Bringing Back the Quick Launch Bar in Windows 8

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The Quick Launch bar in XP and Vista allows you to access your favorite apps and files fast. If you update to Windows 7 or 8, you’ll be disappointed seeing it’s no longer there by default. But, you can bring back the Quick Launch bar back in Windows 7. Here’s how to bring it back in both Windows 8 and RT without installing a third-party program.

Get Quick Launch Bar Back in Windows 8

Right click the Taskbar and go to Toolbars > New Toolbar.

Image: Tech Tip - Feb. 11, 2013

File Explorer will open up and you’ll need to copy the following path in the address bar and click Select Folder.

  • %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Image: Tech Tip - Feb. 11, 2013

If you have a problem with that path, navigate to C:\Users\user_name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

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That will add the Quick Launch toolbar on the Taskbar. Right-click the Taskbar and Unlock it.

Image: Tech Tip - Feb. 11, 2013

To make it work like it does in XP or Vista, drag it over to the left side – where the Start button used to be.

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Then you’ll need to drag over the icons already pinned to your Taskbar.

Image: Tech Tip - Feb. 11, 2013

If this is the first time doing this, it might take a couple tries to get everything where you want it. But once you do, right-click the Taskbar and Lock it again. Now right click the Quick Launch bar and uncheck both Show Tile and Show Text.

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Now you can drag the program shortcuts and other items you want to it. OR, if you want an easier way to add items, you can add Quick Launch to the Context Menu.

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Here’s a look at what it will look like after you’ve added a few programs to the Quick Launch bar.

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Plus, if you add a Start menu replacement program – Start8 from Stardock or Classic Shell – you get the same look and feel that you were used to in XP and Vista on Windows 8.

Image: Tech Tip - Feb. 11, 2013


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LAST UPDATED 2/11/2013