Getting easier access to a Windows 7 shortcut is extremely easy: right-click, select “Pin to taskbar”, and an icon will pop up on your taskbar, ready for immediate use.
Right-click a file, though – or a folder, a drive, a Control Panel applet or just about anything else – and you’ll find no “Pin” option. There are various manual workarounds you can apply, but your life will be much simpler if you grab a copy of TaskBar Pinner, which allows you to fill the taskbar with just about anything you like.
The program arrives as a tiny (236KB) download. Unzip this and launch either the 32 or 64-bit Taskbar Pinner, depending on your version of Windows. (Or if you’re not sure, just pick one, and the program will tell you if you need to use the other.)
The Taskbar Pinner interface looks much like a regular Windows 7 dialog, and it’s very straightforward. You have four options – “Pin a File”, “Pin a Folder”, “Pin a Shell Location” and “Pin a Library” – and all you have to do is click one, choose whatever it is you’d like to pin, and you’re done.
Probably the most interesting option here is “Pin a Shell Location”, as this gives you access to all kinds of system features (not just your own folders). So you can pin Control Panel applets, Windows Help, the Recycle Bin, Windows Search, the Run box and more.
Whatever you select can be removed in the usual way, just by right-clicking and selecting the “Unpin” option.
And if you think you’ll use Taskbar Pinner a lot, then checking the “Explorer context menu” allows you to access it from Explorer, or the desktop, without needing to manually launch the program first. To pin a file, folder or drive to the taskbar, say, you’d just right-click them, select “Pin with Taskbar” and the shortcut will be added right away.