Customize and Backup Quick Access Toolbar Settings in File Explorer

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), part of the Ribbon framework, is located in the title bar of File Explorer and Office applications. You can add your frequently used ribbon commands to the Quick Access Toolbar for easy access — so that you don’t need to switch tabs each time to use a particular command.

Add Ribbon Command to the Quick Access Toolbar

To add a command to the QAT, on the File Explorer ribbon UI, select the appropriate tab to display the command that you want to add to the QAT. Right-click the command, and then click Add to Quick Access Toolbar on the right-click menu.

Customize File Explorer QAT

Add as many commands as you’d like. You can also add the most useful Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Administrator) commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. They are not in the ribbon, but in the File menu. To add them, click the File menu in File Explorer, right-click Command Prompt and click Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Customize File Explorer QAT

I’ve added some frequently used commands to the QAT, and here is how it looks like.

Customize File Explorer QAT
Quick Access Toolbar Commands

Export Quick Access Toolbar Settings Using the Registry Editor

To backup the QAT configuration, open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and go to the following branch:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Ribbon

The REG_BINARY value named “QatItems” stores the QAT configuration using the ribbon schema XAML markup — but everything is shown in hex codes, as below.

Customize File Explorer QAT

Customize File Explorer QAT

Here is the REG_BINARY data.

hex:3c,73,69,71,3a,63,75,73,74,6f,6d,55,49,20,78,6d,6c,6e,73,3a,73,\
  69,71,3d,22,68,74,74,70,3a,2f,2f,73,63,68,65,6d,61,73,2e,6d,69,63,72,6f,73,\
  6f,66,74,2e,63,6f,6d,2f,77,69,6e,64,6f,77,73,2f,32,30,30,39,2f,72,69,62,62,\
  6f,6e,2f,71,61,74,22,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,72,69,62,62,6f,6e,20,6d,69,6e,69,6d,\
  69,7a,65,64,3d,22,66,61,6c,73,65,22,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,71,61,74,20,70,6f,73,\
  69,74,69,6f,6e,3d,22,30,22,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,73,68,61,72,65,64,43,6f,6e,74,\
  72,6f,6c,73,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,\
  71,3a,31,36,31,32,38,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,66,61,6c,73,65,22,20,\
  61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,\
  6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,36,31,32,39,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,\
  65,3d,22,66,61,6c,73,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,\
  3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,33,\
  38,34,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,\
  6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,\
  3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,33,33,36,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,\
  65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,\
  6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,33,35,37,22,20,76,69,73,\
  69,62,6c,65,3d,22,66,61,6c,73,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,\
  20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,\
  31,32,34,33,36,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,\
  75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,\
  69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,33,32,34,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,\
  74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,\
  3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,33,32,33,22,20,\
  76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,\
  30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,\
  71,3a,31,32,33,35,32,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,\
  72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,\
  6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,32,39,30,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,\
  3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,\
  69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,32,39,31,\
  22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,\
  3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,\
  73,69,71,3a,31,35,33,36,31,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,\
  20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,3c,73,69,71,3a,63,6f,6e,74,\
  72,6f,6c,20,69,64,51,3d,22,73,69,71,3a,31,32,35,30,31,22,20,76,69,73,69,62,\
  6c,65,3d,22,74,72,75,65,22,20,61,72,67,75,6d,65,6e,74,3d,22,30,22,20,2f,3e,\
  3c,2f,73,69,71,3a,73,68,61,72,65,64,43,6f,6e,74,72,6f,6c,73,3e,3c,2f,73,69,\
  71,3a,71,61,74,3e,3c,2f,73,69,71,3a,72,69,62,62,6f,6e,3e,3c,2f,73,69,71,3a,\
  63,75,73,74,6f,6d,55,49,3e

The hex codes translate to the following text content. This is the Ribbon markup code containing the “Control ID” of each command you added to the QAT.

Customize File Explorer QAT

Export the “Ribbon” registry key mentioned above to a REG file. This file can be imported to other systems to apply the exact QAT configuration.

See also How to Add Ribbon Command to Right-click Menu in Windows 10?

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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