How to Backup and Restore Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts in Windows 10

When you install Windows on a new computer, customizing Windows takes a lot of time and effort. One such thing is the taskbar. You may have to redo the procedure of pinning the applications which you frequently use. If you’re planning to move to a new Windows PC or a new user profile on the same computer, and wondering how to transfer the pinned taskbar items, then this article is for you.

This post explains how to backup and restore the pinned Taskbar items in Windows 10 and earlier.

Note: If you’re using Windows 10, please disable Controlled folder access temporarily to run the batch file. Controlled folder access may block write access to your Desktop and other protected locations.

Backup and Restore Taskbar Pinned Items Using Batch Files

To backup the pinned taskbar shortcuts automatically, here is a Windows batch file that does it for you:

  1. Download backup_taskbar_pinned_items.zip, and extract the two .bat files to a folder.
  2. To backup the pinned Taskbar items and the corresponding registry settings, 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, along with a registry file export of the Taskband key.

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

    taskband registry key export
    FavoritesResolve binary value and its data removed

  4. Save the REG file and close Notepad
  5. 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.
  6. Then, on your new profile or on the new computer, run restore_taskbar_pinned_items.bat.
    The batch file imports the registry settings and copies the shortcuts from the backup folder, and restarts the explorer shell.

Contents of the two batch files:

:: Backup Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts and Settings
:: Ramesh Srinivasan - http://www.winhelponline.com
:: backup_taskbar_pinned_items.bat

md "%userprofile%\Desktop\Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup\TaskBar"

copy /y "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar" "%userprofile%\Desktop\Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup\TaskBar"

reg export "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband" "%userprofile%\Desktop\Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup\PinnedItems.reg" /y
:: Restore Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts Backed up earlier
:: Ramesh Srinivasan - http://www.winhelponline.com
:: restore_taskbar_pinned_items.bat

@echo off

IF NOT EXIST "%userprofile%\Desktop\Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup" GOTO EXITWAY

taskkill /IM explorer.exe /f

del "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar\*" /S /Q /F

copy /y "%userprofile%\Desktop\Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup\TaskBar" "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar" 

reg delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband" /f

reg import "%userprofile%\Desktop\Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup\PinnedItems.reg"

start explorer.exe

goto FINISH

:EXITWAY

ECHO "The Taskbar-Pinned-Items-Backup folder is not found. Please place the folder containing the Taskbar Pinned Items Backup in Desktop and try again."
@PAUSE
EXIT

:FINISH
@ECHO Taskbar Pinned Items are Restored successfully!
@PAUSE
EXIT

Backup and Restore Taskbar Pinned Items Manually in Windows 10

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

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

taskband registry key



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

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

taskbar shortcuts folder windows

Backing up the pinned Taskbar items

  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.

    taskband registry key export
    FavoritesResolve binary value and its data removed

  4. Save the REG file to a folder where all users have access.
  5. Open the following folder:
    %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned
  6. Copy the folder “TaskBar” to the same location where you save the REG file.taskbar shortcuts folder windows

Restoring pinned Taskbar shortcuts from backup

  1. Login to the user account where you want to restore the Pinned Taskbar shortcuts, and complete the steps given below.
  2. Terminate the Explorer Process. For more information, see exiting the explorer process.
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch Task Manager.
  4. 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"
  5. Click Yes when asked for confirmation, and click OK.
    merge taskband registry file
  6. Click the File menu, New Task (Run…) and type explorer.exe and click OK.
    task manager new explorer.exe process
  7. Copy the “TaskBar” folder to the following folder:
    %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned
  8. Choose to overwrite the existing TaskBar folder when prompted.

This restores your taskbar shortcuts. If shortcuts do not appear, logoff and login back.

Information in the article applies to Windows 7 through Windows 10. However, in Windows 10, the Store app shortcuts cannot be backed up and transferred to the new profile.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

5 thoughts on “How to Backup and Restore Pinned Taskbar Shortcuts in Windows 10”

  1. 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

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

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