Quick Launch

How to Use Quick Launch in Vista
This will show you how to turn Quick Launch on or off, add or remove shortcuts, and use the Quick Launch keyboard shortcuts.
How to Use Quick Launch in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to turn Quick Launch on or off, add or remove shortcuts, and use the Quick Launch keyboard shortcuts.
Note   Note
Quick Launch is used to launch a program quickly from a shortcut on the Taskbar with one click. The Quick Launch folder is located at the hidden system folder (STEP TWO step 2):

C:\Users\(User-Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Tip   Tip
Quick Launch Keyboard Shortcuts
NOTE: In Vista, the first 10 shortcuts in Quick Launch have their own keyboard shortcut automatically.

1. Press Windows Key + a number between 1 to 0 to open the corresponding shortcut.

EXAMPLE: Quick Launch on the Taskbar
Quick Launch.jpg

How to Turn Quick Launch On or Off

1. Right click on the taskbar.​
2. Click on Toolbars and Quick Launch. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Checked = ON, Unchecked = OFF
On or Off.jpg

Fix Quick Launch Shortcut that Does Not Work

NOTE: If the Quick Launch shortcut does not work when you click on it, then delete it and create a new one. The shortcut has lost it's association to the program.
1. Go to the Quick Launch folder location. (See the NOTE at the top of the tutorial)​
2. Right click in a empty area and click on New and Shortcut.​
3. Browse to the location of the program's .exe file and click on OK.​
4. Click on Next.​
5. Type in a name for the shortcut and click on Finish.​

How to Add or Remove Shortcuts to Quick Launch

1. Open Folder Options.
2. Dot Show hidden files and folders. (See screenshot below)​
3. Click on OK.​
Folder Options.jpg

4. Go to: (See screenshot below)​
C:\Users\(your username)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
5. To Add a Shortcut
A) Drag and Drop,or Cut and Paste, the shortcut into the Quick Launch folder.​
NOTE: It is best to create the shortcut directly from the program's .EXE file to prevent lost shortcut associations. See the Quick Launch Shortcut Does Not Work section above.​

6. To Remove a Shortcut
A) Right click on the shortcut in the Quick Launch folder and click on Delete.​

To Add a Shortcut Icon:
1. Right click on the program you want to add to Quick Launch.
2. Click on Add to Quick Launch. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You may need to press and hold the Shift key and Right click on the file to see the Add to Quick Launch.
WARNING: If you move or delete the file that you clicked Add to Quick Launch with, then the shortcut in Quick Launch will lose it's association and will not work anymore.​
Right Click.jpg

1. To Add a Shortcut Icon
A) Drag a program's icon or shortcut onto the Quick Launch area of the Taskbar and release. (See screenshot below)​
WARNING: If you move or delete the shortcut that you dragged into Quick Launch, then the shortcut in Quick Launch will lose it's association and will not work anymore.​

2. To Remove a Shortcut Icon
A) Right click on the shortcut in Quick Launch and click on Delete.​
Quick Launch.jpg

To Restore the Default Quick Launch Shortcuts

1. To restore the Launch Internet Explorer Browser shortcut -

2. To restore the Show Desktop shortcut -​

3. To restore the Switch Between Windows (Flip 3D) shortcut -​

That's it,

Related Tutorials

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


Wonder if you can help me with this one???
Quick Launch toolbar is visible on Taskbar (which is NOT locked) - shortcuts I want on the QL toolbar are in the correct folder (and permissions on the folder are Full Control) - but the shortcuts icons are NOT displayed on the QL toolbar - ANY ideas what's happening???
Hi AdamBC,

Do you mean that the shorcuts are not in QL, or that the icons are incorrect for the shortcut in QL?

If they are not in QL, then try refreshing the desktop or do a restart.

If they have incorrect icons, then :
1. Right click the shortcut.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click Change Icon button.
4. Select the correct icon and click Ok.
5. Click Ok to apply and close properties.

I came to this link through the Windows Vista Community boards. Shawn had linked after someone reported that some Quick Launch icons wouldn't work.

I've got the same problem and additional details, if anyone can help.

Here's what's happening (as I've posted a couple places, to no avail):

I've added MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook icons to my Quick Launch toolbar. All of these are Office 2007 Enterprise edition and I'm operating Windows Vista x64 Home Premium.

So, here's the rub. If I have my Quick Launch set up so that only a few (let's say 3) icons are visible and the rest come from expanding the window, the ones in the expansion don't work.

To make the problem more clear, let me explain a little more how it would work. Let's say I've got an MS Word icon in there. If it is one that is seen all the time, without expanding the selection, MS Word will launch when I click on the icon. If I move the same icon into the expansion group, it won't launch MS Word.

If I unlock the toolbar and make all my Quick Launch icons visible all the time, they all work. Again, if I collapse this to save space on the bottom, every Office icon hidden becomes unresponsive. Non-Office icons appear to still work.

Ideas on how to fix this? I like having those icons in there, but I really don't want to lose that much task bar space.

Thanks for any help,

Tried both. No improvement.

There are a lot of weird things about this problem. Other QL links in the expansion menu still work. The WindowsKey + number hotkeys work for things in the expansion. If I drag one of the Office icons out to one of the visible ones, it works.

It's just a few icons that don't work, and only when they are in the drop-down (pop-up?) expansion menu.

I've solved lots of problems before, but this one is just plain baffling to me. Too many things are going right that should go wrong at the same time.
Ok Frank,

Try deleting the ones that do not work from Quick Launch in the expansion area, then create new shortcuts for them and put them in Quick Launch. Hopefully the new ones will work. The old ones must have gotten corrupted some how.

Ok Frank,

One last thing to try.

1. Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files..." in folder options.
2. Check "Show hidden files and folders" in folder options.
3. Go to C:\Users\(your username)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
4. Delete the desktop.ini file inside the Quick Launch folder.
5. Restart computer.

Hope this helps,

I attached my desktop.ini here in a ZIP file. Download to your desktop, unzip it, and copy the desktop.ini into that location and do a restart to see if it helps your Quick Launch.

You can view it's contents by opening the desktop.ini file in Notepad.

Download Removed

Last edited:

Thanks for that bonus effort there. No luck, though. Everything is still the same.

The thing that baffles me the most is that the same icons work if I unlock the toolbar and make all my QL icons visible.

Let me know if you come up with any other ideas. I'll keep searching and post if I find anything.

Again, thanks,

Ok Frank,

Sorry it did not work. I'm stumped and scratching my head to. Please do post if you find anything.

So, here's the solution. It's a bit painful, but it seems to work:

1) Go to the Quick Launch root folder (probably "C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch")
2) Right click in the field, go to New, click Shortcut
3) Browse for the location of the file (example: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\POWERPNT.EXE")
4) Click next
5) Type name for your shortcut (example: "Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007")
6) Click Finish.

Your shortcut is added and is that simple. It has full functionality.

The only real difference this seems to make is in the "Target" part of Properties, which is now a file instead of "Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007." That doesn't really explain why the other one doesn't work.

Feel free to use this information in a new tutorial or to share with others as needed. It should be shared so everyone can get around this weird problem.

Thanks again for all your help earlier,

Last edited:
Great news Frank,

I was just doing some research on this and was not finding much on this particular issue. Who would of thought that it was a "Target" issue and still work when in the first 3. I will add this to the tutorial above now in case any one else has this problem.

Thank you for the feedback.

Hi Shawn,

Great tutorials for all. :)
I have a similar problem with a Skype shortcut, but I assume it might be related with the Windows Installer. Everywhere except clicking from the Quick Launch works perfectly.
Here, you can see the shortcut tab of its properties. (It's in Turkish. :))

What do you think?

Hi Kgursu,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

I would delete the one in Quick Launch, then go the EXE (application) file for Skye in Program Files and right click on it and click Send To and Desktop (Create Shortcut). Next, rename it to what you want and move that new shortcut into Quick Launch. That one should work now.


Hope this helps,
Thanks, it worked as you suggested!...

But, what might be the source of the problem? Shall I report this to Skype or to MS, maybe?
Your welcome Kgursu. I'm glad to hear that it worked for you. This could of happened if say the file the Quick Launch shortcut was made from was deleted or moved causing the Quick Launch shortcut to still only being pointed to the old location when it is no longer there now.

HI I had the some problem that the quick launch would not work at all. I fixed this by doing the following.

1. Make a new user account
2. open the c:\users\(the new account)\appdata\roaming\microsoft\internet explorer
3. copy the quick launch folder to your main account
4. log off
5. log in with your main account.
6. and the quick launch should be their.

this worked of me the only pain is that you have to re-pin the programs to the quick launch