How to fix Windows 10 Start menu tiles not showing

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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Windows 10 has one of the greatest Start menus. Its Start menu is slick, modern and includes app tile shortcuts that give it a whole new dimension.

Yet, that menu in does have a few glitches. Blank app tile shortcuts are one of the Windows 10 Start menu‘s more frequently occurring issues. Some users have found their app tiles are entirely blank with no icons or text on them. This is how you can fix blank Start menu app tiles.

Fix fix blank Start menu tiles with these solutions

  1. Pin the Tiles to the Start Menu Again
  2. Restart the Windows Explorer With Task Manager
  3. Open the Start Menu Troubleshooter
  4. Run a System File Scan
  5. Reset Start Menu Apps
  6. Set Up a new User Account
  7. Restore Windows to a Restore Point

1. Pin the Tiles to the Start Menu Again

First, unpin the blank app tiles on the Start menu and pin them back on. Right-click an app tile on the Start menu and select Unpin from Start. Scroll to the app on the Start menu‘s app list, right-click it and select Pin to Start to pin the tile back on.


2. Restart the Windows Explorer With Task Manager

  1. Restarting Windows Explorer via the Task Manager is a potential fix for blank app tiles. To restart Windows Explorer, right-click the taskbar and click Task Manager.
  2. Select the Processes tab shown in the snapshot directly below.task manager
  3. Scroll down that tab until you get to Windows Explorer, which is listed under Windows processes.
  4. Right-click Windows Explorer and select Restart on its context menu.

task manager restart windows explorer process


3. Open the Start Menu Troubleshooter

As the Start menu has some glitches, there’s a troubleshooter for it that might help fix blank app tiles. However, the Start Menu Troubleshooter is not included in Windows 10. You can add that troubleshooter to Windows by pressing the Download button on this web page. Open its window below, click the Apply repair automatically option and press the Next button.

start menu troubleshooter


4. Run a System File Scan

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

  1. Open the Win + X menu by pressing its Win key + X hotkey.
  2. Select the Command Prompt (Admin) shortcut on the Win + X menu.power user start menu
  3. Enter ‘DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth’ in the Command Prompt, and press the Return key.
  4. Thereafter, input ‘sfc /scannow’ and press Enter to scan system files. That scan could take between 20-30 minutes.The exclusive semaphore is owned by another process sfc scannow
  5. Restart the OS if Windows Resource Protection does repair files.
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ALSO READ:  10 Best Registry Cleaners for Windows 10


5. Reset Start Menu Apps

Windows 10 includes a Reset option with which you can reset a selected app’s data. That’s a handy troubleshooting option for fixing apps, so it might help restore their tile shortcuts. You can reset apps as follows.

  1. Click the Cortana button, and input ‘apps’ in the search box.
  2. Select Apps & features to open the window shown directly below.apps & features windows 10 settings
  3. Select an app that has a blank Start menu tile.uninstall an app windows 10
  4. Click Advanced options to open the Reset option in the snapshot below.
  5. Press the Reset button, and click Reset again to confirm.

6. Set Up a new User Account

It might be the case that there’s a corrupted Start menu layout database in the TileDataLayer folder. An SFC scan might resolve that, but setting up a new admin user account will reset the Start menu layout. So a new user account might also fix blank app tile shortcuts. You can set up a new account in Windows 10 as follows.

  1. Open the Win + X menu, and select Run to open the window directly below.Run command line
  2. Input ‘control userpasswords2’ in Run’s text box, and click the OK button.
  3. Press the Add button on the Users tab. If that setting is grayed out, select the Users must enter a username check box.user accounts settings
  4. Click Sign in without a Microsoft account to open the options shown below.add a user microsoft account or local account
  5. Press the Local account button to open the text boxes in the snapshot directly below.add a user
  6. There you can enter username and password details for the new account.
  7. Press the Next and Finish buttons.
  8. Click Apply > OK on the User Accounts window.
  9. Now log in to your new user account.

7. Restore Windows to a Restore Point

The System Restore tool will revert Windows back to an earlier date. It might remove recently installed third-party software that could be conflicting with the Start menu. In addition, it also rolls back minor updates and can repair system files. As such, System Restore could feasibly fix blank app tiles.

  1. To open System Restore, enter ‘rstrui’ in Run and click OK.system restore
  2. Press the Next button to open a list of restore points.system restore choose a restore point
  3. Select Show more restore points to expand the list of restore points.
  4. Choose a restore point that will take Windows back to a date when there were no blank tiles on the Start menu.
  5. Click Scan for affected programs to open the window shown in the shot directly below. That shows you the software that will be deleted when you restore the OS.restore windows backup
  6. Click Next and Finish to restore Windows to the selected restore point.

Those resolutions will probably restore the app tile shortcuts on your Start menu. Some Windows repair toolkits might also fix the Start menu‘s app tiles. Check out this software guide for further Windows repair toolkit details.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and was revamped and updated in April 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.