How to master Jump Lists in Windows 7

24th Feb 2010 | 13:00

How to master Jump Lists in Windows 7

Opening your programs and files is easier than ever

Windows 7 Jump List tips

Windows 7 is packed with new features, but none gives you as much control over your files as the new Jump Lists.

These lists provide easy access to your most common files with just a couple of mouse clicks, and spell the end of those frustrating trawls through document folders, looking for a file you use all the time.

As well as being a good way to save time, some Windows users have found ways to exploit Jump Lists to make them even more useful.

We've been playing around with Jumplist-Launcher, a free application which enables you to build custom lists that aren't tied to any particular program, meaning you can use Windows 7 faster than ever.

Step-by-Step 1. Start off

Step 1

One place that Jump Lists are prevalent is in the Windows 7 Start menu. Click on this (or press the Windows key) to see that programs now have an arrow pointing to the right, which reveals the files recently opened by that application. Just click on the name of the file to open it.

2. Jump to it

Step 2

If you hover your mouse over the arrow, the Jump List will fly out to the right. Some options will have shortcuts in the Jump Lists to common parts of Windows 7, which saves you stacks of time – for example, Getting Started can lead you to lots of the most useful Control Panel applets.

3. Pin it down

Step 3

The Start menu is dynamic, meaning it changes according to how you use it, and the list is based upon your most-used programs. It's also possible to pin some programs in place, so they don't move or get bumped off. Right-click an item and click Pin to Start Menu to permanently fix it.

4. Super taskbar

Step 4

The new super taskbar in Windows 7 works as a dock for all your programs, and you can launch your favourite programs directly from there. If there's something you use a lot, pin it to the taskbar – just right-click on the program icon on your desktop, and choose Pin to Taskbar.

5. Right-click to find the list

Step 5

Most programs, including Windows Live, Windows 7 programs such as Paint and a selection of third-party apps, add Jump List functionality to the taskbar. To access a program's Jump List, just right-click on its taskbar icon – here, you can open the program or choose from recent files.

6. Save time

Step 6

When you open files associated with programs on the taskbar, they appear on the Jump List. By default there's room for 10, and these change frequently as you open more files. If you want to ensure a file stays on the list, it's possible to fix items in place by clicking the pin icon to the right.

How to customise Windows 7 Jump Lists

7. More for your money

Step 7

Like most parts of Windows 7, the Jump List menus are fully customisable, and you can change the size of them according to your tastes using the Start menu properties. To start adjusting your Jump Lists, just right-click the taskbar and go to Properties, click the Start menu tab and choose Customize.

8. Up the number

Step 8

At the bottom of the Customize window you can increase or decrease the number of entries your Jump Lists display. The default is 10, but you can type in any number you wish, to create massive lists with access to all your files, or save on space with minimalist access as required.

9. Set up Jump Lists

Step 9

If the Jump Lists in Windows 7 help you work more effectively, then try supercharging your Jump Lists with Jumplist-Launcher. This enables you to build custom Jump Lists, and is available to download from here.

10. Extraction guaranteed

Step 10

When you download it from the site, you'll get a folder that needs to be unzipped to access the files within. This is easily done – just right-click on the file, then click Extract. No actual installation is required because the program is small enough to run from inside the application.

11. Customise

Step 11

As soon as Jumplist-Launcher is set up and running, you simply need to open it, and then drag and drop files, programs or shortcuts into the main window. Once you've done this, it's easy to order your Jump Lists so they're as efficient as possible – just click the up and down arrows at the side.

12. Ready when you are

Step 12

Once you've set up Jumplist-Launcher, you want it to stay on the taskbar, or you'll be forced to reopen the program every time you restart your PC. Just right-click the Jumplist-Launcher icon and choose Pin to Taskbar. Now it will always be easy to access.

13. Ready for launch

Step 13

Now when you start your computer, you can just right-click on the Jumplist-Launcher icon on your taskbar to bring up the customised list you created earlier. You can pin these in place by clicking the small icons to the right of the items, just as with all your other Jump List options.

14. Work faster

Step 14

Once you're done, you'll have mastered Jump Lists in Windows 7, and can start saving real time on your day-to-day tasks. What's more, by adding Jumplist-Launcher to your taskbar and making the most of its shortcuts and customised Jump List, you can really get in control of your computer.

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First published in Windows: The Official Magazine Issue 38

Liked this? Then check out 67 Windows 7 tips, tricks and secrets

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