Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to remove default pinned taskbar icons in Windows 8.1?

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise

    How to remove default pinned taskbar icons in Windows 8.1?


    Here is our dilemma. At the community college I work at, the librarians have requested that certain icons be pinned to the taskbar for all users. By default, Internet Explorer, File Explorer, and Store are pinned on the taskbar in Windows 8.1.

    Well, they want none of those icons pinned to the taskbar, but they do want other icons pinned. I have tried a script to get rid of them on logon, but it deletes the icons so slowly that users can actually notice the icons disappearing on logon (it takes about 2 seconds per icon to delete). The librarians dislike this.

    So, has anyone figured out the mechanism that creates these three icons? I would like to figure out a way to disable their creation in the first place, if possible. Already, Windows will allow additional icons to be added; it simply won't allow these three to be removed.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Right click and select "unpin this program from the taskbar". I have that option for all three on my Windows 8.1 system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Right click and select "unpin this program from the taskbar". I have that option for all three on my Windows 8.1 system.
    Unfortunately, we need a way to programmatically do this as soon as the user logs in. Hundreds of users login to each computer, and the librarians do not want them to see certain icons, especially the Internet Explorer icon because they want users using Firefox only.

    The logon scripts that I have used that will get this job done have been too slow for production because the icons slowly disappear from the taskbar, giving the impression that there is something wrong with the computer. If it happened in the blink of an eye, then it would be acceptable.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    OK, I've got you now. If its 8 Pro have a look at the group policy editor, gpedit. Local Group Policy Editor - Open - Windows 7 Help Forums Or maybe family safety , Family Safety - Setup and Use in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise


    Yeah, there are no policies in Group Policy that deal with this except one that completely disables pinned items on the taskbar. That, too, won't work because the librarians do want pinned taskbar items -- just not the default ones.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    That leaves editing the default profile that is used to create a new user profile. I've never done it but some here likely have. If you start a new thread with that in the title you may get better results. Sorry I can't be of more help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Loosus, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    If you like, the tutorial below may be able to help with this. You could create a backup of a taskbar that has the pinned icons you want on it.

    Save the backup to where you like.

    Modify the restore .bat file for the location you saved the backup to.

    Place the restore .bat file in the startup folder of each user account you want to do this for.

    Taskbar Pinned Apps - Back Up and Restore in Windows 8

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise


    Shawn, that may work. Have you tested this on logon to see how quickly it happens? These machines are frozen using DeepFreeze, so this will happen every time any user logs in, not just the first time.

    Also, do you think restarting explorer.exe every time could have any unexpected repercussions for the user session?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise


    Okay, this is making me think. Another question: do you know if it is explorer.exe that is actually creating the default icons? If so, is there a flag that tells explorer.exe that this is the first logon?

    Or, does a process before explorer.exe pin the icons?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    It makes the change about instantly.

    The pinned icons on the taskbar are stored in the location in the blue note box at the top per user of the tutorial. Restoring a backup at startup for a user would be a good way to reset the taskbar to how you want it each time they log in.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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