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I am trying to fix a problem on a Windows 7 machine (which is not mine, so I don't know what it has been done on it, but it is in reasonably working shape and up-to-date with Windows updates and antivirus definitions).

The problem is that all pinned applications in Start Menu and Taskbar disappeared. If I pin any other application, it doesn't show up. The folders in "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned" still contain all the shortcuts, so it's just Windows not showing them.

As suggested in this question, I tried deleting all shortcuts and putting them back, but it had no effect. Another source on the Web suggested that the cause might be a deleted registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile and suggested recreating it via regedit, but it is already there.

Edit: There appears to be more than that: apparently user settings are not saved, as I set up Firefox as the default browsing application but it keeps asking me that every time it is started. According to this article in the MS kb, it might be because the current user is not member of the workstation's group Users. I fixed this but it didn't resolve the problem. BTW, the current user has Administrator rights.

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  • Sounds like a good case to run SFC to verify the system integrity.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 17 '15 at 18:43
  • Done, no integrity violation reported. It didn't solve the problem.
    – dr_
    Sep 17 '15 at 18:45
  • I have said it would. If there were integrity violation, it might have, if there are not integrity violations then there was nothing to fix. Does the owner use a program called CCleaner by chance? When you manually put the icons in this folder, are they deleted, or do they simply not show up.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 17 '15 at 18:50
  • If I drag manually a program icon to the Start Menu area, it doesn't show up. However, I see that the shortcut is correctly created in "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu".
    – dr_
    Sep 17 '15 at 18:52
  • Could be a corrupt profile. Go to C:\Users and see if there is any users called something like "TEMP". Sep 21 '15 at 11:15
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+100

This is a Microsoft bug that apparently has many reasons and solutions. Here are some solutions that you could try, but there is no guarantee that your problem is one of them :

1) Reset and Clear All Items in Windows 7 Jump Lists

Essentially, you must go to both:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations
%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations

and delete all files from both folders (make a backup just in case).

2) Ensure that there is no product installed on the computer whose purpose is to hide or lock folders.

3) Create a new user account and check if the issue recurs in it. If it does not occur, it could indicate that your user account is corrupted. Access this link and follow the steps to copy all files from the corrupt user profile to the new one : Fix a corrupted user profile, and in your case ensure also that it is an administrator account.

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  • There is no Microsoft directory in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData. This dir contains the dirs Local, LocalLow, and Roaming.
    – dr_
    Sep 21 '15 at 8:17
  • %appdata% is a shortcut to C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming. It will work in Windows Explorer.
    – harrymc
    Sep 21 '15 at 8:22
  • Ok, thanks. Some documentation I've found referred to %appdata% as the dir mentioned in my previous comment. Anyway, the Recent dir is empty. Inserting %appdata% in the address bar of Explorer returns a "not found" error; note that this machine has the Italian localized version of Windows 7.
    – dr_
    Sep 21 '15 at 8:28
  • I have no experience with the Italian version, but %appdata% must work or this Windows version is in really bad shape. If that's the case, see Repair Install, but ensure, just in case, that you have backups and can reinstall everything from scratch. The best backup is a disk-image backup taken from example by AOMEI Backupper (not by Windows Backup).
    – harrymc
    Sep 21 '15 at 8:38
  • I'm going with #3. I've recreated the user profile and I've already seen that the original problem as well as the %appdata% problem have gone away.
    – dr_
    Sep 23 '15 at 14:54
1

Try the following

  1. Save your work & files & close all windows.
  2. Use Win + X shortcut to find Command Prompt (Admin) & run REG DELETE HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband /F to remove all pinned items.
  3. Next, run taskkill /f /im explorer.exe in command prompt with admin privileges to kill Windows Explorer.
  4. Click Win + R & run explorer.exe or use command prompt with or without admin privileges to restart explorer (you may also use Windows Task Manager to do this by clicking on File > Run new task > explorer.exe to restart Windows Explorer. Note: system restart not required)
  5. Go to "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar\" & delete all shortcuts & files -- this should restore your taskbar to default state.
  6. Try pinning your apps now -- should work for the windows taskbar atleast.
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  • Thanks, upvoted as soon as I reach 15 reps. However, I'm going to go with @harrymc's solution and recreate the user profile as there are too many problems (courtesy of Microsoft) to fix.
    – dr_
    Sep 23 '15 at 14:52
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Right-click any blank area of taskbar. Look for "Show application icons". If it has no checkmark, select it to add the check. God only knows why this option exists.

1
  • not found.any clue?
    – gumuruh
    Sep 18 '18 at 3:37

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