February 19, 2011

Adding Show Desktop Tool to Quick Launch Toolbar (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition)

I just got a new 64-bit computer at work, and the first thing I "missed" was the "Show Desktop" tool in the Quick Launch toolbar. My computer desktop tends to accumulate quite a few Windows as the day goes on, and I make frequent use of that tool. While there are alternative methods for invoking the command ("Microsoft key"+D or right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing "Show the Desktop" from the context menu, I kept finding myself trying to click on the familiar tool that was no longer there.

At home, I added it back in by copying the file from my 32-bit laptop. I found this knowlege-base article on the Microsoft site, which explains how to create a file to run the "Show the Desktop" command from a Quick Launch toolbar tool.

There is a "Fix it for me" button, but I chose to do it manually, which is really quite easy. Start a Notepad file and paste the given text into it.
Save the file to your Desktop (or some other location, if you prefer), using the name Show desktop.scf and then drag that file onto the Quick Launch toolbar. The old, familiar icon is back and ready for action.

Note: The above works when running Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, assuming that you have the Quick Launch toolbar displayed on the Taskbar. It should work on Vista as well. Apparently, Windows 7 has a button on the far right side of the Taskbar that performs this function, but you can not move its position; in order to use the above, you would have to add the Quick Launch toolbar to the Taskbar, as it is not available by default.


Steve G. said...

Hey David, why not just use the show desktop button at the end of the taskbar next to the systray? I find my quicklaunch is cluttered enough, so retraining myself to use that button has worked out well for me.

David Koch said...

I believe that is a Windows 7 thing, is it not? I have XP Pro at work and Vista at home at the moment. If I did have it available, I would agree that using that would probably be the better way to go.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I recently moved up to 64bit and was missing my desktop button..