Windows XP Taskbar Tricks

    June 23, 2003

If you are like most people, when you want to visit a specific site on the Internet you begin by double-clicking on the Internet Explorer icon. Once Internet Explorer opens and your default homepage loads, you then type the address in the address bar at the top of the window. If you are the impatient type, this can seem like forever.

There’s a better way: add the Address box directly to your taskbar so you can type the address there without having to wait for Internet Explorer to open and load your home page. (For the uninitiated, the taskbar runs along the bottom of the screen between the Start button and the Notification Area, where the name of any open documents will appear.)

1. Right-click in a blank area of the taskbar. The shortcut menu will open.

2. Choose Toolbars, then Address from the shortcut menu. The word Address will appear in the taskbar.

3. To expand the Address toolbar, double-click on Address.

4. Type the web page address directly in the taskbar Address toolbar and tap [Enter] (or click the Go button). Internet Explorer launches and goes directly to the page you specified.

5. To shrink the Address toolbar, simply double-click on Address again. To remove the Address toolbar, right-click on a blank area of the taskbar, and once again select Toolbars, then Address from the shortcut menu.

If this does not seem to be working, your taskbar may be locked. To check this, right-click in a blank area of the taskbar to display the shortcut menu. If there is a checkmark next to Lock the Taskbar, then the taskbar is currently locked. Simply choose Lock the Taskbar from the shortcut menu to unlock it.

Along the same lines as above, if you use the Internet Explorer Links bar, you can add that feature as a taskbar toolbar as well. Use steps 1, 2, 3 and 5 above, substituting Links for Address. To use an icon on the Links toolbar, just click on it.

Soon you will be zipping along the Internet – right from the Windows XP taskbar!

Beth Sunny and Karin Rex share their extensive knowledge in IT and training as freelance writers for Don’t miss their training tips along with insights from other experienced trainers in’s “Focus On Training” newsletter. To subscribe, visit