Monday, 16 July 2018

Restoring Jump Lists for File Explorer

I am still running Windows 7 (because I like it, and it is stable). I have File Explorer pinned to my task bar, and use the right-click menu to bring up my jump list. The 'jump list' is the right-click list of files that you can shortcut straight to, because you use them regularly. Jump lists are very handy for both navigating to recently opened folders, for files which I just had open, and want to go back to, or for files which I use very regularly. These lists save me lots of time.

Until they stop working.

You see, I have had a small but persistent problem. From time to time - and without warning - my File Explorer jump list would disappear. One moment it would have been there: then the very next time I went to open a jump list item, the list will have completely vanished. All that remains, like the tea stains in the bottom of the cup, are "Windows Explorer" and "Unpin this program from taskbar".

Sometimes I have found that I can simply shut down and restart, and my jump list will magically reappear, but this is quite unlikely. Usually my carefully curated jump list will have gone, never to return. Then I have to go through the painful and painstaking process of rebuilding my favourites over a month or so. Then it happened just as I finished re-building my jump list to its desired functionality after another vanishing.

Grr! Time for a search to find out what was causing this... time to go bug-hunting.

Well. It is a known, but obscure, bug in Windows 7. There is some thought that the file "1B4DD67F29CB1962.AUTOMATICDESTINATIONS-MS" gets too large, and causes problems, although I found nothing official from Microsoft themselves. Users have worked a way through to solving this problem, with no input from Redmond at all.

To repair, first of all you need to ensure that you can view Hidden Files and Folders in Windows Explorer (eg, Windows Explorer | Organize | Folder and Search Options | View | Enable Show Hidden Files, Folders, or Drives). To repair is pretty scorched earth, but this does work:
  • Delete the following hidden directory contents:
    • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations
    • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations
  • Ensure that, if there is a file within either of these folders called "1B4DD67F29CB1962.AUTOMATICDESTINATIONS-MS" that you definitely delete it.
  • Shutdown
  • Restart
  • Re-build all jump lists. 
That should see us right. If, however, this doesn't work for you, read Miguel_pt's solution thread below: there are a number of other solutions which appeared to work for people.



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