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Home / Cannot open Recent Files from Jump Lists in Win10


Hi there. I really like simatra pdf, fast to open, no bloat etc. but there is one little thing that annoys me. I have the app pinned to the win 10 start menu and right-click shows the history of previously opened pdfs, but whenever I try to open one from here windows says it no longer exists. but it does because I can access it from the samatra home page. other pinned apps (eg notepad) do work correctly. windows 10 is version 1909 Home edition (os build 18363.535) if that’s any help.



I know it does not help to say it works as expected for me. And currently I have a different setup to yours. I suspect it could be a couple of reasons.
Win10 may behave different one quarter of 2019 to the next as it evolves

My working set up is slightly behind yours
Win10 home 2019:03 build 18362.535

I recently re-installed so at present I have exactly the same few files listed in both the tile and SumatraPDF frequently read and that works well

Windows keeps a different “recents” list to the internal SumatraPDF one so they can behave differently when files get moved / renamed, windows will not know if the file is invalid and tell SumatraPDF to look in the wrong location SumatraPDF can also be wrong in attempting to open files that have been moved/renamed by windows and one common cause is when web or cloud file references vary from a temporary cache. This potential sync difference may get worse as time goes on.

When you hover over the tile entry, windows will generally show the file path in addition to the file name, it may help to see if there are any differences there.

I have no reason to suspect it, but feel this is a problem outside of SumatraPDF, since as you say SumatraPDF is keeping a good/reasonable internal history of where those files were last found


Thanks for your reply, actually it does help, it shows the problem is not with sumatra. Just another thing microsoft broke in their latest update. hovering over the filename, it does show the correct folder (c:\users\alan\documents)


Out of interest I deliberatly obscured the path to sumatraPDF.exe the result was the icons switched from Sumatrapdf yellow to a neutral blank icon and then each file was rejected even though the files have not been moved
So this issue could indicate if the icons are not yellow that windows does not have the correct path for the exe


Thanks very much for that. My icons are indeed blank as per your second screenshot. However looking in start menu the program does have the correct path of “C:\Program Files\SumatraPDF”

Not to worry, as I said it’s very minor. I can still open recent files from sumatra’s home screen, and also the windows explorer “recents”
Cheers, Alan


Thanks for the confirmation, it can help others with similar issue.

I think what is possibly getting upset is windows “association” of PDF with the installed SumatraPDF. This stems from MS insistance that Edge is default PDF handler.

To get the yellow Icons back (and thus a working tile) you need to re-associate sumatrapdf as default handler.

That can be tricky if some settings are already upset and this is the most longwinded way to go but you are confident that the exe is in the right place, so in explorer find a known valid pdf (perhaps one on the recent list) right click and select open with
ignore the current sumatrapdf icon and go to choose another app ignore all the options go to the bottom where it says more apps
ignore all the options until you see look for another app on this PC FIRST select Always use this app to open PDF then use the new explorer window to find the “C:\Program Files\SumatraPDF\SumatraPDF.exe”
And selecting it should re-establish the lost link between windows and sumatrapdf as handler.


Thanks for your further advice. I do appreciate it. However I have done as you suggest and still have the same situation. I did follow your steps carefully, going to more, look for another app etc.

In explorer, PDF files do have the yellow icon. Double-clicking does load sumatra.

Right-clicking on the start tile for sumatra, all files in the history have a blank icon and fail to open.

Similarly on the task bar, right-click and the recent files are all white and don’t open.

In Sumatra itself, the file history on “file > open” and the most used on the home screen work fine.

So the association is there, just windows has got rather confused about things!


Thanks again for your feedback, this has been a niggle with the way Windows 10 changed PDF control from SumatraPDF to Edge. there are several ways users have tried/used to resolve the settings in the background
The key is that with several sets of association the main one needs to be refreshed which usually ends with the need to bypass all the existing links and create a fresh link per the long route above.

It can be affected by user rights and others have found different ways as say administrator to recontruct a “working and sticky” association.
there are several ways windows allows associate by file type or association and there is more than one registry entry for pdf files.


I’ve uninstalled sumatra reader and when i reinstalled it , i’ve noticed something strange.
When we usually right click on any given pdf reader , we usually see the list of previously opened pdf files. We can see that in Sumatra reader also. But now i’m unable to access those previously opened files like i used to before (before uninstalling). When i right click and tap on those pdf files , it says the file is either deleted , renamed or moved.
please help me with this issue


This list is managed by Windows. If Windows tells you that the file doesn’t exist, then most likely it doesn’t exist.

You can right-click and choose ‘Properties’ to double check the path and see in Explorer if that file exists.


Thanks for your swift reply. I respectfully disagree. The screenshot which i did attach in the last thread was taken today itself and those files do exist on my computer and i did access them via sumatra reader and chrome , microsoft edge too just to be safe


[ Consolidating with previous thread about same bug. ]

Looks like windows has taken control back after first uninstall but cant understand where the exe has now been relocated so will assume the pdf cant be opened (NOTE pdf entries do not have yellow icon)

This is a persistent failing by windows to let applications reset association

@kjk I can always be wrong but I think we may see this happen more frequently on full release.


I turn off recent items on jump lists, but perhaps one of the many fixes listed here will help you folks…

In any case this doesn’t seem to be a Sumatra-specific issue.