Many of the apps and folders in my Windows 10 Start Menu appear "grayed-out" and I don't know why (see screenshot below).

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Some of the apps are from the Windows Store. When I open them, I sometimes (but not always) get an error message that says the app can't open (pictured below). Reinstalling the app from the Store usually fixes this issue. But this only happens with some of the Windows Store apps. Sometimes, they are grayed-out and they open just fine.

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Not all of the grayed-out apps are Windows Store apps. Some are just regular Windows programs (for example, "Access 2016" in the screenshot above). Also, some of the folders are grayed-out too (for example, "7-Zip" in the screenshot above). I can still click on them and launch them if they are grayed-out. They are just colored gray instead of the usual white.

The items that it chooses to gray-out seem to change randomly throughout the day. Everything is fine when I first turn on the computer, but they quickly start turning gray as the day goes by.

I've tried the solutions here and here, but they didn't work for me. Most of the sites I've visited seem to be focused on fixing the Windows Store apps in particular, and don't address the broader issue of random items being grayed out.

Some sites suggested doing a Windows reinstall, but that seems like overkill (and it may not solve the root cause).

I tried updating my video card drivers, but that had no effect.

My computer is only a few months old and came with Windows 10 pre-installed.

I'm running Windows 10 Pro version 1703 (OS Build 15063.540)

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  • Have you tried to create new user account on this PC and test to see the same issue?
    – Kattee Lee
    Sep 20, 2017 at 7:31
  • @KateLi Yep, it's happening on my other user accounts as well. It seems to get worse over the course of the day. When I first boot the computer up, everything is OK. Then, they all slowly turn gray. I've been logged on for about 1 hour now and about half of them are gray.
    – Michael
    Sep 20, 2017 at 14:12
  • So have you had an application that worked, turn gray, in that hour and half? Malware modifying the executable (encrypting it) would cause this sort of problem. If you go to the installation directory, are you able to still launch Access, if you navigate to the directory which contains the shortcut/executable and launch the application?
    – Ramhound
    Sep 20, 2017 at 15:24
  • @Ramhound I can still launch programs from the Start Menu if they are grayed-out. They are just colored gray instead of the usual white.
    – Michael
    Sep 20, 2017 at 15:57
  • Please run Winver to check the detailed build information and let me know.
    – Kattee Lee
    Sep 21, 2017 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


In the registry, delete all the sub-keys in this location:


Then reboot.

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Source: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sharepoint/en-US/9095e1a5-2f4f-43df-804b-e005792609e0/windows-store-apps-needs-repair?forum=win10itprogeneral


I don't have an "answer" per se, but I've been having this problem for 4 days now. My PC is a domain PC used remotely, logging on as a domain user. This started happening to me at the same time as my IT guy moved the domain controller at work, and my VPN connection (Dell SonicWALL Global VPN Client) would "connect" but I could not use Remote Desktop Connection, nor could I File Explorer browse to network resources. I thought it was unrelated until yesterday, when I was able to get on-site and inside the domain. I was able to tether with Ethernet, get healthy and stable RDC behavior, and lo and behold, my apps were white again, not gray. Now, today, back home and remote, same deal as before. Starts out with just a few, but now about half of my apps are grayed out. Originally I had two Windows Store apps that wouldn't open (Calculator and Weather), and I successfully reinstalled them from the store. All others are random and still launch even when gray. I suspect something going on with the Start Menu\Programs location or perhaps Microsoft registration somehow, but they're just hunches. I will be monitoring this blog as it is EXACTLY what is happening to me.


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