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As a programmer working in Windows, I found the QuickLaunch area in the task bar to be a great boost to my productivity - all my most frequently used programs, right there, without having to open up the big start menu.

I even used to put a shortcut to my currently active Visual Studio projects there for quick access.

I have just installed Windows7, and I can't find the QuickLaunch option in the task bar properties anywhere.

How do I setup the QuickLaunch feature on Win7 (Windows 7)?

UPDATE: @MetalMikester noted this information on how to "bring back" the "old" QuickLaunch toolbar on here

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migrated from Oct 14 '09 at 18:55

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If I'm not mistaken, you just drag your shortcut(s) down to the status bar. It now acts both as a "quick launchbar" and task switcher now. It takes a bit to get used to it, but eventually you don't notice it anymore.

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Thanks @MetalMikester, I tried this at first, only to discover that the the shortcuts morph into tasks when you run an instance of that shortcut - and the shortcuts and running tasks become all intermingled, which I did not care for. I am going to vote you up, however - because I believe that if you found this useful and/or you "get used to it", other may also. – condiosluzverde Oct 14 '09 at 18:03
James, I would hold your nose and give it a try for a a while. You might just like it. I know it increased my productivity after I got used to it. They're going to have to pry Windows 7 from my cold dead hands if they want it back. – Shea Daniels Oct 14 '09 at 18:12
Also realize that the taskbar responds to win+num, win+ctl+num (both switch to running windows, win+num starts a new process), win+shift+num (run new) and win+shift+ctl+num (run as admin). I agree that if you try it for a while, you may come to prefer it. – James Deville Oct 14 '09 at 18:22
@James McFarland - I found it a bit odd at first, but like I said, eventually you don't notice it anymore, it just becomes second nature. The only reason it can still feel a bit weird for me is that I have 7 only on my laptop, still running Vista on my desktop and XP at work (soon going to Vista.) I agree with Shea - give it a try for a little while. When you've been used to something for years, a change will take a while to get accustomed to. – MetalMikester Oct 14 '09 at 18:37
If all else fails, you can try the options here: – MetalMikester Oct 14 '09 at 18:39

If you have visual studio, just pin it to the taskbar (right click, pin to task bar). you can open new instances by using the mouse wheel click.

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Or as an alternative: shift+click – Ikke Oct 14 '09 at 17:58
You can also use Win + [num], where [num] will open the corresponding pinned application in whatever order you've set it to. – Corey Oct 14 '09 at 18:02
Actually, scratch that - it doesn't open a new instance if one is already running, it just minimizes it. – Corey Oct 14 '09 at 18:06
Darren: I discovered the ability to pin a task to the taskbar, however pinning results in taskbar becoming a jumble of shortcuts and running tasks, which at first look seemed awful to me. – condiosluzverde Oct 14 '09 at 18:07
If you right click on the icon, you see an overview of recently opened items. – Ikke Oct 14 '09 at 18:17

An additional comment on James McFarland's (I can't actually comment yet, so I'll simply add an answer). If you specify the normal Quick Launch folder path as your toolbar, then those applications that offer to add a shortcut to your quick launch will do so correctly.

On my system, the path to the quick launch folder is:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

So if you create a new toolbar with that path, you'll have windows xp/vista style quick launch back entirely. I've been using this regularly now for about three weeks, and it works well for me in conjunction with Win7's taskbar.

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+1 Yup, I discovered this exact thing. – condiosluzverde Nov 9 '09 at 17:08

It appears to me that the QuickLaunch feature has been removed from the Win7 task bar.

However, the Win7 task bar allows the addition of toolbars to the task bar, and any folder can be referenced as a toolbar.

To do this, one can create their own "QuickLaunch" area as follows:

  1. Create a folder in which to place the shortcuts you normally would keep in the QuickLaunch area. (I use a folder called "My QuickLaunch" under my user folder.)

  2. Add your shortcuts to the folder.

  3. Right-click on the task bar, and select "Toolbars | New Toolbar..."

  4. In the "New Toolbar - Choose a folder" dialog, navigate to your new toolbar folder (e.g. user/My QuickLaunch) and click "Select Folder".

  5. Your new toolbar appears in the taskbar, and can be positioned at the left (or anywhere you like).

In addition, you can customize the look by using the variuos task bar properties (small icons, etc.)

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There's an option in the taskbar properties to "combine only when task bar is full" (the default is combine, hide labels). When you switch to combine only when task bar is full, then running tasks will contain labels, just like the old task bar. Multiple instances will show up as multiple instances... until the task bar fills up.

I tried it for a while, but it tends to look rather junky, and because I keep lots of "quick launch" icons in the task bar, it got to be a pain. So I went back to the default (hide labels).

Another useful trick is to click on an icon in the task bar, and drag up. That brings up the jump menu with a single click-and-drag.

I've also learned to love aero peek, which works both with alt-tab (don't tab too fast; a second or so and W7 will display the window corresponding to the task) and also with task images that pop up from mousing over the task bar (then mouse over each instance icon).

Lots of ways to use the new task bar; it does take some exploring and getting used to. I didn't like it initially, either, but I've come to really like it.

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