My Toolbar

Windows can have a confusing array of folders that can make it hard to find files when one is in a hurry; especially when you can’t remember the name of the file nor where it is located.  (I refuse to use the Desktop as a file storage folder!) When there are multiple users on a computer it can be even more difficult to locate files across other user’s folders.  Even though the folders in My Documents are well organized, I still misplace things.  Sure, I could search by name, but sometimes I forget what I named it!  I created this little set of shortcut folders to save me time.

Common Pointers

Create a folder directly in the C: drive called “My Toolbar”.  By putting this within the root of C:, it can be reached by all users on the machine.

Add this folder into the Taskbar of your computer.  That makes it easily accessible from anywhere.  See this picture of the right side of my own Taskbar.

Populate the folder with shortcut pointers to your most popular main programs or files.  I put sub-folders within the My Toolbar folder for groups of like software, such as MS Office programs.

For example, the folder “My Scans” points to the place that our sheet scanner puts the images it has scanner.  I added this pointer here because I was always forgetting where it is located!  The list of programs and folders can easily be reached simply by clicking into “My Toolbar” from the bottom of the screen in the Taskbar.


Personal Pointers

The folder “My Toolbar” is common to all users of this machine. To get personal pointers per user, we build a second folder of pointers within the “My Documents” folder of each user called “Pointers”.  The icon named Pointers that look like a beach ball is a pointer to these unique folders, except that this link is customized to only point to the currently active user!

The properties of the Pointers icon contains this within the Target field:

“%userprofile%\My Documents\Pointers”

In this scenario, each user would populate their own private pointers within each their own “My Documents” folder.

By the way, the beach ball icon is found within the file:


The original pointer was a shortcut to a folder that I then modified the icon to stand out, to be easier to see quickly.

If, perhaps, you only want one “Pointers” folder for everyone to use (or if there is only one user on your machine), then you could easily put the folder into the Public Documents area:



Normally, I only include shortcuts within these folders. The actual files are scattered all over our computer in different folders.  Obviously, I can change the contents of this folder whenever I wish, as it is just full of shortcuts! The real files are well organized by category, subject, etc. elsewhere, as they should be!  These shortcuts are just for regularly used files, such as my health database, my checkbook Excel file, my cookie cleaner, etc..  You get the picture.  My Desktop is neat and tidy!

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