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The Windows 8 Taskbar's Crazy Toolbars

Your taskbar in Windows 8 won't always be a steadfast, unchanging friend. Microsoft lets you customize it, often beyond the point of recognition. Some people enjoy adding toolbars, which tack extra buttons and menus onto their taskbar. Others accidentally turn on a toolbar and can't figure out how to get rid of the darn thing.

To turn a toolbar on or off, right-click on a blank part of the taskbar (even the clock will do) and choose Toolbars from the pop-up menu. A menu leaps out, offering these five toolbar options:

  • Address: Choose this toolbar, and part of your taskbar becomes a place for typing websites to visit. It's convenient, but so is Internet Explorer, which does the same thing.

  • Links: This toolbar adds quick access to your favorite websites. Click it to visit any website listed in Internet Explorer's Favorites menu.

  • Touch Keyboard: A perk for tablet owners, this adds a button that brings a keyboard to the forefront for touch-typing on the glass.

  • Desktop: The real gem, this toolbar adds quick access to all your PC's resources, often saving a trip to the Start screen. Click here to browse through files, folders, libraries, network locations, the Recycle Bin, and Control Panel menus by snaking your way through all the menus.

  • New Toolbar: This lets you create a toolbar from any folder's contents, which is handy for people who always store special projects in one particular folder.

The Desktop toolbar takes on a new importance now that the Start screen lives far, far away in its own world.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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