How to create your own toolbar for the Windows Taskbar

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Learn how to devise a personalized taskbar toolbar with the folders, files, or apps of your choice.

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The Windows Taskbar offers several built-in toolbars. You can enable a toolbar to type a web address, a toolbar for website links, and a toolbar to display the shortcuts from your desktop. The advantage of such a toolbar is that you can quickly access specific files, pages, and other items right from your Windows Taskbar.

You can go beyond the built-in Windows Taskbar toolbars by creating your own toolbars. You can devise a new toolbar by adding an existing folder, such as Documents, Downloads, or Pictures. You can also create a new folder with select apps, files, shortcuts, and other items. Let’s go through the steps.

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To see and activate one of the built-in toolbars, right-click the Windows Taskbar and move to the entry for Toolbars. The flyout menu displays the available toolbars you can enable. At a minimum, you should see toolbars for Address, Links, and Desktop. Depending on the brand of your computer, you may see additional toolbars added by the manufacturer (Figure A).

Select the toolbar for Address, and a field appears on the Toolbar in which you can type a web address or a File Explorer folder name to open that location. Select the toolbar for Links. Open your browser and drag a URL onto the Links button. You can also open File Explorer and drag a specific folder to the Links button. Now, click on the double arrow next to the Links button, and you can open any of the web pages or folders you dragged there. Select the toolbar for Desktop. Click on the double arrow next to the Desktop button to access any of the icons and shortcuts on your Desktop (Figure B)

Figure B

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The built-in toolbars are helpful and handy, but the real power comes from creating your own toolbar. To try this, right-click the Taskbar, move to Toolbars, and select New Toolbar (Figure C).

Figure C

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A File Manager window appears. You can browse to and select a specific folder that you want to add as a toolbar. You can choose one of the default folders, such as Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, or Videos. You can choose your own user profile folder. You can also choose a folder from the Quick Access section. Choose the folder you want and click the button to Select Folder (Figure D).

Figure D

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Click the double arrow next to the button for your folder to access the contents (Figure E).

Figure E

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You can create your own folder with files, apps, and other content of your choice. Open File Explorer and create a new folder—give it a name of your choosing. Then, drag or copy the items you want to place in this folder (remember to copy them as shortcuts). You may choose often-used Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, pictures and PDFs, and exe files to common applications (Figure F). After you’re done, you may want to rename the shortcuts with more user-friendly names.

Figure F

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Close File Explorer. Right-click the Taskbar, move to Toolbars, and select New Toolbar. Browse to the folder you just created. Click the Select Folder button. Click the double-arrow next to the button for your new toolbar. You should see all the files you added to the folder (Figure G).

Figure G

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Finally, to remove a toolbar you added, right-click the Taskbar, move to Toolbars, and uncheck the toolbar you want to remove (Figure H).

Figure H

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