Pin websites to the taskbar Windows 11
Image: Mark Kaelin

In previous versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11, users could simply drag websites, Word documents, Excel worksheets, etc. to their respective taskbar icons and then permanently pin those assets to the taskbar. From that point on, with nothing more than a right-click on the appropriate taskbar icon, that item would be immediately available from a list of pinned links and documents. Somewhere, somehow and for some unexplained reason, Microsoft has disabled this useful feature, but we can still overcome this misguided decision.

SEE: How to minimize security risks: Follow these best practices for success (TechRepublic Premium)

There is a way to trick Windows 11 into allowing us to pin websites and documents to the taskbar despite Microsoft’s attempts to deny us this privilege. It is clunky and ridiculously illogical and inelegant, but it works. At least it works until Microsoft finds a way to block us from using this trick as well.

Trick Windows 11 so we can pin websites to the taskbar

To clarify, what we are talking about is the ability to add items to the right-click menu of applications located on your Windows 11 taskbar, as shown in Figure A. In previous versions, when this was an active feature, Microsoft called them jump lists. TechRepublic published a hack on how to increase the size of jump lists with a Registry file hack in 2016.

right-click menu of applications in Windows 11
Figure A

For simplicity’s sake we are concentrating on Microsoft Edge and specific websites, but the feature works with Chrome, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, and other apps you may have pinned to your Windows 11 taskbar. Previously, we could click and hold a website with our mouse and then drag it to the appropriate taskbar icon where we would be given the option to pin it to the taskbar. This basic feature is now blocked for some reason.

To pin a website to our taskbar jump list we must trick Windows 11 into offering us the opportunity.

First, open Edge in a single tab that points to any website that is not part of your standard default starting set of websites. It should also not be the website you want to pin. In Figure B, you can see that I am using as my starting point.

Google link circled with a note saying "No longer able to drag and drop to the taskbar"
Figure B

Now, open a new tab in Edge and navigate to the website you would like to pin to your taskbar. For our example (Figure C), we will point to my author profile page on TechRepublic.

link to Mark W. Kaelin's author page circled with a note saying "Pinning this link to the taskbar."
Figure C

Now, this is where it gets much less intuitive. Close just the tab in Edge displaying the website you want to pin to your taskbar. This step will place the link to the website into a special list called “recently closed,” where we can access it. Do not exit out of Edge completely—leave at least one tab open.

Right-click the Edge icon in the Windows 11 taskbar, as shown in Figure D, and you will see our desired website. Click the pin icon on the right side of the item list to permanently pin the website to the taskbar jump list.

Mark W. Kaelin author page link listed under Recently Closed in Windows 11 right-click menu
Figure D

Now, when you right-click the Microsoft Edge icon on the Windows 11 taskbar, you will find that your chosen website is available on the jump list (Figure E), as if you had dragged and dropped it there.

Link to Mark W. Kaelin author page now listed under pinned links
Figure E

The reason Microsoft removed this feature from the current version of Windows 11 is a mystery. For some users, the taskbar jump list system is our preferred application navigation system in Windows 11, so removing it has been most inconvenient. Perhaps the system is deprecated and will eventually be removed and disabled completely, but with this little bit of trickery, we can keep the feature around for at least a little while longer.