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Where, in the Windows 7 file system, are the taskbar shortcuts stored (per user)?

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Why do I have to end up on this SU question every time I need to know this! – HDave Sep 10 '15 at 17:39
up vote 85 down vote accepted

Taskbar shortcuts are located in: %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar.

You can also add the "Quick Launch" folder to your task bar as a toolbar to re-enable the quick launch feature.

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Yes. Can anyone explain why they're in an "Internet Explorer" folder? – outsideblasts Oct 22 '09 at 16:01
I think the shortcuts were originally in the IE folder in an effort to prove to the authorities that IE is inseparable from Windows shell. They probably stayed there out of inertia or compatibility concerns. – dbkk101 Oct 22 '09 at 17:18
That seems plausible, thanks! – outsideblasts Oct 22 '09 at 21:30
@dbkk101: That's bogus. The QuickLaunch bar was a shell feature that came with IE (4, iirc). hence the IE team owned it, not the Shell team. Compatibility reasons left the folder structure as it is now. This has nothing to do with IE being a core part of Windows now. Remember that IE up to version 6 was still available as a stand-alone install. – Joey Oct 19 '10 at 7:45
@Joey Thanks for the more detailed background. Glad to hear the reason is not as sinister as it seems. For the record, IE 4 release brought quite a few new shell features (e.g. ActiveDesktop). Close integration of browser and Windows prompted an antitrust lawsuit in 1998. – dbkk101 Oct 20 '10 at 8:56

Hit the Windows key and paste

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

to find the pinned taskbar items, or simply

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\

to see the folders for those and the start menu items.

If you're having trouble getting Windows to remember pinned items you may need to remove the Favorites registry key located at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband\.

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If you don't like Quick Launch, you can create your own with "New toolbar", which can be anywhere; it's a folder. The toolbar name is the folder name.

I put it under the hidden folder C:\ProgramData so it will be easily accessible to all users. But it can go wherever you like.

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