it creates a whole different folder icon on the taskbar. Wish Yamicsoft would attack this problem, so far no such option exists in their program.

Windows 10 will not permit you to add folders to the taskbar explicitly. There is a convenient way to work on this feature in Windows 10. All you need to do is make a new folder shortcut and then add the shortcut to the taskbar. You can configure the Windows 10 taskbar as per your taste and choice in many aspects, but pinning a directory to your taskbar is not one of them for some purpose. The file explorer jump list helps you to access the latest files and add them to the list, but that’s not as useful as having a particular front and center directory. Luckily, you can add a shortcut to taskbar, and it’s easy to make a shortcut to a directory. In this article, we will guide you through the whole procedure to pin folders to the Windows 10 taskbar.

Pin folders to the Windows 10 taskbar

To pin the folders to the Windows 10 taskbar, follow this procedure step by step:

Right-click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut option as following image is showing:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

After clicking the Shortcut, the following screen will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now click the Browse button and select the path where you want to create a shortcut like this:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

After choosing the path, write “explorer” with quotes and a space before the path. Then click the Next button as the following image is showing. As soon as you will click the Next button, the following screen will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now choose the name of shortcut as per your choice and click Finish button as highlighted in the above image. As soon as you will click the Finish button, the folder will appear on the mentioned path like this:

Now drag the folder towards taskbar and pin to the taskbar like this:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The folder will be pinned to the taskbar like this:

Now there is no difference that it’s your folder or file explorer, so you need to change the icon of the pinned folder. Right-click on the folder shortcut and select the Properties option as follows:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

As soon as you will click the Properties, the following dialogue box will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now choose the Shortcut tab and click the Change Icon button as highlighted in the above image. As you will click the Change Icon button, the following dialogue box will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now select any icon of your choice and click the OK button as highlighted in the above image. As soon as you will click OK button, this dialogue will close and following dialogue box will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

As you can see the icon of the folder has been changed. Then click Apply and OK button as highlighted in the above image.

Conclusion

By following this procedure you will be able to pin folders to the Windows 10 Taskbar.

Along with applications, you can pin any folder you want to the taskbar for quick and easy access. Here’s how to pin a folder to the taskbar.

One of the best things about Windows is its taskbar. On the taskbar, you can pin any application you want. All you have to do is right-click on the application icon and select “Pin to taskbar.” Once pinned, that specific application is just one click away to open. Though many know that you can pin applications, did you know that you can pin any folder you want to the taskbar?

If you taskbar space to spare, pinning your most-used folders is quite helpful. For example, I have pinned my Work folder to that taskbar. That way, I can open it with just a single click. No need to open the File Explorer and then navigate to the folder I’m looking for.

Generally, if you try to drag and drop a folder onto the taskbar, Windows will pin the entire File Explorer rather than that specific folder. However, by creating a custom shortcut, you can easily pin any folder to the taskbar with just a few clicks.

Though sounds confusing, it is pretty easy to do. Without further ado, let me show you steps to pin a folder to the taskbar on Windows 10.

Do note that though I’m showing this in Windows 10, the below procedure can be used to pin folders to taskbar in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Steps to pin folder to the taskbar

  1. Right-click on the desktop
  2. Select “New -> Shortcut.”
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  3. Click on the browse button.
  4. Select the folder of your choice.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  5. Add quotes (” “) around the folder path. See the image below.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  6. Add explorer and a Space in front of the folder path. Once added, it should look something like explorer “F:\Workspace”.
  7. Click “Next.”
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  8. Type a name in the Name field.
  9. Click “Finish.”
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  10. You now have a custom shortcut on your desktop.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  11. Drag and drop the shortcut on to the taskbar.
  12. The folder is pinned to the taskbar.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

That is it and it is that simple pin any folder to the taskbar on Windows 10. From now on, click on the pinned shortcut and the folder will open.

Change icon of the pinned folder

Since we’ve used explorer while creating the folder shortcut, Windows uses the default File Explorer icon for the shortcut icon. If you have pinned the File Explorer to the taskbar, it can be confusing when the same icon is representing two different things. To avoid this, you can change the icon of the pinned folder.

To change the pinned folder icon, you need to have the icon in .ico format. If you don’t have that, you can use https://www.iconarchive.com/ to download an icon of your choice. If you already have an image, you can convert it .ico format using https://convertico.com/.

Once, you have to the .ico file, store it somewhere on your hard drive and follow the below steps.

  1. Right-click on the shortcut.
  2. Select “Properties.”
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  3. Click on the “Change icon” button.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  4. Click on the “Browse” button.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  5. Go to where you have saved the .ico icon file, select it, and click on the “Open” button.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  6. The icon is automatically selected. Click on the “Ok” button.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  7. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons.
    How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

You’ve changed the folder shortcut icon. Now, drag and drop that modified shortcut on to your taskbar. That is it. You now have pinned a folder to the taskbar with its own icon.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. Also, check out how to disable caps lock key and how to turn off automatic sleep mode on Windows 10.

Windows 10 will not permit you to add folders to the taskbar explicitly. There is a convenient way to work on this feature in Windows 10. All you need to do is make a new folder shortcut and then add the shortcut to the taskbar. You can configure the Windows 10 taskbar as per your taste and choice in many aspects, but pinning a directory to your taskbar is not one of them for some purpose. The file explorer jump list helps you to access the latest files and add them to the list, but that’s not as useful as having a particular front and center directory. Luckily, you can add a shortcut to taskbar, and it’s easy to make a shortcut to a directory. In this article, we will guide you through the whole procedure to pin folders to the Windows 10 taskbar.

Pin folders to the Windows 10 taskbar

To pin the folders to the Windows 10 taskbar, follow this procedure step by step:

Right-click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut option as following image is showing:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

After clicking the Shortcut, the following screen will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now click the Browse button and select the path where you want to create a shortcut like this:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

After choosing the path, write “explorer” with quotes and a space before the path. Then click the Next button as the following image is showing. As soon as you will click the Next button, the following screen will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now choose the name of shortcut as per your choice and click Finish button as highlighted in the above image. As soon as you will click the Finish button, the folder will appear on the mentioned path like this:

Now drag the folder towards taskbar and pin to the taskbar like this:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The folder will be pinned to the taskbar like this:

Now there is no difference that it’s your folder or file explorer, so you need to change the icon of the pinned folder. Right-click on the folder shortcut and select the Properties option as follows:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

As soon as you will click the Properties, the following dialogue box will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now choose the Shortcut tab and click the Change Icon button as highlighted in the above image. As you will click the Change Icon button, the following dialogue box will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now select any icon of your choice and click the OK button as highlighted in the above image. As soon as you will click OK button, this dialogue will close and following dialogue box will appear:

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

As you can see the icon of the folder has been changed. Then click Apply and OK button as highlighted in the above image.

Conclusion

By following this procedure you will be able to pin folders to the Windows 10 Taskbar.

Windows 10 File Explorer opens by default to the new Quick Access folder, which wasn’t available in previous versions of the operating system. It includes two main sections: Frequent folders and Recent files. This post explains how to pin Frequent folders to the Start or taskbar in order to open it directly with one click.

In Windows 7 and Windows 8, frequently opened folders were accessible only via the jump list for Explorer.

Frequent Folders in Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can see your most frequently visited folders inside File Explorer in the ‘Quick Access’ location. Windows 10 shows Quick access in place of Favorites from previous Windows version.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The Frequent folders section of Quick Access can contain up to ten folders that you frequently opened on the file system.

In short, Windows 10 stores your recent items and frequent folders under the following location:

See the screenshot.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

For faster access to frequent folders, you can pin them to the Start menu or taskbar. All you need to do is to create a special shortcut.

Pin Frequent Folders To Start Or Taskbar In Windows 10

  1. Right click the empty space on Desktop and select the command New – Shortcut in the context menu:How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  2. In ‘Type the location of the item’ type the next line: explorer.exe shell. <3936E9E4-D92C-4EEE-A85A-BC16D5EA0819>.How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  3. Name your shortcut as ‘Frequent folders’ and click ‘Finish’.How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  4. Right-click on your shortcut, select ‘Properties’ in the menu and choose an icon from the %windir\system32\imageres.dll file.
  5. To pin Frequent folders to Start, right-click the shortcut and select ‘Pin to Start’ in the menu.How to pin folders to the windows taskbar
  6. To pin Frequent folders to the taskbar, right-click the shortcut and select ‘Pin to taskbar’ in the menu.

The following image shows Frequent folders pinned to Start.How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The following image shows Frequent folders pinned to the taskbar.

When you click on the pinned shortcut, the following folder will open.How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Now you can removed the Frequent folders shortcut from the desktop if you want.

Author: The MFTNEXT Team

The MSFTNEXT project is a small team of authors who love to engage with the latest technology and gadgets. Being passionate Windows bloggers, we are happy to help others fix their system issues. View all posts by The MFTNEXT Team

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The Windows Taskbar is a handy place to have shortcuts because it’s always visible when you use Windows. You can also pin favorite websites and even files (though pinning files takes a bit more effort). Here we describe how to do each one.

This article applies to Windows 10.

Pin a Program to the Taskbar

Do you use Chrome every time you turn on your computer? What about Skype or Excel? You can pin whichever programs you use most frequently so you can easily start them any time. There are two ways to do the pinning, from the open program or from a desktop shortcut.

The first method is to pin from a program that’s running. First, launch the program as you normally would.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

At the bottom of your screen, the program icon appears on the taskbar. Right-click it and, from the menu, select Pin to taskbar.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The icon is pinned permanently to the taskbar.

To change the order of the icons, select and drag them where you like.

Alternatively, drag a program shortcut on your desktop to the taskbar. The shortcut is pinned permanently to the taskbar.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Pin a File to the Taskbar

Just as there are certain programs you want easy access to, there may be certain files that you open frequently and want to have handy at all times. Here’s how to pin a file to the taskbar.

When you pin a file to the taskbar, you’re actually pinning it to the program it’s associated with, so it will not appear as an icon on its own.

Open File Explorer and navigate to the file you want to pin. Select and drag the file to the taskbar.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The icon shows a notice: “Pin to X,” with X being the application the file is associated with.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

To access the file from the taskbar, right-click the icon of the associated application and, from the menu, choose the name of the file.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Pin a Website to Taskbar Using Google Chrome

You can also access a website directly from the Windows taskbar. Doing so will open Chrome and then the website, but you’ll just have to execute a single click.

Open Chrome and navigate to the website you want to pin.

In the upper-right corner, select the Customize (three vertical dots) icon.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Choose More tools > Create shortcut.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

In the Create Shortcut dialog box, type a name for the shortcut. Select Create.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

Go to your desktop, where you will find the newly created shortcut. Drag the shortcut to the taskbar.

How to pin folders to the windows taskbar

The shortcut is pinned permanently to the taskbar.