Activate The Quick Launch Bar In Windows XP / 7 / 8.1I don’t know about them, but I love using the Quick Launch toolbar to run all of my programs and view them on the desktop without clicking the start button or minimizing each window manually! In this post, I’m going to tell you how to setup the Quick Launch Toolbar and Add Buttons or if you’ve already got the Toolbar but lost your Show Desktop button, I’ll tell you how to do that again!

Since this post was written in 2007, newer versions of Windows have hidden the quick launch bar. Windows XP and Windows Vista have been activated by default, but Windows 7 and Windows 8 have deactivated the quick launch bar by default. I’ll show you how to enable the toolbar in the two newer operating systems.

Windows XP quick launch bar

First off, if your quick launch bar doesn’t appear (the toolbar is usually located immediately to the right of the start button), this means that the toolbar won’t appear. If you open a program and the toolbar isn’t visible, you’ll see that the program window is directly to the right of the start button:

To get the toolbar on the display with the standard “View Desktop” button, you need to right click anywhere on the taskbar on the Start button or on any application window and click on Toolbars . You will get a list of toolbars and one of the options should be quick start :

If the quick launch bar isn’t enabled, make sure to check it out. You should now see that the area to the right of the Start button has a couple of icons. You can hover over the icons if there are already some. There is always an icon for the shortcut on the desktop, as shown here:

You can now delete and add programs from the quick start bar. To delete an icon, just right-click the icon and click Delete . Remember, this will not delete your program, only the shortcut to the program. If you want to add programs to the toolbar, just drag the icons from the desktop or from the start menu to the toolbar and you’ll see the position becomes a solid black line.
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Here you can see I was dragging the editor from my start menu to the toolbar and you can see a black vertical line between the other icons already there. Just drop it and it will fit even in this position.

Now you can also see that your icons are all mismatched and there’s a >> at the right end of the toolbar to show the rest of them. This will extend the toolbar that you need to unlock the system tray first. Right-click the taskbar again and you will see that the ” Freeze Taskbar ” is checked. If so, click on it to turn it off.

Now, on the left and right of the toolbar, you will see two dotted “handles” that you can click and drag to expand the size to your preference.

Just right-click the system tray and choose ” Freeze System Tray ” to get rid of the handles!

Restore “Desktop View” on the Quick Access Toolbar

If it is missing the Show Desktop icon, you can get it back by doing the following:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type editor , and then click OK.
  2. In Notepad, type the following text on individual lines:

Command = 2
IconFile = explorer.exe, 3
Command = ToggleDesktop

  1. On the Filemenu, click Save As, and save the file on your desktop as Desktop Display.scf . Make sure that you all files in the file type dropdown box. If you don’t choose All Files, Notepad will automatically append the .txt extension to the file name. Remove this extension, if present. The name of the file should be Desktop Show.scf.

Now just take the icon from wherever you saved it and drag it back onto the Quick Access Toolbar and you’re back in business!

Quick launch bar in Windows 7 and Windows 8

Now we’re talking about Windows 7 and Windows 8. The reason Microsoft removed the toolbar is because you can now pin apps to the system tray as shown below.

It basically looks like a better version of the quick launch toolbar, so most people don’t really care to activate the toolbar at all. Either way, if you want it back in Windows 7 along with the Show desktop shortcut, you can do it by following the steps below.

  1. Go ahead and right-click an empty area of ​​the system tray and clickToolbars, then New Toolbar .
  2. Now copy and paste the following line into the Folderfield in the dialog box that appears and click Select Folder.

% AppData% Microsoft Internet Explorer Quick Launch

You should now see the quick launch bar appearing on the right side of the system tray with the words “Quick Launch”.

  1. Now, in order to get rid of the words quick start you need to right click on the system tray and uncheck the freeze system trayoption. Once the system tray is unlocked, you can right-click on the quick launch bar and disable the Show Textand Show Title options.

You can now access the toolbar by clicking and dragging the little handle on the left. All icons will be small, but you can make them bigger by right-clicking the handle and choosing Large Icons from the View option.

As you can see, it’s basically just like pinning an app to the system tray, only those appear on the right side instead of the left side. So why bother adding the quick launch bar on Windows 7 or 8? Well, there’s a nice perk and that’s the two standard icons: Show Desktop, and Switch Windows . Show desktop brings you straight to the desktop and the other button is basically like pressing ALT + TAB on the keyboard, except it’s better because it uses a cool 3D effect rather than just displaying thumbnails on the web.

You can do the same procedure on Windows 8.1 and it works fine, just got it tested. I’m not sure about Windows 8 as the taksbar along the bottom wasn’t reintroduced until Windows 8.1. If you’re using Windows 8, you should probably upgrade to 8.1 anyway. If you have any problems let us know in the comments. Enjoy!


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