Pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

Update: Fixed addresses so they now have proper forward slashes. If you don’t see these: \ then please make sure to insert one after each word. Internet Explorer is considered one word with a space in between it. I’m working on fixing the problem with disappearing slashes.

If you’ve just picked up Windows 7, you’re probably wondering where the Show Desktop button has gone. It’s actually now moved to the bottom right hand corner of the screen for quick access. Hovering your mouse over it will activate Aero Peek and allow you to preview the Desktop without actually going to it. This feature is good for taking a quick peek at any Gadgets you may have lying on your desktop.

But if you still want a “Show Desktop” icon in your taskbar, it’s possible. This guide will teach you how to pin Show Desktop properly into the taskbar, not the method that gives you a strange unaligned placement in the taskbar.

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

The Fail Pin

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

The Win Pin

The guide is actually not as long as it looks. I added a lot of pictures to guide you along the process.

How-to:

1) First, you need to pin an item you don’t actually want in the taskbar. I chose TweetDeck because it stays in the System Tray anyway.

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7
2) Then you need to create your own Show Desktop icon. You can download the Icon here, or do it yourself.

To do it yourself, open Notepad and paste the following code:

[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop

When you save the file, select All Files from the drop down menu, and name the icon Desktop.scf

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

Whether you download or create the desktop file yourself, make sure to save it into this directory:

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

3) Right click the item you pinned earlier (in my case, TweetDeck) and click on Properties.

4) Edit the Target Field to the following. Change the field yourusername to your Computer name. You can find this by opening the Start Menu and looking at the first item in the darkened area.

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

Computer name is shown as the first item on the right side (win7 for me)

Paste this code into the Target Field. Make sure to change yourusername.

C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar\Desktop.scf

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

5) Now we need to change the icon. Click on Change Icon and paste the following code into the Browse field and press Enter:

%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll

The Show Desktop icon is located somewhere near the middle. This was where mine was located:

How to really pin the Show Desktop to Taskbar in Windows 7

6) You can also rename your icon to Show Desktop so you don’t get confused when editing the taskbar later on.

7) Your icon in the Taskbar will not change unless you log off and log back in or end the explorer.exe process in Task Manager. Regardless, the icon should function like the old “Show Desktop” icon.

If you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts, Win+D shows the desktop too.

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