Guide to Fix Duplicate/Double Firefox Icon in Windows 10 Taskbar - August 14th, 2015

7:07 PM

11/14/15 Update: I basically consolidated my too hasty/excited updates into a new post here.  It seems like this works as a fix!

Update: Apparently they have been working to fix this issue.  Someone might want to try the new Insider build to see if it's, indeed, fixed.

"Certain apps won’t appear twice anymore when pinned to the taskbar."

Found this info from the ghacks forum.

Ok, so to depart from anything travel and/or photography related at all, I am going to talk about the super annoying duplicate Firefox icon issue I encountered in Windows 10. It's happened in other versions of Windows before, as my search found, but this is actually the first time I've come across it, on ALL THREE computers I installed Windows 10 on, I might add.

Whenever Firefox is opened, the dreaded double icon shows up!
I spent a few hours, maybe more than a few, but I think I figured out what's wrong with it.  I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to have done this on purpose, and from what I can tell, they did!  Even after I found this fix out, if I then set Firefox to be the "default web browser," then the problem comes back!  So obviously WIndows is not liking the browser competition and wanted to make it kind of not really work to get you annoyed enough to use Edge.  That's my take, anyway.  So a word of caution: DON'T SET FIREFOX TO BE THE DEFAULT BROWSER, even if this method works!

Well, so why didn't I make a video about this?  I hate video reviews/tutorials.  They take way too long to go through.  You can skim through a written one and go at your own lesuirely pace (or not).  But without further ado, here are the steps to (hopefully) get rid of this duplicate icon:

First, just to be safe, open Firefox, go to Tools, options, and then tell Firefox to not check if it's the default browser.

Make sure it's unchecked...
Open up Settings.  You should be able to just get the Start Menu to come up and type "Settings" to get to it.

System is the first one icon, top left.
Next, click on System and then select Default apps on the bottom right.  Change the browser to something other than Firefox (I chose Edge).

Remember, this CAN'T be Firefox or you'll get two icons again
How this will affect links when you click on them from other programs?  You'll probably have to deal with having Edge or whatever you choose open instead...but that is very rare for me and I just can't stand the double icon, so I am going to live with it.

Now, make sure you unpin the Firefox icon from the taskbar.  Just right click on it and unpin it.  Sorry, no screenshot.

Go to Program Files (or Programs Files (x86), depending on which version of Windows and Firefox you installed) and find your Firefox folder.  If you installed it somewhere else, well, go there.  And here is more evidence showing MS deliberately doing this to Firefox.  If you pin the icon back right now, you'll get the duplicate.  What you need to do is rename the firefox folder to something different.  The best luck I've had was "Fire fox," with a space between the two words.  It's as if MS doesn't recognize it anymore and will no longer screw with the icon.  Yes, it's ridiculous!

I think you can rename it to something else, but this worked well for me.

Finally, go into the newly renamed folder and pin firefox.exe back to the taskbar.

Right click and pin it to the taskbar.
 With any luck, and assuming your system works the same way my 3 work, then you should be done!

There can be only one!

Side note: Yes, I tried a bunch of different methods I found by googling, including the ones that supposedly worked for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1  None of them worked for me.  Hopefully this works for you though!  And I can't believe Microsoft would do this crap, still, in this day and age.

Edit: I guess it isn't just limited to web browsers.  Found another "guide," but haven't tried the procedure out.  But what's interesting is in the comments there, someone mentioned a really old post from 2011 (obviously to address this same issue in Windows 7) that tackles the problem at its root by basically making one shortcut that launches the program (the launcher) but shows the app id of the program when it's running.  Again, I haven't tried it (don't want to mess with it and break even what I have now), and I don't know if it works in Windows 10.  Maybe I'll try it out when I get bored enough.  But I am not sure why this renaming thing would be a workaround then, if that is indeed the problem (launcher id vs. the actual app id).

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  1. This worked for Firefox, but not for iTunes! This is sad :(

    1. Microsoft must hate Apple way more than it hates Firefox...;)

      Unfortunately, I am somewhat of an anti-Apple person myself, so I don't have iTunes. May I suggest that you change the filename (itunes.exe I am assuming) to something else as well to see if it helps? I am just randomly guessing here though...

  2. Thank you, and couldn't agree more on video tutorials that sadly are taking over.

    1. Haha, I thought maybe I was the only one, given how a lot of times, you even have to sit through video clips of news stories now instead of just being able to read it in a few seconds.

  3. Finally , after a lot of tries, it worked(and yeah i agree on the "crap" part about MS) .
    Thanks a lot

    1. I hope you meant a lot of tries doing other things before you saw this...but either way, glad it's working. It's not perfect, but it's tolerable. =)

  4. Thanks man. it worked. i just renames the firefox folder. Can t believe MS can do such a cheap thing. there is no way we are going to use edge. it sucks.

    1. yeah, it's too specific to be called a "bug," I think? haha

  5. Thanks bro! Very informative. Unfortunately I can't try this since I need that default browser setting (sigh)

    1. You mean you need Firefox to be the default browser? I guess you can try the newer build of Windows that supposedly fixed this. I've been too lazy to reinstall.

    2. I am already using the latest Firefox :3 No luck for me!

  6. No, at the top of this post, there is a link where it talks about a newer build of Windows 10 that is supposed to fix certain duplicate icons. You might have to reinstall windows though.

  7. No, at the top of this post, there is a link where it talks about a newer build of Windows 10 that is supposed to fix certain duplicate icons. You might have to reinstall windows though.

  8. Hmmmm, not sure if all you commentors will get a notification, but I was able to get the problem to go away while making Firefox the default browser with the new build of Windows 10! Stay tuned.