Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs

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  1. Posts : 11
    windows10
       #1

    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs


    Hi all, I have removed all unnecessary apps, etc from the Start Menu list - however there are Folders, for example, "Ease of Access" --- where once removed from the Start Menu folder list %appdata/programdata% --- the applications within the folder no longer work when calling on them in the Windows Search. They appear in the search results, but upon clicking them - nothing opens.

    Example: Delete 'Ease of Access' from Start Menu Programs Folders %appdata/programdata% --- Click Windows Button, type in 'Narrator' (program within the 'Ease of Access' folder) and try to click it, doesn't open. Happens with all the programs within the Folders.

    As soon as I put the Folders back in the Start Menu Programs Folders %appdata/programdata% - the search entries all function as usual.

    I've tried rebuilding the search, adding the entire C drive to search index, nothing seems to be working.

    Basically I'm looking to remove the 'Ease of Access' 'Windows Accessories' 'PowerShell' etc folders from the Start Menu list, but still be able to call the applications within them up thru the Windows Search and click to open.

    Anyone have a fix?
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,329
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Start Menu Programs Folders %appdata/programdata%
    Your path is unclear. Could you be more precise please? The main folders are
    C:\Users\<userid...>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    &
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    In principle, if you are removing a folder of shortcuts from one path where such items are shown in the Start Menu, I would have expected that if you then were to put that folder in an indexed folder whose content is not part of the Start Menu, Windows search would have found it.

    I don't really see how this will benefit you though.
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  3. Posts : 11
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    Your path is unclear. Could you be more precise please? The main folders are
    C:\Users\<userid...>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    &
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    In principle, if you are removing a folder of shortcuts from one path where such items are shown in the Start Menu, I would have expected that if you then were to put that folder in an indexed folder whose content is not part of the Start Menu, Windows search would have found it.

    I don't really see how this will benefit you though.
    Hi, yes, appreciate the reply - that is the gist of what I am trying to accomplish - remove start menu entries, but retain application functionality in pulling the program up via Search.
    I am using C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
    C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

    I did remove the folders of shortcuts from the Start Menu folder -- and place them in an 'Apps' folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Apps, which I indexed manually in the Search functionality, and it still didn't work. (Also tried indexing the entire C drive)

    For example, if I remove the 'Power Shell' folder, and then search to use and pull up the Power Shell program, it appears in search results, but the application doesn't open. It even behaves this way if the 'Power Shell' folder remains in the Start Menu folder - isn't deleted - but just 'hidden'.

    Have you tried this with success?

    I am decluttering the Start Menu list, but would still like to pull up and use applications within the search that were removed from the Start Menu list via these folders. The rest of the Start Menu apps/programs in the list were uninstalled - the folders (Power Shell, Ease of Access, etc) Windows created seems to have a link thats broken when the shortcuts are moved?

    Thank you
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  4. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,329
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #4

    Hi, if for example I move a folder of shortcuts from
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Utilities
    to my Documents folder..

    then before I do that I see
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-ftm-before-move.png

    Then I move the folder for Filetypesman to..
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-moved-folder.png

    and check it is no longer shown in the Start menu..
    when I search I see
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-ftm-before-move.png

    - and it can be executed from there.

    If you wish to modify the content of the Start menu, can I suggest you try installing Open Shell (free) - which many here use (replaces Classic Shell) and use that as an editor.

    Drag 'n drop, delete, rt click open... makes it easy.

    You can use both that and the Win 10 start menu, then uninstall it when finished.

    I simply dragged the folder from Documents onto my Open Shell start menu and dropped it back. Easy.
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  5. Posts : 11
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    dalchina said:
    Hi, if for example I move a folder of shortcuts from
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Utilities
    to my Documents folder..

    then before I do that I see
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-ftm-before-move.png

    Then I move the folder for Filetypesman to..
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-moved-folder.png

    and check it is no longer shown in the Start menu..
    when I search I see
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-ftm-before-move.png

    - and it can be executed from there.

    If you wish to modify the content of the Start menu, can I suggest you try installing Open Shell (free) - which many here use (replaces Classic Shell) and use that as an editor.

    Drag 'n drop, delete, rt click open... makes it easy.

    You can use both that and the Win 10 start menu, then uninstall it when finished.


    Could you please try with the 'Power Shell' folder for example?
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  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,329
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #6

    Thank you for your reply.


    Dragged from OpenShell to Desktop.
    Search + execution works.
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-untitled.png
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  7. Posts : 11
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    dalchina said:
    Thank you for your reply.


    Dragged from OpenShell to Desktop.
    Search + execution works.
    Windows Search Not Opening Removed Start Menu Programs-untitled.png

    If you click 'Open' - Power Shell in fact opens?

    I installed OpenShell -- cut/paste the Power Shell folder to the desktop from the OpenShell start menu - it removes it from the Windows10 start menu.. Then I search and search pulls up the Power Shell app, like in the picture you have attached, but it does not open the program upon clicking Open.

    If I click Run as administrator under the options to the right, an error pops up saying this file may have moved, would you like to remove it from the list.

    Do you have the Cortana app installed? Im wondering if there is some error with my search or if there are settings I need to change?
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  8. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,329
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #8

    Hi, Cortana should not be relevant here.

    What you could try is:
    Open Indexing Options.
    Note the count of items indexed.
    Now add one dummy.exe file in the target folder (where you copied things from the start menu).
    (e.g. create a dummy.txt file and change it to exe).

    Look again at Indexing Options. Has the count incremented?

    If so, does search find dummy.exe?

    Conformed, Open works with moved Powershell folder.
    FWIW I simply dragged it off OpenShell's menu onto the desktop, being minimal clicks.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 11
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    dalchina said:
    Hi, Cortana should not be relevant here.

    What you could try is:
    Open Indexing Options.
    Note the count of items indexed.
    Now add one dummy.exe file in the target folder (where you copied things from the start menu).
    (e.g. create a dummy.txt file and change it to exe).

    Look again at Indexing Options. Has the count incremented?

    If so, does search find dummy.exe?

    Conformed, Open works with moved Powershell folder.
    FWIW I simply dragged it off OpenShell's menu onto the desktop, being minimal clicks.

    Thanks for the test, I can find dummy.exe anywhere I put it --- however, anywhere I move the shortcuts contained in the 'Ease of Access', 'Power Shell' 'Windows Accessories', etc folders --- that apparently breaks the Windows Search for all the application shortcuts contained in those folders. Even simply hiding the folders in the Start Menu folder breaks the link in Windows Search..

    The applications appear in search, but when clicked nothing happens, the applications do not open (restarted several times, etc). The shortcuts themselves do open when clicked on directly from within their folders - so it seems its not the shortcuts themselves, but something triggering the search not to open the proper application 'link'?

    Or seemingly search is not finding the direct .EXE's themselves but rather looking for the shortcuts that were moved?

    As soon as I put the folders back in the 'Start Menu' folder, queue up Search and the applications open..

    Any ideas?
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  10. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,329
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #10

    Well, I've demonstrated I don't see the same thing on mine.

    The applications appear in search, but when clicked nothing happens, the applications do not open (restarted several times, etc). The shortcuts themselves do open when clicked on directly from within their folders - so it seems its not the shortcuts themselves, but something triggering the search not to open the proper application 'link'?
    Search is not involved when you're using the shortcut.

    Consider too that (by default) the folder containing Powershell.exe is not indexed.
    The shortcut points here:
    %SystemRoot%\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

    Put that in e.g. file explorer's address bar and Powershell should launch.

    You say that having moved e.g. the Powershell folder, the shortcuts therein work normally.

    What happens if you click Open file location in Search in both the case where the shortcut folder is in the Start Menu as normal, and when it has been moved?
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