For some applications that I pin to the taskbar, the icon gets duplicated when an instance of the application is running.

For example, in the screen shot below you see there are two icons for VMWare Player (icons all the way to the right).
Windows 7 Task Bar Image
The first (left) icon for VMWare Player is the one I pinned to the task bar.
The second one (right) is linked to the running instance of VMWare Player.

If I start another instance, then gets grouped with the second icon. For most other programs (like Google Chrome in the screen shot below) the running instances just get grouped with the original pinned icon.

Can I make VMWare Player behave the same way?
Why does it behave differently anyway?

  • VMWare is probably not aware of the Windows 7 guidelines. Perhaps it sees each VM as a distinct application, running in its own memory space, but I'm guessing. I'd just learn to live with it.
    – user3463
    Nov 25, 2010 at 5:25

4 Answers 4


Two possible reasons and a solution...

Reason 1

I believe it something about do with the program not taking advantage of Windows 7 features (or APIs). Since this may be the case, Windows thinks it is two different programs. You will have to wait until VMware Player updates its software to take advantage of this new feature. This is the same problem I once had with Google Chrome. After a Google Chrome update, it was resolved.

Reason 2

Another reason, you could have pinned the shortcut of the file instead of the actual program. Find actual program, then right click it and select Pin to taskbar.

Temporary Solution

If the first reason is the case then here is a temporary solution. Open up the program, so that you have duplicate icons. Then right click the duplicate icon (the new one) and click Pin this program to taskbar. Next, right click the original and select Unpin this program from taskbar.

  • 2
    Reason two worked for me. Strange because I've used the "drag the shortcut to the task bar" method for other programs and not seen this behavior. But I just opened up VMWare and unpinned the original then pinned the running instance and it behaves as expected now. THANKS!
    – Chaulky
    Nov 26, 2010 at 23:03
  • 1
    Reason 2 seemed to work for me with Outlook 2013
    – LameCoder
    Jan 8, 2014 at 15:30
  • 1
    Reason 2 worked for me with iTunes. Good catch! Jul 1, 2014 at 4:07
  • 1
    Temporary solution work for me. Wonderful!
    – Ifan Iqbal
    Oct 26, 2014 at 12:22
  • 1
    Bump for Reason #2. The best way not to miss the correct icon is - run the program, it will then appear in your taskbar, right-click and "pin" it. This will guarantee you have pinned correct element.
    – 0leg
    Feb 3, 2016 at 9:58

Had this issue with Eclipse Mars 64 bits on Windows 10 Pro x64 Insider Preview Build 10130. The only way I managed to fix that is by executing Eclipse as it was a Windows Vista app:

  1. Remove any pinned icon to fom the taskbar

  2. Right click on the Eclipse executable -> Properties -> Compatibility tab -> Compatibility Mode

  3. Check Run this program in compatibility mode for

  4. Select Windows Vista (any of them).

  5. Execute Eclipse by clicking on the executable and pin it when it's fully loaded.

I didn't need to add the -vm flag in neither the shortcut (C:\Users\[Your User]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar) or the eclipse.ini file.

  • 2
    Thank you! It works for me on Windows 10 Home. I tried setting the compatibility mode to Windows 8 and 7 because I did not have this problem with this particular program (PHPStorm) on either of those operating systems but I tried Vista after reading your answer and it worked perfectly.
    – ibanore
    Jul 29, 2015 at 10:37
  • I tried this (on the release version of Win 10), and it worked, but it caused a bunch of errors in Eclipse.
    – lopsided98
    Aug 1, 2015 at 19:55
  • 1
    I have the same problem with Comodo IceDragon on Windows 10. Unfortunately, for at least two reasons it seems inadvisable to run a web browser under compatibility settings.
    – user479233
    Aug 6, 2015 at 20:44

http://www.euclidnet.com/how-to-fix-duplicate-taskbar-icons/ solved it for me:

Taskbar icons get duplicated when a shortcut is pinned to the taskbar, rather than the program itself. The solution is to find and remove the extra shortcut. The most straightforward way to do this is simply to right click and “Unpin” all the icons for the program in question, launch the program via the Start Menu, and then right click the running program on the taskbar to re-pin it.

Sometimes we’ve run into situations where this doesn’t resolve the problem. There’s usually a hidden shortcut that is being referenced by the running program. In this case, the solution is to “Show Hidden Files” in Windows Explorer, and navigate to the system path for taskbar shortcuts. This path is : %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar – there you can attempt deleting the shortcut manually, and re-adding it once again.

  • 1
    Nice find! And, weird: the linked February 2014 article has the same screenshot as the question...!?
    – Arjan
    May 13, 2015 at 13:48
  • Worked for me on windows 8 + windows explorer.
    – ABC123
    Apr 18, 2016 at 17:24

Update for Outlook 2013 (and possibly other versions)

For some reason, this is an issue with Outlook and pinning the application before the first-run of the Outlook application for a new user profile.

To fix this issue properly, follow these steps.

  1. Close Outlook (all instances)
  2. Unpin Outlook from the Taskbar.
  3. Find Outlook in your Start menu (do not click on it.)
  4. Right-click on Outlook in the start menu, and select the "Pin to Taskbar" option.

Again, if you initially did this before launching Outlook, you very-likely saw this issue of Outlook launching a new instance of the application each time that you clicked on the pinned Taskbar icon. The above steps should keep one icon of Outlook on the Taskbar, each time you click on the icon. This will also integrate all of the Outlook task-related features into the instance menu.

  • Whenever I set a user up with a new machine, one of the things I do after they log in is to launch Outlook and go through the account setup wizard. Then, after the main app window appears, I'll right-click its taskbar icon (representing the running program) to pin it. I do this because of experience with the very issue you describe. May 24, 2021 at 14:24

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