Need quick access to specific folders in Windows 7
July 9, 2014 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I used to use a program (that works only in Windows XP and previous versions) that would allow you to right-click on the Windows desktop and select from any number of directory folders to immediately go to in Explorer...

Now using Windows 7 and I can't seem to find a similar option.
I have tried pinning directories to the Explorer icon on the taskbar, but that method keeps breaking and is not reliable.
I am looking at Windows Explorer replacements, but they seem complicated, and I like Explorer.
I have tried attaching folder shortcuts to the Desktop, but I frequently have the desktop covered, so that's not too good.
I can't seem to drag and drop folder shortcut icons to the taskbar.

What do you use to quickly get to the many folders you use frequently?

Tips, program suggestions, advice requested!
posted by Rad_Boy to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I drag the folders I access frequently to the top area of the Explorer sidebar, which creates permanent shortcuts to each one that appear above the default Desktop/Documents/Downloads/etc. set of folders. You have to open an Explorer window before you can see the shortcuts, but you're still no more than two clicks away from the one you want at any moment.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2014

I use Favorites. I have a single link to Windows Explorer on my taskbar, then I select the desired folder from the 'Favorites' menu on the left of the window. To add a folder to Favorites, just drag it into the list.

I've told about a dozen people about this feature over the past year, and most have found it life-changing.
posted by pipeski at 10:49 AM on July 9, 2014

Ah, I think Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish and I are talking about the same thing.
posted by pipeski at 10:50 AM on July 9, 2014

Oh yeah, that sidebar has a name. I completely forgot!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2014

I do the same thing HZSF and pipeski do.
posted by General Malaise at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2014

Create a new toolbar on your taskbar using a folder as the source of the toolbar. Put shortcuts into that folder and they'll show up on your new toolbar.

Instructions here:
posted by cnc at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2014

WinKey-E is the keyboard shortcut for a new explorer window, if you want to save some clicking. Those keys are closed together, so it's a one-handed combo for people of standard dexterity.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:17 AM on July 9, 2014

For this kind of thing, I use 7stacks, which lets you pin a program that pops up a menu displaying the contents of a folder, similar to the MacOS stacks concept. Between that and the Favorites thing others mentioned, I'm never more than about 2 clicks away from anything I use frequently.
posted by Aleyn at 1:58 PM on July 9, 2014

If you show the quick launch area (right next to the start button), you can put shortcuts to folders in it. Pretty similar to what others have suggested.
posted by the big lizard at 2:12 PM on July 9, 2014

I personally pin folders to my taskbar. Like folders for my music, work documents, etc. For some odd reason, this isn't a feature built in for Windows 7. By default, you can only pin applications, like your web browser or TweetDeck or Photoshop, etc. to your taskbar. But it was easy to get around: Pin folder to Windows 7 taskbar. The beauty is it's not a new taskbar or anything, the folder goes right on the default taskbar that you already use all the time! My folders have been pinned for literally years without problem.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:26 PM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're leery of third-party software, want exactly the "right-click on the Windows desktop and select from any number of directory folders to immediately go to in Explorer" functionality, and are comfortable editing the Windows Registry, I made a video showing how to do just that.
posted by quinndexter at 10:59 AM on July 10, 2014

As other have said, put them in your Explorer Favorites. After that, I like to add Favorites as a toolbar on the taskbar, which gives me a handy always-visible menu. (right-click Taskbar, Toolbars, New Toolbar).

I also use the Win+E keyboard shortcut mentioned above. Favorites are always at the top of the sidebar, so that's pretty easy access.
posted by timepiece at 7:22 AM on July 11, 2014

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