How can I enable the Quick Launch toolbar via a logon script or Group Policy?

A. Typically, to enable the Quick Launch toolbar, you right-click the taskbar and on the Toolbars menu select Quick Launch. This selection updates the TaskbarWinXP value under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Desktop\ registry subkey. However, it's a binary value that contains information about the entire taskbar configuration. Here's a sample value:

"TaskbarWinXP"=hex:0c,00,00,00,08,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,b0,e2,2b,d8,64,57,d0,11,a9,6e,00,c0,4f,d7,05,a2,22,00,1c,00,0a,10,00,00,1a,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,4c,00,00,00,01,14,02,00,00,00,00,00,c0,00,00,00,00,00,00,46,81,00,00,00,11,00,00,00,12,66,64,6a,9f,e4,c4,01,ab,dc,2d,b9,15,a5,c5,01,ad,9d,70,e0,3e,8e,c5,01,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,1b,02,14,00,1f,50,e0,4f,d0,20,ea,3a,69,10,a2,d8,08,00,2b,30,30,9d,19,00,2f,43,3a,5c,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,5c,00,31,00,00,00,00,00,10,33,89,b1,10,00,44,4f,43,55,4d,45,7e,31,00,00,44,00,03,00,04,00,ef,be,39,31,2c,41,13,33,6c,b9,14,00,00,00,44,00,6f,00,63,00,75,00,6d,00,65,00,6e,00,74,00,73,00,20,00,61,00,6e,00,64,00,20,00,53,00,65,00,74,00,74,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,73,00,00,00,18,00,50,00,31,00,00,00,00,00,13,33,54,bb,10,00,4a,4f,48,4e,7e,31,2e,53,41,56,00,00,36,00,03,00,04,00,ef,be,92,31,3c,0a,13,33,58,bb,14,00,00,00,4a,00,6f,00,68,00,6e,00,2e,00,53,00,41,00,56,00,49,00,4c,00,4c,00,54,00,45,00,43,00,48,00,00,00,1a,00,64,00,31,00,00,00,00,00,f3,32,75,a9,13,00,41,50,50,4c,49,43,7e,31,00,00,4c,00,03,00,04,00,ef,be,92,31,3c,0a,13,33,8c,b9,14,00,36,00,41,00,70,00,70,00,6c,00,69,00,63,00,61,00,74,00,69,00,6f,00,6e,00,20,00,44,00,61,00,74,00,61,00,00,00,40,73,68,65,6c,6c,33,32,2e,64,6c,6c,2c,2d,32,31,37,36,35,00,18,00,42,00,31,00,00,00,00,00,01,33,5c,b3,14,00,4d,49,43,52,4f,53,7e,31,00,00,2a,00,03,00,04,00,ef,be,92,31,3c,0a,13,33,8c,b9,14,00,00,00,4d,00,69,00,63,00,72,00,6f,00,73,00,6f,00,66,00,74,00,00,00,18,00,52,00,31,00,00,00,00,00,92,31,41,0a,10,00,49,4e,54,45,52,4e,7e,31,00,00,3a,00,03,00,04,00,ef,be,92,31,3c,0a,13,33,46,ba,14,00,00,00,49,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,6e,00,65,00,74,00,20,00,45,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,00,00,18,00,48,00,31,00,00,00,00,00,f5,32,e8,ae,11,00,51,55,49,43,4b,4c,7e,31,00,00,30,00,03,00,04,00,ef,be,92,31,41,0a,13,33,80,b9,14,00,00,00,51,00,75,00,69,00,63,00,6b,00,20,00,4c,00,61,00,75,00,6e,00,63,00,68,00,00,00,18,00,00,00,60,00,00,00,03,00,00,a0,58,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,74,68,61,6e,6f,73,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,c6,c6,5c,2d,6f,2a,91,44,ac,2e,75,bd,2a,4f,d8,4d,cf,91,12,c5,92,50,d9,11,93,cb,00,0c,6e,76,5b,60,c6,c6,5c,2d,6f,2a,91,44,ac,2e,75,bd,2a,4f,d8,4d,cf,91,12,c5,92,50,d9,11,93,cb,00,0c,6e,76,5b,60,10,00,00,00,05,00,00,a0,1a,00,00,00,3d,01,00,00,00,00,00,00,de,00,00,00,60,07,00,00,00,00,00,00,1e,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,1e,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,aa,4f,28,68,48,6a,d0,11,8c,78,00,c0,4f,d9,18,b4,08,03,00,00,60,0d,00,00,00,00,00,00,1e,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,1e,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,01,00,00,00

If you configure a reference machine for how you want the taskbar to appear, then export the value to a .reg file, it might seem logical that you could then import the file to other users at logon and the change would take effect. Unfortunately this doesn't work.

This registry key loads when the user logs on and is written back when the user logs off; therefore, if you change the registry key while the user is logged on, it will be overwritten when he or she logs off. You'd need to change the key while the user is logged off. This means the registry key would need to be based on HKEY_USERS and the SID of each user on the machine, as the following example shows: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 \[HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-4104391588-4119081595-2825493908-1110\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Desktop\] "TaskbarWinXP"=hex:0c,00,00,00,08,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,b0,e2,2b,d8,... and so on. It would be possible to create a script to perform an iterative scan of HKEY_USERS and set the value discussed earlier appropriately. However, the binary's value is so complex that for the time being, no simple way exists to perform this action by using Group Policy or a script.

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