How to add or remove a shortcut on the Windows taskbar

Updated: 12/16/2018 by Computer Hope
Windows logo

With the introduction of Windows 7, you can pin a program to the Windows taskbar. Pinning creates a shortcut to a program that allows the user to open that program from the taskbar using a mouse or shortcut keys. This feature is beneficial because you don't have to minimize all your windows like you would to use a desktop shortcut.

Quick Launch is a feature that was included with Windows 98 up through Windows Vista. It works the same way as pinning. Locate your version of Windows below and follow the steps.

Windows 7, 8, and 10

Pin an already open program

If the program is already open, it can be pinned to the taskbar by right-clicking the icon on the taskbar and clicking Pin to taskbar. Once pinned to the taskbar, it will always appear on the taskbar even if the program is closed.

Pin from Start menu

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu. You should see a menu similar to the one below:

The Windows 10 Start menu with apps.

  1. Scroll down the apps list to find the program you'd like to pin.
  2. Once you located the icon, right-click it, then move your cursor over More and select Pin to taskbar.

An image showing the process for pinning a program to the Windows taskbar.

  1. When you're done, you should see the program's shortcut to the right of the search bar.

Windows 10 taskbar

Drag and drop a shortcut

  1. Locate the shortcut you would like to pin.
  2. Drag and drop the shortcut onto the taskbar.

Removing shortcuts from the taskbar

  1. Right-click any shortcut icon on the taskbar.
  2. Select Unpin from taskbar.

Unpin from taskbar in Windows 10.


The exact Unpin option text will differ depending on the location of the pinned item. For example, if a program is pinned to the taskbar, the option will be named Unpin from taskbar.

Windows 98, 2000, XP, and Vista

Windows 98 taskbar

Adding a program to Quick Launch

  1. Right-click on an empty portion of the Quick Launch tray, and then select Open folder to display the icons stored in the Quick Launch directory.
  2. Once the Quick Launch folder is open, create new shortcuts in it, or you may drag and drop existing ones.

Adding shortcuts to Quick Launch

Drag and drop the shortcut you want to add onto the Quick Launch section of the taskbar.

Removing shortcuts from Quick Launch

To remove icons from Quick Launch, right-click the icon you want to delete, and then select Delete.