Adding a new toolbar by the system tray to show a menu of a given folder like past Windows did

miloshapiro

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Re: Adding a new toolbar by the system tray to show a menu of a given folder like past Windows did

Hello! I'm a Win7 user who is in the process of purchasing a new Win11 tower. One thing I'm concerned about is recreating an option that I use over and over each day, but have been hearing isn't so simple in Win11. Hoping to find out if there's an easy way.
...
I have a folder named Q at C:\Users\milo\Documents\aaa-milo\Q .
All that Q is is a bunch more folders (for organization sake) and within those are shortcuts to documents that I use a lot. (see screen prints)
I then right-clicked on the toolbar near the system tray, chose "Toolbars", chose "New Toolbar" and voila!
I got that little "Q" with the ">>" next to it permanently on my tool by next to the system tray. Any time I click on the ">>", I get a pop-up from there of all the folders in Q so that I can quickly get to frequently-used documents. (see attached photo of what it looks like when I click the >>)
...
So my question is, when I get the new computer, does this functionality still exist? And if so, how do I do it? Hope it won't require some sort of add-on to simulate win7; would hate to think Windows11 got rid of such a useful thing. But if I have to go a route like that, I would to get that functionality back.
...
Thank you!!! - Milo
 
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I'm buying a Win11 computer very soon and getting ready for it; writing this from Win7

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idgat

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Not native to Windows 11 but can be done if you use an add-on like ExplorerPatcher which gives back a lot of the Win 10 options.
 

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miloshapiro

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Thanks for such a quick response, Idgat. I did find a youtube video (
) that talked about ExplorerPatcher . Just made me nervous to be messing with how 11 works as soon as I get it. I'm just a user; not a real techy type.
...
Kind of hard to believe they'd have gotten rid of this, but not the first time a good feature disappears. Curious if there's any way to do this that doesn't mean having to turn back time. And hoping that if I do that I won't be missing out on features on Win 11 because I brought up the old look?
 

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FDretired

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You could pin your "Q" folder to the taskbar. I have done that for 2 folders on my Win 11 system.


 

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DigitalGoat

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I would suggest using an app like Macrium Reflect (plenty of good tutorials on these forums) to image your system so that you can experiment with 3rd party modifications risk free.
MS is currently looking at including more of the Win10 functions people have come to rely on, but it takes a while to implement after testing on the insider rings (drag & drop of files to Start Menu/ Task Bar apps is the current one they are looking at, I believe).
The issue is that some Windows 11 functions were written from the ground up and didn't include some options that were baked into Win10. A lot of the original registry keys from Win10 still exist though ( I assume for compatibility) and so it is possible to "hack" these lost functions into use, but mileage may vary as some instability or GUI oddness may be introduced (like a squashed clock for example).
Why MS didn't just include the lost features in the Windows 11 update (maybe with a settings page to enable or not) is a matter for lengthy discussion and argument, after all they gave us a new right-click menu but tacked the old one on as well (an odd design choice) like an after thought, and you can set both it and Explorer's menu bar back to the Win10 style without much effort.
I think if we wait long enough most of the missing features will be added back in. :crossed
 

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Alex__ASSR

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with StartAllBack you can.
1641903859832.png
 

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TrueLaunchBar still works after you do some tweaks. Just search here. Winaero Tweaker helps, StartAllBack helps, UltimateWindowsTweaker helps.
 

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idgat

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Kind of hard to believe they'd have gotten rid of this, but not the first time a good feature disappears. Curious if there's any way to do this that doesn't mean having to turn back time. And hoping that if I do that I won't be missing out on features on Win 11 because I brought up the old look?

The amazing thing I find is that with every version of Windows there is some inexplicable change either to functionality or design, for no apparent reason other than to p1ss the user off.

If Microsoft is so dead-set on any of these changes being productive or necessary, how come it's so easy to change then back to what a user wants, from not what Microsoft "thinks" a user wants, or virtually dictating what a user must have! Being able to change back, Windows has almost become open source software.
 

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Roban

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System Tray Menu
 

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miloshapiro

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I spoke to the Geek Squad woman at Best Buy who is bringing my new computer up to speed so I can bring it home and make the transition. I told her about this issue and this thread. Her response, summarizing, was "I've had people who wanted to use these simulators before to be able to run older software. Using them adds a vulnerability to your computer because that's not how they are supposed to be running. If they even found out that I put a past-version simulator on the computer, I could lose my job for it. I have to advise you not to, but I can't control what you do after you bring it home." So that has me a little wary of what I'm seeing above.
...
The only solution that I see above that doesn't seem to involve a simulator is the one from FDretired. I don't know yet what pinning looks like on Win11, but it seems like a possible way without using a simulator, but I suspect that's going to open a window every time that I'll have to close, instead of just giving a nice menu that goes away when I click on the option that I want.
...
Really appreciate you all on this!
 

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DigitalGoat

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"I've had people who wanted to use these simulators before to be able to run older software. Using them adds a vulnerability to your computer because that's not how they are supposed to be running.
Right and wrong at the same time, most of these apps just use existing registry keys and support .dll functions that may have been disabled by MS in the latest OS version but left intact for compatibility reasons, most are cosmetic in nature and other than turning on a feature in the registry tend to use their own settings/ configuration/ support files instead of modifying or replacing Windows ones.
Using the Geek Squad argument anything you install that modifies the OS in any way whatsoever or adds any files other than those distributed by Microsoft is "not how they are supposed to be running", she basically just doesn't want to take responsibility for installing a 3rd party app that may screw something up, actually a perfectly acceptable stance from her.
Plenty of people do use these apps and have used them for many years without issues, most of the apps have dedicated forums for support as well, so as long as you use the most often recommended ones and maybe do a bit of usability research you should be fine.
As to these apps adding a vulnerability to your computer, ask her how exactly and which specific vulnerabilities she is talking about, if these apps were opening up attack vectors it would very quickly become known.
After all is said and done the choice is yours, live with Win11 the way it is and wait for changes to filter down or customise it to your liking.
As with all things that change the way Windows behaves, make a system image first, then if it all goes wrong, a quick restore and you are back to before you made the change. :)
 

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idgat

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I spoke to the Geek Squad woman at Best Buy who is bringing my new computer up to speed so I can bring it home and make the transition. I told her about this issue and this thread. Her response, summarizing, was "I've had people who wanted to use these simulators before to be able to run older software. Using them adds a vulnerability to your computer because that's not how they are supposed to be running. If they even found out that I put a past-version simulator on the computer, I could lose my job for it. I have to advise you not to, but I can't control what you do after you bring it home." So that has me a little wary of what I'm seeing above.

An appropriate response caveat for a computer technician in a commercial environment ... professional responsibility (but that would otherwise be known as 4rse covering).

Not an appropriate thing to be asking such a person to be involved in, in the first place. Just do it yourself.
 

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