Windows 10: Most desktop app icons missing from the Start screen

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1.    17 Jun 2015 #1

    Most desktop app icons missing from the Start screen

    I'm currently running Build 10130. For some reason, when I view "All Apps" I have folders for my desktop apps, but nearly all of the icons for the apps themselves are missing.

    I have tried the following solutions & none have fixed the problem:

    SFC /scannow
    DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth (I've run both of those alternatively 3X in a row - based on another thread)
    Deleted the icon cache in my user folder
    Run the Windows Troubleshooter for Windows Update
    Created a new local account & logged in.
    Enabled the Administrator account & logged in.
    Did a repair install of Build 10130

    When I navigate to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs I can see everything and it's all just fine. For some reason the icons simple refuse to appear on the start screen.

    I've checked the permissions on those folders and they appear to be fine.

    I've tried right clicking on a program and selecting "pin to start" and nothing happens.

    I've checked C:\Users\myname\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs as well and it seems to be fine, but still nothing changes.

    How is Windows 10 creating the Start screen icons? Is there a way to force it to rebuild everything?

    I'm stumped!


      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       17 Jun 2015 #2

    Icon Cache - Rebuild in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    use one of the options in teh above tut - both do the same thing in different ways

    -- and --

    Index - Rebuild - Windows 7 Help Forums
    sometimes the index gets confused - rebuilding it might help.

    Run both if rebuilding the icon cache doesn't help.

    Just so I'm clear - you can see the All apps list, just no icons - right?
    Are the icons present in the Appdata....Start menu or Program Data.....Start menu location?

    Last suggestion: go to Settings > Presonalization > Start - toggle the switches one by one and check All apps between each option.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 Jun 2015 #3

    Yep - I used that exact method from here to deal with the icon cache. I'll see if rebuilding the index helps.

    I can see the all apps list, but most (not all) desktop app icons are missing.

    I decided to test something out, so I went to AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows and renamed Start Menu to something else. After a reboot, nothing changed, there were no errors reported and no new Start Menu folder was created. So unless I'm wrong, Windows 10 is not using that folder at all & it's just a remnant of Windows 8.1 on my system.

    ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs contains everything that should be there, but they simply don't show up in my Start Menu.

    As another test, I created a folder called "TEST" inside the Programs folder I'm referencing in the previous sentence, rebooted and checked the Start Menu & the folder did not show up.

    That's why I started to think perhaps the menu is being cached somewhere.


      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       17 Jun 2015 #4

    Yeah, Start has a few eccentricities. The entries might need to be 'touched'. There's a powershell command to do that, but I never remember it when I need it.

    I'm not sure if an empty folder shows up - but a good test.

    Try this: pick an app, any app to test
    1 find the exe for that app
    2 delete the shortcut from the All Users Start menu
    3 Right click the exe in step 1 - add to start
    4 Right click the exe in step 1 - create shortcut
    5 Create a new folder, test79, in ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs
    6 copy the shortcut in step 4 to ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs\test79

    restart the machine.


    Alll users start menu is owned by System on my machine
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    17 Jun 2015 #5

    Thanks - I'm actually still re-indexing at the moment. Based on your comments, I did find something I didn't know. "All Users" AppData folder is actually just ProgramData - see this:

    I'll give it a try once the indexing finishes.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       17 Jun 2015 #6

    Yeah, that's just a reference - instead of making an All Users user (like public or default), the just point to Program Data as the root folder (tip: launch command prompt and enter

    You can see the associations in the list of environment variables.

    Don't let me distract you from the issue though - keep focus on the Start list. I'll keep throwing out tidbits

    After rebuilding the index, try the toggle Start switches suggestion ... one suggestion at a time - let me know if /when the list is 'healed'
    One of these will be a workaround even if it's "wait for 10.0.136"
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Jun 2015 #7

    Interesting development. I deleted an existing shortcut then pinned it to the start menu and it came back. What's interesting is, first, the Start Menu name is not the name of the EXE - the EXE is an 8.3 name, but the shortcut has the full name in it. Secondly, the original shortcut lived in ProgramData, but when I pinned it, the 8.3 exe link went to my AppData/Roaming/...../Programs folder.

    I then deleted that one, went back to the Start Menu and the icon is still there - however if I right click on it, I am only given the option to pin it to the start screen, I can't open the file location (because it's pointing to nothing).

    And, strangest of all, the Start Menu folder inside my AppData/Roaming//// is still named incorrectly - I renamed it "Start Menu-BAD" in a previous test. Yet, Win 10 still knew to put the icon in that folder?

    Strange indeed!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       17 Jun 2015 #8

    nteresting development. I deleted an existing shortcut then pinned it to the start menu and it came back.

    yep, that's what I was trying to say in post# 4

    I'm not sure where your system stands - you've renamed Start Menu and Windows followed the new name. That's not how you want to go moving forward though. Rename it back and selectively delete the nonUniversal shortcuts - they're just shortcuts.

    Then try pinning the exe in Program Files (or x86) to Start . If it ends up in your Personal Start menu folder, you can move the shortcuts to the All user Start menu folder.

    Here's the plus side - as you're doing this, you can organize a little bit. I have folders for Comm, Office, Security, Media, and Utils - all nonUniversal Apps go into the corresponding folder.

    Media contains VLC & Gimp
    Office contains OpenOffice & MS Office
    everyone has their own 'filing' system
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    18 Jun 2015 #9

    Following up on this. I have Adobe Creative Cloud, and none of the Adobe icons show up except for the Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit CC - but that lives in an Adobe folder in the Start menu.

    I went to the EXE for Adobe Creative Cloud, created a shortcut and put it in the same folder as ExtendScript Toolkit - ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Adobe/

    After rebooting, the only thing in that folder in the start menu is ExtendScript - Creative Cloud doesn't show up. If I right click on Extendscript in the start menu and select "open file location" it opens the ProgramData folder and the Creative Cloud shortcut is there along with ExtendScript.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       18 Jun 2015 #10

    Paulrus said: View Post
    You or me?
    How are other icons? I don't want you to get dragged down because Adobe cloud icons don't show up. If the other icons are showing up on Start, then chalk it up as an issue specific to Adobe cloud.

    AS always - feed MS your experience ... if it affects Windows, they'll look into it, even if it's Adobe's issue.

    If other tiles are working on Start, I guess my work is done
      My ComputerSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Related Threads
I was trying to figure out why the Start screen looked odd--and then I noticed the app icons in the tiles are about 1/3 the size they were in Windows 8, so you've got (for example), a tiny W for Word in Windows 10 vs a more visible W in Windows 8.1....
I was thinking about installing Start8 to my start Screen, but would it conflict with my Desktop mode, OR are Start Screen and Desktop like 2 different and separate users? Because I don't understand the purpose of logging off and on to switch...
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:43.
Find Us