Windows 8 Jump List

Windows 8 Jump ListsWindows 8 Jump List

If you right-click an icon pinned to the Taskbar, then you will be rewarded with a choice of useful actions; for example, a shortcut to a recent file or a frequently accessed website.

Once you embrace the idea of right-clicking programs on the taskbar then you discover more uses of the resulting shortcut menu, one of my favourite browser tasks is: 'Open new tab'.

Topics for Windows 8 Jump Lists

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Actions for Your Windows 8 Jump List

Right-click an icon on the taskbar and then observe these options:

  • A 'Pinned' document such as a shopping list.
  • A 'Recent' file that you were using the last time you launched that application.
  • A 'Frequent' website, as indentified by your browser.
  • A 'Task' such as 'Open new tab'.

Getting Started with Windows Jumplists

If you have already experimented with jumplists in Windows 7, then you will have no trouble migrating to the same feature in Windows 8.  That said, it seems that applications in Windows 8 make more use of jump lists.

There are two ways to right-click on a tablet: hold down a finger until a circle appears, then release it.  Alternatively, "Press and tap", touch the icon with one finger as you simultaneously tap the screen with another finger.

Here are two pieces of advice with jump lists:

1) Don't be put off because the jump list is empty on a new machine, it will soon populate with items once you start using the underlying programs. 

2) Jump lists are a classic case of the more you use them, the more you will save frustration when you search for stuff you used yesterday or last week.

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Jump List – To Access More NetworksJump Lists Network Windows 8

Even if you don't use jump lists for documents, you will probably use the equivalent shortcut menu for connecting to a wireless network.  Simply right-click the wireless icon in the Navigation Area, then choose your Wireless Network Connection from the list – see screenshot.

Windows 8 is great at detecting wireless networks automatically, and then displaying them with the highest bandwidth option at the top.  While the wireless icon changes if your computer becomes disconnected from the network, it does not blink to show the network is live as it did in XP.  See more on Windows 8 Wireless connections

My hidden agenda is that Windows 8 is consistent, as a result you may gradually employ techniques from one area, such as network connections, to another area, for instance application jump lists.

Pinning to Windows 8's Jump List

You could argue that Windows 8's obsession with 'Pinning to Start' or 'Pinning to Taskbar' have evolved from Windows 7 Jump Lists.  Certainly we can see how these techniques enable Metro-style apps to perform tasks without the user having to open program menus.

Alternatively, you could say that Windows 8's jump lists are a natural extension of this pinning activity; either way, pinning and jump lists go hand-in-hand, and ultimately make it quicker to find the things you use most often. 

Microsoft and app developers have embraced jump lists and continue the trend to make them richer and more responsive to the individual program.  For instance, each app knows what kind of content they host: whether it's, an album, a results tracker, or a profile, and thus developers can give users quick access to each app's content.

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Customize Your Windows 8 Jump List

You can adjust the number of items in the jump list.  By default Windows 8 displays 10, but if you right click the taskbar and select the tab called 'Jump Lists', then you can decrease to zero, or increase to 60!

There is also a Group Policy setting to prevent Windows 8 from keeping the recent files in jump lists, and other places.

Launch Gpedit.msc and navigate to:

  • User Configuration
  • Administrative Templates
  • Start Menu and Taskbar
  • Seek the policy: 'Clear history of recently opened documents on exit'.

Check the logic, if you don't want the jump list, then enable this policy.

Plan B Taskbar Properties
Right Click on the Taskbar and select 'Properties. Next, click on the Start Menu tab. Remove the tick [Key point] next to 'Store and Display Recently Opened Items in the Start menu and the taskbar'.

Note: This taskbar change had the side-effect of removing the 'Frequent' category from the Internet Explorer jumplist.

How to Increase the Number of Pinned Items in Windows 8
You are seeking a registry key called ApplicationDestinations with DWORD called MaxEntries.

Launch Regedit and expand the HKEY_CURRENT_USER

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\ApplicationDestinations\MaxEntries

The default for MaxEntries is 17, I increased mine to 30.  The more I think about this setting, the more it seems to me that you would want reduce rather than increase the number of pinned items.

See more about the Windows registry »

Summary of Windows 8 Jump Lists

Variations on the jumplist theme occur all through Windows 8 menus, all you need to do is right-click and choose from 'Recent', 'Frequent' or 'Tasks'.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Metro-style User Interface

Windows 8 Metro UI  • Windows 8 Metro-style Tile  • Windows New UI  • Windows 8 Desktop

Windows 8 Configuration  • Windows 8 Charms  • Name a Metro Group  • Windows 8 Jump List

Windows 8 Metro -v- Desktop   • Windows 8 -v- Apple iPad3  • Windows 8 Touch Interface