Turn Vista Folders Into Fast-Access 'Favorites'

Last week I told you about "stacking," one of Vista's hidden file-management amenities. Today, let's turn our attention to "favorites." Not Internet favorites, mind you, but folder favorites.

See, if you're anything like me, you routinely access the same handful of folders: one containing your family photos, another with work documents, a third with MP3s, and so on.

Of course, it's not uncommon for those well-worn folders to be scattered across your hard drive, which makes finding them a slow and inconvenient process.

Enter "favorites," Vista's way of putting designated folders at your fingertips. Here's how to create one:

1. Open Windows Explorer. (My favorite method: Tap Windows-E on your keyboard.)

2. Navigate to the folder you want to turn into a favorite.

3. Drag the folder to the Favorite Links area in the lefthand pane. (Don't see it? Click Organize, Layout, Navigation Pane to make it visible.)

4. Repeat as desired with other folders.

Presto! Now just click any of your folder shortcuts to immediately access the contents therein. Keep in that creating a favorite doesn't actually change the location of the folder; it simply puts a shortcut to it in a convenient location.

Who says there's nothing to love about Vista?

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