Windows 7 - Quick Launch
Give me back my Quick Launch!
One of the complaints that I hear about Windows 7 is that there is no Quick Launch Bar. I didn't see a need for it, but I tracked down instructions for returning it to the Taskbar. After setting it up, I realized that I could move most of my program icons off the desktop without using up half of the taskbar or making it a disaster. The ways in which it is useful become very appearant if you place your Taskbar vertically on your Desktop. There is only so much room in which to pin applications to the Taskbar. I personally find it more ergonomic, and visually pleasing, to have my frequently used programs in the Quick Launch area rather than cluttering the rest of the Taskbar when they are not in use. It's basically an organizational tool to me and until I can just drag and drop pinned items to wherever I'd like them (rather than just re-order them) on the Task Bar, I'm going to continue to espouse the virtues of returning the Quick Launch Bar.
Now...how do we get it back?
First, unlock the Taskbar
Right-click on the taskbar and then click on Lock the taskbar to uncheck (unlock) it.
Right-click on the Taskbar.
Then click on Toolbars and then on New Tool Bar in the menu that pops up.
In the New Toolbar - Choose a folder window, click in the Folder: dialog box near the bottom of the window.
Copy the following
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Paste the above into the Folder: dialog box near the bottom of the Toolbar - Choose a folder window and then click on the Select Folder button.
Now you can grab the divider immediately to the left of Quick Launch and drag it out to the left. There will be two icons already present in the bar, Show Desktop and Switch Between Windows.
I personally don't need the icon labels, so I turn them off by clicking on the Quick Launch bar anywhere you have an arrow (not a finger) and then click on Show Text to uncheck it.
You can get rid of the 'Quick Launch' text by clicking on Show Title to uncheck it.
I also want larger icons, so I right click in the Quick Launch bar again and click on View and then click on Large Icons.
Now I can add shortcuts (drag and drop) to the Quick Launch bar that I don't want cluttering up up my Taskbar or my Desktop.
When I'm done adding icons, rearranging them, and resizing the Quick Launch bar, I can lock the taskbar again and be happy in the knowledge that I'm better organized...for once.
For those who don't want to read down through all the many comments, there is a solution to the problem with the Quick Launch disappearing on re-starting your system. If you have the language bar on your task bar, there is a conflict and the Quick Launch suffers for it. Moving the Language Bar off of the Task Bar solves the problem.
Thanks for reading and I will be updating this page again once I've had a chance to use the final release of Windows 7.