Windows 10: Alternative methods for unpinning from Start?

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  1. Posts : 117
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (Insider)
       23 Jan 2017 #1

    Alternative methods for unpinning from Start?

    I don't know if this is a bug or fluke, but I had two Office 2016 apps pinned to Start in Win10. Later, I uninstalled Office 2016. Instead of the two pinned items also disappearing, they stuck around, but now they're just blank squares that (of course) do nothing.

    The problem is removing them: when you right click one, the only option available is resizing. Hovering over either of them shows this:

    So I searched the Registry for the numerical part of that, but I see nothing useful that ties to pinning or the former apps. I also searched for files that include that string, but there are none.

    Where are pinned Start menu (right side) items stored then? I have a feeling they're in a database or some other subtle place that even if we found it wouldn't be helpful. One thing is for sure: it's not the "User Pinned" folder in the profile (that would be too straightforward).

    Lesson learned though: unpin stuff before removing the program.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    23 Jan 2017 #2

    rseiler said: View Post
    Where are pinned Start menu (right side) items stored then?
    Hi, go to: My computer / Local drive C: / ProgramData (a hidden folder so go to Windows Explorer /File / Change Folder and Search oprions / Folder Options / View / mark Show hidden files, folders and drives) / Microsoft / Windows / Start Menu / Programs.

    As an alternative use Everything app typing in "Office" to see if there are any traces left after the removal.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    23 Jan 2017 #3

    And have a look in Users > your user name > AppData > Roaming > Microsoft > Windows > Start Menu > Programs
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 117
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (Insider)
    Thread Starter
       23 Jan 2017 #4

    Those two locations, unfortunately, are the traditional places in Windows for Start menu items (the left side of Start), not where the blocks are located (the right side of Start). Microsoft invented a whole new place/system for that, which I'm beginning to think is either a single nondescript file that very likely can't be edited, or an even more obscure (possibly encrypted) place in the Registry that's equally untouchable.

    Yes, I've definitely been using "Everything" a lot, but no related hits so far.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    23 Jan 2017 #5

    Taskbar shortcuts are located in: %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 117
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (Insider)
    Thread Starter
       23 Jan 2017 #6

    Yes, too bad they don't make it that easy for the squares.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 Jan 2017 #7

    Since you seem to be out of 'likely' solutions it might be time for an 'unlikely, but why not' idea

    Rebuild the Icon Cache. I know it actually says it won't help if ... "The icon of a shortcut not displaying properly due to the target source of the shortcut was moved or deleted." ... but since this is a Start Menu icon and not a Desktop icon maybe it will help ?????
    Icon Cache - Rebuild in Windows 10

    CCleaner has a Registry Cleaner that has a reasonably safe reputation (if there is such a thing)
    • It doesn't automatically clean (delete) so you can read through the list to see if some thing looks appropriate
    • You can backup the Registry items before deleting them
    • There is a Portable version at the Builds site so you don't have to install it
    Cleaner @ CCleaner - Builds

    Good luck
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  • Posts : 117
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (Insider)
    Thread Starter
       24 Jan 2017 #8

    No luck with the icon cache rebuild, though I did have some hope. Still going through the CCleaner output, but so far no smoking gun.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  • Posts : 6,487
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       24 Jan 2017 #9

    rseiler said: View Post
    I have a feeling they're in a database or some other subtle place that even if we found it wouldn't be helpful.
    Apparently you are right - on all counts. It's a database and, no, finding it doesn't appear to be helpful.
    Looks like it's here: C:\Users\<your_name>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    24 Jan 2017 #10

    Did you follow the path in post #5?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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