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Using the start menu to search for applications and programs installed in C:\Program Files shows the entry in the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs but its icon is missing. This started occurring after I did a refresh of the Windows installation. Firefox shortcut not showing icon, but a copy of the .exe-file on Desktop showing an icon.

After testing, I found out that applications in the C:\Program Files (x86) do show their icons in the start menu. Picture of an application inside Program Files (x86). Inside the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs all of the entries appear to be correct, so it would seem like an issue with the Start menu and its indexing. Picture of the Start Menu/Programs folder.

This issue isn't critical, but I would like to be able to fix it and avoid it in the future. I will gladly provide more details upon request.

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C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs is the correct location for items in the start folder.

all of the entries [there] appear to be correct,

So I am not sure there is a problem to fix, but if you wish, it may be worth running DISM / SFC. DISM will correct errors if there are any. SFC just repairs any remaining files.

(1) Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
(2) DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /StartComponentCleanup
(3) DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth
(4) SFC /SCANNOW
(5) Restart when all the above is complete and test.

If DISM does not fix all the issues, then the next step is a Windows 10 Repair Install.

Go to the Windows Media Creation Link

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Windows 10/11 is running, so click on the Download button (not Upgrade Button) and select Run. This will launch the Repair. Proceed normally answering the prompts. The default Keep prompt is to Keep Everything.

Note that a basic Repair Install does not repair a damaged Windows User Profile which might be causing your error.

Repairs get much more aggressive if Keep Everything does not work.

If the User Profile is damaged, it is easier (IMHO) to back everything up and reinstall Windows.

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  • Using DISM and SFC seem to have fixed some corrupt file. However, the original issue still persists.
    – Jani
    Jul 27, 2022 at 13:06
  • The next step is a Windows 10 Repair Install. Start with Keep Everything. Answer amended.
    – John
    Jul 27, 2022 at 13:18
  • After having done the repair installation of Windows 10, I seem to have noticed a different pattern in the problem and how it occurs. It would seem like applications that had been installed prior to my first refresh of the Windows have no icon showing in the start menu if they are installed on the C: drive at all, whereas applications that have not been installed prior show their icon in the start menu regardless of their installation location.
    – Jani
    Jul 29, 2022 at 17:39
  • If the Keep Everything repair did not work, you likely have a User Profile issue (as I noted), and (although you can replace your User Profile) it is easier (IMHO) to back everything up and reinstall Windows.
    – John
    Jul 29, 2022 at 17:53
  • The suggestion on the last line proved to be the one that would fix this issue (along with some others). Unfortunately couldn't find any other solution for this particular issue anywhere.
    – Jani
    Aug 19, 2022 at 12:05

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