How to Add Quick Launch Bar and Show Desktop Icon to Windows 8’s Taskbar

by Venkat eswarlu on September 18, 2011

in tips and tricks

Quick launch bar which lets you quickly access apps on Windows is disabled by default in Windows 7, same the case in Windows 8 developer preview and Windows 8.1, (you can pin the apps shortcuts to the taskbar, hence it is disabled), here is how to add Quick launch bar to Windows 8 taskbar.

Quick Launch Bar on Windows 8 Taskbar thumb How to Add Quick Launch Bar and Show Desktop Icon to Windows 8’s Taskbar


1 .Right-click on the taskbar and select “New toolbar” from Toolbars

2. For Folder dialog box type or paste below path in Run Command dialog box
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and click “Ok”

3. Right-click on the taskbar and uncheck for Lock the Taskbar

4. Right-click on the Separator and uncheck for  “Show Text” and “Show Title” and make sure “small icons” is not selected under View menu and lock the taskbar.

Separator thumb How to Add Quick Launch Bar and Show Desktop Icon to Windows 8’s Taskbar

By adding Quick launch bar, you’ll also get show desktop icon on Windows 8 and Switch between Windows along with other app icons. You can drag and drop app shortcuts to the Quick Launch bar for quick access, Quick Launch bar for Windows 8 is ready.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandru November 14, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thank you very much Venkat, it works very nice.

I do still prefer the Quick Launch toolbar instead of pinning the applications.


Prakash December 29, 2012 at 1:21 am

Hi, thanks, it’s helpful.


Clyde Frog March 8, 2013 at 6:46 am

Hi – just wanted you to know I’m setting up Windows 8 and this was exactly the advice I needed. Thanks for making my life a little easier!


Venkat eswarlu March 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

We’re here to cover article that makes things easier for our blog readers, you’re welcome.


John July 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm

YOU ARE THE BEST….Had a Win8 Machine since Nov 12 and was LOSING MY MIND….This is Perfect. Thanks so much.


Venkat eswarlu July 14, 2013 at 7:55 am

Welcome John, we always want to offer more for our readers.


Dwayne July 25, 2013 at 12:58 am

Thanks for this. I’ve done this successfully on my Wife’s laptop and I just got a new laptop and performed it successfully too. However, I had another network problem and used the new “refresh” option,which says it won’t affect any of your personal files. However, they failed to caution you that your personal programs are no longer considered files, but apps… I just lost 2 days worth of downloading and configuring. Thanks MS. Anyhow, when I set up the Quick Launch again, I can’t get the Quick Launch to show in “small apps”, even thought the small apps is checked and the active programs are in small apps. I’ve played all sorts of games with deleting Quick Launch folder, creating new folders, etc, but nothing seems to work. Any Ideas what is causing this? Is there a registry file that can be “tweaked?” Thanks for you help if you have any ideas.


Shari October 14, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Thanks a million Venkat. So glad I found your article. For past few weeks, I’ve used a 3rd party app to get the show-desktop icon back in the “correct” spot — that is, on the left side of the screen. But, I got in trouble with IT because the app, or some other customizing app I used to improve my screen, introduced a virus to my work pc. So, thanks so much for showing me how to do this without 3rd party software. Btw, it’s ridiculous why MS wouldn’t have this show desktop already in place rather than making users have to hunt and hunt for a solution!


Venkat eswarlu October 15, 2013 at 6:50 am

Show the desktop text option is available when you right-click on task bar, this applies both for Windows 7 and Windows 8, and if you forget show desktop and quick launch bar are not available by default even in Windows 7 you need to manually add them using above procedure. Since Windows 8 is Microsoft modern operate system for touch based devices you shouldn’t be expecting things existed in XP OS.After all they’d already removed start button.


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