• No shortcuts to files on Taskbar in Win11

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    In Windows 10, I used to have shortcuts to a few files <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>on my taskbar</span>.  I could even stack several Excel files on one Excel icon on the taskbar.  So, I could have those files accessible when other app(s), like a browser, are filling the screen.  That was really handy!  Windows 11 doesn’t allow that, or I haven’t figured out how.  I used to just hold down the right mouse button and drag the file to the taskbar.  Is this a lost feature?  Or is there another way?

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    • #2588826

      You ready for this?  Take your file.  Rename it to exe.  Pin the fake .exe to the taskbar.  Now go to the taskbar and rename it back to .xls or .xlsx

      Of course you can install a third party menu software.  But faking it out is the “native” way to do it.



      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    • #2588830

      OK, maybe I did this wrong, but:

      I renamed the file worksheetfile.xlsx to worksheetfile.exe.

      Pinned that to the taskbar = OK.

      Renamed worksheetfile.exe back to .xlsx.

      Attempted to modify the Properties of the shortcut on the taskbar to link to the .xlsx but there was no way to modify the shortcut – & since it’s trying to find a .exe, it can’t find the file cause I renamed it back to.xlsx.  So = didn’t work.  What did I do wrong?

      Many thanks for the quick response, though.

    • #2588859

      I renamed the file worksheetfile.xlsx to worksheetfile.exe

      This works in Windows 10.  I do not know if also works in Windows 11, but it’s worth try.

      I use this alternate way to pin any shortcut to the task bar or start menu.  In this case it’s a shortcut to the Downloads folder, but it can also be directly you your xlsx file


      1. The icon image will change to the common explorer icon, so you’ll want to change the icon.
      2. Right click on your shortcut and the options for “pin to taskbar” or “pin to start menu” will be visible. Click one or both.

      Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
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      • #2588943

        Win11 Home 22H2

        I couldn’t get Susan’s tip (rename .xlsx to .exe, pin, rename back) to work for me.  But this tip worked just fine.  Very useful.  Many thanks.

        I found that if I had already pinned the shortcut to the task bar and then changed the icon (right click on shortcut.lnk, then properties, change icon, select icon, then apply), the task bar icon didn’t change.  But if I then unpinned it from the task bar followed by repin to task bar, the icon changed.  (Icon might have changed on the next reboot without the repinning step – didn’t test.)


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        • #2588948

          I tried all these suggestions – none worked.  Biggest problem is that once I’ve pinned the “.exe” to the taskbar, “Properties” is no longer available on the right-click menu.  So, I can’t change the link back to .xlsx and I can’t change the icon. (The icon is not a big deal to me, but the link has to be changed back to .xlsx)

          This is a new computer, running Windows 11 Pro, 22H2, never had Windows 10 (no left-over remnants of Win 10).

          • #2588950

            TechTango’s suggestion (which worked for me on Win11 Home 22H2) would not change the .xlsx extension to exe.  What he did was right-click on the .xlsx file, then Create Shortcut.  The new shortcut file has the original .xlsx filename with an .xlsx – Shortcut.lnk extension.  Then right click on the .xlsx – Shortcut.lnk file and put “explorer” (or “C:\Windows\explorer.exe”) in front of the Target.  (No quote marks.)

    • #2588898

      It would be so much simpler, and logical as well, if Microsoft would simply make the desktop toolbar on the taskbar available in Windows 11, as it is in Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. The desktop toolbar on the right hand side of the taskbar, with its popup and flyout menus, is essentially a menu of shortcuts to any file, folder, or executable located anywhere on the C: drive. It makes no sense for Microsoft to delete this option from Windows 11; but then Microsoft simply isn’t in the business of customer service any longer. They simply don’t care.

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