Tips ‘N’ Tricks – Windows – Adding Toolbars for Quick Access to Frequently Used Folders, Applications, and Documents

We often create a directory structure (with sub-directories etc.) to maintain files on our computers. When we want to open a particular file or a folder which requires going from one directory to another (say directories are nested up to 5 or 6 levels or even more), it requires us to keep double clicking on each of the directories to get into the next directory till we reach the directory which contains the file/folder which we want to open. This is the usual approach and many people follow this approach. However, there is one more simple approach, which I am going to demonstrate in this tip.

There is a feature called Toolbars in Windows. This feature allows us to create a Toolbar which points to one of our directory (usually the top most directory like a particular Project Directory etc.). Using this toolbar, we can quickly navigate to the files/folders of our choice. Let’s see how it works.

Right click on the Taskbar, Go to Toolbars | New Toolbar… as shown below.

Navgating to New Toolbar Option

In the New Toolbar window, navigate to the directory (usually this is the topmost folder which contains your most frequently used files/folders like your Project Folder etc.) and select it as shown below. Note that, the name in the Folder text box is updated automatically based on the selection in the New Toolbar window and you cannot change the name in the Folder text box.

New Toolbar Window

This creates a Quick Access Toolbar for you which is located towards the right hand side on your Taskbar as shown below.

Now let’s say you want to open a file named “Audit Table Design.sql“, which is located under SampleProject | 5.Design | 3.Design | Tables, then you can click on the Double Right arrow next to SampleProject Quick Access Toolbar and start navigating to the Tables folder and click on “Audit Table Design.sql” file to open it. This makes is really simple and quicker to navigate to various files/folders within your computer.

Navigating to Files and Folders using Newly Created Toolbar

I usually create a set of shortcuts for frequently accessed application. On this note, I have a set of pre-defined batch files which contain Command Line Instructions for managing various Windows Services associated with SQL Server. I have created a separate Quick Access Toolbar for this these set of batch files so that I can quickly manage the SQL Server Services without actually going to Control Panel each and every time.

Below is screenshot of the Manage Services Quick Access Toolbar which contains various batch files for managing SQL Server related Services.

Sample Toolbar with Shortcuts for Managing SQL Server Services.PNG

That makes my life a lot simpler and helps improve my productivity at work. So what’s your favorite Windows Trick? Do let me know by leaving a comment below.

Note: The above demonstration is based on Windows XP. Approach is pretty much same as above for Windows 7 as well.

Take a look at the other Tips and Tricks in this Series on Tips, Tricks, Techniques, and Shortcuts to Improve Productivity, and Design and Coding Skills.


About Dattatrey Sindol (Datta)

Datta is a Microsoft BI Enthusiast, passionate developer, and a blogger. View Full Profile

Posted on June 20, 2012, in Shortcuts, Tips 'N' Tricks, Windows, Windows Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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