Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Windows 11 has made changes to the Start menu, but it can occasionally malfunction. An example is when the Start menu fails to display icons for apps and files. If this issue frustrates you, don’t worry. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you retrieve missing icons quickly. Let’s check them out.

1. Restart Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is responsible for providing a graphical interface, including the Start menu. If the Start menu is not loading properly, restarting Windows Explorer should be your first step. Step 1: Right-click the Start icon and select Task Manager. Step 2: In the Processes tab, locate Windows Explorer, right-click on it, and select Restart.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

The Taskbar will disappear briefly and then reappear. Then, check if the Start menu loads icons.

2. Restart Start Menu Experience Host

Start Menu Experience Host is a process that manages the Start menu on Windows 11. If the process has issues, the Start menu may not display icons or stop working. To fix this, restart the Start Menu Experience Host by following these steps.

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager.

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Step 2: Go to the Details tab and find StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. Right-click and select End task.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 3: Click End process to confirm.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

The process will start automatically and the Start menu should display icons.

3. Enable Folders in Start Menu

If you can’t find icons for Settings, File Explorer, Downloads, and others on the Start menu, you may have disabled them accidentally. Here’s how you can enable them again.

Step 1: Right-click on the empty space on the Desktop and select Personalize.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 2: In the Settings app, click on Start.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 3: Go to Folders.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

To make the content more concise and impactful, use the following modified text:

Step 4: Enable all your preferred icons in the Start menu using the toggles.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Once enabled, you will see the icons in the Start menu, next to the power button.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

4. Rebuild Icon Cache

Windows caches app and file icons to avoid retrieving them repeatedly. But if the icon cache becomes corrupted or inaccessible, Windows might not display icons in the Start menu. To fix this, force Windows to rebuild the cache.

Step 1: Press Windows key + X and select Terminal (Admin).

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 2: Copy and paste the command below to navigate the directory where Windows saves the icon cache:

cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 3: Run the command to delete the icon cache: del iconcache*

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Restart your PC after running the commands and check if icons appear in the Start menu.

5. Re-Register the Start Menu on Windows

A recent change to the system or the Start menu may be the cause of this problem. If you are unable to identify the exact cause, you can re-register the Start menu on Windows using the following method:

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Step 1: Click the search icon on the Taskbar, type “Task Manager,” and press Enter.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 2: Click on Run new task button at the top.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 3: Type “powershell” in the box and mark the box that reads “Create this task with administrative privileges”. Then, click OK.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 4: Run the command in the PowerShell window.

Get-appxpackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle %

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Wait for the process to complete and then restart your PC.

6. Run an SFC Scan

Corrupted or missing system files on your PC can cause issues with the Start menu. Running an SFC (or System File Checker) can help you verify the integrity of the system files and repair them. Here’s how to run it.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + S to access the search menu. Type terminal in the box, right-click on the first result, and select Run as administrator.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 2: In the console, run the command: sfc /scannow

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Check if the tool fixed any system files and restart your PC to see if icons are still missing from the Start menu.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

7. Update Graphics Driver

Outdated or malfunctioning graphics drivers can lead to issues with Windows UI elements. You can fix these issues by updating your PC’s graphics drivers.

Step 1: Open the search menu, type in “device manager,” and press Enter.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

Step 2: Expand Display adapters, right-click on your display card, and select Update driver.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Icons Missing From Start Menu on Windows 11

To update the drivers, follow the on-screen instructions. See if that fixes the issue.

Are You Missing What’s Important?

The Start menu is an essential part of Windows 11, allowing easy access to apps, files, settings, and more. However, if the Start menu fails to load icons for your apps and files, it can be challenging to identify them. We hope one of the above tips has resolved your Start menu issues and restored normal functionality.

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