Add a Quick Launch Toolbar to Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10

By default, the Quick Launch bar is not available in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10. To open programs quickly, you can drag the program icons to the taskbar.

However, you can follow the steps in this article to restore the Quick Launch bar and the Show Desktop button as it was in Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP.

1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click New Toolbar.


2. In the dialog box, copy and then paste the following folder name to the Folder box, and then click Select Folder:

Windows 7
%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Windows 8, Windows 8.1 & Windows 10
%UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Note that on Windows 10, you will have to keep the Taskbar Search Icon set to HIDDEN.

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Windows 8 – Windows 10 Start Menu

Where is the Start menu?

The Start screen replaces the Start menu in Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10 and Windows RT.

How to Use it

Open Start by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or if you’re using a mouse, pointing to the upper right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer down), and then tapping or clicking Start. Update: 8.1 has returned the Start Button – but still no Menu. The version that came out with Windows 10 will serve the needs of most, but many will prefer the older Windows 7 style Start Menu.

Well, fortunately you have a few options:

1. Suck it up and get used to Windows 8/8.1 or make do with the new Windows 10 style Start Menu.

2. If you are using Windows 8/8.1, upgrade to Windows 10

3. Add a Windows 7 style Start Menu using Third Party software.

Since you are reading this, I doubt you are willing to suck it up, and so it’s Third Party software that you want.

Stardock Start8 and Start10

Cost: Free to try for 30 days, and then $4.99. Or you can jew Start8 with a simple search of Online Sharing Community or half a million other places around the net.

System Requirements: Windows 8/8.1 or Windows Server 2012

Where to Get it:

What is Start8/Start10?

  • Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements
  • Search for Windows 8-style (Modern UI) apps
  • Pin desktop and Metro apps to the start menu
  • Jump List support
  • Unified Search for apps, settings and files
  • Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
  • One click access to shut down, devices, music, documents, and videos
  • Optionally disable the desktop Windows 8 “hot spots”
  • Supports WindowFX 5.1 start menu animations
  • Includes .ADMX template (in GroupPolicy folder)

Start8 – A Start Button for Windows 8


Lee-Soft ViStart 8.1

Cost: Free

System Requirements: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP

Where to Get it:

ViStart 8 has all the functionality the Windows 7 Start menu has and then some more. ViStart 8.1 is completely skinable and there are already a lot of extra start menu skins and start menu buttons available to customize your Windows look that you can download from the website.

  • The original features of the windows 7 start menu
  • Boot directly to the windows 8 desktop
  • Advanced search (includes also windows “metro” apps and displays them in a separate category)
  • Search & start “metro” apps directly from the start menu
  • Pin “metro” apps to the start menu
  • Switch button in the start menu to switch to the “metro” app desktop
  • Custom start buttons “there is a selection of free start buttons on the website)
  • Completely skin able “ you can give your start menu a custom look”
  • Free skins “ there is a special gallery with free skins on to customize you start menu”

ViStart – A Start Button for Windows 8

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