Fix Quick access Pinned Shortcuts Stuck or Not Working Correctly in Windows 10

The Quick access feature in Windows 10 provides a convenient way to access folders that you frequently use by pinning them. In some situations, the pinned shortcuts in Quick access get stuck and unable to remove or unpin. Quick access sometimes lose track of a target folder if it’s moved to another directory, or deleted; with the Pinned item still pointing to the old location.

If an item in Quick access is stuck, here are some methods using which you can unpin or remove the problematic item.

Option 1: Create a new folder in the old location, and then Unpin it

Here is a classic case where Quick access failed to update the Pinned item’s target (and showing “Location is not available” error), after the original folder was moved to a different drive.

quick access stuck

You could open File Explorer and remove the pinned item by right-clicking and choosing Unpin from Quick access or use Remove from Quick access (for frequent places that’s added automatically).

But what if the options don’t work? Simply create a folder in the same location where the pinned item expects the folder to be. The open File Explorer and unpin or remove the item.

Option 2: Reset the Quick Access Recent Items

This option applies if a "recent" folder has stuck (not the Pinned folder). Right-click the Quick Access star icon, click Options, and click Clear.

This clears the Recent folders list in Quick Access, without affecting the custom Pinned items.

Option 3: Multi-Select Items and Unpin them

Click the Quick access button (the blue star) at the top. In the right pane or the folder view, select the Pinned item that’s stuck, press CTRL and select another item that you want to Unpin. See also Fix Cannot Unpin FTP Links From Quick Access In Windows 10?



Option 4: Reset or Clear the Quick access Shortcuts

There are situations where nothing would work and invalid pinned shortcut in Quick access get stuck and not removable. The Quick access pinned and frequent items data are kept in a file named f01b4d95cf55d32a.automaticDestinations-ms in the following folder:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

Type the above path in File Explorer address bar, and delete this file:

f01b4d95cf55d32a.automaticDestinations-ms

Or simply copy the following command and paste in Run dialog (WinKey + R) to delete the file:

cmd.exe /c del "%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations\f01b4d95cf55d32a.automaticDestinations-ms"

This clears the custom pinned and frequent items listing in Quick access. Windows regenerates this file immediately the next time you open File Explorer, listing the default ones.

Note: You don’t need to clear all the *.automaticDestinations-ms files in that folder as some websites suggest.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

16 thoughts on “Fix Quick access Pinned Shortcuts Stuck or Not Working Correctly in Windows 10”

  1. Seriously? I don’t want to clear all the pins, just the one or two that are wrong! Why can’t Microsoft just fix the bug? It clearly is a bug, and it’s very annoying. Never used to have problems like this with the old ‘recently used’ thing or whatever it was called.

  2. I don’t care if I had to re-pin the other folders that were there before as long as that forsaken ghost folder was removed. Thanks, #4 worked for me.

  3. Yep, #4 worked here when nothing else did too! 🙂

    One thing I’ll note is that even with the “Show Hidden Files” option on, the folder you need to access seems to remain hidden until you type in its *exact* location. This threw me off at first, I thought “oh this information must be out of date now”, but I tried it anyway and it worked.

  4. If one item is not behaving well, and you want to remove it (or update it which would require removing) then the following worked for me. Sharing in the hope that it may help others too.

    Open Services.
    Stop the web client service.
    Right click on the offending Quick Access Icon and click on “Unpin from Quick Access” (may take a while for the menu to popup.
    Restart the web client service.

    I could not unpin because explorer would freeze if I right clicked on the offending icon. The above mentioned method allowed me to remove and then pin again with the correct link.

  5. All suggestions executed, nothing worked. I even searched for f01b4d95cf55d32a.automaticDestinations-ms but it is really gone.
    Still my quick access to files on my NAS is still there.

  6. Either MS should SORT the list or let me. When I try to do it I get “Folder not created … ” I have to use Task manager to clear the error.

  7. I went to %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations and deleted f01b4d95cf55d32a.automaticDestinations-ms… even though I don’t have admin access. It worked like a charm–Thank you!!!

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