Preston Gralla

How to bring back the Quick Launch toolbar to the Windows 8 Desktop

March 07, 2012 12:11 PM EST
The Windows 8 Desktop did away with the very useful Quick Launch toolbar available in previous versions of Windows. It's easy to bring back, though -- just follow these directions.

1. In the Windows 8 Desktop, launch Windows Explorer, click the View tab on the toolbar, and check the box next to "Hidden items." That will display folders and files that are normally hidden from view.

Adding a toolbar to the Windows 8 Desktop 

2. Right-click the taskbar and select Toolbars-->New Toolbar.

Adding a toolbar to the Windows 8 Desktop 

3. From the screen that appears, navigate to User\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and select it. (You'll need to substitute your account name for "User".) That will place a Quick Launch toolbar on the far right of the taskbar. It also includes the "Show Desktop" button that is missing from the Windows 8 Desktop.If you want to move the Quick Launch toolbar to the left, right-click the taskbar, uncheck "Lock the Taskbar" and drag to the right. Lock it when you have it where you want.

Add Quick Launch toolbar to the Windows 8 Desktop 

4. You can now use the Quick Launch toolbar by clicking the double-headed arrow. It works just like previous versions of Windows.

Note: For more Windows 8 tips and hacks, check out my blog post, "Five Windows 8 secrets, tips, and hints." And to see how to add the Start Menu to the Windows 8 Desktop, see "How to bring back the Start Menu to the Windows 8 Desktop."