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Start Menu Most Used: Undo "Don't Show in this List" RRS feed

  • Question

  • Summary:
    One of my users accidentally clicked "Don't show in this list" for Microsoft Excel. Now I can't get it back.

    Details:
    To manually force a program to the Most Used list you must open files which are opened by that program. (Example: to get Excel on that list you must open .xlsx files repeatedly. Clicking Excel on the Start Menu, Taskbar, or Desktop shortcut will not count).
    Once enough files have been opened it will appear on that list. If there are empty spots on that list, opening two files will be enough.
    Caveat: the program cannot be pinned to Start.

    Once it is on the Most Used list you can right-click and select "Don't show in this list" to make it disappear.
    However, once you do that, it will never return?

    Troubleshooting Steps:

    • I added and then removed a custom .exe from the list to more easily search the registry for the name.
    • I have searched local files by a last modified date and cannot identify a file which holds these settings.
    • I have disabled the Most Used Apps and the Recent Opened Items, rebooted, run the Disk Cleanup to remove temporary files, and re-enabled Most Used Apps and Recently Opened Items. This removes all programs from the Most Used, but any "Don't show" programs still cannot return.
    • Earlier versions of Win10 preview builds had an appsfolder.itemdata-ms file which could be deleted to reset the Start Menu. This does not seem to exist in Windows 10 RTM.
    • I read the new Win10 Start Menu was "rewritten in XAML like other Windows apps". Could it store its settings in the same way as Windows apps? Where would I find those settings files?

    If anyone has a suggestion other than delete & recreate the user's profile, or roll the computer back with system restore, or use a start menu replacement program, please let me know.
    I anticipate mine is not the only user who will do this.

    Thank you!

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:05 PM

Answers

  • Windows 10 update 1511 has returned jump lists to Start Menu icons, so this issue is no longer pressing.

    Closing the thread.

    • Marked as answer by R_C_III Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:59 PM
    Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:59 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I just tried to capture the registry key, and find some related registry keys which may be used to record the count or view times in Binary, then decide which program can be pinned on the most used list:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\UserAssist

    Since it is not user friendly read, I cannot know which one related to the app you want to get back.

    But if you would like to get back original list, you can create a new user account, and export the register key from the new user account and import to the account you want to get back the original most used list.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 12:27 PM
    Owner
  • Thank you for your help, Kate!

    Details I found about this key:

    • I found those keys under UserAssist. All have the same Version(DWORD):5 underneath. Only two keys ({CEBFF5CD-ACE2-4F4F-9178-9926F41749EA} and {F4E57C4B-2036-45F0-A9AB-443BCFE33D9F} on my system) have anything in the Count subkey. All of the other Count subkeys are empty, but if deleted they all return upon a reboot.
    • The "{CEB...} subkey changes for each user. The {F4E57...} seems to be the same for all users.
    • Funny thing: I believe these values under Count directly correspond to applications somehow. They do not match any application CLSID in the registry but when an application "C:\Badgepro\BProLite.exe" appeared on the Most Used list, a corresponding P:\Onqtrceb\OCebYvgr.rkr also appeared in this registry area.
    • When I turn off Most Used in the start menu settings, all of the values under these Count keys disappear. When I turn it back on the values regenerate.

    Tests I performed:

    1. I compared the UserAssist registry before and after setting Do Not Show on an application. A few of the binary values were altered, but two new keys were created. I deleted JUST those two new keys right away and was not able to get the application back.
    2. I tried deleting all of the values in UserAssist, but the blocked applications were still blocked. I deleted them all and rebooted, the deleted values are regenerated, and applications were still blocked. I deleted them all, turned off Most Used, rebooted, and turned Most Used back on. The values regenerated and the blocked applications were not unblocked.
    3. I tried doing as you suggest--exporting a fresh subtree from a new profile. I deleted all of the keys under UserAssist and then imported the fresh reg file. I rebooted. Nothing would populate the Most Used until I turned Most Used off, then back on. Most Used then worked normally but the blocked applications were not unblocked.

    I tried many additional variations of these tests but nothing was successful.

    Because of the difference between #1/2 and #3, and because the values regenerate when the Most Used setting is turned off & on, I believe the UserAssist key you found is half of the story. There's one other piece we are missing.

    Do you have any other ideas?

    Thank you again for your help!


    • Edited by R_C_III Thursday, August 20, 2015 5:34 PM Formatting
    Thursday, August 20, 2015 5:32 PM
  • R_C_III,

    I noticed that when I turn off and turn on the Most used list, it restore back to original list as I first installed Windows.

    As your testing results, I don't think we can undo this setting easily.

    Have no idea now.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, August 21, 2015 2:47 AM
    Owner
  • I noticed this tool, hope it can help you: 

    http://blog.didierstevens.com/programs/userassist/ 


    Best Regards, StarSprite

    Friday, August 21, 2015 2:50 AM
  • Thank you StarSprite!

    The comments posts on that page have a lot of good information about what the UserAssist keys and data contain.
    The tool also de-obfuscates the key values, which is very helpful! You can now see what key value is for what program.

    The current version of the software (supports up to Win10) is here: http://blog.didierstevens.com/2012/07/19/userassist-windows-2000-thru-windows-8/

    Sadly, this tool doesn't seem to help fix the Most Used list.
    Any program in Most Used is present in UserAssist. This is definitely where the file-opening click-tracking is performed. In addition to openings, it also tracks how many times you switch to it and how many seconds it is the front-most program on your desktop.
    That is all this registry key seems to do.

    Even if you "Don't Show" an application, UserAssist still keeps track of that program's openings and usage. Deleting that program's value doesn't reset anything other than the usage history of that program.
    I think the actual Start Menu "Don't Show" setting must be somewhere else. Are there any other areas of the registry (or perhaps user folder?) which may hold this setting?

    Thank you for your help!


    • Edited by R_C_III Friday, August 21, 2015 7:37 PM clarity
    Friday, August 21, 2015 5:07 PM
  • Hello R_C_III,

    I have the same question and so far I have found no solution. I am not happy about the way how Microsoft has incorporated this feature in Windows 10. Maybe they will change this in the future, if enough people tell them, how unhappy they are with the current operation.

    In the meantime, we will probably still have to search manually for a solution. If somebody find them, I hope he will tell us here or in other forums the way, how to do it.

    Thanks to you and the others, who have posted here!

    I'm still looking for a solution...



    • Edited by Richard A. Schaller Wednesday, September 16, 2015 8:10 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Athan A Friday, September 25, 2015 8:41 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Athan A Friday, September 25, 2015 8:42 PM
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 8:04 AM
  • try to use this code to command prompt admin
    1. Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    2. Sfc /scannow

    After that, try to perform Clean Boot. Here's the steps:
    1. Press "Windows Key" + "r"
    2. Click Services
    3. Check "Hide all Microsoft Services"
    4. Click Disable all
    5. Click "Apply" then "OK"
    6. Restart

    Then try to check if it will work
    Friday, September 25, 2015 8:44 PM
  • Thank you, Athan!

    I modified your instructions slightly:
    1) dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    > "No component store corruption detected. The operation completed successfully." I therefore did not run the /restorehealth switch.
    2) sfc /scannow
    3) Run: msconfig (Services mmc console doesn't have the "Hide All" option)
    4) Services Tab :: Check "Hide All Microsoft Services" :: Click Disable All :: OK
    5) Restart

    Unfortunately there are no changes to the Start Menu, and I cannot get applications to repopulate.

    Would you have any more suggestions?

    Thanks for your help!

    Thursday, October 8, 2015 4:05 PM
  • I'm in the same situation, trying to find a way to restore programs to the most used list. Didnt expect it to be that impossible.
    Wednesday, October 21, 2015 8:01 AM
  • Thank you, Athan!

    I modified your instructions slightly:
    1) dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    > "No component store corruption detected. The operation completed successfully." I therefore did not run the /restorehealth switch.
    2) sfc /scannow
    3) Run: msconfig (Services mmc console doesn't have the "Hide All" option)
    4) Services Tab :: Check "Hide All Microsoft Services" :: Click Disable All :: OK
    5) Restart

    Unfortunately there are no changes to the Start Menu, and I cannot get applications to repopulate.

    Would you have any more suggestions?

    Thanks for your help!


    It's been a month or so, did you manage to find a solution at all? Thanks

    • Edited by jmorrell Wednesday, November 11, 2015 12:22 AM
    Wednesday, November 11, 2015 12:22 AM
  • Sorry, no solutions yet. Still hoping someone comes up with one (or maybe a MS patch?)

    Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:45 AM
  • I too am wanting to know how this can be done. I accidentally removed a few items from the Most Used list and can't seem to get them back.

    I've disabled the Most Used list, then re-enabled it. Opened the program multiple times and still not showing. I do know that if the item is pinned to the start window, it will not show. But the program I want back isn't pinned at all.

    I really would like a way to undo the "Don't show in this list"

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015 3:00 AM
  • Has anyone got a ProcMon trace of this being done?  My guess is that you may be assuming that the implementation is registry based but it may not be.  The ProcMon filter to use in that case would be Category Is Write (with all the events classes in effect).  Then I would expect to find file types such as .automaticDestinations-ms and .customDestinations-ms being used.  E.g. in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent and its subdirectories.  Best to do this in a command shell though.  Using File Explorer you will have to battle past its "special folder" Recent Items (e.g. no AutoComplete assist) to see the implementation that way.

    Or maybe it involves another newer equally obscure implementation.  In any case, my bet would be on a file based one.

    Good luck



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 2:24 AM
  • Windows 10 update 1511 has returned jump lists to Start Menu icons, so this issue is no longer pressing.

    Closing the thread.

    • Marked as answer by R_C_III Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:59 PM
    Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:59 PM
  • Why was this closed?  It's now June and I have this same Problem.

    I have Excel in my Start Menu but want it on the Most Used because that gives me the Jump list.  From the main Start Tiles I get no jump list and have to open the program and then pick the file from the Open Menu.

    Or am I missing something?

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 7:09 PM
  • I also have this issue. I want some items back in my most used list.
    Tuesday, July 12, 2016 7:08 PM
  • Me too. I want to know if there is a way to make an item appear in the Most Used again.
    Monday, October 10, 2016 4:50 PM
  • Yup, and me.  I removed Excel by accident and want it back.  I can't find any registry hacks.  How come no-one knows how to reverse such a simple user action?
    Thursday, October 13, 2016 9:32 PM
  • Why close thread when Problem is still unresolved.

    I would like to get back the the "most used" list

    Anyone has the solution?

     
    Wednesday, November 16, 2016 3:45 PM
  • Why close the thread when A number of us are still facing this same problem.

    When the Program or documents have been removed from the "Most Used" list in start menu, how to get it back?

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016 3:49 PM
  • CLOSED ?? WTF

    Been following this thread and others since Win 10 launched. Yeah, I goofed it on day one.

    Another year goes by and Still no solution!

    Time to add this to the Greatest Unsolved Mysteries list

    Amelia Earhart

    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

    Win 10 "Most Used List" undo "Don't show in this list"

    Planet 9

    Seriously, everyone I know has done this and would like an (EZ) undo solution.

    Is MS even listening?


    • Edited by Jusnutts Wednesday, March 15, 2017 11:02 PM
    Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:18 AM
  • Keeping the dream alive that someday, somehow, this stupid, stereotypical Microsoft issue will be resolved.
    Sunday, April 16, 2017 2:02 PM
  • Happy 2nd anniversary to this issue.  I too am stuck with this, accidentally removed an important application from the start menu, can't find any way to get it back...
    Tuesday, August 29, 2017 4:20 PM
  • I finally got back the programs I'd set to don't show. Not sure exactly what is necessary but toggling the Windows settings for Personalization > Start > Show most used apps, Privacy > General > Let Windows track app launches and restarting seems to have done it.
    • Proposed as answer by 闪电战 Monday, June 4, 2018 1:14 PM
    Monday, September 25, 2017 9:01 AM
  • Thanks!  I didn't even need to restart.  Go into Personalization > Start and turn off Show most used apps.  Then go to Privacy > General and toggle Let Windows track app launches.  Then back to Personalization > Start and turn Show most used apps back on.
    Thursday, October 24, 2019 4:48 PM