In Windows 7 I have icons pinned to my taskbar. But if the application is open, the icon is no longer visible.

I want to open a second window of the application and it's a pain to have to traverse the programs list from the Start menu.

How can I make the icon stay visible even if one instance is already open?


The problem is not with Windows 7 but with your application.

The application in question is probably programmed not to show any window in the task bar. Once started, that behavior takes precedence over your setting of pinning it in the task bar and hides the icon.

Unfortunately, there is no fix for that (unless your program has an option to show itself in the task bar or not [ie.: Winamp]). Contact the application developer if you want that behavior changed.


If you think about Windows 7 behavior that once you start application, next click brings you back to that application, you can open new instance either by right-clicking and running it that way, or easier, just hold Shift while you click. That will open new instance.

  • You can also spawn another instance of an open application by middle-clicking the taskbar icon. – dcharles Aug 18 '09 at 2:08

As a workaround, you can recreate the Quick Launch toolbar:

  1. First, right-click on the Taskbar and turn off "Lock the Taskbar."
  2. Right-click the Taskbar, hover over Toolbars, and select New Toolbar.
  3. When it asks you to select a folder, enter this string: %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch (You may have to just enter %userprofile% and then browse the rest of the way from there)
  4. Find Quick Launch (it may be on the right side of the Taskbar), right-click the divider and disable "Show Text" and "Show Title." Make sure "Small Icons" is enabled (unless you prefer them to be larger).
  5. Drag the divider to rearrange Quick Launch on your Taskbar (using left-click).
  6. Right-click and lock your Toolbar again.

Right click in the taskbar select under the Taskbar tab in the "Notification area" select the Customize ... button. There you will be able to edit how the icon ands notifications appear on the task bar.


Do you have some other property set on the icon? I have several pinned to my task bar, but they do not go away when I launch one.

  • nope, I just dragged the icon on to the task bar. – user3183 Aug 17 '09 at 19:09
  • Try removing the icon from the task bar, then running it via your start menu. Once it is running, right click on it and choose the "Pin this program to task menu" option. See if that makes any difference. – palehorse Aug 17 '09 at 20:16

Try http://support.microsoft.com/fixit/ I have noticed that it fixes most of the small problems like that with the taskbar icons. It worked when i was working at a helpdesk and the users could not see the icons.

  • That link doesn't work well now, and I question whether it ever lead to anything specific. And that's besides the rule against link-only answers... – SamB Sep 8 '15 at 17:10

That's normal in Windows 7, just wheel click to open another instance.

To be clear you third click the task to start a new instance. So you have a few File Explorers open, if you want another one, just wheel click any one of them on the task bar

  • 1
    I'm not sure how he's expected to wheel click on it when the icon has disappeared from the task bar. – palehorse Aug 17 '09 at 20:17

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