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

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18 Responses to “Vista: Move Quick Launch to Side of Screen (with Screencast)”

  1. October 09, 2008 at 7:45 pm, Derek Henry said:

    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!


  2. December 10, 2008 at 1:35 am, Mike Wallace said:

    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.


  3. December 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm, Spiro Telegadis said:

    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.


  4. January 10, 2009 at 1:18 am, Ann said:

    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!


  5. January 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm, Zac said:

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


  6. January 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm, Patricia said:

    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!


  7. February 25, 2009 at 3:24 am, mark said:

    you win 100 internets for this fantastic hack!


  8. March 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm, Jennifer said:

    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.


  9. April 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm, Ken said:

    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!


  10. June 17, 2009 at 12:30 pm, Irish said:

    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!!


  11. July 06, 2009 at 7:11 am, Tania said:

    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


  12. July 10, 2009 at 9:57 am, jon said:

    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.


  13. August 02, 2009 at 5:33 pm, Anonymous said:



    • September 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm, Giri said:

      Than q very much


  14. August 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm, Mr. X said:

    AWESOME solution.

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


  15. December 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm, Name said:

    Thank you so much. You’ve made my day


  16. February 06, 2010 at 8:15 am, Anonymous said:

    Thank you mate!


  17. October 20, 2011 at 11:04 am, Dawn said:

    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!


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