OldBar: Detachable Desktop Folder Toolbars on Windows 7 and 8

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A tiny feature removed in Windows 7 is the ability to create folder toolbars on the desktop. This was a feature that was available for a long time in Windows, and existed till Windows Vista. In Windows 7 this functionality was replaced in favor of Jump Lists. While it is still possible to create folder toolbars, they cannot be removed from the taskbar. So they behave more like menus now.

In fact, I was unaware of this feature missing till yesterday. I came to know about it when I tried to create a folder toolbar with some applications but was not able to. Dock toolbar creators are a dime a dozen and they allow users to add various fancy effects as well. But what I was looking for was something simple, and if possible something that mimics the old Windows XP toolbar. That’s when I found Oldbar, an app which was created exactly for this purpose.

OldBar
OldBar

Oldbar is a tiny, portable (if selected on installation) program that allows you to add multiple detachable folder toolbars to your desktop. You can drag and dock these toolbars at any edge of the screen or simply let it float anywhere on your desktop, just like in older Windows versions.

To create a new toolbar, just run the application and it will create a new blank toolbar, attached to the top edge of the screen. Now right-click on it and select a folder with the option “Choose toolbar folder”. All the contents of the chosen folder will show up on the toolbar. You can add more applications shortcuts, file or folder to the toolbar by just dragging and dropping on it. Though, you can’t remove it by dragging.

Toolbar buttons are fully customizable. Available options are:

  • Set custom text for buttons
  • Button style options: default, shine, custom flat, custom shine
  • Set custom height and width of buttons
  • Button color, highlight, shadow and light
  • Button font and highlight font
  • Show/Hide button text
  • Word wrap
  • Expand option for folder buttons
  • Show/Hide button icon
  • Small/big button icons
  • Text alignment
  • Icon alignment
  • Add separators between buttons

There are various options available for the whole toolbar panel as well:

  • Toolbar can be set to stay always on top
  • Hide automatically
  • Show bevel
  • Hide toolbar border
  • Set margin height and width
  • Transparent bar
  • Set toolbar background color or image

Though, one feature I really wanted on this app was a global setting for the buttons. It’s a real pain when you have 15-20 buttons on the toolbar that you want to have the same layout. At present, you have to customize each button individually. Hope the developer adds this option in the next release.

Update: To apply same style on multiple buttons, select each by pressing the ‘Shift’ key. Thanks Napangi.

OldBar is not a must-install toolbar, but it is great to have for all those classic Windows toolbar lovers or anyone looking for a simple docked toolbar accessible from any window.

OldBar is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of all Windows. Tested on Windows 7 and 8.

Download: OldBar

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