Windows 10: Removing Windows Apps sometimes leaves orphan "icons" in the startmenu Solved

  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 10-64 (Home & Pro)
       30 Nov 2015 #1

    Removing Windows Apps sometimes leaves orphan "icons" in the startmenu

    I removed the Windows Apps (3D Builder, Groovy etc.) using PowerShell and Remove-AppxPackage / Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage on our Windows 10 machines (64bit, some Home, some Pro) at home.

    This worked satisfying enough, but for some (very few) local users the start menu entries for those apps are not removed. I refer to "All Apps" (the A-Z list of all apps).

    Situation is like this:
    • application is removed (checked with Get-Appxpackage in Powershell)
    • start menu still refers to the Windows Apps with the text entry; it does not show the icon, but a coloured rectangle (sized like an icon)
    • application cannot be started through this icon (as it is uninstalled)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Screenshot shows the Maps (german: Karten) and Contacts (german: Kontakte) "icons")

    I checked the usual places:
    • C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
    • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

    but of course there are no links to those Windows Apps.

    Does anybody have a hint how to remove these orphan "icons" from the start menu (A-Z list)?
    What makes Windows show those entries in the start menu's A-Z list?

    Thanks for any hint.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    30 Nov 2015 #2

    Read the thread below and you'll be able to get rid of them

    Solved Removing dead icons from Start menu All Apps - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 4
    Windows 10-64 (Home & Pro)
    Thread Starter
       30 Nov 2015 #3

    Thank you shimshom, I read that thread last night. Honestly, it sounded a bit different (icon pictures still displayed whereas they are gone with me), and AcuraTML's solution sounded a bit complicated (take e.g. your comments ... "completely broken" ... "slows down considerably"). Hoped for an alternative solution. Maybe I'll go for lx07's solution from that thread.

    So according to the other thread, A-Z list in start menu is maintained then in AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\vedatamodel.edb, right?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    30 Nov 2015 #4

    Apologies for slow answer was very late here. Yes it maintains the list in AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\vedatamodel.edb and I found it much easier to achieve booting into a live Windows CD or USB of any flavor which in my case was XP to rename vedatamodel.edb to vedatamodel.edb.temp and when rebooting back to Win 10 doing the rest of the steps mentioned in my post #8 concerning permissions and sfc /scannow. You might need to reboot a couple of times to ensure full recovery of the start menu
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 4
    Windows 10-64 (Home & Pro)
    Thread Starter
       01 Dec 2015 #5

    Hi shimshom,

    sorry for bothering again, really appreciating your responses!

    Usually I like to understand what's happening in the background , so let me put two more questions before I proceed:

    • While I understand the icacls command in lx07's comment 04 of the other thread (User A copied filed from profile B into profile C, so let's make sure the files belong to C again), I'd also like to understand why in your (and AcuraTML's) solution it is necessary to grant permissions on the "Local Disk (C)/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs" folder.
      From my previous understanding (Win7-based) this is the "inherited" part of the startmenu.
      Just tried with Windows 10 - added a link to that Programs folder (using admin permissions), and (as expected) it immediately appeared in the start menu's A-Z list of a regular user and can be started.
      Can you give me a hint for what you needed that permission change?
    • I assume the "sfc /scannow" will rebuild vedatamodel.edb

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    02 Dec 2015 #6

    Hi Mario no problem asking questions as that's how we learn more. You need to grant the permissions to fix or repair the permission or access errors if you get any and ensure the Start menu is rebuilt correctly and it's easy to remove any entries from the All Apps list later. The sfc command is to ensure your files are in good order and to rebuild the vedatamodel.edb. I did find it easier and quicker to just boot with a live Windows DVD/USB as it negates the need of using Unlocker or creating extra accounts. Make sure you take a system image before proceeding just in case
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 4
    Windows 10-64 (Home & Pro)
    Thread Starter
       02 Dec 2015 #7

    After thinking back and forth, went for lx07's solution from the other thread in the meantime.

    Seems he missed some AppData\Local in the given paths, but it went smoothly otherwise.

    Therefore adding a corrected version here of one alternative to heal start menu of user C:

    1. Create two new Admin accounts (A and B)
      (Actually, you need two accounts being different from the account C to be repaired. You can use existing accounts for this given A's start menu is "correct" and B has admin permissions)
    2. Log-on and off from A (to populate its start menu)
    3. Log-on to B
    4. Copy some of A's folders into C's account:
      xcopy /herky "C:\Users\<user A>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database" "C:\Users\<user C>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database\"
    5. Change access rights for just copied files:
      icacls "C:\Users\<user C>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database" /grant "%USERDOMAIN%\<user C>":(F) /t
    6. Log-off from B
    7. Reboot
    8. Log-on to C, start menu is complete again
    9. Remove accounts A and B
      (If you used existing accounts in step 1 of course you shouldn't remove them ...)

    There were two small strange things:

    1. At first I left out Step 7. Start Menu was fine and entries were working, but when anything was typed into the search field and a start menu entry was displayed as a search result, left-clicking did not have any effect (program was not started) and right-clicking only showed "Attach to start menu". This problem went away after a reboot. (Maybe Windows had to do some background work, maybe it would have healed itself even without reboot)
    2. Entries I previously added to user's start menu in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ were still in that directory but did not appear in the start menu of the user for which I did the modifications. I had to manually move those few folders to another directory, and move them back. Then Windows' database for this user's start menu was perfect again (I guess Windows seems to have some trigger on files/folders being added to that directory).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    03 Dec 2015 #8

    Glad it worked and it does seem to resolve itself after a few reboots and I still hold that Win 10 was written by an alien monkey
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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