With Windows 10 Microsoft migrated to a database-ish solution for indexing programs in search and the start menu, rather than just using a /startmenu/ directory. AFAIK the exact implementation is still pretty unclear, but there is something along those lines.

Updating from 8.1 to 10 causes it to migrate everything from /startmenu/ to the new system, which ignoring issues such as a (seemingly arbitrary) cap of 500 applications, works fine.

However this failed for me, and from googling seems to be an issue from upgrading with an older dev build, which then carried on to RTM.

So does anyone know a way to force a rebuild/re-index of the program library? Rebuilding the system wide index through control panel (also in <=8.1) has no effect.


Unfortunately, Windows doesn't auto update the start menu as the coding had to be re-written to allow for apps to to be shown (which is also why folder hierarchy is no longer recognized).

It appears Windows 10 doesn't add the two start menu folders to the index by default and you will need to add them for changes (especially those manually made) to be shown. %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu & %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Once added to the Index, you will need to perform a rebuild of the index which will take several hours to several days depending on use, as the rebuild occurs when the PC is idle. Re-indexing is resource intensive, and while you can force it to reindex while you're using the PC, without a substantial amount of RAM installed and a substantially fast processor, you will notice severe lag.

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    I just rebuilt my index and it took 15 minutes without any noticeable impact on performances. How many millions of files do you have ? – Hey Jul 5 '17 at 16:37
  • My outlook pst's are several GB in size, and I also have non-standard locations set for indexing. – JW0914 Aug 28 '17 at 21:58

I've been having some issues with the start menu index as well.

I'm trying out these steps to force the index to rebuild:

Right-click start menu -> Control Panel -> Indexing Options -> Advanced -> Rebuild

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    Afraid not, doesn't seem to effect the new start menu indexing – Kaelan Fouwels Aug 15 '15 at 13:11

There is a possibility that the permissions on Windows Search Directories were affected during the upgrade to Windows 10. I may have a solution to try. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Troubleshooting
  2. In the search box (top right of Troubleshooting window) type indexing
  3. Select Search and Indexing
  4. Click Next
  5. Select My problem isn't listed above and click Next
  6. Enter a description of the problem (or leave it blank and all possibilities will be tested) and click next
  7. If the option appears, select Try troubleshooting as an administrator
  8. The scan begins to address the issue

Once the issue is corrected return to Indexing Options in Control panel to rebuild it (Control Panel > Indexing Options > Advanced > Rebuild)

  • Did so and re-indexed everything, but still no dice. This would make sense but doesn't seem to be it... – Kaelan Fouwels Aug 21 '15 at 13:36
  • Some windows settings shortcuts on the start menu stopped working for my user account but worked for another user account on the machine after upgrading from windows 8.1 to windows 10. Followed these steps and all sorted now. – Matt Feb 22 '16 at 12:28

For everyone who have this "problem", a simple reboot could also do the trick.

  • Tried rebuild index
  • Tried repair


Did a reboot, .... Magic

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    That's the Microsoft way, since 1980 or so. – user184411 Jan 12 '17 at 4:35
  • 1
    The reboot in-and-of itself did not fix the problem, forcing a rebuild of the Index did. Certain indexed areas may not update without a reboot (or, more likely, a restart of explorer.exe and ending the DWM process, of which repopulates with the updated index). Rebuilding the Index normally takes substantial time (24hrs+ for me since I have a fairly large Outlook Archive PST), and unfortunately, Microsoft decided it was going to completely re-write how the start menu folders work, seeming to forget millions of software developers have no way, or it's flat out impractical, to adjust to that. – JW0914 Aug 4 '17 at 0:42

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