Hack: Windows 7 “System Launcher”

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Mike Halsey just came up with an ingenious way to add system icons like the Control Panel, Recycle Bin, Devices and Printers, and more to the new Windows 7 taskbar, all while keeping them separate from the other icons already docked there.

Mike’s hack builds off of the WinVistaClub forum tip about how to add the quick launch toolbar back into Windows 7 . The end results of the hack look like this (click for image). 

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open an explorer window and navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  2. Hit the Alt button then go to the View menu in the toolbar that appears (that’s actually another great tip in and of itself – Alt displays the classic Explorer menu!)
  3. In the View menu, temporarily change the settings for Show hidden files… and Hide Protected Operating System files.
  4. Create a new folder called System Launch.
  5. Change the security privileges on this folder: Right- click on it and select Properties. Go to the Security tab on the window that appears and you’ll see the Everyone user group selected.  Press the Edit button and give this user group full-control.  Press Apply then OK.
  6. Now click anywhere in a blank space on the taskbar and select Toolbars and New Toolbar.
  7. In the window that appears navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  8. Select your System Launch folder and press the Select Folder button.
  9. When this new toolbar appears, you can unlock the taskbar and drag it to where you want and drag and drop any icons you want in it.  You can also right click in it and un-tick the options Show Text and Show Title and change the icon size from small to large. (Toolbar needs to be unlocked to see those options).

That’s a really great tip, Mike, thanks for sharing it!

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