Where are the .desktop files for the quick launch icons shown in the "task manager" located?

I’ve now searched all over my system, searched online, asked an AI bot, and pulled my hair. I just can’t find where the .desktop files that I drag and drop to the “quick launch” part of the task manager (taskbar) are located in KDE Plasma.

They are not in ~/.local/share/applications nor /usr/share/applications.

They are also not in: ~/.config/KDE, even though on XFCE they were in ~/.config/xfce4/panel/launcher-123/blablabla.desktop.

I’m talking about the “quick launch” icons that are located right next to the “start button” (application menu button) and left to the task manager items. I initially add them there by dragging and dropping a .desktop file from a Dolphin view into that area. But now I need to programmatically modify the contents of one of them, and thus I need to know where they are located.

No, they are not stored as .desktop files.
You need to search for names of these .desktop files. E.g.
grep org.kde.dolphin ~/.config
You’ll probably find them in ~/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc.

Well, there is a /home/a/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc file, but it has nothing related to the shortcut launcher that I can see? (And that’s the only such file on my system.)

i just had to use timeshift because i dragged a desktop icon into the task manger.


the correct way to add things to the task manager is that you find the app in the applications menu and then you right click and Pin to Task Manager.

dragging desktop icons into the task manager has unpredictable an irreversible effects that are wholly undesirable.

These don’t show up in the applications menu, though.

Also, sad to hear that everything has some horrible side-effect and is “not recommended”…

Where does KDE/Plasma store this data? I need to edit it programmatically, as I said.

Yes it is. As I said, please search for the filename of your .desktop in that file.

@ExXfceUser try ~/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc
I have found that when I add something to my task manager bar, I get a new entry in the section labeled: [Containments][20][Applets][23][Configuration][General]

If you are hoping to change something to the icon you see you in the task manager. I don’t think it has it’s own independent settings. It just points to the original .desktop file as found in your app menu.


Well, my ~/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc file has a ton of strange stuff, but no [Containments][20][Applets][23][Configuration][General] or even [Containments][20], so I guess that number is arbitrary. But you said that it just links to the original .desktop file, so I made a test by changing the original .desktop file (which I dragged and dropped into the task manager to make it live there), yet the program always starts with the original parameters (not the new changes). So apparently it has a copy of it stored somewhere? And it cannot be found. And is not part of that config file. I have no idea what to do at this point.

Neither that file nor RobLW’s one contain anything related to my .desktop files…

Discovery: If I manually drag and drop the .desktop file into the task manager to place it there, then click it, it opens the program with the new parameters. The old icon keeps the old .desktop contents, so it has its own copy somewhere, very well hidden. But removing the icon and adding a new one every single time I update the .desktop (which happens frequently) is obviously not going to fly. But my point is that it cannot be a “link to the .desktop”.

Also, while attempting to remove the old icon, I entered “edit mode” because it wouldn’t let me otherwise, and in this mode, I made one wrong click and completely FUBARed my entire desktop environment. There was no “abort” or “undo” button anywhere, so I was stuck without seeing any tasks and no applications menu and missing icons for many scary and frustrating minutes before I was able to manually get things roughly back to how they were… But now I’m missing a bunch of random icons that I had added there, and there is a gap which I don’t dare to try to delete because it looks like clicking it will delete the entire task manager (that’s what gets highlighted)… This is just madness. Why do random .desktop icons you add to the task manager bar not get any “Remove” option when you right-click them?!

I don’t know what you’re talking about, I give you an example, I create a .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications/ which I then can find in the application menu, from there I just pin it to the “taskbar” (drag and drop the .desktop file, or start the program from application menu, right click the icon, and pin it), any edition I make to the desktop file is instantly available when I right click the icon in taskbar (for instance I have many entries [Desktop Action XXX] doing various actions when I right click the icon), even if I change the icon it swaps the icon in a second max.

//EDIT: if you need to enter the Edit Mode to remove it from taskbar, you’re doing it wrong and you are adding it as a Graphical Component which is not what you want, to remove it just right click the icon, and “unpin” it (if you properly added it in the first place).