Not sure when this started happening but some time after upgrading to Windows 10 I noticed some of my search results were not showing up with what I wanted. For instance, when I searched for Word 2013 or Skype, I did not get any results. I decided to investigate and tried rebuilding the indexing file and moving it to a new location but it made no difference.

So I checked my start menu and manually tried looking for the shortcuts only to discover that they strangely weren't there. Also notice how some of my tiles have suddenly disappeared.

http://i.imgur.com/yykTvmX.png

Strangely enough when I browse the actual location of the start menu folder, the shortcut for Word and Powerpoint are there.

http://i.imgur.com/igHOwjo.png

I've checked that none of the folders/shortcuts are hidden or read-only and that the files/folders have sufficient permissions via the Security tab.

Any ideas how to solve this?

up vote 3 down vote accepted

At the current moment the start menu is limited to 500 entries in the database. This also affects search and Cortana as they both rely on that DB.

There is currently no known fix other than going to your start menu folder and deleting links and folders to apps not used.

Edit: On 2015-09-19 they released a technical preview that lifted that limit to 2048, which is nice. It should be pushing out to Insiders and will trickle down to standard users soon enough.

Source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/review-windows-10-is-the-best-version-yet-once-the-bugs-get-fixed/

  • 5
    Thanks for that. What a ridiculous oversight by Microsoft honestly. – TheMaster Aug 11 '15 at 10:09
  • wow, these people at microsoft I can't understand them. – Dreaded semicolon Aug 14 '15 at 6:19
  • What's the source of that number? – Der Hochstapler Sep 3 '15 at 10:44
  • Added to the answer, Oliver. – Quinton M. Sep 3 '15 at 20:16

I had a similar problem after upgrading.
I was able to fix it by:

  • Going to Start Menu folder->Properties (%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu)
  • Selecting the "Hidden" option
  • Hit "Apply"
  • Select "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files" and hit OK
  • Unselect the "Hidden" option
  • Hit "Apply"
  • Select "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files" and hit OK

I'm not sure what caused Windows to see some as hidden and others not, but this reset the flags and everything is visible on the start menu, now.

  • 1
    Worked for me. Thanks! – nw. Sep 20 '16 at 19:59
  • 1
    It seems that Windows 10 hides all but the first 5-10 shortcuts in each sub-folder of the start menu, and this fixes that, although I suspect not for shortcuts added later. /edit: Spoke too soon. Windows re-hid them shortly after. – Jacob Feb 14 '17 at 12:59

I can confirm that this is a major flaw. Some people in Windows Forums are reporting that it happens to them with even less shortcuts/entries. We just have to hang tight for right now unless you want to explore third party options.

  • 1
    I can confirm that this is still happening for me. Apparently the powershell command Get-StartApps shows commands that are part of the start menu. Mine indicates that I've only got 192 items. Oddly, the shortcut I can't get to appear (LinqPad), DOES appear when using Get-StartApps. – Ben Randall MSFT Aug 3 '16 at 16:21

I've had issues with the new Win 10 start menu on several workstations after upgrading from Win 7. Here is a batch file I use to rebuild the start menu:

ResetWin10StartMenu.bat

@echo off
echo.
echo This will delete the TileDataLayer database to reset the Windows 10 Start Menu.
echo It may take a couple hours and a few reboots before the menu is automatically rebuilt.
echo All items pinned to start will have to be repinned once the menu returns to normal.

echo.
echo *** The Start Menu database will be backed up before being deleted ***
echo.
CHOICE /C DRC /M "Press D to Delete the database, R to Restore, or C to Cancel."

if errorlevel 3 goto end
if errorlevel 2 goto restoredata
if errorlevel 1 goto deletedata

:deletedata
taskkill /im explorer.exe /F
c:
cd c:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database
sc stop tiledatamodelsvc
md %userprofile%\desktop\StartMenuBackup
copy *.* %userprofile%\desktop\StartMenuBackup
del /q *.*
sc start tiledatamodelsvc
explorer.exe
goto end

:restoredata
taskkill /im explorer.exe /F
c:
cd c:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database
sc stop tiledatamodelsvc
copy %userprofile%\desktop\StartMenuBackup\*.*
sc start tiledatamodelsvc
explorer.exe
goto end

:end
exit 

Cleanup Cortana cache:

  • Kill explorer.exe and dllhost.exe
  • Delete %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\*
  • How is the Cortana cache connected to this problem? How does removing Cortana fix this problem? Because all that command will do is nuke the contents of the Cortana package directory which is a horrible idea and I consider it to be harmful advice. If you care about the stability of your system, and actually want Cortana to be installed, I do not suggest you follow the instructions in this answer. – Ramhound Aug 17 '17 at 23:26

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