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How to create a folder shortcut on the Taskbar

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Last week one of my clients experienced a hardware failure on their main computer. It’s a computer users worst nightmare and occurred in the middle of an important week of work. Long story short, I was able to source a new hard drive and install it within 24 hours. Luckily the client had a backup schedule in place and so the restore process could begin. Unfortunately, the backup did not include Windows customisations and so I needed to recreate several folder shortcuts on the Taskbar.

If you do not have a backup process in place, please see my post titled Backing up using File History (Windows 10) or Backup using Windows Back and Restore.

Most users will have the File Explorer folder pinned to the Taskbar, however, this only takes you to the Quick Access folder list. If you want to create a shortcut to a specific folder then follow these steps:

  1. Firstly you will need to create a shortcut to the folder, the best way to do this is so you can find it easily is to create it on the Desktop
  2. Minimise any applications you have open so you can see the Desktop area, you can use the shortcut Windows key + D on the keyboard
  3. Right mouse click and select New > Shortcut
Create a shortcut to a specific folder on the Taskbar
  1. The Create Shortcut window will appear:
Create a shortcut to a specific folder on the Taskbar
  1. Click Browse and navigate to the specific folder you wish to create the direct shortcut to
  2. In my example, I’m going to create a shortcut to my blog content folder which is located within the Documents folder. Select the folder and click OK.
Create a shortcut to a specific folder on the Taskbar
  1. The folder’s path will now be added in quotation marks to the Create Shortcut window
  2. Place your cursor before the folder path and type explorer so that Windows know which program to open this shortcut with (make sure you don’t accidentally delete the quotation marks)
Create a shortcut to a specific folder on the Taskbar
  1. Click Next
  2. Now give the shortcut an appropriate name then click Finish
Create a shortcut to a specific folder on the Taskbar
  1. The shortcut should now be displayed on your desktop
  2. You will see the shortcut has the default icon of the cream coloured folder, to customise this so your shortcut will stand out, right mouse click the shortcut and select Properties
  3. Click the Change Icon button
  4. Select a different icon from those displayed
  5. Click OK twice to return back to the desktop
  6. Now using the left mouse button, click and drag the shortcut to the Taskbar area
  7. When you see a prompt to Pin to Taskbar, release the mouse button
Create a shortcut to a specific folder on the Taskbar
  1. Your custom folder shortcut will now be pinned to the Taskbar
  2. You can now delete the original shortcut from the desktop
  3. Test out the new shortcut which should take you directly to the folder you specified

That’s all folks!

I hope you found this article useful. If you would like more tips on customising your computer, I highly recommend: Pin a file or folder to the Open list in Microsoft Office AND Pin an application to the start menu.

What other unusual customisations do you have on your computer? Comment below.


5 Responses

  1. Hello,
    I followed the tutorial exactly and the shortcut on the taskbar works, but it doesnt open the folder “in the pinned icon” if that makes sense. The pinned icon is still there and next to it, the pinned folder is opened in a new taskbar entry. If I click the pinned folder again, it opens another instance. This is pretty annoying, as I have my main folder open all the time and that would mean having an extra symbol in the taskbar constantly.
    I just switched from Win7 to Win10 today and in Win7 I remember having the same problem but it seems I somehow solved it back then but dont remember how…

  2. It doesn’t work on Win10. The shortcut works on the Desktop but after you pin it to the Taskbar it loses all its specific properties and becomes a dumb link to Windows Explorer at the top level (This PC). It even loses its icon. Once there, Windows no longer provides the option to adjust its properties.

    1. Hi Andrew,
      I have just checked this again on my computer which is running Windows 10 (Version 1909) and this works no problems for me.
      Not sure why this is not working for you.


      1. Well it does seem to be an issue for a significant enough proportion of the folk out there for there to be solutions posted. Unfortunately I didn’t bookmark the solution I found after trying yours. It was just a bit more involved. I’m on Win10 Pro, updated.
        Maybe my having folder protection on has something to do with it.

        1. Hi Andrew,
          Thanks for responding. If you happen to stumble on the solution URL again would love if you could send it to me so that I can include a link to it where applicable. Yes it may be the folder protection issue, I am running Windows 10 Home edition so could also be a Windows 10 Pro thing also.

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