.NET 3.5 Pin to Taskbar Missing RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have started testing my VB.NET 3.5 application within the Windows RC Build 7100 (I also tested this within the Beta release).  This application woks fine within Windows Vista (so should be fine in Windows 7), however when I create a shortbut of the executable on the desktop or right click the .exe  there is no "Pin to Taskbar" option shown.  Also, when the application is running and shown within the Taskbar, I cannot right-click and "Pin to Taksbar" as the option is not shown in the default Jump List.

    I thought that this feature would be enabled on all shortcuts and executable files without any need to change an existing application.  I can pin other items such as the Calculator, Media Center etc. without problems.

    Is this a known bug or is there something that I need to do with my application to allow it to be pinned to the new Windows 7 taskbar? 
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:43 AM

All replies

  • Generally, all executables (i.e. “.exe”) and shortcuts to executables will automatically get the pin options in the context menu on the exe/shortcut and in the Jump List while the program is running. However, there are a few exceptions:

    -          Executables located on remote locations (i.e. a server share) cannot be pinned; only local executables can be pinned

    -          Certain strings in the shortcut or exe name cause that program to be excluded from pinning. This article explains those strings: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282066  (Note: in Win7, these also apply to pinning as well as the Start menu most frequently used list; the documentation will be updated for Win7 soon).  

    Sumit Kumar
    Windows SDK

    Friday, May 15, 2009 1:52 AM
  • Okay, one of the excluded words was within the executable name.  Why do these words apply for pinning to the taskbar?  It seems like a stupid requirement as I should be able to pin what I like to my taskbar.  I can understand why this would apply to frequently used lists, however this is just stupid for the pin to taskbar feature.

    Is there any chance that this will be resolved by the final Windows 7 release?
    Friday, May 15, 2009 2:07 AM
  • Is there any chance that the keywords shown in the KB article and below will be removed for pinning executables and shortcuts to the Taskbar.  It seems REALLY silly to prevent this as we should be able pin whatever we like.  If I need the Documentation or Help pinned because I access it all the time then why can't I pin it to the taskbar?  Although I guess the Install and Setup could remain in a pin exclusion list.  Then again having Install would exclude InstallShield for all developers out there.

    Documentation, Help, Install, More Info, Readme, Read me, Read First, Setup, Support, What's New, Remove

    Please fix this issue before the RTM.  Overall I think if it is a shortcut to executable file then this exclusion list should not apply.

    • Edited by Luke R Tuesday, May 19, 2009 9:58 AM
    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 9:54 AM
  • In Windows 7, the most frequently used applications list in the Start Menu (MFU) and the pinning functionality are very closely tied together and share the components that determine eligibility. Unfortunately, it is not possible at this late point in Windows 7 to separate these components. We understand there are cases where the eligibility requirements for the  MFU and pinning may be different, and we’ll look at separating these in the future. Thank you for your feedback on this issue.


    Also, please note that the list of excluded keywords only applies to the shortcut name and not the executable name. (There is a separate list of excluded exes in that KB article but those are exact matches of those names, not sub-string matches.) So a workaround is to change the name of the shortcut to not include one of those excluded words.

    Sumit Kumar
    Windows SDK

    Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:17 PM
  • Sumit,

    Okay, well there is a bug then.  The keywords are just not related to the shortcut name.  For example, if you rename any executable to TestHelp.exe it would not have the Pin to Taskbar option when you right click the executable file.  It seems these keywords are also applied to both executable names and shortcut names.  I have tested this within Windows 7 RC.  Can you please confirm?

    I must say this is rather annoying when you have one of these keywords in your product name.  It is not really practical to have the product name changed or have differently named shortcuts that will confuse the end user.  These are essentially the two options available unless we do nothing and then one of the major new Windows 7 features is not made available to our customers.

    Furthermore in Windows Vista I could Pin a Shortcut to the Start Menu that contained these keywords, however in Windows 7 I am unable to do so.  I don't see how the frequently used lists have anything to do with pinning functionality, they are related to jump lists however they should have nothing to do with the pinning. I honestly think that this issue needs to be addressed before the RTM, how can this not be addressed in a few months?
    • Edited by Luke R Friday, May 22, 2009 2:58 AM
    Friday, May 22, 2009 2:42 AM
  • When the user launches the program via a shortcut, the keyword sub-string matching is only applied to the shortcut name and not the exe name. We can confirm that the keywords are applied to exe name, but only when interacting with the exe directly and not through a shortcut. Our data shows that most of the time users interact with the shortcuts and not the exe directly. We will investigate further this issue as well as separating these excluded word lists between the MFU and pinning for the future. Thank you again for your feedback and investigation of this area.

    Sumit Kumar
    Windows SDK

    Friday, June 5, 2009 9:20 PM
  • Sumit, will this be resolved by the Windows 7 SP1?  Is there a bug within Microsoft Connect that we can subscribe to updates? 
    Saturday, June 6, 2009 1:33 AM
  • I am the developer of a Live Support software that's on the market for years, and I have the same problem like Luke R.
    This is ridiculous, you cannot make me change my product's name just cause you tell me "it can't contain these words".

    You can't be serious. This is a bug and must be solved.
    This is fine for people that are just starting to write an application, but we invested a lot of money in marketing this product, creating a brand, we can't just change it's name!

    Please solve this  issue and  let us know!
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 6:46 PM
  • -          Executables located on remote locations (i.e. a server share) cannot be pinned; only local executables can be pinned

    Sumit Kumar
    Windows SDK


    Why have Microsoft done this? The MIS that we use in my school is run as an executable located on a server share - without the ability to pin this to the task bar or the start menu, Windows 7 suddenly becomes useless to me.

    Phil C

    Monday, August 10, 2009 12:27 PM
  • Thank you Sumit for pointing to MSFT article about excluded strings...

    Here is what I had:
    I was trying to pin "Visual Studio 2008 Documentation" to start menu.
    I couldn't do that, as the shortcut contained "Documentation" (excluded string !!)

    What I did:
    I renamed the shortcut (ex: Visual Studio 2008 Doc)...
    I could then pin it to the start menu
    I renamed the Pinned short cut to the original name (i.e. Visual Studio 2008 Documentation)

    That seems to work !
    (Unless you confirm that this may ruin the whole OS !)

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3:45 PM
  • I'd like very much to get some kind of official status on this issue.

    The company I work for has the words "install" and "setup" in its product names and we have spend incredible amounts of time and money to brand this product name.

    Product for daily use has "install" in its name. We also have another product that is used to update our customers systems with both "install" and "setup" in its name. None of these applications can be pinned.

    So now as our customers start to move over to Windows7 they are complaining to us and creating bug reports in our service desk asking us to fix our product so they can pin our application to the taskbar...

    Pinning programs to the taskbar is, in my opinion, NOT something that should be filtered. I can understand the automatic MRU list but not the StartMenu and the taskbar. This is a user configuration feature and the user should be able to pin anything he'd like to the StartMenu and the Tastbar.
    I'd very much like to hear how you are working with this issue.

    Are you working on fixing it so StartMenu and Taskbar pinning is not filteret?

    Or are you not even considering this to be a bug at all and are doing nothing?

    I really hope to get an answer as to what Microsoft is doing about this problem.
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 6:25 AM
  •  Hi everyone, Ben Betz here from the Windows 7 Desktop Experience development team.  I’m sorry there’s been so much confusion in this area.  As has been previously mentioned, we have a word filter that helps keep undesired items such as uninstallers, readmes, and help files out of the Start menu MFU (Most Frequently Used list).  In Windows 7, the component that drives the MFU is also responsible for determining application identity, and consequently application pinnability.  Application identity is actually a rather complex subject, and we have to run several heuristics to support representing existing and legacy applications in the taskbar as a single button as we do in Win 7.  Part of those heuristics utilizes that same word filter to help keep these same undesired shortcuts from being selected when a user pins a running application on the taskbar, which requires us looking up an acceptable shortcut for pinning.

    We do realize, however, that in some cases our heuristics and filters will get things wrong and mis-categorize a shortcut.  For that reason, we have provided the Application User Model ID (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd378459%28VS.85%29.aspx), which when placed on an application’s main shortcuts, identifies them as representing an installed application.  This will override our heuristics, including the word filters, and make the application and its shortcuts eligible for pinning, plus guarantee that we’ll properly represent the application in the taskbar.  Adding an AppUserModelID is fairly simple – please see the above-linked document for more information on how to do this.  Note that you have to place the AppUserModelID in a few places to make sure we identify all the necessary pieces together, but this is all pretty straightforward.

    For those that are interested in a bit more information, I filmed a Channel 9 video with a few of my colleagues that talks about AppUserModelIDs (specifically, as the relate to Jump Lists, but it also discusses how they are retrieved and how they affect the user model):  http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/yochay/Jump-into-the-Windows-7-Taskbar-Jump-Lists/.  Take a look starting around minute 30 for the focus on AppUserModelIDs.

    I hope this helps solve the issues you are having with the word filter.

    Ben Betz
    Developer, Windows Desktop Experience

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 2:09 AM
  • Thanks for posting.

    Again I must ask as to why you would choose to limit what a given user CAN pin to the taskbar and the startmenu. I do however agree that Installers and documentation have no place in the MRU lists but for the StartMenu and the TaskBar its all about CUSTOMIZATION.

    Its my workspace whith you are setting up limiations upon. If I so choose to pin a Help file that I use very often why shouldnt I be able to do just that? And a setup?

    I have created a setup program that our users use every so often when patches and database upgrades are released but they cant pin this application because it has 'install' in the filename and the shortcut.

    Im sorry but I think there is a flaw in the design of the current version of Pinning. I may be wrong but by my perception I want to be able to pin what ever I want to my startmenu and my taskbar without it being filtered...

    Obviously you do not share this view.

    I feel I have to scratch my right ear with my left hand to give my users the experience they would expect from your operating system.

    Especially when I could fix it all just by renaming my application and shortcut to not contain the word 'install' or 'setup'

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:42 PM
  • It's beyond me why pinning to the taskbar should be as it is. As others have stated it makes no sense why you need to jump through so many hoops in a modern OS to pin some things. Why do things get harder in newer or OS's?
    The main thing that made me want to reply to this thread was the statement "...Our data shows that most of the time users". I'd like to know where MS get's their user input from the last several OS's. Ever since the first Nanny OS (Vista), I have not understood why they have gone so far downhill. Program Folders (x86) for instance. How much micromanagement needs to be there? I am a member of a flight sim community as well as various other forums and have yet to see anyone like the fact that even though they are the SOLE user of their comp, they need to choose "Run as Administrator" to avoid so many glitches, it's amazing how far we seem to go back then forward in OS's. Microsofts own programs don't even always save config changes becasue of the write issues and access rights restrictions on Program Folders (x86) has. This is probably the biggest joke in the community about Vista and 7, and of course one of the biggest complaints outside UAC... It's almost like MS is limiting users more than giving us anymore freedom in our OS. Yes, our, I personally have paid over $500 in OS's just because of failed promises by MS that they were going to fix things. Instead they have only made them available in new OS's that the user then needs to buy. I can't wait until my generation starts rewriting laws so promises are forced to be given to the people rather than what is more of false advertising. ie, memory sized promised in XP64, DX10 being made only available in Vista, as is DX11 only available in Win7. It's down right wrong.
    Wednesday, March 3, 2010 6:02 PM
  • Turbine77: to better understand "why they have gone so far downhill", you may have a look at what Dick Brass (a vice president at Microsoft from 1997 to 2004) tells about his own experience:

    What we are discussing here is, in a way, a good example for how sometimes (more and more often) Microsoft is getting disconnected from reality (and, thus, from future?)
    Wednesday, March 3, 2010 10:24 PM
  • Turbine777:
    I'm not going to mention anything about the pin to task bar since I feel the same. But for the rest it seems you either misunderstand or just plain dislike the way things have turned out to be without understanding how to get around it.

    If Windows was done as it should have been right from the start then you wouldn't be complaining about this. Taking Administrative access for granted is one of the biggest issues that the Windows community has had. It is one of the biggest reasons why UAC was introduced. The problems that you are facing because of that isn't Microsoft implementing what they should have done a long time ago, but the lazy programmers of the applications which assume that they always have Admin access. Why should a standard application have full access to places like the Windows directory or all of Program Files? Why do you even want to run in a situation where any application you run has the ability to kill your entire system? Where you class the security improvements in Vista and 7 as the biggest joke, I class it as the best thing they did. If you really want to complain about being the "SOLE" user of the computer and still need to use run as administrator then either blame those companies who can't be bothered using per user save locations or just turn UAC off.
    I personally am the sole user of this computer, but the account I use is not administrative. I have been using this method for a long period of time and all of the problems I have faced have been down to lazy programmers. The only issue I have with UAC is the step back in Windows 7. They should have UAC as the most restrictive by default.

    Also referring to things being fixed only in newer versions or added to newer versions I wonder, this is the natural progression of things but it is nowhere near as bleak as you think. Do you know why DX10 was never released for Windows XP? Simply put XP couldn't support it. It relied very heavily on the WDDM model found in Vista. Whats more, since it is a core driver technology it wouldn't be viable to reengineer and put it into XP. So unfortunately XP did without. But what about DX11? Well, I have been working on a Windows Vista automated install image recently, and in there under System32 I have a file named d3d11.dll, a file name d2d1.dll and according to dxdiag it is directx 11.

    So no, try using linux for a while and then come back to Windows. You will get used to working without admin privilages most of the time.
    Visit my (not very good) blog at http://c2kblog.blogspot.com/
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 6:50 AM
  • Its an old topic but lets not stray too far away anyway.

    The problem at hand is that MS chose to filter what get pined to the start menu and taskbar. In other words they chose to filter what is in essence a user configuration.

    If I wanted to pin a setup or install program to the taskbar I should be able to do so.
    If I wanted to pin documentation to the taskbar I should be able to do so.

    I, as a user, should not have to contact the developer of a given app to have them do extra work for me to be able to pin stuff just because they have the words 'setup' or 'install' or 'documentation' ect in the title of the application.

    When we get support issues on our products about the inability to pin our products to the start menu or task bar because our company name contains 'install' we have started to close the issues by marking it a Microsoft problem. Not our problem.

    That our stance at this. Fix it, MS.


    Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:41 AM