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Fix for When Pinned Jump List Items Get Stuck in Windows 7

One of the greatest new features in Windows 7 is the Jump Lists that show up when you right-click on the icons in the taskbar, but have you had a problem with them getting stuck? This happened to me, and luckily I found a solution.

The solution isn’t perfect, in fact it will pretty much wipe the slate clean, and remove all of your pinned items—but hopefully just the ones for Windows Explorer and not the rest of your applications.

The Problem: Stuck Items

You can actually usually duplicate this problem by pinning a folder on a mapped drive or external USB drive. Then disconnect the drive, and you will find that you simply can’t get rid of it.

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You can try and un-pin it all you want, but they won’t go away. It’s rather frustrating, really!

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Thankfully there’s a solution, although it’s not the most friendly one.

Fixing the Problem

What we can do to resolve this problem is delete the file that caches the pinned items. You can see those files for yourself by opening up an Explorer window and pasting in the following path:

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

Unfortunately, all of these files are not human-readable, though you can kinda/sorta figure out what they are assigned to by opening them up in Notepad. The key thing to know is that there seems to be one of these per application.

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At this point, the best bet is to search through these files for the text of the pinned item. You can do so from the command prompt by using the following command, replacing “Pinned Item” with the name of your stuck item.

find /C “Pinned Item” %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations\*

For example, my stuck item was named “Season 2″, so I ran this search at the command prompt, and you’ll see that it came back with one result that had a “1″, and all the rest are set to “0″. This particular item contains my search string, so I can simply delete the file (though you could move it somewhere else).

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Fixing Stuck Explorer Items

During my testing, I figured out that Windows Explorer always seems to use the same exact filename to store the pinned/recent items: 1B4DD67F29CB1962.AUTOMATICDESTINATIONS-MS

So you can try this command, which will wipe out all the pinned and recent items for Windows Explorer only:

del %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations\1B4DD67F29CB1962.AUTOMATICDESTINATIONS-MS

If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to look through the files as referenced above—or you could delete all the files if you wanted. (probably best to make a backup of them though).

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You’ll see that now my Jump List for Windows Explorer is now completely blank—but at least the stuck item is gone.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/23/09

Comments (19)

  1. Kalle

    I managed to un-stuck my pinned items by going to taskbar properties, unticking “Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar”, applying the settings, then unticking the item. However, I had to re-enable the setting and disable it again, at least once, to get both of the duplicate entries away.

    This saved my other pinned items, so I only lost the “recent” items.

  2. Player911

    Rather complicated for just a simple process. Nice to know there is a solution though. I haven’t had any problems with my Win7 RC build… although I don’t pin removable thumb drives either.

  3. xaueious

    in crapcleaner, there’s an option to clear all jumplists. check it and you got a gui that does this ‘clear jumplists’ command for you.

  4. Jon

    Does this effect the RTM version of Windows 7 or does it only apply to Beta or RC?

  5. Spiller

    I have been looking all day for that folder with the settings of the jump lists! I had a similar problem (“had”, thx to you!), actually it was the opposite of this one. I could no longer pin items to the explorer jump list. (and those which were pinned was gone.) It seems to be a pretty common issue, there was a lot about on the web, but no solution other than creating a new account and then trying to merge the two.

    I just deleted them all (since I rarely pin stuff to the other programs…) and now it works perfectly, Thanks a lot!

  6. Steve Priestley

    I had exactly the same issue as “Spiller” and spent about an hour trawling many internet forums looking for this information (including Microsoft’s helpful suggestion of creating a new user account). Very helpful indeed. Recreating the window account just wasn’t an option for me. Thanks. Saved me a lot of grief.

  7. Mauro

    thanks man..
    the find command didn’t work so I deleted all pinned and recent and voila.. i’m happy, thanks

  8. Meddi the King

    You saved my ass, man! F&^% these glitches!

  9. Jonathon

    Awesome thanks mate, I was using Jumplist launcher and it created a blank “Pinned” item that not even un/re-installing could get rid of. An hour of web searching then your post fixed it in 1 min, thanks very much

  10. Luke

    Thanks for the article! Kudos also to Kalle for how to avoid loosing pinned items.

  11. Ehud

    Thank a lot! This helped me remove a pinned network drive (that also kept changing its destination from the originally defined root folder to whatever folder I was in last time I browsed the drive!).

  12. John Lynch

    You don’t need to do all this: just right-click the taskbar and select .

    Click on the Start Menu Tab, and under “Privacy”, uncheck the two “Store and Display…” checkboxes.

    Click , then recheck the boxes and click again. Click .

    You jump lists should be reset.

  13. John Lynch

    How come angle brackets and the text contained in them are erased from my post?

    It should have said:

    You don’t need to do all this: just right-click the taskbar and select Properties.

    Click on the Start Menu Tab, and under “Privacy”, uncheck the two “Store and Display…” checkboxes.

    Click Apply, then recheck the boxes and click again. Click OK.

    You jump lists should be reset.

  14. Rika

    I love you!

    I had to cd to the proper folder and THEN delete it, but it worked. Oddly enough, even though I set Folder options to see hidden items, I couldn’t see the file 1B4DD67F29CB1962 inside the folder in the explorer window. So in the cmd prompt I used dir, and there it was! Another thing, just using the command:

    del %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations\1B4DD67F29CB1962.AUTOMATICDESTINATIONS-MS

    didn’t work…Odd.

    But THANK YOU once again. I tried everything, and this finally worked!

  15. Garrett

    Oh this has been bugging me for AGES.

    Tried playing with folder redirection, which I guess caused the disconnection issue to occur.

    Thanks!

  16. Bib Bob

    @John Lynch: Doesn’t work. All this does is delete the “recent” list, not the Pinned Items list.

  17. iphoness

    nice article. I’m struggling with several these issues.

  18. iphoness

    nice article.

  19. wez

    Still pinned for me. I could only find =0 not =1.

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