How to Backup and Restore the Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts



In our previous article How to Backup the Pinned Start Menu Shortcuts we explained how to backup the Pinned shortcuts in the Start menu. Here is how to backup Pinned shortcuts, in Windows 7, 8 and Windows 10. The procedure is almost the same as backing up the Start menu Pinned shortcuts, only change is that the Pinned Taskbar items list is stored in a different registry key.

Backup and Restore Taskbar Pinned Items Using Batch Files

Download backup_taskbar_pinned_items.zip, and extract the two .bat files to a folder.

To backup the existing Taskbar Pinned Shortcuts and their corresponding settings stored in the registry, run the file backup_taskbar_pinned_items.bat. This will create a folder named Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup on your Desktop containing all the Pinned shortcuts, and a registry file export of the Taskband key.

Copy the folder Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup to the Desktop of your new user profile or another computer where you want to transfer them to. Then run the file restore_taskbar_pinned_items.bat. This imports the settings and shortcuts from the backup folder present in the desktop, and restarts the explorer shell.

Backup and Restore Taskbar Pinned Items Manually

The Pinned items configuration for the Taskbar is stored under the "Taskband" key.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband

The "Favorites" binary value references the (Pinned) shortcuts stored in the following directory:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar


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Backing Up Pinned Items in the Taskbar

1. Start Regedit.exe and go to the following branch:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband

2. Click File, Export and save the branch to a REG file. (e.g. tb-pinned-list.reg)

3. Open the REG file using Notepad and delete the FavoritesResolve value and its corresponding data.

4. Save the REG file and store it in a removable media or to a common location in the hard disk.

5. Open the following folder:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned

You can access the path by typing it in Run dialog, or from the Address bar in Windows Explorer.

6. Copy the folder "TaskBar" and store it in a removable media or to a common drive/directory where other users have access.

Restoring Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts from Backup

7. Logon to the user account where you want to restore the Pinned Taskbar shortcuts, and complete the steps given below.

8. Terminate the Explorer Process. To do so, click Start. Press and hold the CTRL and SHIFT keys, right-click on an empty area in the Start menu. Click Exit Explorer. (See this page for more details.)

9. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to launch Task Manager

10. Click the File menu, New Task (Run…) and type:

REGEDIT.EXE "Path to the REG file"

For example:

REGEDIT.EXE "D:\Pinned Items Backup\tb-pinned-list.reg"

Click Yes when asked for confirmation, and click OK.

12. Copy the "TaskBar" folder that you earlier backed up, and place it at:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned

13. Choose to overwrite the existing TaskBar folder when prompted.

14. Click the File menu, New Task (Run…) and type:

EXPLORER.EXE

15. Press {ENTER}

This restarts the shell and the settings should take effect. Here is the screenshot of the Taskbar in the source user profile.

The Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts are successfully transferred to another user profile.

5 thoughts on “How to Backup and Restore the Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts

  1. if you don’t want to mess with the registry or you don’t have access to log in as the previous user anymore you can just do the following.

    Open the link above
    %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

    once up in explorer change the user name in the path to the old user name for example:
    C:\Users\OLDUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

    this should show all your old shortcuts as links.

    Now simply drag them to your start bar and you should see the option to pin to start bar.
    This will create an link icon in the new location of
    %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar
    which is the currently logged in user.

  2. This is a very helpful post, thanks. My followup question is can I just copy the ..\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar into the Default user profile? Then, any new users would get this taskbar right?

  3. How do you backup the list of pinned files that show up if you right click an icon pinned to the taskbar? In other words, the pinned items pinned on the pinned items?

  4. Thanks.
    You can also automate all operations using the bat files.

    REG EXPORT HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband “D:\Pinned Items Backup\tb-pinned-list.reg”

    xcopy “%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar” “D:\Pinned Items Backup\shortcuts” /E /C /H /R /K /Y

    and then recover:

    REGEDIT /S “D:\Pinned Items Backup\tb-pinned-list.reg”

    xcopy “D:\Pinned Items Backup\shortcuts” “%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar” /E /C /H /R /K /Y

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