Pin multiple Explorer Windows 7 to taskbar

By HaLo2FrEeEk ยท 20 replies
Apr 24, 2011
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  1. Before anyone says this is impossible, it's not. I had it set up like this before and I reinstalled Windows, now I can't get it back to the way it was. I know it was a pain the first time around too, though.

    Ok, basically, I want a taskbar icon that, when clicked, opens up one of my harddrives. When I click this icon, I want the window to open using that icon, not as a separate item in the taskbar. For example, see attached images. likethis.png is what it should do when I click to open it, notlikethis.png is what it should not do (the little mp3 player icon is the E: drive shortcut, opening the window changes the icon to a harddrive).

    Now, if I change the target of the shortcut to this:

    C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e, /root,E:

    Then it works like it should, however, there's a problem: I want more than one shortcut. The other shortcut is to an FTP site. I actually thought to save the original shortcut from before I reinstalled Windows, and the target for it is this:

    C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e, /root,[noparse][/noparse]

    (with the actual site and credentials obviously being changed here) This also works as it should, opening the window using the icon. Here's the problem though, both work when they're the only ones on the taskbar, but if I put them both on the taskbar at the same time, then whichever one I added first takes precedence. By that I mean that if I add the shortcut to the E: drive, then add the shortcut to the FTP site, clicking the E: drive shortcut opens the window using the correct icon, but clicking the FTP site shortcut opens the window using the E: drive icon.

    I know this may sound like a trivial little thing, but it's possible, I know it is, and it's just how I want it set up.

    Can anyone help me out, please! I read somewhere that I could make a copy of explorer.exe, rename it explorer2.exe and point one of the shortcuts to it, and that would solve the problem. Well I did that, and it didn't fix it, it just reversed it, now clicking on the E: shortcut opens a window using the FTP shortcut. It doesn't make sense, and I had it working before, I just don't remember what I did.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

  3. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    I'm sorry, I've already seen that and it's not what I'm looking for. I'm not having any trouble actually getting the shortcuts onto the taskbar, as evidenced by the screenshots I attached. The problems I'm having are with the behavior of the shortcuts. They both reference explorer.exe, just with different values for the parameters. Windows thinks that I have two shortcuts for the same program since they both point to explorer.exe (see the bolded text in my first post), and because of that, clicking on one causes it to use the other's icon as it's taskbar item (the item that you click to bring to front, minimize, restore, and see the preview of the window).

    My icon settings are set to never combine.
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

  5. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    As I said, I'm not having trouble pinning the folders to the taskbar, please read my post completely, I thoroughly explain the problem that I'm having and the results I'm looking for.
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I do understand the problem, sorry my suggestions are not working.
  7. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be rude. I posted this same question at and the people there are complete ******. They're not reading what I say, they keep linking me to the same articles that I've told them I already read (and which didn't help), and suggesting stupid things like making all folders open as a new process or in their own window. It's frustrating. I apologize though, it's not your fault they're stupid.
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    OK, I just did some experimenting and made two shortcuts, one to a web site and one to my C: drive and they have both pinned to the taskbar and both work.

    I got it from this quote:

    There is only one simple rule that you have to follow in order to make almost any item "pinnable" to the taskbar: create a shortcut, save it somewhere safe so you don't delete it by mistake, create a shortcut to that shortcut and add the explorer word before its path, plus one space. Then you have a shortcut which you can pin to the taskbar.

    It was that easy, hope I have got it right this time.
  9. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    Creating a shortcut to a shortcut just makes a copy of the original shortcut, it doesn't actually create another shortcut.

    The problem is that my "target" fields both point to explorer.exe:

    C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e, /root,E:\
    C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e, /root,[noparse][/noparse]

    Since they both point to explorer.exe as their application, they both open using whichever icon was pinned first. If I pin the FTP site shortcut first, then I pin the E: drive shortcut, clicking the E: drive shortcut will open using the icon that's actually for the FTP site. Clicking the FTP site opens using the proper icon. What's supposed to happen is that clicking either icon opens a window using that icon as it's taskbar item.

    I think what I did last time was create a copy of explorer.exe, name it explorer2.exe, and point one of the shortcuts to it. I'm pretty sure it was the E: drive, because I backed up the shortcut to the FTP site and it says explorer.exe. Either that or something magically changed the way Windows acts between this install and the previous one, even though I installed from the same CD.
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    As I have said I just made this work and you can create a shortcut with just an internet address in it or anything else you want to use. I have made a guide for future use so try this process, you are not making the second shortcut in the correct way.

    I've just tried this with two files that are within the same folder and it worked perfectly.

  11. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    Ok, I did this:

    Created a shortcut to my E: drive by right clicking it and selecting "Create Shortcut"
    Copied that shortcut to a location where I would not delete it.
    Right clicked the desktop and selected New > Shortcut
    Clicked "Browse" and selected the first shortcut I'd created, then inserted the word "explorer" and a space before it.
    Clicked next
    Named the shortcut
    Clicked ok.
    Right click this new shortcut and select "Pin to Taskbar"

    Now, when I click the icon, a NEW taskbar item opens up. What should happen is the existing icon (the one that I clicked) should expand out and become the window's taskbar item. This is what happened before I reinstalled, which is how I know it's possible.
  12. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    That is not how I did it, you have to start by right clicking on empty space on the desktop as my guide says and then do the same again.

    When you created the shortcut to the first shortcut did its icon appear as a picture of folders, mine did once I added the word explorer.

    Strange though, I just tried to right click on all of my drives and none gave the choice to create a shortcut but doing it the way I said from the desktop does work.

    When I click on the icon it opens to the location showing the contents of the drive.

    I am using windows 7 ultimate.

    then inserted the word "explorer" and a space before it

    Is this just a typing error or did you add the space before the word explorer, it has to go after it.
  13. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    I added the space after, it was a typo. After I did this, my Target looked like this:

    C:\Windows\explorer.exe E:\

    The problem with this is that when I click the icon it opens a new taskbar item, it doesn't expand the icon that I clicked and make it into the taskbar item like it should. I changed the target to this:

    C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e /root,E:\

    I remembered something though. Right now, every Explorer window I open uses the E: drive shortcut for it's taskbar item. No matter where I open the window from, be it the Computer shortcut on the desktop or Start menu, or by using my FTP site shortcut. It didn't do this before. Before, when I clicked on the E: drive shortcut it opened the window, and used the E: drive shortcut's icon as the taskbar item, I clicked on the FTP site shortcut and it did the same thing, opened a window and used the FTP site shortcut's icon as the taskbar item. If I opened an Explorer window from somewhere else, it would open it's own taskbar item, separate from the two shortcuts.

    This is just mind-boggling because it worked before, it HAS to be able to work again. I didn't install any software before, I used what Windows had, I just don't know why it's fighting me this time around, I don't remember having this much trouble before.

    Edit: I'm really having a hard time explaining exactly what I mean by "icon turns into the taskbar item", so I made a quick little video to demonstrate it:
  14. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I understand a bit more about what is going on now but can't for the life of me figure out why.

    When I conducted an experiment to make the shortcuts the icons in the taskbar didn't expand in the taskbar to reveal their name they just opened up full screen.

    One major difference in your settings and mine is that I have the setting for taskbar buttons set to default "Always combine, hide labels" try changing your settings and see if it helps.
  15. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    That's not it, or at least that's not the behavior I want. I want the taskbar items to be separate, not combined, and show labels. That's what I had before.
  16. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    The confusion continues. I just changed my settings to Never combine and then made two more shortcuts and then the shortcuts to the shortcuts and it would not allow the second shortcut to be pinned to the task bar. Changed the setting back to Always Combine, Hide Labels and they then both went into the taskbar, I could then change the setting back to never combine but although both shortcuts worked they would not show a label. How did you make the icon show its label, I tried it with just one shortcut pinned to the taskbar with setting for Never Combine but no label would show.

    I found this guide which appears to show everything there is to know about the taskbar, have not had time to read it all but hope it might help. I'll have another look at this when I have more time as I am now keen to figure it out myself.
  17. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    I'm not sure, I don't think I did anything special, I just dragged them both to the taskbar then arranged them where I wanted them. First I removed the default Windows Explorer shortcut, otherwise it would try to get me to pin the new shortcuts to the jumplist of Explorer.

    I'll have a look at that article, hopefully it explains something. This is just getting ridiculous.
  18. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I didn't delete my explorer shortcut and had no problem. It only wanted to got to the explorer shortcut if I tried it with the first shortcut made. With the shortcut to the shortcut there was no problem.
  19. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    Interesting. Regardless, it doesn't solve the issue.
  20. Javert93

    Javert93 TS Rookie

    Sorry, I know I'm a little tardy to the party, but I found this link. It doesn't provide any kind of cascading folders like what I think you are looking for, but it seems to allow you to pin separate icons for multiple explorer folders to the taskbar without collapsing them into a single icon:

    Sorry it's missing the http prefix, but I signed up just so I could tell you what I found in my own search, and the boards won't let me post a link until I have 5 points (however you are expected to get those).
  21. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    Hi Javerrt93, I think this post has pretty much ended.

    You need to do 5 posts (not obtain 5 points) before you can add URL's to your posts.

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