Windows Start Menu, Desktop, Quick Launch, File Locations

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Some Windows 7 and Windows Vista tech details.

Quick Launch Toolbar

(Note: Quick Launch is removed in Windows 7)

In the Taskbar, you can turn on the Quick Launch toolbar. (right click on a empty area in Taskbar, then Properties, Toolbars tab.) When Quick Launch toolbar is on, you can drag any shortcut files to it. Also, each shortcut file also automatically creates keyboard shortcut for it, that's ❖ Window+1, ❖ Window+2, …, corresponding to the order of the shortcuts in the Quick Launch bar. You can drag them around to change their order.

The Quick Launch tool bar stores its files at:

C:\Users\mary\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch


There are 2 folders that represents the Desktop. They are at:


And there's also a virtual directory at:


The virtual desktop is shown when you press ❖ Window+d. You can also open it by typing “Desktop” in the address bar of a folder.

Any file shortcuts in C:\Users\mary\Desktop and C:\Users\Public\Desktop show in the virtual one, plus additions like Recycle Bin and Computer, Network, Internet Explorer.

Start Menu

Start Menu app list is located at:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\