XP Custom Toolbars

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Thread Starter
Jan 26, 2007
Hi there,

I've a question regarding toolbars made via the following method: Right-Click XP Toolbar > Select Toolbars > Select Desired Toolbar (or new toolbar) > Drag New Toolbar Somewhere On Desktop.

This all works great, and has done for years. Now there is just one thing that still to this day, I cannot fathom. How are? Where are? these settings saved?

If anyone is familiar with using custom toolbars in this manner, then you'll know how infuriating they are when you find that you've somehow lost the settings. So, just how can a person go about backing up these custom toolbar settings? or even better yet ... how to go about writing a custom xml file or something to better manage them?

I hope I've made my query clear enough. Thanks.
Dec 8, 2006
I have three custom Toolbars (plus taskbar) on my desktop and they all load with my profile every time. I have never had a problem with it. How is you profile configured? Does explorer forget other things? Window position, folder options, etc?
You may be interested in the way in which I went about it. Perhaps that will give you some insight.
I have my Desktop set this way in XP Home
Don't know about other XP variations

Rt. click your taskbar.
Hover over "toolbars."
Choose "new toolbar.

In the "New Toolbar dialog box left click "Desktop," to highlight.
Choose "Make New Folder" button at lower left.

You now have a "New Folder" on you desktop. BUT.
This is a Toolbar Folder!
Drag the folder to any open margin of your screen(left,right,or top) and drop it there.
You now have a new toolbar!

Go to the little bumpy line at the top of the new toolbar and Rt. click.
Choose "Always on top."
Do it again and choose "Auto-hide."
Now the toolbar will pop out when you bump that Desktop margin with your cursor.
Other Rt. click context choices are "Show text" (gives title of icons)
and "Show title." (Displays name of toolbar) " View" offers large or small icons.

But wait! The "New Folder" is still on the Desktop. Rename it as you wish, but leave it there.
Any shortcut icon you drag and drop into that folder appears in your new toolbar
AND disappears from your Desktop!

Shortcuts in the toolbar are one-click launch shortcuts, just like "Quick Launch."
All normal Rt. click shortcut icon context functions are available inside the toolbar.
Drag and drop inside the toolbar to arrange icons.

If you move the toolbar folder off the Desktop, you will lose all your icons.
Ditto if you put it in a containing folder. Just leave it there.

YES! You can do the same for the other empty margins of your Desktop and have four
Quick Launch toolbars that autohide, but are always on top even when you have the screen
full of something else. (I leave the Taskbar up and autohide the other three, but that's up to you.
Now when you get a new shortcut on your Desktop you can just drop it in whichever toobar you want.

To customize the covers of your three remaining desktop items
(I added a fourth-work folder-for balance)
Rt. click,choose "Properties">Customize>Change Icon.
Here you can select one of Windows' lovely preinstalled icons,
or "Browse" your computer for your own icons.

You now have a Desktop with only three or four customized icons and
nothing else but your beautiful wallpaper AND all your regularly used
Shortcuts are always avaliable in one click.


Thread Starter
Jan 26, 2007
Seems I should've explained my scenario more specifically.

My custom toolbar (one large toolbar permanently visible across the top of my extended multi-monitor desktop - consisting of 60+ software and folder icons (some nested, some not) - in addition to the standard windows taskbar) loads fine, and doesn't have a habit of forgetting any of it's configuration - not under general circumstances.

But, in the 10 or so years I have used this setup, there have often been circumstances (such as building a new machine, creating multiple monitor hardware profiles etc etc) where the process of creating custom toolbars (as you very evidently portrayed) is so laborious, that it makes the chore of modifying/restoring complex custom toolbar layouts a real annoyance.

Being familiar with xml and general scripts, I figure it'd be so much easier to customize my toolbar configuration(s) this way ... if there was a way!?
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