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Windows 8 Start Screen is empty/blank

    Question

  • The problem has aroused suddenly and without apparent explanation.
    I was just adding a shortcut to the start menu (via the AppData way) and then
    suddenly the start screen became empty, even without the drawing. The start
    screen didn't feature any icons, just the plain colour (but the lateral bars
    work correctly).<o:p></o:p>

    You can search for Applications, but they won't appear
    (only the number of results), and without the title. The fact is also that you
    can access the "all apps" right clicking the start menu, but it may
    be empty. This behaviour is repeated on safe mode - but there you can see, at
    least at boot up, "Start" and your username - and access it's options
    -.<o:p></o:p>

    I am not willing to reformat this pc again, already
    did once because of the amazing Update feature from Windows 7 to Windows 8 that
    was completely * because of drivers problems. I have a pair of ideas, but so far
    have not been able to prove them:<o:p></o:p>

    a) It might be able a problem of Icon Cache
    corruption, having observed the way it Works - looks for changes on the files
    on the start menu folder -. Even though, I don't know where to find this file.<o:p></o:p>

    b) Less probably, but it might be an error regarding
    file permissions. I personally doubt this one as running explorer using
    Administrative permissions doesn't solve the problem.<o:p></o:p>

    As a side note I must note that there are not any
    Event Logs regarding this, so I am completely clueless.<o:p></o:p>



    • Edited by yushir Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:48 PM
    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:48 PM

Answers

  • It appears i have solved it myself. Simply go to C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and delete everything there except for the Startup folder. The icons and programs will magically reappear.

    I guess it's maybe part of some old code that's still on the explorer program. @Employees: You should notify it, if this is true it might become a major problem for every user out there.

    • Marked as answer by yushir Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:01 AM
    Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:01 AM

All replies

  • It appears i have solved it myself. Simply go to C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and delete everything there except for the Startup folder. The icons and programs will magically reappear.

    I guess it's maybe part of some old code that's still on the explorer program. @Employees: You should notify it, if this is true it might become a major problem for every user out there.

    • Marked as answer by yushir Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:01 AM
    Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:01 AM
  • Thank you for this, been searching and trying to figure this out out for 2 days. This has occurred on both my and my wife's laptops. Both are running Windows 8 Pro x64.

    "Sadly most places want the Porche fastness and reliablity, but only pay for a used 74 pinto, then they are "Shocked" that it wont run, and blame the IT guy"

    Saturday, October 27, 2012 11:30 PM
  • It appears i have solved it myself. Simply go to C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and delete everything there except for the Startup folder. The icons and programs will magically reappear.

    I guess it's maybe part of some old code that's still on the explorer program. @Employees: You should notify it, if this is true it might become a major problem for every user out there.


    Didn't work for me...
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 3:27 AM
  • Thanks - this worked for me also just now on Windows 8 Pro 64 bit.

    Microsoft will hopefully fix this odd bug as the Start Screen is pretty fundamental to Windows 8.

    I must say that on the whole Windows 8 has been very good and solid - lots of improvements behind the scenes.

    Ben

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 7:26 PM
  • I just deleted these folders as you suggested. Pressed the Start button. Start screen is still blank.
    Friday, July 26, 2013 12:12 AM
  • same for me
    Saturday, August 31, 2013 3:10 PM
  • It appears i have solved it myself. Simply go to C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and delete everything there except for the Startup folder. The icons and programs will magically reappear.

    I guess it's maybe part of some old code that's still on the explorer program. @Employees: You should notify it, if this is true it might become a major problem for every user out there.


    Thanks a lot, this worked for me (Windows 8 Enterprise x64). Just a quick note: I did not delete the files, just cut them to another folder, checked start menu and it appeared, then replaced the files I had cut, and the start menu was back to how it was before the incident occurred! Cheers! :-)
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:05 AM
  • This just happened to be on Win 8.1 x64. The search capability was broken also, so I couldn't start ANY apps via the start screen. Cutting and pasting as described in other posts worked to restore them.

    Given that search was broken, I would view this as a critical problem if I were MSFT, since they are forcing the search stuff on us now. Many users probably won't know to dig into %userprofile% and will think they lost all their apps or worse...

    Thursday, January 16, 2014 1:37 PM
  • I had the same problem - just found a fix on http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ that worked for me -

    Open an administrative command line by opening the power users menu (Windows Key + X) and selecting "Command Prompt (Admin)". Type the following commands. Each command is on a separate line:

    del %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\appsFolder.itemdata-ms
    del %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\appsFolder.itemdata-ms.bak
    tskill explorer

    This will reset your Start screen back to default settings.

    Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:02 PM
  • Thanks, this worked for me :)
    Saturday, September 13, 2014 9:26 AM