Create Windows 8 Taskbar Shortcuts for Your Favorite Programs

Whenever you install a new program on your computer, the program usually asks way too many obtuse questions. But perk up your ears when you see this question: “Would you like a shortcut icon placed on your desktop or taskbar?”

Say yes, please, as that will save you from dashing out to the Windows 8 Start screen to find the program’s tile.

But if your favorite programs don’t yet have icons on the desktop or taskbar, put them there by following these steps:

1

Head to the Start screen and open its menu bar.

Right-click a blank portion of the Start screen (or press Windows+Z) to reveal the Start screen’s menu bar along the screen’s bottom edge. (Or, if you’re a touchscreen owner, reveal the bar by sliding your finger up from the Start screen’s bottom edge.)

2

From the bottom menu, click the All Apps icon.

You should see a list of all your available apps and programs.

3

On the Start screen, right-click any app or program you want to appear on the desktop and choose Pin to Taskbar.

In an odd break in protocol, touchscreens can’t right-click on the Start screen. Instead, select a Start screen tile: Hold your finger down on the tile and slide your finger down a fraction of an inch. When a check mark appears in the tile’s upper-right corner, lift your finger. The menu bar appears below, letting you tap the Pin to Taskbar option.

To deselect the tile, slide your finger down on it, just as before. This time, though, the check mark disappears.

4

Repeat Step 3 for every app or program you want to add.

Unfortunately, you can’t select several simultaneously. When you’re through, your taskbar will have sprouted new icons for your favorite programs.

Now, instead of heading to the Start screen, you can launch them straight from the taskbar.

After you’ve stocked your taskbar with icons, pretend they’re numbered, from left to right. Pressing Windows+1 from the desktop opens the first program; Windows+2 opens the second, and so on. You’ve created automatic shortcuts!

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