I have seen many many questions, including Pin same app multiple times in Windows 7, but they are all asking how to do something I have already done. I certainly did not use one of the solutions in the answers to the many questions I have examined, and I have no idea how I did this - that's what I am asking here. Trust me, this is a very different question.
Normally, you can't pin the same application to your TaskBar multiple times in Windows 7, which is the whole point of the other questions. But let's take a look at my TaskBar:
Huh, that's interesting - I have two Chrome shortcuts pinned and each one has a subicon corresponding to the icon of the user profile. It gets weirder.
For most of the shortcuts, when I right click, right click again -> properties -> General tab, the location of the shortcut is in:
C:\Users\Nicholas\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar
But for the Chrome shortcuts, their locations are different:
C:\Users\Nicholas\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\ImplicitAppShortcuts\225bb61db2f318c1(the one with my face)
C:\Users\Nicholas\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\ImplicitAppShortcuts\69639df789022856(the one with my avatar)
The targets of the shortcuts:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --profile-directory="Profile 3"(the one with my face)
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --profile-directory="Profile 1"(the one with my avatar)
Notice that the targets refer to the same executable, and only their arguments are different. A majority of the answers to other questions involve symlinking the executable so that the shortcuts would refer to different ones (completely ignoring applications that check their executable name, but I digress). These are not symlinks - they're the real deal.
The icons are different too:
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 3\Google Profile.ico(the one with my face)
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Google Profile.ico(the one with my avatar)
Also, these shortcuts seem to be 'official' as they have their own independent jump lists when I right click on them:
Not only that, but the windows for different profiles stay ungrouped and I am free to separate them from each other:
This is amazing, and very useful, but I don't have any idea how I accomplished it. It is very weird because many questions have been asked here on SO/SU and elsewhere on the web, and none of the solutions work like this. How did this happen, and can it be done with other applications too? I don't want to break whatever magic is making this work, so experimenting on my own computer is out of the question.
This is the tree view of
C:\Users\Nicholas\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned:
To put it short: What magic is this?