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The tip...

Technical tip #41, May 6, 2002, How to put an icon back on the Start Bar.

This tip is also in response to a request: "How do I put icons back on the Start Bar?" 

And, again, let me start with "Al's theory" about why your icon is gone from the Start Bar in the first place.  Although Windows 95+ (98, 2000, XP) has brought many nice innovations one unfortunate "defect" is that a left click and drag moves files, folders and icons rather than copying them.  So if you drag an icon from the Start Bar to, say, the Desktop it is moved, not copied.  There may be, somewhere deep in the innards of Windows, a way to change this I just donít know of it.  So, in the future, if you wish to copy, right click and drag.  When you release the mouse button you will be asked if you want to a) move it there, b) copy it there or c) create a shortcut there.  The right answer is usually "c".

Okay, now you know how you got it wrong, how do you set it right?  As always there are at least three ways, the formal way, the cut and paste way and the drag and drop way.

The Formal Way 

Go to START>>SETTINGS>>TASKBAR AND START MENU.  That will open a dialog box like this: 

 If you then select START MENU PROGRAMS and ADD you will see: 


Now all you have to do is type in the "fully qualified" command line (by this I mean "C:\Program Files\Ö" and so forth) or browse to the program's icon.  The problem of course is that usually you have no idea where the programs icon is.  If the icon still exists, as in you dragged it onto the Desktop, you are okay.  If it is gone, you may have to reinstall the program before you can put it back on the Start Bar (and the reinstall will usually do that for you).  It is always wise to remove programs before reinstalling them.  And it is always wise to backup your data before removing.  Most programmers these days no longer assume you want to delete the folders and all the data in them when removing but trusting programmers is a tear-stained path fraught with dangers. 

If the icon still exists, right click it and a pop up menu will appear with the item Properties on it.  Click that and in the dialog box that appears look at TARGET.  There is the fully qualified location of the program that will be started by clicking that icon.  If you've been reading your tips you will notice that that name is highlighted.  So you can do a CTL+C (copy), ALT+TAB (flip back to your Create Shortcut dialog box) and CTL+V (paste) the location in the Command Line box and click Next.  You will then see this box: 

  You may recognize this as your START MENU.  You can now select any folder (usually PROGRAMS) and click next.  You will then be asked to give the shortcut a name.  Windows will assume the name is the same as the program file, for example, I was using MS Backup to step through this and Windows suggested Msbackup.  I would change this to MS Backup and click finish.  The program's icon and name will be restored to the Start Bar. 

Cut and Paste 

Again, this depends on the icon still existing somewhere.  If it does, then right click and select COPY.  Now go to the START button and right click it and select OPEN from the menu that appears.  You will see an Explorer-like folder that shows all the things on your Start Menu.  Generally you can now right click Programs and select Paste from the pop up menu and the icon is now back on the Start Bar.  You may want to select a folder within Programs.  Double click it and then select the folder and paste into it. 

Drag and drop 

To do this, right click START and select open.  Open the folder (usually PROGRAMS) that you want to re-create the shortcut in ("in which you wish to re-create the shortcut" for you language purists).  Arrange the Window so you can drag the icon from where it exists (Desktop, say) and right click and drag it into the folder (e.g., Programs).  Once again, when you release the mouse button you will be offered the choice of move, copy or create shortcut with create shortcut being the optimal.  If you are not offered the choice it means you have left clicked and done a move.  Now you will have to re-create the shortcut on the from end.  You should be good at that now.


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