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Access websites from the Windows taskbar

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Everyone has their favourite websites that they visit on a regular basis (maybe this is one of them!), and you may have added them to your bookmarks/Favorites in your web browser. This makes them easier to access than manually typing them in, but there is an even simpler way of accessing them. You can create a toolbar on the taskbar that displays a pop-up menu of your favourites websites. A couple of clicks of the mouse is then all it takes to start the web browser and display a site.

Create a folder on the desktop by right clicking an empty space and selecting New, Folder. Name it Links. It doesn't matter where you create it or what you call it though. Double click the folder to open it and then open your web browser so you have both side by side.

Go to a website in the browser, then click and drag the icon to the left of the URL in the address box and drop it in the folder. (In Internet Explorer 9 you need to hold down Shift when you do this or you'll tear off the browser tab, which is harmless, but not what we want - that's a another tip altogether.)

If you repeat this, draggging URLs out of the browser and dropping them in the folder you created, you'll end up with a collection of shortcuts.

Right click the taskbar and select New, Toolbars, New Toolbar. You'll be prompted to select a folder and you should select the one you created, which now contains all those website shortcuts. You will see that a new item is added to the right-hand side of the taskbar with the name of the folder. Click the double-headed arrow to the right of it and up pops a menu listing all the shortcuts to your favourite websites. You've turned those shortcuts into a toolbar.

The filenames of the shortcuts are used as menu items in the toolbar and when you drag and drop URLs this way you often get long and complicated filenames. Just right click each shortcut in the folder you created and select Rename. Whatever name you give it will be used in the toolbar, so you can customise it to say whatever you want.