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Sometimes quick launch shortcuts stop working after a software upgrade. The solution is kind of a hack.

Hi, Leo. I have an older laptop, an HP Compaq Presario CQ71, running Windows 7, SP1. I use the quick launch bar and have many of my favorite programs there, although with some programs (iTunes most notably) attempts to open just don't seem to work. I can click the icon multiple times and the program just will not open. Any advice you have on the matter will be much appreciated.

In this excerpt from Answercast #89, I look at how icons can mysteriously disappear when some programs are updated.

Quick launch shortcuts stop working

Well, the fact that you mention iTunes makes me wonder. I have the same problem with both iTunes, and, from time to time, Evernote. It's often when the program updates itself

I'm assuming you've taken an update or two since the time you first installed the program.

Updates cause breaks

It's not uncommon for the links to the program to break. I don't know why that is. I, honestly, run into the problem from time to time - both in a quick launch bar scenario and actually in Windows 7's own taskbar, where I might pin something to the taskbar.

It happens all the time to me - every time I take an Evernote update. What I have pinned to the taskbar not only disappears, but it doesn't reappear, Or if it stays (as is the case sometimes with iTunes) it just doesn't work anymore.

The only solution that I'm aware of at this point (if you're talking about the taskbar) is to:

  • Use the Start menu;

  • Find the program in the menus;

  • Start it up;

  • Then, right-click on the icon that appears in the taskbar and say "pin it."

Quick launch bar

If you're looking for something like a true quick launch bar that you've resurrected from Windows XP days, then the only solution I'm aware of is to, once again, find the shortcut that works in "program files" and copy it over to the quick launch bar again.

Like I said, it's kind of a hacky work around. It's unfortunate.

I honestly wish that these programs functioned differently. I actually complained to Evernote about it but I never heard back.

That's what I think is very likely going on - especially since you call out iTunes as being the most notable case.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6264 - January 21, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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2 Comments
Gary D.
January 24, 2013 9:21 AM

I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why my desk top icons quit working with the left click. I read about the iTUNES issue, and I remembered I had recently installed iTUNES. I removed iTUNES and the problem is now corrected.

Thx everyone---
Gary D.

Fred W.
January 28, 2013 12:38 PM

I have the same problem with Macrium Reflect free edition. Whenever I update, the Macrium shortcut I have on my desktop stops working and gives me the ol' "I can't find it!" error message. I don't know why, either. I mean, everything is in the same place...

But, I just 'recopy' the shortcut from the folder in the Start Menu All Programs and erase the old icon. Though, hmmm, I might be able to just edit the shortcut...

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