How To Pin A Program To The Taskbar Or Dock

For quick and convenient access to your favourite programs or folders, pin them to the taskbar in Windows or the dock on Mac. Here’s how to set this up so you’re just one click away from what you use most.

Pinning a Program or Other Items in Windows

There are a couple of ways you can pin a program to the taskbar in Windows 7:

  • Click on the program’s shortcut icon and hold down the mouse button as you drag it from the desktop or the Start menu to the taskbar, then release.
  • Another option is to right-click on the program icon — again, on the desktop or from the Start menu — and select “Pin this program to taskbar” (if the program is already open) or “Pin to taskbar” otherwise.

Note: you can also drag a file to the taskbar. This will pin the file’s associated program (e.g., Microsoft Word or Firefox) to the taskbar if it isn’t already pinned there; you can then get to that file quickly by right-clicking on the program icon on the taskbar and finding the file under the pop-up menu (also known as the Jump List). Similarly, folders you drag to the taskbar will appear in the WIndows Explorer Jump List.

For Windows Vista or earlier Windows versions

You can drag the application icon to the Quick Launch bar on the taskbar:

  • First enable the Quick Launch toolbar if it’s not already (by default it’s disabled). Right-click on the taskbar and go to Toolbars > Quick Launch. You’ll then see the Quick Launch toolbar with a double arrow to the right.
  • If you’d like, you can create folders to organise your shortcuts in the Quick Launch toolbar by creating the folders in Windows Explorer under the C:\Documents and Settings\your name\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch folder (per OptimizingPC).
  • Drag your shortcuts to the Quick Launch bar to add them. You can rearrange their order by dragging the icons around.

Pinning a Program or Other Items on Mac OS X

Mac OS X also has a couple of ways to pin your most used items to the dock:

  • Drag the program, file, or folder icon to the dock and wait for the icons in the dock to move to make room for the new icon. To remove it from the dock, just drag it off of the dock.
  • Or you could pin an application that’s open by right-clicking its icon on the dock and selecting Options > Keep in Dock.
  • If you find some folders, like the Applications folder, won’t stick to the dock, create an alias which you can add to the dock: right-click on the folder and selet Make Alias, then drag the alias to the dock.

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