Browsed by
Category: Uncategorized

Pinning applications from a network share to the Windows 10 taskbar

Pinning applications from a network share to the Windows 10 taskbar

Pinning applications to the Windows taskbar, usually often-used applications for the current user, is a very common and simple action. Unfortunately, Windows does not allow that for applications that are located on a network share. Since it can be useful to share applications this way, for example, to simplify deployment to multiple computers, this can present a problem. Additionally, there isn’t an official interface for pinning applications (even local ones) to the taskbar, so one has to jump through a few hoops to accomplish that.

While researching solutions for this, I found several blog posts concerning this issue, but none seemed to completely solve this under the most current Windows 10 version and network-located applications.

Approach

My approach (temporarily) copies the network-located application to a local folder, pins the application to the taskbar (to circumvent the network restriction) and changes the path of the shortcut to the original network-located application. Afterward, it deletes the temporarily-stored application copy.

This worked fine on multiple systems for over 2 years now. Obviously, this is a relatively heavy operation and is better suited for small to medium applications, but should also work for larger applications if the transfer time and temporary storage are acceptable.

Solution

Since I had to automate this for a project, I refactored this functionality to two applications (1 CLI and 1 GUI) and published it to GitHub, aptly named PinToTaskbarHelper. You can find the project under this link.