When Windows 7 came on the scene last year an area that got a lot of discussion was the changes to the Windows Taskbar and specifically the loss of the Quick Launch Toolbar that was associated with the Windows taskbar in previous versions of Windows.

Now I have spoken my piece in the past – Windows 7 Taskbar Enlightenment – and once I learned how to understand the new taskbar I was a fan.

There were still many who missed the option of the Quick Launch Toolbar and the convenience it brought to a Windows system.  Specifically, many people missed having the Show Desktop shortcut handy there to immediately minimize all open windows to the taskbar. 

Now you can still do that with Windows 7 – it is just moved from the default position on the farthest left spot in the Quick Launch Toolbar and was placed on the far right lower corner of your desktop.  It is called Aero Peek and if you hover on that spot it shows the desktop and a click minimizes all open windows.  Same functionality – just not in the same place.

Well today when I was cleaning up my system for a reinstall of my operating system I came across two shortcuts I did not expect to find but turns out one of them can help a little bit with that Show Desktop functionality.

If you browse to the following folder:

X:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

X: being the hard drive you have Windows installed on

You must have hidden files turned on so you can see the directory

You will find something like this:


Now your view may vary based on what you have installed on your system but notice the two bottom shortcuts?

The Shows Desktop shortcut will do exactly like the old Show Desktop shortcut in the Quick Launch Toolbar did – it will either minimize or maximize all open windows on the desktop.

The Switch between windows shortcut will activate Aero Flip 3D and allow you to browse through your open windows.


So what I have elected to do with the Shows Desktop shortcut is to copy onto my Windows 7 Desktop and I have placed it down near the Windows 7 Start Orb.  The shortcut can not be placed on the taskbar – at least I have not found a way to do it yet.


Now if I slide my mouse to the left instead of the right to minimize all of the windows which are open on my system I have a quick shortcut to do that.  If I go to the right then I still have my Aero Peek button to do the same. 

I guess you could call it being ambidextrous :-)