How to fix missing Start menu icons in Windows 10

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The Start menu tiles are what really make it usable. If you had a list of apps, the Start menu would essentially be a list of glorified apps taking up more space than it should as well. However, for some users, the Start menu thumbnail icons also seem to be gone. Tiles are always pinned where they were also originally positioned and if you hover over them. You will now be able to read the name of the app’s thumbnail. The icon does not appear either. Here are some ways to fix missing tile icons in Windows 10 Start menu. In this article we are going to talk about how to fix missing start menu icons in Windows 10. Let’s get started!

Resize the tile

Right-tap on a tile that has a missing icon and from the context menu just head to resize. Now change the icon size to anything that is not currently selected. This should allow the tile to respawn. Now you need to restart your system to see if the fix works after a restart.

For apps that actually lack thumbnail icons, you can locate their EXE files and then create a shortcut for them on your desktop. Then just head to the next location;

 C:Users[UserName]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms

Now you need to copy and paste the shortcut to the location above. Just do this for any apps that don’t have a tile icon as well. If a shortcut is already present in the Start menu folder, you must replace it with the new one. If there is no shortcut, then go ahead and paste it.

Restart Windows Explorer with Task Manager

  • Now we have to restart the Windows Exploring through Task Manager is a potential fix for blank app tiles. To restart Windows Explorer, right-click on the taskbar and press Task Manager.
  • Choose the Process tab shown in the snapshot directly below.
  • Now scroll down this tab until you come to Windows Explorer, which is also listed under Windows Processes.
  • Right-click on Windows Explorer and choose Restart in its context menu as well.

Starter repair tool

You need to download the Microsoft Startup Repair tool and then run it to see if it can fix the problem as well. It can also tell you that your tile database is corrupted and unfortunately there is no easy way to rebuild it. Even Microsoft suggests creating a new user to fix the problem, before doing so just try the other fixes below.

First of all, you need to open Notepad and paste the following into it. Just save it with the BAT extension, then you need to run the file with administrative rights. Your taskbar will also disappear for a while, however, don’t worry. It’s just restarting Explorer.exe. When the taskbar returns, restart your system and also check if the tile icons are back.

@echo offtaskkill /f /im explorer.exe
taskkill /f /im shellexperiencehost.exe
timeout /t 3 /NOBREAK > nul
del %localappdata%PackagesMicrosoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewyTempState* /q
timeout /t 2 /NOBREAK > nul
start explorer
@echo on

Run a system file scan

Blank app tile shortcuts can be caused by corrupted system files. System File Checker is probably the best Windows tool for repairing corrupted system files. This is how you can use SFC in Windows 10 to fix blank app tiles.

  • You have to open the Win + X menu by pressing its Win + X hotkey.
  • Choose the Command prompt (administrator) shortcut in the Win + X menu.
  • Now enter ‘DISM.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / Restorehealth’ in the command prompt and hit the Return key.
  • Then type in ‘SFC / scan now and press Enter to scan system files. This analysis can take between 20 and 30 minutes.
  • Simply restart the operating system if Windows Resource Protection also repairs the files.

Command Prompt

Open the command prompt with administrative rights. It’s a good idea to close anything you’ve opened at this point. The commands you are about to run will also take some time and the Explorer.exe process will be terminated, making it difficult to switch between applications.

Now run the following commands one by one.

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

Next race;

DISM.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Next race;

sfc / scannow

This should repair system files which might also have been corrupted. It will actually take time to complete. When it’s done, restart your system. If the SFC / scannow tool tells you that it could not repair the files, you may have a more serious problem. Your only alternative is to either reset your PC or create a new user and move your files there.


Okay, that was all folks! Hope you like this article about missing start menu icons and find it useful as well. Give us your opinion on it. Also, if you have other questions and issues related to this article. So let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a nice day!

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