What’s the problem?
Here is what the jump list normally looks like in Windows 10 when the Firefox icon in the taskbar is clicked. Windows 7 and 8 are similar.
At the top are frequently visited websites and it takes just one click to open the browser and visit the site. There are common tasks like opening a new tab, a new window, and a new private window.
Normally to open a private window you would need to first open Firefox, go to the menu and open a private window, then close the normal window. With the jump list you can open the private window directly.
Sometimes Firefox stops displaying the jump list and it looks more like this:
You can unpin the taskbar icon or open a normal window and that’s it. No jump list and no handy menu options.
This bug has been in Firefox for, well, forever it seems. It comes and goes and it’s in one version, fixed in the next, then it is back, and so on.
Fix the jump lists
There are several possible solutions and I tried every single one without them having any effect at all. Nothing worked. However, a couple of hours later I noticed that the jump list was back. Obviously one of these fixes worked, but I can’t say which one. Try them all.
Open Firefox and enter about:config into the address box. The first time you do this you will see a warning to be careful. Don’t worry, it’s not dangerous.
Enter taskbar into the search box to filter the settings and show only those that relate to the taskbar. Look in the Status column and if any of the items say user set, right click the name and select Reset. This restores the default setting. Having said that though, the first item on my PC refused to stay reset. Jump lists are now working, so maybe that particular setting does not matter.
If there are too many items in the jump list, it fails to display and this could be a reason why it is not working on your computer.
- Double click browser.taskbar.lists.maxListItemCount and set the value to 7.
- If browser.taskbar.lists.recent.enabled is not set to false, double click it to switch it to true.
- Do the same with browser.taskbar.lists.tasks.enabled and set it to true.
- And set browser.taskbar.lists.enabled to true.
Quit Firefox and then right click the taskbar button to see if the jump list has come back.
If it still isn’t working, right click the Firefox icon and unpin it from the taskbar. Run Firefox, right click the icon in the taskbar and pin it again. See if it now has jump lists.
Add it to the Start menu
I stumbled across a bug report on the Mozilla site that said that the jump list does not appear if Firefox is not in the Start menu folder on the disk drive. It’s worth checking and adding it if it isn’t.
Open Folder Options or File Explorer options in the Control Panel and on the View tab, select Show hidden files, folders and drives. Now open Explorer, select This PC and go to C:\ProgramData \Microsoft \Windows \Start Menu \Programs. Mozilla Firefox should be there.
If Firefox is not there, go to C:\Program Files (x86) \Mozilla Firefox, right click Firefox.exe and select Send to, Desktop (create shortcut). Then drag the icon from the desktop to C:\ProgramData \Microsoft \Windows \Start Menu \Programs. You might see a permissions warning, but just click through and it will be moved.
Try rebooting Windows and when the desktop returns, right click the Firefox icon in the taskbar and see if the jump list is back.
If jump lists are still not working, the final option is to uninstall Firefox and install the latest version again.
You might want to back up your bookmarks before doing this, just in case they disappear. Press Ctrl+Shift+B to open the Library window and go to the Import and Backup menu. There is an option to Backup, which saves a file to disk. Uninstall Firefox using Programs and Features in the Control Panel, then use the Restore option to load the backup you saved.
The jump list did not reappear immediately, but a couple of hours later I noticed it was there, so don’t worry if you don’t see it straight away. Try rebooting Windows after reinstalling Firefox and right click the Firefox icon in an hour or so.