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How to pin multiple folders to your Windows 7 taskbar

File this one under "why didn't I think of that." Blogger and software engineer Abhishek Bhatnagar has posted a simple, clever way to pin multiple folders to your Windows 7 taskbar (or Superbar). Yes, you can already pin as many as you want to the Explorer icon, but it's still nice to be able to have single-click access to your most-used folders. Or you could just switch on the quick launch toolbar and drag your folders there...but that's so Windows 95.

Abhishek's exact directions didn't work for me, so here's how I did it.

The first step is to make sure you have the hide extensions for known file types option unchecked. Click the windows button and type folder into the search box, the click folder options when it appears (it's also in Control Panel). You can also open the run box and paste this command: rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 0
Click the view tab and you should find the hide option at the bottom of the Advanced Settings pane. Uncheck it and click ok.

Now right-click on your desktop and choose new, then choose text document. Name it whatever you like, but end with .exe (e.g. Screencaps.exe). This is the first part of the trick which fools Windows into letting you pin multiple folders.

Next, right click your freshly-renamed file and choose pin to taskbar. Once your icon appears there, hold down the shift key on your keyboard, right click the icon, and choose properties. A regular right-click may not give you the properties option-- it might only display the name you entered and unpin from taskbar.

Once the properties screen is displayed, change the target to the full path to your folder -- mine is going to point to C:\Users\Lee\My Pictures\Screencaps. I also changed the start in field to the same path. After you've changed the target, it's OK to delete the file you created from your desktop.
All that's left is to pick a better icon than the default Windows .EXE. Click the change icon button and pick something from imageres.dll (Windows will probably open that by default).
You can find more icons in %SystemRoot%\System32\Shell32.dll and %SystemRoot\System32\DDORes.dll (hardware icons) -- or you can always download something from your favorite icon site if you want. Your icon may not change instantly. If it doesn't, simply right-click your taskbar, choose task manager, click processes, and end the explorer.exe process. When it restarts, your new icon should appear. You can also log off and log back in if task manager isn't something you like to mess with.

Repeat as many times as you like until you've got all the folders you want on your taskbar. Nice!

update: as with many Saturday morning discoveries, someone else has come up with a far less complex method than the one my foggy brain concocted:

"why bother with all that rubbish...

simply create a shortcut to Explorer.exe "My Folder Path" then drag it onto the taskbar.

eg Target : C:\Windows\explorer.exe D:\Downloads"

For some reason, I thought this pinned items to the Explorer icon, but lo and behold...separate icons. Doh!

Thanks, Davey! I need more coffee.

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Tags: folder, folders, hack, howtos, icon, pin, pinning, superbar, taskbar, tip, trick, win7, windows