So you bought Windows Vista (currently the most maligned and hated OS MS has ever produced with the exception of ME) or it arrived with the computer you recently purchased. If you have used any flavor of Windows for any length of time, you may have used the toolbars that you can add to your bottom taskbar. These toolbars let you type in a website address, or view files and folders in your “Documents” folder, or links to websites in your favorites.

With Windows XP, 2000, and 98, you could drag these extra toolbars to any edge of your screen, and even have multiple toolbars, all of which make using windows more convenient. The way I use them, I usually hide all the icons on my desktop, have a toolbar at the top of my screen to enter website addresses, show folders and files in my documents folder and my desktop, and to show links. On the side, I have a toolbar that has all my favorite applications – the ones I use most, plus a couple of short cuts to my most frequently used files.

With Windows Vista, Microsoft, for some inexplicable reason, decided to take away the ability to drag toolbars from the bottom Taskbar, and place them where you want, but there is a workaround. Frustrated with having no toolbars like I used too in XP, I started experimenting.

Believe it or not, while you can’t exactly open a toolbar on the Vista taskbar, you can create a new shortcut on your desktop, and then drag it wherever you want, even to the edge of your screen. When you drag it to the edge of the desktop, despite Microsoft’s attempt to prevent this, it becomes a toolbar. In the image I included here, you can clearly see, I have two toolbars that you would normally be able to “drag and drop” in Windows XP from the taskbar, one on the side, that is basically a link to common files and programs that I frequently use.An example of toolbars in Vista
In Windows XP, all you had to do, was right click the taskbar, open the toolbar you wanted, and drag it where you wanted it to be. You could even auto hide the toolbar if you so desired, leaving it hidden at the top of the screen for example, until you needed to enter in a website address.

In Vista, the procedure is slightly different, but it can be done. Here’s how you do it:

(NOTE: Tip edited and modified after Kiko provided a better way to do this – thanks Kiko!)

1st: Make sure you haven’t hidden your desktop icons. If you have, right click the desktop and select “View” and then select “Show Desktop Icons” – you hide them by un-checking that.

2nd: Right click on your desktop, and select “New” and then select “Folder”. Name the folder anything you want. You don’t have to keep it – we just need it to get the toolbar working where you want it.

3rd: Drag it to any edge of you screen where you want to have your toolbar (just don’t drag it onto your taskbar).

4th: Once your “new” toolbar is up and working, you can right click on it, select any of the default toolbars you’d like, hide it, have it always appear on top of other windows, or you can drag any folders (preferably as shortcuts) or files (also as shortcuts) onto it.

You can do this with any folder you want – and turn it into a tool bar. For example: Have a folder where you put all those films you like to watch? You can put a toolbar on the left edge of you desktop. The possibilities are endless.

I hope you enjoyed this tip!



[tags]Windows Vista, Tips & Tricks, Blackwolf, Toolbars, Taskbar[/tags]