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5 15 2011 8 57 25 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]

Remember the quick launch bar in Windows Vista? The one with the Flip-3D, Show desktop, and IE shortcuts? You can have it in Windows 7 too; in this guide, you’ll learn how to restore this toolbar.

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Updated 2011/05/15: Updated guide and screenshots after feedback in the comments. Thank you for providing feedback.

Note: If you’d like to get Windows 7 looking just like Windows Vista, scroll further down to “Make Windows 7’s Taskbar look like Vista’s

Get the Quick Launch Toolbar

To enable the quick launch toolbar:

  1. Right click the Taskbar and click Toolbars > New Toolbar…5 15 2011 8 37 35 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]
  2. Paste the following into the folder field and click Select Folder:

    %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

    5 15 2011 8 43 32 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]

  3. Right click the Taskbar and uncheck Lock the taskbar
    5 15 2011 8 42 08 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]
  4. Optional: To remove the text next to the icons, right click the toolbar and uncheckShow Textand Show Title
    5 15 2011 8 46 25 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]
  5. Optional: To enable large icons, right click the toolbarand click View > Large Icons5 15 2011 8 48 58 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]
  6. Now move the quick launch bar to the left (where it was in previous versions of Windows) by clicking and dragging it to the left of you pinned shortcuts:5 15 2011 8 51 58 PM 500x27 [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]
    (Click to enlarge)
  7. Optional: Lock the task bars to get rid of the resize bars by right clicking the Taskbar and checking Lock the taskbar 5 15 2011 8 55 14 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]

You now have your Quick Launch toolbar back:

5 15 2011 8 57 25 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]

Add Shortcuts to the Quick Launch Toolbar

There are a few ways to add shortcuts to the Quick Launch toolbar. By far the easiest way is to find the shortcut on your desktop or start menu and drag it to the toolbar:

5 15 2011 9 01 08 PM [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]

 [Update] Restore Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 [How To]

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix the problems he creates.

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  • Rich

    Are you having trouble with step 3 (Right click the Taskbar and uncheck Lock the taskbar)?

  • Rich

    Are you having trouble with step 3 (Right click the Taskbar and uncheck Lock the taskbar)?

  • Test

    I appreciate the tip. I just completed a Win7 upgrade and the first change I wanted was my quick launch back. I love using that thing and this had me running in a matter of minutes.

    Followup question, can I change the toolbar order? I am used to the Quick Launch being next to the Windows icon. (I keep my toolbar to the right and like the QL under the start icon).

    • http://twitter.com/GlyCop Michael West

      Just drag the files within the Quick Launch toolbar to change the order.

      • Doug

        That’s not what he/she means. I think what he/she means is to move the entire quick launch bar so that it is physically located immediately to the right of the start icon and not all the way on the right of the task bar, immediately to the left of the task tray (near the clock). I too, find the position (the placement) of the quick launch bar annoying (along with a lot of the changes in Windows 7).

        I right-clicked on the task bar and selected properties. A dialog box opens and there are three tabs, taskbar, start menu and toolbars. I selected toolbars and see the following: address, links, desktop, quick launch and (in my case), only quick launch is selected (there are checkboxes to the left of each of these options), but there’s no way to change the order or the position, or anyway to make the quick launch bar ALIGN LEFT on the task bar.


      • Barraka

        Just drag the QuickLaunch toolbar the the utmost left, and it will snap as the first group. The other existing icons will shift to the right.

      • GUEST

        Cant drag to the left. Did it by dragging others to the right!

      • 9michis

        I also had the problem, that I could not drag the newly created quick-launch bar to the left. I managed to move it after deactivating the language bar (which was left of the quick-launch bar). Maybe one can’t move over the language bar?!?

      • http://richr.org/ Rich

        Yeah, as long as you right click the taskbar and uncheck “Lock the taskbar”. Otherwise you,’ll have to drag the pinned shortcuts to the right of the bar like GUEST did below.

  • Dave M

    Rock on! Just migrated to Win 7 and gasped when I didn't see my precious Quick Launch as an option. Thanks for the help.

  • Robertleeeaston


  • Shravan

    so good

  • sschlager


  • http://richr.org/ Rich


  • KewlioMZX

    I honestly don’t see the point… Windows 7’s Super Bar is far more versatile than the Quick Launch bar, with the only exception that you have to pin things to it manually.

    • http://richr.org/ Rich

       @6fcbb3755d9ffeb0193ec5f1e76d1a73:disqus I agree it’s not for everyone but often it’s easier to work as you always have–only after giving the new method a good try to see if you can be even more productive :) a good try to see if you can be even more productive :)

    • Trond Ruud

      The chaotic mixture of the “pinned down” program shortcuts that I’ve had in the convenient Quick Launch bar, ever since Windows 98 and the constantly changing system indicators to open windows and running programs on the task bar, has made me seriously consider ditching Windows 7 and go back to Vista. Another change of Windows email client has also caused much frustration among Windows users I’ve seen, with leaving their old email store inaccessible. Why on earth cause so much problems? Why not let the users decide themselves if hey want to use new, or changed features?

  • Guest

    Thank you!!!!

  • Melissaconerly


  • MiB

    thanks buddy ! You made my day !!

  • http://richr.org/ Rich

    Click Start, type excel, click the Excel icon in the start menu results, and drag it to the desktop while holding the CTRL key (so you copy the shortcut and don’t remove it from the start menu.)

  • Sstowe

    Once upon a time, I could see ALL my tool bars at once and use the buttons I wanted. NOW…with WIndows 7 I have to choose the toolbar and then scan all the options, and to make it worse, some buttons are on different tool bars.

    How can I get the old buttons back?

    • http://richr.org/ Rich

       Can you give an example or post a screenshot of these tool bars and buttons?

  • John

    Thank you Rich for you help in restoring my quick launch tool bar in Windows 7. It was so frustrating not having it especially as I can’t see what I did to send it away. Also thank you for the clear way you presented the information. 10 out of 10. Keep up the good work.

  • Cursy

    Yay! my quick launch icons are back! Thank you very much!

  • Irbb

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I have no idea how I made the quicklaunch toolbar disappear but I was completely lost without it and SO relieved to find your how to so I could get it back! You saved the day! Thanks for sharing your expertise!!

  • http://www.Mintywhite.com UVAIS

    Nice article Rich ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jpr9845 James Rosendahl

    Awesome, I’ve have been wanting the Quick Launch toolbar back since day one with Windows 7. Thanks so much, now my taskbar is complete! 

  • Henry-systems

    Legal a dica.

    Eu adquiri a barra de uma outra forma, que foi criar uma pasta no disco C e depois puxar da mesma forma explicado acima.
    Vou testar a forma acima.

  • JC

    Thank you very much, I felt totally lost without the Quick Launch on my computer… You are the only one who solved my problem… Thanks again.

  • Anonymous


  • http://richr.org/ Rich

    I tried to track the person, who created the Screencast, down but their email no longer works. It would appear this screencast is lost :( I’ve removed it from the guide.

  • Jess642


  • Davidmatthews

    I had the Quick Launch Toolbar showing, but it was only working intermittently for some icons.  I found that though still showing on the screen, it was no longer on the Toolbar list. Your solution worked perfectly to fix my problem.  Thanks for your help.

  • j7n

    It was always possible to create a new toolbar on the taskbar. On Windows 98 I used to create the bar’s directory in a custom location to prevent new icons from being added there.

    The lost distinction between a program icon and a button of a running process was confusing to me in Seven. I suppose it was too difficult for the layperson to drag and drop new icons to the launchbar, rename them sort them, and resize the lauunchbar to fit them all.

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