The Windows 7 Taskbar

Pinning Commonly Used Applications

The taskbar displays open applications, but it can also show applications that are not running – remember “Quick Launch” bar in Windows and Vista? -. By default, Windows 7 comes with three icons that are lying there on the taskbar even when the applications are not open. These are the icons for: Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Windows Explorer.
These applications have been pinned to the taskbar. This means that they are always there regardless of whether they’re running or not. Why? To allow users to open them directly from the taskbar. You can run a pinned application by just clicking on its icon.

Windows 7 Taskbar - Active and Inactive Icons

Windows 7 Taskbar – Active and Inactive (Pinned) Icons

You can tell whether the application is running or not from its icon. If the icon has a border frame around it, then it’s running. Additionally, if you hover over it with the cursor, a glowing effect appears. To sum up, by pinning an application that you frequently use, you can easily access it, since it’s always lying there on the taskbar. Not to mention that you can use keyboard shortcuts to do so. Here’s how:
To open, or switch to, an application on the taskbar, you can either:

  • Simply click on its icon!
  • Or press: Windows Key + Number. (The number corresponds to application’s position on the taskbar. For example in the above screenshot, to open “Windows Media Player”, press Windows Key + 2.

To pin an application to the taskbar, you can either:

  • Right-click on its icon –> Choose “Pin to Taskbar”,
  • Or drag and drop it into the taskbar

If the application you want to pin is already running:

  1. Right click on its icon
  2. Choose “Pin this program to taskbar”
Pinning a Running Application to the Taskbar

Pinning a Running Application to the Taskbar

To remove a pinned application from the taskbar:

  1. Right-click on its icon
  2. Choose “Unpin this program from the taskbar”.
Unpinning an Application from the Taskbar

Unpinning an Application from the Taskbar

As you can see, interacting with the new taskbar is quite easy. You should now understand how to pin commonly used applications to the taskbar and access them. Nevertheless, if you are still unhappy that “Quick Launch” is no longer available in Windows 7 and would like to restore it, check out below

How you can enable the quick launch toolbar in Windows 7.

  • Right-click an empty space on the Windows 7 taskbar and select Toolbars > New Toolbar.
  • Enter the following path: %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  • Click on Select Folder
  • The Quick Launch toolbar should appear.
  • Right-click the Windows 7 Taskbar again and select Lock The Taskbar from the menu.
  • Drag and drop the Quick Launch toolbar into the location where you want it to be.
  • Select Lock The Taskbar again to lock the Windows 7 Taskbar in place

The result could look like this:
windows7 quick launch
Source : Click here.

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