In XP/Vista I could drag a text file to the taskbar and while holding down CTRL-SHIFT it could make an icon for that text file. I click on it and it opens that text file in my default editor.

In Windows 7 if I do this, it pins the text editor which opens empty but not that particular text file.

How can I pin a .txt file to the taskbar in Windows 7?

10 Answers 10

up vote 11 down vote accepted

If you drag it to the taskbar it won't be pinned to the taskbar. It will however be pinned to the Jump list for the text editor you've chosen.

Example: Let's say you use Notepad as default editor. When you drag test.txt to your taskbar it will pin Notepad to your taskbar. It will also pin test.txt to Notepad's Jump List. To open the file you right click on the Notepad icon and select the pinned file from the Jump List.

  • While this answer has good information, it still doesn't really answer the question. He's looking for a way to open a particular text file from the taskbar with a single click. – Ryan Bolger Aug 7 '09 at 21:09
  • Right, but that makes it less clicks to open up my todo.txt file that I always use to open in one click on vista – Edward Tanguay Aug 7 '09 at 21:14
  • Its a good answer though. I didn't know the taskbar had this functionality – bobobobo Aug 7 '09 at 21:16

There's a way to pin directly to the task bar.

  1. Right click on your text file, and click 'Create Shortcut'
  2. Open up the shortcut's properties and prepend 'notepad' to the target
    Ex. "C:\MyFile.txt" becomes "notepad C:\MyFile.txt"
  3. Pin the shortcut to the task bar.

This is a slight modification of the method for pinning a folder to the task bar as described here.

  • Perfect - can't see why the other answers are marked higher, as this solves the job simply. – Andy Brown Oct 2 '15 at 9:03
  • I agree with Andy, this should have been the accepted answer. – mr-matt May 20 '17 at 4:12

Not ideal, but a solution I came up with is:

Create a folder, anywhere - call it something short.

Create a shortcut to your files in it.

Right click the taskbar and click Toolbars > New toolbar

Locate and select the folder.

You should now see the folder on the taskbar with your item, ready to click.

As you said, You can just pin it - as to why it is empty, it sounds like a bug as I do not get this. Perhaps you should try opening the file, adding something like a space to the start, saving then removing the space and saving again. This should make it appear in the recent list. Right click and do properties to make sure that it is the correct object (date/time) and then pin it as it should be the correct version.

What I've done is enable the "Links" toolbar, and I placed shortcuts inside that toolbar.

I've done this for both folders and single documents, and it has worked perfectly.

  1. Create a shortcut of your chosen folder or document by right clicking on it and choosing "Create Shortcut." A shortcut of the folder or file will appear on your desktop.
  2. Right click on the shortcut icon and choose "Properties."
  3. In the Target field, type the word explorer before the C:[etc], making sure to leave space after explorer. It should now look like this: explorer C:\Users\whatever\etc.
  4. Click "Apply" and "OK."
  5. Change the look of the icon at this point, if you wish.
  6. Right click the icon and choose "Pin to taskbar." You may delete the shortcut file on your desktop, if you want. The pinned file will be on your taskbar.

Typing explorer before the path makes it possible to pin whatever you want to your taskbar without having to resort to creating new toolbars or showing the links toolbar or any other "workaround."

This doesn't work for a lot of programs, but the following will work to automatically open a specific .txt file in Notepad.

  1. Locate the .txt file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Shift + right-click the file and select Copy as path.
  3. Drag the file to the taskbar as normal and a context menu will appear.
  4. Right-click the Notepad menu item in that context menu and select Properties.
  5. On the Shortcut tab, delete the path in the Target field and paste in the path you copied in step 2.
  6. Hit OK.

Clicking Notepad on the taskbar will now automatically load the .txt file into it.

  • Drag The Notepad document with your writing in to the task bar so it gets pinned to the task bar.
  • Right click on the Notepad document that just got put in the task bar — not the one in the task bar but the one before it was moved.
  • Click on Properties, click on Security, copy the object name
  • Right click on Notepad in the task bar
  • Right click on Notepad, click Properties, click Shortcut
  • Delete the writing in the target box and paste what you copied before
  • Click apply and ok, exit out of Notepad
  • Click on it again in the task bar and it should come up with everything you have already written in it.

Pin Notepad.exe to taskbar. Shift + Right Click on it. Click Properties. In Target field, type or paste the path to the file you want pinned.

To create shortcut from text file right-click shortcut then add the word explorer to the left of file path like so:

From: C:\Users\jjay\Desktop\text.txt
To: explorer C:\Users\jjay\Desktop\text.txt > Drag to taskbar

This possible by changing the location of the file. By default it will point to the notepad.exe file. Here are the steps:

  1. Right click on the pinned "notepad" item in the taskbar
  2. Right click on the notepad in the jump list
  3. You can rewrite the default location to the file you want to pop up.
  • 1
    That doesn't work. You cannot alter the location in the dialog box – picxelplay Oct 7 '11 at 13:41

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