Quick Tip – Access Common Folders Faster

Looking to increase your effectiveness by reducing the time it takes you to perform simple tasks on your computer? In today’s Quick Tip, we’re going to cover a couple ways to access the directories you need to access the most so you don’t need to hunt for them to access your files.

Take a Shortcut

This classic method will work on just about any incarnation of Windows. Right-click on a folder or file you need to access all the time (it also works with applications).
From the right-click menu, select Create Shortcut. This will create a shortcut icon that you can then drag to your desktop. You can also drag the original folder to your desktop while holding down the ALT key. Shortcuts are not copies of the folder or file, it’s essentially a link to the original location, so don’t confuse creating a shortcut as making a copy or a backup of your files. If the original gets removed, the shortcut will cease to work.

Add a Toolbar

This works great if you have a big list of folders that you need access to. This will put a toolbar on your taskbar that opens up to a simple to use drop down menu so you can easily get to the folders and files that are most important to you.
Dragging any folder to your Taskbar will pin a shortcut on the right-click menu of that folder.  You’ll then have easy access to that directory when right clicking on the folder icon.
Right-click on the taskbar, and go to Toolbars > New Toolbar. Navigate to the folder you want to access. Select it and click Select Folder.
Now you’ll be able to access that directory much faster.

Pin it to the Taskbar

This is especially useful for later versions of Windows (especially Windows 7). You can park commonly used applications down on the Windows 7 Taskbar, but did you know you can right-click some of those icons to see your frequently accessed files? For example, if you right-click your web browser icon, it will show you some recent sites you’ve visited. If you have Word on the taskbar, it will show you recent documents. By default, there is a folder icon.