You may have disabled setting which controls this - Advanced - Store and display recently opened items
Err....yes, you are correct. Sorry for false alarm. I do that every update, and never connected the two. So there is no way to disconnect those Startisback settings from Task Bar jump list settings?
It depends on what do you want to achieve.
It's annoying to have to clear recently used items/programs from Startisback panel. I prefer it to be 'clean' and only display apps I have pinned there.
Then set it to display 0 recently used apps.
Yes it does work. But downside is that number of available pinned items shrinks. Maybe a future version can offer best of both worlds? Actually, I'd love to be able to stretch panel to full window height. Just being difficult :-).
Start menu will occupy as much height as needed. Set start menu it to display 30 items and turn off 'Store and display recently opened programs' (programs in start menu, items in Run dialog, folders in open/save dialogs). Just don't turn off 'Store and display recently opened items' (documents in jump lists). But you're right, your scenario is not well supported.
You are on top of the game sir. So far so good it seems to have fixed things. However Start menu for sure does not extend beyond the 30 item limit but I guess that's what you meant by 'as much as is needed'. Keep up the good work!
Update: My default is small icons. Just checked and with large icons displayed, menu occupies full window height. So that answers that one too!