If you follow them closely, you will notice that most people use their Windows computers in very specific ways. For instance, I will never be able to make my father use the Ctrl + C shortcut to copy items because right-clicking on an item and selecting the “Copy” option is apparently easier to remember. Microsoft provides a lot of different ways to accomplish various tasks in Windows and the Quick Access Toolbar of File Explorer is one of the easiest ones.
What and where is the Quick Access Toolbar?
Open any File Explorer window and look at the top of the window. Depending on your settings, you will see the Quick Access Toolbar above or below the Ribbon, the various dropdown menus at the top of File Explorer. By default, this toolbar provides a few options so you can view an item’s properties, create new folders, and other small tasks.
The best thing about it, however, is that you can customize it with a huge selection of actions and commands which is incredibly helpful for people that want a simple way of interacting with Windows without having to learn about the various shortcuts available to them.
Customizing the Toolbar
The Quick Access Toolbar supports up to 20 unique actions so you can easily perform most tasks without resorting to other areas. The first customization option is the simplest one as it allows you to change the position of the toolbar. Click on the dropdown menu at the right side of the toolbar and select the “Show above/below the Ribbon” options in order to change its position. You can also choose to minimize the Ribbon from the same menu or by clicking on the arrow at the top right corner of File Explorer.
Adding and removing commands from the toolbar is also incredibly easy. Open the same dropdown menu as before and you will see a list of available commands that Windows provides by default. These are simple things like renaming items and undoing actions which you may or may not need. Aside from these default choices, you can actually add most of the items located on the Ribbon by right-clicking on them and selecting the “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” option. To remove added items, right-click on them and select the Remove option or un-select them from the aforementioned dropdown menu.
Honestly, the best way to find commands for the Quick Access Toolbar is to use Windows normally and simply keep an eye out for actions that you often use. For example, opening the Recycle Bin will allow you to add a command that will instantly empty it out through any File Explorer window. Two other great tools are the “Copy to” and “Move to” commands so you can instantly send files to other locations.
Reset the Toolbar
Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar usually works fine but File Explorer is generally prone to strange issues so you may need to reset the toolbar if you notice any weird behavior. Note that resetting the toolbar means you will lose all custom commands which you will have to re-add manually.
- Open your Start menu, type exe and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
- Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Ribbon
- Delete the DWORD named QatItems.
- Restart your PC and the Quick Access Toolbar will be reset.