How to fix a broken/empty Jump List on Windows 7

I recently fell foul of an irritating problem on my Windows 7 workstation in my office; the Jump List for Windows Explorer had suddenly emptied itself. I had quite a few pinned locations, and for the next week or so I was frustrated several times a day when I instinctively right-clicked on the Explorer icon to open a frequently-used folder. It’s interesting how quickly you get used to a feature like that.

Where did all my Recent and Pinned items go?

I tried to recreate my pinned items list by dragging folders to the Taskbar icon, but to no avail. I tried logging off and back on. I tried restarting. I tried sacrificing an iPod under a full moon. Nothing I tried would coax the Jump List back to life. Windows 7 was no longer my friend. Harsh words were uttered.

Teh intarwebs were not much help with this, as either no-one else has had the problem yet, or so few have had it that it hasn’t been discussed yet. Speculating that perhaps the problem was caused by some corruption in the data that stores the Jump List items, I performed a few educated-guess searches of the Registry for hints as to where the data was stored in order to clear it and start again. That failed, but eventually my irritation gave way, and I downed tools to break out ProcMon to try and figure where the damned problem really was.

As it turns out, the data for the Jump List items isn’t in the registry at all, but in the user’s AppData. Specifically, in a collection of files in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations. There’s one file per application; I had a somewhat magical 42 files in mine. I noted that there is also a similar folder called %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations, with fewer files in it, and which I suspect contains a cache of Jump List items that have been added programmatically by each application (such as the ‘Play All Music’ command on Media Player’s Jump List.

The files in these folders don’t have particularly useful names, but if you open them in Notepad the contents will give you a clue as to what program each one belongs to (note: don’t edit the files directly). When I compared the folder on different machines it was clear the names are the same for each application.

The file for Explorer.exe was actually the first in the list for me, and is called 1b4dd67f29cb1962.automaticDestinations-ms. The solution was simple; delete the file. As soon as I had removed it, I was able to re-pin folders, the removed file was recreated, and my life was once again sane.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

64 responses to “How to fix a broken/empty Jump List on Windows 7”

  1. roach says :

    nice 2 know, thank you
    I’m sure there will be a time in the future we’re running into this problem too :) We’re close to the Windows 7 launch for the first school at our place, so it’s just a matter of time… :) And the other schools will follow this year.

    greetz to the north
    roach

    PS: You made my day by sacrificing an iPod under a full moon, thx :)

  2. Greywolf says :

    Interesting, Ipod under full moon for Win7, kittens for Exchange, duly noted. :)

  3. someone says :

    i didnt read your post fully but the former minor problem of me is solved by your directions

    mine was notepad.exe
    918e0ecb43d17e23.automaticDestinations-ms

    and get fixed thanks to you….

  4. Jeff says :

    Thank you so much. Great fix.
    Mine was Adobe illustrator CS4. 8dcf870c4c076bca.automaticDestinations-ms

  5. Ori says :

    hi :)
    my problem is that i want windows explorer will show the frequent instead of recent folders…

    i don’t know why and when it changed for me… but… how do i fix it?
    (i thought maybe i’m missing explorer’s file in:
    %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations

    but i don’t know if that’s really the problem…

    hope you can help… i searched the web a lot and still no answer..

    • AngryTechnician says :

      So right now you are seeing Recent instead of Frequent?

      If so, I’m not sure what would cause that. If you haven’t tried it already, you could try removing the file I mentioned above to reset the jump list.

      • Ori says :

        yes, recent instead of frequent.. and i tried removing all of the files on those folders :\

        is there a file for windows explorer on
        %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations

        ?

        because i don’t think i’m not sure i have one in that folder..

  6. bob says :

    Thanks, you made my day!

    The File for Adobe Reader is:
    23646679aaccfae0.automaticDestinations-ms

    ..and my iPhone can live on

  7. WillCroPoint says :

    Thank you!!! You’re my saviour!!!
    This exact thing has happened to my work workstation and I was getting insane!

    Mine was Explorer, same file as you (1b4dd67f29cb1962.automaticDestinations-ms, size: 2704 Kb), restored from a backup.

  8. dika says :

    thank you,,, mine was Windows Explorer too…

  9. Jesse MacDonough says :

    There is no AppData\Microsoft folder though. In AppData there are 3 folders: Local, LocalLow, and Roaming. And in none of those is there a Recent folder in Windows for me. What’s up with that?

    • AngryTechnician says :

      You need to put the % marks in – it’s a shortcut to the roaming AppData folder. For home users that’s the AppData\Roaming directory, but for corporate users it can differ, so I always use the %AppData% shortcut.

      • Jesse MacDonough says :

        Ah, sure enough! Fixed it! Thanks for your help.

      • greyowl says :

        Thanks a lot. I deleted them all since deleting one didn’t help. Now it works. But it’s amazing that the problem occurs in 2012! Anyone know what the cause is? Is MS not going to fix it themselves?
        Viktor

        • why me? says :

          hey there – i was just wondering that, too. have you perhaps found a solution elsewhere? i just hate to repin my explorer shortcuts ALL THE TIME. have been backing them up now for a while but ..wtf?

  10. X3 says :

    nice one 5 stars, except I couldn’t find exactly which entry I needed for the problem program jumplist so I deleted the lot, since none of that made any sense….

    so on %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations deleted the lot. heck I deleted 1 want it deleted second wasnt it then the thought, sod it.

    I figure whatever programs were affected they will rebuild jumplist, job done.

    This is the sort of post I would have on my blog…

  11. mikel says :

    Thanks very much. My problem was the Notepad jumplist became empty and could not add to it.

    Deleting:
    %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations\9b9cdc69c1c24e2b.automaticDestinations-ms

    fixed it! Now I can pin files again to Notepad.

  12. ThickPuppy says :

    THANK YOU !!!

    My Windows 7 Notepad (pinned to Start menu) jumplist had stopped appearing. Black triangle was there, but the popup list was just gone. Fixed it by deleting this file:

    C:\Users\Puppy\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations\9b9cdc69c1c24e2b.automaticDestinations-ms

    Anyone got an editor for this file? ;-)

    Mostly I am posting this for MYSELF for when it happens AGAIN.

    -ThickPuppy

  13. Sathok says :

    Appreciate it! I had a sweep out on my Excel jump list. Filename: 9839aec31243a928.automaticDestinations-ms

  14. Jonas Andersen says :

    Hi, thanks a million, my problem was Excel 2007 (cdf30b95c55fd785.automaticDestinations-ms)

    Was unable to recover the list by reinstating the old file :( – but at least I could re-pin my files, after deleting the corrupted file :)

    NOTE: You can use the “Find in files” feature of Notepad++ to search for the specific file extension in the list-file, so you don’t have to look in each file one by one.

  15. Soraya says :

    Many many thanks. I had this problem with word and followed your instruction then it was solved . Technician at the store, where I bought computer had no clue and nor interest . He just suggested reinstalling MS Word or formatting computer. file name:adecfb853d77462a

  16. Pascal says :

    Thx, helped a lot with my broken Excel-Jumplist

  17. Lorenzo says :

    Thanks HEAPS!

  18. Seiji says :

    A MILLION thanks! My broken jumplist was Notepad2.
    9b9cdc69c1c24e2b.automaticDestinations-ms

  19. CHiLLS ME says :

    Thx so muchhhhhhhhhhhh.

    i’ve problem with it for 3 months. At first i try to use system recovery by Win 7 and by Win 7 DVD but it didn’t work.

    so i deleted all of files in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations and it’s work now.

  20. Kirk says :

    Finding the right file is a bit tricky. (I was looking to reset Word, and had a different filename than a poster above. Had to browse using Notepad to find the likely one.)

    These files appear to hold quite a bit of history, so if it’s a program you use a lot, it’s likely to be a bigger file. (My Word one was 3.5 MB.)

  21. andy says :

    thanks for this solution.

  22. Nahuel says :

    Does anyone know why both of my folders in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ are empty? I tried to fix the problem with the jump list in Notepad but I couldn’t find any file in those folders, the seem to be empty!

  23. Geis says :

    I have the same problem, but it’s not working!!!!! I found the file, I deleted it, I was full of hope, but still have an empty jumplist.

    Any other idea?

  24. Geis says :

    OK, it worked … I was in the folder “CustomDestinations” – it only works with “AutomaticDestinations”

    THANKS A LOT!

  25. Dave says :

    I have this EXACT situation. But i can’t seem to find the fix by following your directions

  26. prathamesh says :

    i have the problem with my vlc player i have pinned many song and now its not showing any as same as this win explorer problem i have tried even by removing and reinstalling vlc player again but its of no use any solutions guys???????????

    • AngryTechnician says :

      My VLC jumplist data is stored in a file called 9fda41b86ddcf1db.automaticDestinations-ms in the above mentioned directory. See if you have that file, and if so, try deleting it to reset the jumplist.

  27. YarOn says :

    Thank you Angry Tech.
    The advice worked for me, Knowledgeable Ignorant.

  28. Talvieno says :

    Thank you, sir! Mine was the same as Mikel and Seiji’s. Until Microsoft fixes this problem, you are a god to me.

  29. Mike says :

    I am having the same problem with Outlook 2007 with a slight variation – I’ve had two “Recent Items” stuck in the list for some time. Deleting b4208a73591fc994.automaticDestinations-ms successfully removes the offending items but a replacement file is never created and no Recent Items ever tracked.

    I’ve scoured the Internet with no luck yet – I’m suspecting the issue is something to do with the process for logging Recent Items but why this only happens with Outlook is a bit strange.

    Any suggestions gratefully received!

    • Mike says :

      Interesting development.. I restored b4208a73591fc994.automaticDestinations-ms and manually removed the two offending files by right clicking on them from the Jumplist and selecting “Remove from List”.

      Doing so automatically deleted the file. Still unable to add any though.

    • vivi says :

      I deleted it and restored it within 5 minutes. Not certain why but same reason: there isn’t a replacement file. Any resource appreciated. thank you

  30. John says :

    A somewhat related question. I have several pinned IE9 sites on my taskbar. When I open any of these sites, none of the addons work. spell check, mouse gestures, etc. Any ideas?

  31. joao silva says :

    Hi,

    First of all, nice post :)

    I’m having the same issue but with Adobe Reader 9. Suddenly it dissapeared…

    I removed all the files from the “AutomaticDestinations” folder (because i couldn’t find the right one) and it still doesn’t work…

    Any idea, would be grateful?

  32. spam me says :

    Worked like a charm.
    Access 2007: 271e609288e1210a.automaticDestinations-ms
    You should give some suggestions to help people find the right file. Sometimes there are many files and a random search is too much. I used 2xExplorer’s Find Text command, but there are other ways.

  33. nick says :

    Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. bubbletoes00 says :

    Thank you so much for this!!!!

    I’ve been having the same problem for a couple of days, it is very frustating.
    Deleting the file for Explorer.exe worked like a charm :)

  35. luc says :

    Thanks so much for your post.
    it helps me a lot and save hours of search.

  36. abhi says :

    thanks your post helped me a lot to fix my vlc player pined list. :>)

  37. Franz Danner says :

    To check the filename: Just make a copy and store it, then delet the file.
    You see immediately, what happens to your jumplists.
    After this problem returned several times, i create a new jumplist after deleting the corrup file, then make a copy and store it in the AutomaticDestinations-Folder fx. 1b4dd67f29cb1962 – CopyExplorer. When the next time the file is corrupted, delet it and rename the Copy to automaticDestinations-ms

  38. Cresitan258 says :

    I’m having a major problem. There’s nothing in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations, OR %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations! My jumplists are messed up, and there’s nothing in either of those file destinations! PLEASE HELP!!

  39. Michael123 says :

    I got hooked on this feature early and when this happened to me I was lost for days. This was a big help to getting life back to normal. Thanks

  40. Johann says :

    Awesome, it worked! (my jumplist was Excel, which is where I spend most of my time)

  41. Bernd Wechner says :

    Awesome! Thanks ever so much. I was stuck on a broken jump list did this and now it works again. I spent ages looking for a Jump List manager to maybe fix it, but all searches for that yielded useless software that does stuff I don’t want, creates a new jump list – I wanted to fix a broken one!

  42. Jen says :

    You just totally made my day! I couldn’t even get through an hour without my jump lists. Thank you!!!

  43. Abhishek Dhawan says :

    Excellent. Solved the problem . Thnx a ton

  44. Justin Dearing (@zippy1981) says :

    Thanks Angry Technician! I was trying to figure out where these were stored.for ConEmu. BTW in that case the settings were only stored in C:\Users\Justin\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations\4bcd6a7b40d592ad.customDestinations-ms. Therefore this is not necesserially a cache. I was able to use Sysinternals ProcMon to watch ConEmu64 manipulate the files in that folder.

  45. king says :

    Thanks a million! i’ve been irritated by this for a year now literally lol!

  46. Ariel says :

    thanks Bro !!!!!

  47. Peter H says :

    Many, many thanks AT :)

  48. Angelico says :

    I just wanted to add that this solved my related problem.

    Namely, since the direct adding of folders makes it impossible to change their names only in pinned list, without also changing name of the folder, I started adding shorcuts of the folders to the pin list (with the desired pinnup name). However, some of the shorcut names did not display, instead the name of the folder was displayed as if I added the folder directly.

    This is the corruption in the pinned list. It can be resolved by deleteing the file “1b4dd67f29cb1962.automaticDestinations-ms” in the folder “%AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations”. After that just repin the shortcuts and everything is displayed correctly now.

    Hope it helps.

  49. Calip says :

    Thanks a lot man !, you saved my day :)

  50. Oliver Harding says :

    I tried deleting the file which is apparently causing the problem (i discovered this looking at this thread and others) but it says i can’t because the file is open in Windows Explorer! I have lost my recent places and pinned tasks on microsoft word and excel at work and it’s a nightmare trying to find the files again.

    Can anyone help???

    Thanks

  51. Владимир Кочковски says :

    Thank you for the solution! I was just about getting used to using jump lists to my favorite folders, when they suddenly disappeared. I still don’t know what is causing the problem, but thank you again for the solution

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Adios Jumplist!! :( - 13th April, 2012
  2. Windows 7 Jump Lists Fix and Tricks | Tech World - 13th November, 2012
  3. Windows 7 Jump Lists Fix and Tricks | Tech'O'nator - 3rd June, 2013

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