Can't pin windows file explorer to taskbar

On a fresh install of Windows 8, windows file explorer is already pinned to the task bar on the desktop. I accidently unpinned this icon and now I cannot get it back. The logical way to do this is to go to the start screen, right click file explorer and choose the 'Pin to taskbar', but for some reason I don't get this option for file explorer. I can pin lots of other desktop applications, but just not file explorer. I work mostly from the desktop so it's really annoying to have to flick back to the start screen every time I want to start file explorer.

Thinking I must be going mad, I tried the same thing on the Windows Server 2012 desktop and now I have exactly the same problem there!!

November 30th, 2012 2:06am

Try 'browser choice' again and reselect it.

If on the desktop drag it to the taskbar.

  • Edited by d r h Thursday, November 29, 2012 11:57 PM
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 30th, 2012 2:55am

Not sure what you mean by 'browser choice' - where is that?

I can create a shortcut to file explorer on the desktop, but it's not possible to drag and drop it on the taskbar (I get the red circle mouse icon when dragging over the taskbar).

November 30th, 2012 4:19am

I also just reproduced this on another Windows 8 machine I have running under Hyper-V. I can resolve the problem by deleting my profile, so when I log back in windows creates a new default profile with file explorer pinned to the task bar. If I un-pin it with the new profile I once again lose the option to re-pin it.

So it's definitely reproducible, but deleting the profile is not an acceptable solution.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 30th, 2012 4:24am

So if you go into the Windows 8 Metro start screen, open up the charms bar, select search - and search for "file" - you should see the file explorer appear to the left. You should be able to then right-click it and select pin to task bar in the desktop.

Are you saying that method doesn't work?

November 30th, 2012 4:27am

That's correct. The first part works - I can search for 'file' and the shortcut appears on the left, but when I right click on file explorer only 3 options appear at the bottom:

  1. Unpin from Start
  2. Open new window
  3. Open file location

Also, when I used the search method just now to locate the shortcut I also see a shortcut for 'FileZilla'. If I right click on this icon I do get the option to 'Pin to taskbar', so it's something specific to file explorer.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 30th, 2012 4:35am


Windows Explorer should has the option to pin to taskbar:

If you dont have this option, try to use SFC /scannow to check system files.

Or you can perform a system refresh for test:

Click Control Panel
Click General on the left column
Under the Refresh your PC without affecting your files, click Get started

December 3rd, 2012 10:07am

Thanks for the suggestion Leo but that didn't work.

However, I did chance upon a solution. It doesn't explain why this happens in the first place, but the following worked for me...

  1. From the start screen, right click on the 'File Explorer' shortcut and choose 'Open File Location' (at lower left). This switches to desktop mode and opens the folder containing the shortcut.
  2. Right click on the shortcut from here and choose properties.
  3. Change the target to "C:\Windows\explorer.exe"
  4. Clear everything from the Start In field and click OK.
  5. Right click on the shortcut again and now you have the option to 'pin to taskbar'.

  • Marked as answer by chamsoft Monday, December 03, 2012 11:07 AM
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
December 3rd, 2012 2:06pm

Solved my issue! Thanks
December 31st, 2012 12:51pm

Really easy

1. Left click Windows or press Windows key to bring up the "Start" screen

2. Type "file explorer"

3. Right click on the file explorer icon that appears

4. Select "Pin to Taskbar"

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
April 20th, 2014 5:15am

Hi Rip, thanks for the suggestion but the problem is I don't get the 'Pin to Taskbar' option, that's essentially what this thread is all about.
April 22nd, 2014 1:54am

I was looking for an answer to a different issue, figured it out, maybe this works for you.

I wanted to put a link to a particular folder to be opened in File 'Sploder via a custom toolbar for the task bar. I solved by right-clicking on a folder in my open Explorer, selected the option to create a desktop shortcut to that folder. I then was able to click+drag the shortcut to the folder for the toolbar, or to the task bar itself.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
May 19th, 2014 7:30pm

Easiest method;  open recycle bin.  Recycle bin is opened by Filer Explorer.  There should be an icon on the task bar for the opened file explorer window.  Right-click on it.  The second to last option should be Pin this program to task bar.
  • Proposed as answer by Ron89431 Wednesday, August 20, 2014 3:20 AM
August 20th, 2014 6:20am

This is the option i used after fighting this ridiculous problem for weeks!! I can work with Binary coding and this took me a while?? haha

Great answer Ron A****

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
February 11th, 2015 2:55am

This was the only solution for me:, under Fixing Stuck Explorer Items.
February 11th, 2015 2:16pm

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics