Vista: Move Quick Launch to Side of Screen (with Screencast)

In Vista you can no longer move your quick launch toolbar to the side of the screen. For users who have been running XP for a long time, this can be quite painful. Of course, I know the work around…


1. Right-click on a blank area of the desktop
2. Select New Folder from the context menu
3. Drag this New Folder to the very side of the screen and let go. The toolbar should run vertically down the side of your desktop.
4. Right-click this new toolbar and select Toolbar and then Quick Launch
5. Right-click this new toolbar again and unselect New Folder
6. Right-click taskbar at the bottom of the screen, select Toolbars, and unselect Quick Launch.

You can see this tech-recipes in action in a very high resolution screencast at showmedo.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Derek Henry

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This was bugging me so much until I thought of googling it and behold, first hit is EXACTLY what to do. Perfect instructions. Great hack. Thanks again!
    ~DH

  • Mike Wallace

    This was very helpful i was trying to move that laucher ever since i switched to vista.
    Thank You so much this helps me from losing my hair ^_^ dont know why MS made it so much harder just to move a Quicklaunch bar i thought vista was suppose to make it easier oh well.
    Cheers Mate keep up the good work.

  • Spiro Telegadis

    It kills me that every time M$ comes out with a great feature they take it away. I’m not the first one to say this but for the most part Vista Sucks. I’ve managed to bring it back to XP while still retaining the minimal features of Vista I appreciate. This was the element I missed the most. Thanks for the tip and making Vista SUCK a little less.

  • Ann

    You are a pinnacle of evolution and I don’t know how many parades there are in your honor, but it’s not enough.

    A clear and effective answer that will keep me going until I get to install a real OS on my computer!

  • Zac

    Hey is there a way to change the background color or make it transparent to match the rest of the desktop ?

  • Patricia

    Thank you! My company made me upgrade to Vista today, and I was disparing that I might not be able to have the side Quick Launch bar. You are brilliant!

  • mark

    you win 100 internets for this fantastic hack!

  • Jennifer

    That’s not true. I found this due to trying to fix my toolbar. My 2 year old granddaughter moved my tool bar to the left side of the desktop. And now I can’t get it back to the bottom. And yes, I have Vista.

  • Ken

    Oh thank you oh thank you oh thank you

    I was just about to drive a bus off the edge of a cliff on this one. I had tried a variety of docking apps, but all I wanted was my strip on the left-hand side with my 20 little icons I use each and every day. And now they’re back!

  • Irish

    Oh!! Thank you so much!! I just got migrated at work, completely against my will, and this was the absolute feature that I had to have!!!

    Thank you again!!

  • Tania

    Thank you so much i haven’t had to do that on vista and nearly two years and have used a seperate quick launce bar for many many years and it was driving me insane

  • jon

    Thanks – great workaround. I am used to XP with toolbars on both side of the screen (as a developer I tend to keep all my tools handy), and I was quite annoyed with Vista’s limitation. I even asked a senior Microsoft support engineer about it, and was told it is not possible in Vista. I actually use your workaround to have my own customised toolbar on the left of the screen – not just for quick launch. Thanks again – your site is on my favourites now.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks!!!

    • Giri

      Than q very much

  • Mr. X

    AWESOME solution.

    Thank you SO much. Got all my icons on the side of the desktop again. Much more convenient.

  • Name

    Thank you so much. You’ve made my day

  • Anonymous

    Thank you mate!

  • Dawn

    That didn’t work for me. It doesn’t do anything when i drag it all the way to the edge of the screen except put an icon for the folder on that desktop. I am running 2 monitors and i like to have the quick launch at the top of my second monitor and i just can’t get it to work!