Order lost when updating

Anonymous 7 years ago updated 1 year ago 5
When updating Taskbar Tweaker to the latest version, the order of taskbar items is changed.  This occurs (at least) when grouping is disabled and items that would normally be grouped are mixed with other items.

I suspect the following explains why the bug occurs:
  1. The old version of the executable exits (in preparation for the update)
  2. Windows returns all ungrouped items to their original groups (destroying the order)
  3. The new version of the executable runs and assumes the order from step 2 is correct
Here are some possible solutions:
  • Implement some sort of continuous hand-off between the old and new executables that prevents Windows from restoring grouping
  • Save the order of the items before the old version exits and restore the saved order when the new version runs
If you saved/restored the order, it could also form the basis for several other useful features (restoring order of Explorer windows at Windows startup, restoring order after a crash, etc.).
It's not a bug, it's a feature request, and in my opinion it's not worth the effort.
Fair enough, it's more of a limitation of Windows.  I have lots of carefully organized taskbar entries, so it was a bit annoying when my ordering was unexpectedly lost upon update.  I would consider adding a simple warning so people can e.g. take a screenshot of their taskbar before updating, but maybe I'm the only person who cares.
Anyways, thanks so much for the great program!

Original anonymous poster is sure not alone to care about this. I came here today specifically for this. ;-) His description and suggestions is way better than the one liner I might have submitted at first.

The main reason I install Taskbar Tweaker on all my Windows installations is to be able to ungroup and be able to re-order and organize my taskbars like I want (i.e., carefully organized at some place). There are reasons people like me and the OP care about this, and losing that order can be painful, etc. (even if we can say: it is not the end of the world, you don't really lose anything, it is reversible, yeap, you are right, but I sure would appreciate this doesn't happen!)

I am the type of user that have dozens... if not hundreds of stuff open (be it tasks, not counting the amount of tabs in each task, e.g., web browser). We can argue it is bad habit, but there are PROs and CONs I can give to it to be honest. Aside from procrastinating or just not cleaning my stuff up, there are good reason I want to keep something open (like: I want to process it but it is not yet processed, and some among these are low priority of course, so they might stay open for a while... until a disaster happen and I lose everything, even if that is very unlikely nowadays with how I evolved my setup and how most software I use save states of what is opened).

You may even be the same as us... but think like you said it is not worth the effort... so the question is, does it requires so much effort?

This comment was however 5 years ago, but looking at some other feedback here RaMMicHaeL, I have saw you said 1 year ago "I might have a piece of code lying somewhere which can save and restore the taskbar items order. Let me know if it can help, and I'll check if I can find it.". I don't know if you ended up using it somewhere, but if that logic exists (or doesn't cost as much to implement as you thought 5 years ago), then the original's poster suggestion to save and restore that order when updating might be a not-so-costly option now and it will keep the orders as we can hope to expect by default IMHO. (We can argue it is a bug or feature [I understand, don't worry], but in an ideal world, if I put my dumb-user hat, I sure don't expect my carefully organized taskbar order to change because I update this utility or anytime actually!).

I also like OP's comment about the save/restore feature that can be used as the basis for other features (at minimum if it crash, even if I don't remember if/when my Taskbar Tweaker crashed!).

P.S., Whether you go ahead and finally do it, or not... I want to THANKS you for providing a nice add-on for free on top of it. Your contribution is really appreciated. I will eventually consider making a small donation and hope everyone appreciating your work do the same.

P.P.S., If you want I give more thought about how we should support this, like save/restore taskbar orders and how this option should be used (and maybe be a new offered feature), I can work on making a small analysis and think this more deeply and carefully consider to keep thing as simple as possible while improving stuff.  Would be a way I can contribute to this nice piece of software.

Thank you for the extensive feedback. The short story is that saving the taskbar state is tricky to do correctly, and it's a complex piece of code, maintenance of which would be extra work for me. On the other hand, not many users requested this feature, and it's not going to be activated often (exiting/launching/updating the tweaker, explorer/tweaker crash, which should be rare in a routine workflow. Any other cases?).

Given the above, I still am reluctant to add and maintain such functionality as a part of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker.

looking at some other feedback here RaMMicHaeL, I have saw you said 1 year ago "I might have a piece of code lying somewhere which can save and restore the taskbar items order. Let me know if it can help, and I'll check if I can find it."

I do have something - you can find it here as a part of the open source Virtuoz virtual desktop utility. If it will help, I can look at implementing a standalone tool to save and restore the taskbar state, e.g. via a hotkey or a timer.

Hi guys,

first of all, this tool is ingenious for anybody (like me) having tons of open applications in the taskbar :-)  Please keep on providing and updating it !

To add some other information about loosing the "carefully arranged" order of taskbar icons: When hibernating the System (Win10 1803, 7TT V5.8) and waking it up again, it seems that sometimes the previous order of icons is lost. It might be a different behavior if grouping is enabled or not (it's disable here). So far, I didn't find the specific cause, but I will keep looking.

Still, it would be handy to have a way of restoring the order of icons (similar to some desktop icon saver tools).