The Windows Learning Center

Three Tricks for Making Your Favorite Folders Easy to Use


Are you tired of Windows trying to put everything in the folder (My) Documents? Most PC users have a few folders that they use all the time and would like a fast way to get to them. But you don't have to keep hunting through Windows Explorer in order to use them. Windows provides a variety of ways and shortcuts to make your favorite folders quickly available. In this article, I will describe three different ways to make a folder easy to use.

What about a desktop shortcut to the folder?

This is the obvious and often-used way to provide quick access. But a desktop shortcut is often obscured when several windows are open and isn't always that easy to get to. The following methods often provide a more convenient way. Of course, there is nothing to prevent using a combination of all of the different possibilities. Give them all a try and pick what is most suitable for your particular personal needs.

Put your favorite folder in a custom toolbar on the Taskbar

Did you know that you can make a toolbar containing your favorite folder? Here’s how:

  1. Make sure the Taskbar is unlocked
  2. Right-click an empty spot on the Taskbar
  3. Click "Toolbars—New toolbar..."
  4. In the folder dialog that opens, select the desired folder
  5. Click the button “Select Folder”
  6. A toolbar with the folder name will appear on the Taskbar  
  7. Re-lock the Taskbar if desired

Since the toolbar for your folder is on the Taskbar, it is always available even when you have covered the desktop with open windows.

Pin your favorite folder to the Start menu

Programs and other executable files can be pinned to the Start menu from the right-click context menu but that does not work for folders. However, there is an even easier way. Just drag the folder and drop it on the Start menu or button. There it will be whenever you need it.

Put your favorite folder in Windows Explorer Favorites

Windows Explorer contains an area on the left side for placing shortcuts to folders that you use often. In Windows 7, the area is near the top of the left pane and is called “Favorites”. In Vista, it is called “Favorite Links”. Adding or removing links is very easy. To add a link, just drag a folder from the right pane to the link area. To remove a link, right-click it and choose ”Remove” (Windows 7) or “Remove Link” (Vista). This also applies to the Open/Save dialog boxes.

Another way to add your favorite folder to "Favorites" is to open the folder, right-click the "Favorites" entry in the left pane of the open Explorer and choose "Add current location to Favorites" from the context menu.