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File Explorer Is Missing From Taskbar.

Occasionally, File Explorer (the yellow folder) will go missing from your Taskbar. It’ll just disappear. Sometimes that’s down to something you’ve done, and other times, I’m sure it’s down to Windows.

Either way, we need to get File Explorer back onto the Taskbar. It’s such a useful link and it needs to be on the Taskbar for quick, easy access.

And while we’re here, we’ll also add File Explorer to the Start menu and as a shortcut on the desktop.

File Explorer Is Missing From The Taskbar.

When File Explorer has gone missing from your Windows Taskbar, it’s easy to restore it. What’s happened is that somehow, it’s been UNPINNED. So, we’ll need to re-pin it.

To replace File Explorer on to the Taskbar, left-click the START button and then type

file explorer

You’ll see File Explorer appear at the top of the list

Windows 10 Start menu open. File Explorer typed into search box and indicated in results.
Search for File Explorer in Windows 10.
Windows 11 Start menu open. File Explorer typed into search box and indicated in results.
Search for File Explorer in Windows 11.

Move your mouse pointer directly onto File Explorer (App) and then right-click. A menu will open.

On the menu, left-click PIN TO TASKBAR.

Options menu open and Pin To Taskbar is marked in Windows 10.
Pin File Explorer to your taskbar in Windows 10.
In Windows 11, File Explorer is marked. Options menu is open, Pin to taskbar is indicated.
Pin File Explorer to your taskbar in Windows 11.

And as if by magic, File Explorer will re-appear on your Taskbar. Don’t you love it when things just work? But there’s more that you can do, read on.

File Explorer indicated on the Windows 10 taskbar.
File Explorer is back.
An arrow points to the File Explorer icon on Windows 11 Taskbar.
Easy when you know how.

How to Reposition File Explorer On The Taskbar.

When File Explorer re-appears on your taskbar, you can re-position it.

To move the File Explorer icon along your taskbar in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, put your pointer directly onto it.

Hold down the left mouse button and then drag the icon along your taskbar.

When it’s in the perfect place, release the mouse button.

File Explorer icon being re-positioned on taskbar.
Drag and drop File Explorer icon to any position on your Taskbar.

How To Pin File Explorer To Start.

In Windows 10 and Windows 11, as well as having File Explorer on your taskbar, you can also pin it to the Start menu. To pin File Explorer to your Start menu, click the START button and search for

file explorer

Right-click File Explorer (App) and then left-click PIN TO START. You can move File Explorer to any position on your Start menu by putting your pointer onto it. Hold down the left-hand mouse button and drag the icon to the position you want it to be and release the mouse button.

Windows 11 start menu open. File Explorer has been right clicked and options menu is visible. Pin to Start is marked.
Right-click on File Explorer and the left click Pin To Start.
Start menu is open. File Explorer icon indicated. Computer mouse with left hand button highlighted.
Moving File Explorer on the Start menu in Windows 11.

Create A Shortcut On Your Desktop.

In Windows 10 and 11, you can also create a shortcut to File Explorer on your Desktop. Similar to how it used to be in older versions of Windows.

To create a shortcut to File Explorer on your Desktop, right-click on your Desktop.

On the menu that opens, move your mouse pointer onto the word NEW.

A second menu will open.

On the second menu, left-click SHORTCUT.

Options menu open. New and Shortcut are highlighted.
Right-click the Desktop, move the pointer to NEW, and left-click Shortcut.

The Create Shortcut window appears.

In the box type

C:\Windows\explorer.exe

Or just copy and paste it from here.

Click the NEXT button when you’re done.

C:\Windows\explorer.exe has been typed into the shortcut box.
The Create Shortcut window.

Type It Exactly As It Appears Here.

If you’re typing it in, you have to type it exactly as it is here or it won’t work. It’s far better to copy it from here and then paste it into the box.

On the next screen, you’ll need to name your new shortcut.

The name is the text that appears immediately below the shortcut. You can name it anything you like, but File Explorer seems to be a pretty good idea to me.

When you’re done click the FINISH button.

File Explorer has been entered into the shortcut name box. The Finish button is indicated.
Type in a name for your new shortcut.

After you click the FINISH button, your new shortcut to File Explorer will appear.

Because it’s a desktop shortcut, you’ll need to double left-click it to open it.

And don’t forget that you can drag and drop it to any position on your desktop.

The File Explorer shortcut is highlighted on a Windows 11 desktop.
File Explorer on your Desktop.

Changing The Shortcut Name & Icon.

There’s just one more thing for me to show you before you go.

You can make your File Explorer shortcut look more like it did in earlier versions of Windows by changing its name and icon.

The name and icon for File Explorer shortcut have been changed.
That old icon looks positively antique now.

To rename your icon, right-click on it.

In Windows 10, left-click RENAME on the menu that opens.

In Windows 11, left-click the Rename icon on the menu that opens.

Now type a name, as I said earlier it could be anything you want but MY COMPUTER or just COMPUTER sounds good.

Windows 10 options menu open and Rename is highlighted.
Windows 10.
Windows 11 options menu. Rename icon is marked.
Windows 11.

To change the icon, right-click it again and the left click PROPERTIES on the menu.

On the Properties page, click the SHORTCUT tab across the top. Then click the CHANGE ICON button.

Properties highlighted on Windows 11 options menu.
Right-click the shortcut and then left-click Properties.
Shortcut properties page. Shortcut tab and Change Icon indicated.
Make sure you’re on the Shortcut tab, then click the Change Icon button.

Now click a suitable icon and then click the OK button.

Close the Properties box and you’re all done.

Change icon options window.
Choose an icon.
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