Start your favorite applications with one click

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 26, 2006
Updated • May 9, 2013

Microsoft Groupbar is a freeware application for the Windows XP operating system that offers enhanced window management capability. Groupbar does not need to be installed, just download the file and start GroupBar.exe. The tool automatically appears as a sidebar on the left of your screen but can be placed in the other three edges as well. The sidebar displays all running applications on start which you can sort into groups to improve the management of running programs on your system.

This does not seem to be a great enhancement up to this point but Groupbar has one functionality that makes it a pretty useful program. You can group applications, for instance Firefox, an email client and your instant messenger. Once grouped together they can all be started / minimized at once from the sidebar. Great if you have certain applications that you do use together or at the start of the system.

Groupbar remembers window positions and resolutions of all programs which happens to be another nice feature. It is also possible to create snapshots of certain states. You can preview previous snapshots and restore your work state later. Snapshots are either temporary or permanent. Permanent snapshots can be created with the Create persistent snapshot function.

Groupbar is only available for Windows XP, and has not been updated since 2006. Here is an overview of the experimental programs feature set:

  • Rearrange tiles
  • Arrange tiles into groups
  • Ability to display tiles in multiple locations and bars
  • Create snapshots to load a previous configuration

Groupbar at its core is an advanced taskbar that offers features like grouping and multiple bars to improve your work flow on the system. As said earlier, it has been an experimental feature that has not been updated to be compatible with newer versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. If you are running Windows XP, you may want to give it a try though as it is still working fine on that system.

A program like Rocketdock may be an alternative for newer systems, even though it ships without the grouping functionality.


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  1. Jeff Frogstar said on August 1, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    hey. I’d love to try it, but the download page no longer works. Does anybody have the EXE file to share?

  2. Hornswaggled said on July 28, 2006 at 6:38 am

    Actually sounds very interesting. I would imagine i would want to open dreamwever and fireworks at the same time. Not sure if I need another app for this though. Maybe for an office it would be nice to sae a few clicks for an employee to open evrything at once.

    Then again how hard is it to click on an icon for the program you need?

    Ill give it a try and check it out myself.

  3. K1 said on July 27, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Microsoft Groupbar is really a nice application. I added my favorite applications that I always start together and can start all with just one click.

    Groupbar is great, even though it was made by MS :)

  4. gnome said on July 26, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    Quite a handy little thing.

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