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I have downloaded latest emacs for Windows here, but starting it on Windows 7 shows a taskbar icon that ignores right-click and so can't be pinned I have searched Google and found a lot of bug reports for emacs not supporting Windows 7 taskbar and that it's a bug fixed in version 23.1+. Current version is 23.3., but I still can't pin emacs to Windows 7 taskbar. What I'm doing wrong?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

The Emacs bug#8268 discussion suggests :

Once you've pinned emacs.exe, edit the properties (you can use shift-right-click) and change the executable path to point to C:/this/is/your/path/to/runemacs.exe instead of C:/this/is/your/path/to/emacs.exe

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This will not work. If you do as suggested and click on the pinned icon, the second icon will appear that will stand for emacs.exe. Windows 7 taskbar maps applications to icons in taskbar by comparing app executable names with icon's "executable path". So pinning emacs.exe and changing executable path to "runemacs.exe" is same as pinning "runemacs.exe" :( – Eye of Hell Mar 24 '11 at 11:42
@harrymc sorry, forgot notification at sign :) – Eye of Hell Mar 24 '11 at 14:15
Notification is implicit for one's own answers. – harrymc Mar 24 '11 at 15:06
Also, i have checked bug#8268 discussion. Where is only one person here that pretends that pinning runemacs.exe allows to start emacs from taskbar without additional console windows or taskbar icons. For rest of people this is not working. I can suggest that person in question uses non-standard windows 7 version (beta/checked build/modified kernel) or have non-standard OS modifications. – Eye of Hell Mar 28 '11 at 8:12
This doesn't work properly on Windows 10 either, without additional console windows or taskbar icons. – Svein Fidjestøl Sep 9 '15 at 7:56

I think I've found a way though I have no idea why it works...

Instead of dragging the emacs icon from the folder to the taskbar (which will duplicate icons), open 'runemacs.exe' with no pre-existing icon in the taskbar. Now right click on the icon already running in the taskbar, and pin that to the taskbar. For some reason on my PC, that stopped the duplicating of icons. Now do the shift right-click thing and change the target from emacs.exe to runemacs.exe. Now (for me at least) the Emacs icon works as expected.

If this does not work, try upgrading Emacs. For example, this did not work for 22.3 but does for 24.3.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Run runemacs.exe with no pre-existing icon in the taskbar.
  2. Right click on the running Emacs icon in the taskbar, and click on "pin this program to taskbar."
  3. Close Emacs
  4. Shift right-click on the pinned Emacs icon on the taskbar, click on Properties, and change the target from emacs.exe to runemacs.exe.
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This should be marked as the answer! – Olegs Jeremejevs May 9 '12 at 14:04
It works for me too, 3ks. – Eastsun Jun 23 '12 at 2:00
This works. Should be the answer! – isakkarlsson Aug 21 '12 at 15:50
This is exactly the same as the accepted answer. – harrymc Oct 14 '12 at 14:41
No it's not. The accepted answer assumes the user has pinned emacs from an open instance. Another way of pinning emacs is to drag the exe out of the folder and 'set' it into the taskbar. This method of pinning will not work. The accepted answer only specifies the user pin it, not how to pin it. – falcojr Oct 15 '12 at 18:59

EmacsWiki explains these problems :

When you start a program using a shortcut pinned to the taskbar, the shortcut is displayed differently while the program is running, but no new taskbar button is displayed. If you start a program that is not pinned to the taskbar, a new taskbar button is created. This is different than previous versions of Windows that always created a taskbar button for each window open.

This doesn’t work with emacs, however. To eliminate the console window, it must be started with runemacs. This means we’d have to pin runemacs.exe to the taskbar to start emacs. When it is run, however, it simply starts emacs.exe and exits. Windows will recognize that these are two different programs and will not highlight the pinned icon and will create a new button for emacs.exe.

A workaround is proposed here :

My workaround is to pin emacs.exe to the taskbar and runemacs.exe to the start menu. When I want to start Emacs I have to use the shortcut in my start menu, but once it is running I can just use its taskbar icon as normal. This works reasonably well for me because I typically start Emacs once per desktop session and then just leave it running...

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Unfortunately, this will not work for latest windows 7 and emacs (23.3.1.). I just pinned emacs.exe to taskbar and runemacs.exe to start menu and started emacs via start menu shortcut - where is two emacs icons on my taksbar :(. One pinned and on started from start menu. And where is no way to pin the one actually started - it ignores right click :( – Eye of Hell Mar 21 '11 at 8:50
Try maybe using EmacsClient. See this tip. – harrymc Mar 21 '11 at 11:50
How can EmacsClient help me to interact with taskbar? O_O Sure thing i can open documents via it utilizing emacs running in server mode - but the taskbar icon problems remains in taskbar :(. – Eye of Hell Mar 21 '11 at 12:11
Seems like Win7 doesn't support at all the splitting of Emacs into 2 programs. Have you looked into alternative forks, like XEmacs? – harrymc Mar 21 '11 at 12:35
One would need to combine runemacs.exe and emacs.exe into one executable (which was the announced intention of ntemacs when starting his project). – harrymc Mar 29 '11 at 9:25

This is more of a work-around, but none of the other answers work for me.

Right-click runemacs.exe and pin it to the Start menu rather than the taskbar.

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