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How to : Fix duplicate pinned taskbar icons in Windows 7

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A common and annoying problem with Windows 7’s “Pin to Taskbar” feature, is when an application accidentally gets pinned multiple times. You might have run into this issue, resulting in a taskbar that looks something like this :

duplicate taskbar icons

In this screenshot, there are two yellow VMWare icons. The program was launched using the icon on the left, but when it opens, it creates a second duplicate icon on the taskbar. Annoying!

How to remove duplicated pinned taskbar icons :

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 : C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar – there you can attempt deleting the shortcut manually, and re-adding it once again.

Helped you out? Have questions? Let us know in the comments below!

There is 1 comment. Add yours.

  1. This worked for us again today, we had an Atlanta company on a managed service IT support plan whose taskbar icons would not stay pinned. They tried their best, but the icons disappeared when they closed their programs.

    Deleting the taskbar shortcuts from the computer’s AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\User Pinned\TaskBar folder was the answer. After our tech support closed, reopened, and repinned their icons, the icons stopped disappearing!

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