Pinning a File to the Taskbar

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 15, 2017)

2

Pinning an application (program) to the taskbar is quite simple. You can create a shortcut, and from there right-click and select "Pin to taskbar." For non-executable files, though (like DOCX or TXT files), it's almost as simple. Say that you have a file named "Tips.docx." There are a couple of ways to have it pinned to the taskbar, but I think following these general steps is the most straightforward approach:

  1. Right-click your Tips.docx file and select Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut). This creates a shortcut to the file and places that shortcut on your desktop. You probably want to rename the shortcut to something like "Tips" or "Tips.docx."
  2. Right-click the desktop shortcut and select Properties.
  3. Click in the Target text box, and (being careful not to delete what's there) add the word "Explorer " at the front. (Don't add the quotes, and be sure to put a space between "Explorer" and whatever is already in the text box.) Click OK. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Add "Explorer " to the Target text box.

  5. Right-click the desktop shortcut again, and now you'll see the option "Pin to Taskbar." Choose the option and your shortcut will effectively be copied to the taskbar.

Unfortunately, your shortcuts will have the icon for File Explorer instead of Word, but you can change the icon between steps 3 and 4 so that the icon is more appropriate.

 This tip (1677) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Reviewing the Windows Update History

Windows installs updates automatically by default. If you want to review what updates have been installed, seeing the update ...

Discover More

Understanding the Task Scheduler

If you want to have a program run at a certain time or when a specific system event occurs, you'll want to understand the ...

Discover More

Locking and Unlocking the Taskbar

You'll usually want your Taskbar locked, but there are times when it must be unlocked. This tip explains how to lock and ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Getting Rid of Notification Area Icons

Getting notified of events can be useful, but if the notification icons get too numerous you may wish to turn some off. This ...

Discover More

Choosing an Icon Size for the Taskbar

Choosing an icon size for the taskbar is a quick and simple process. This tip explains how it's done.

Discover More

Moving the Taskbar to a Different Edge of the Screen

The Taskbar is normally displayed along the bottom edge of the screen. Windows gives you the flexibility to decide where the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 5?

2017-05-16 04:42:09

Barry

Thanks for the tip-in-a-tip, Peter. Another option would be to pin a folder to the taskbar and within that folder put shortcuts to all the files you want quick access to. Pinning a folder (or a non-application file) to the taskbar is covered under another tip I believe.


2017-05-15 18:41:52

Peter Wezel

If there are multiple files that you want to add to the taskbar, your taskbar may soon get overloaded with pinned shortcuts. In that case you may want to use the following approach.
Assume that you have multiple Word documents and Excel sheets you want to be accessible. Make sure that you have shortcuts to Word and Excel on the taskbar. Then open the desired file(s). Now when you right-click the taskbar icon of the application you will see a list of recently opened files. When you move the cursor to a file a pin will appear to the right of the associated file. When you click this pin the related file will be pinned to the application. This means that the related file will always be available in the list of files to be selected for opening.
From then on you can open the desired file by right-clicking the associated application icon on the taskbar and then select the pinned Word document or Excel file. This is a big time saver.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.