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I'd like my Downloads folder pinned to the taskbar in Windows 8. Evidently this is not something they want you to do, so I had to look for a workaround. Currently I have something pinned with the name 'Downloads', the target 'C:\Windows\explorer.exe C:\Users\X\Downloads', and the standard Downloads icon from %SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll

Unfortunately, there are still two problems with this arrangement:

  • The displayed icon is wrong. It displays as the standard Explorer icon, instead of the Downloads icon.
  • When I click on it, it opens up a new Explorer icon, instead of using the already existing one. I'm left with two Explorer icons, one active (the new one that opened up) and one inactive (the Downloads one).

Any help would be appreciated.

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Did you pin the shortcut and then attempt to change the icon? Instead, try creating a shortcut to the folder on the Desktop, add "explorer" at the beginning of the Target field (at which point the icon will change), change the icon using imageres.dll and finally pin the shortcut to the taskbar. See if it works this way. You can also check whether the "fake exe" trick still works in Win8. –  Karan Feb 21 '13 at 1:07
    
@Karan Thanks for the tip. You've solved the first problem, but the second problem remains. The fake exe trick still works in Windows 8, but again the second problem remains. Any ideas about how to solve the second problem? Thanks. –  76987 Feb 21 '13 at 4:12
    
See whether the iTunes/WMP solutions mentioned here work equally well for taskbar pinned folder icons. –  Karan Feb 21 '13 at 4:16
    
@Karan I just tried it, and it looks like that solution only returns me to square one: trying unsuccessfully to change the Explorer icon to the Downloads icon on something already pinned to the taskbar. –  76987 Feb 21 '13 at 4:27
    
Something they've done in Win8 seems to have messed with this - what I suggested above works just fine in Win7 (proper icon, single button on taskbar). I don't have access to Win8 right now so can't suggest anything more at present. –  Karan Feb 21 '13 at 4:30
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