I have my Start Menu completely damaged after upgrading to Windows 10. Some items are absent another ones are wrong or unneeded.

You can search my other questions for proofs if you don't believe.

The question is how to add my needed items to start menu in bulk? I am not interested in by-one solutions, like reinstalling programs (imagine you yourself reinstall dozens of programs just to put them into menu).

Suppose I have StartMenu folder somewhere in the disk, full of subfolders and LNK files. Now, how to remove ALL current items from my Main Menu and put all links and submenus from StartMenu folder into my Main Menu?

  • What do you mean by parasitic version, what happens when you open it?
    – MC10
    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:41
  • Some reduced read-only version of OneNote opens, which does not show my notebooks
    – Dims
    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:43

4 Answers 4


(Edit: This answer mostly relates to Windows 10 prior to Version 1511.)

The Windows 10 Start menu has several known bugs. You might have run against the particularly noxious bug limiting the total number of entries to 512. That's not 512 applications, by the way - that's 512 items in total, including apps, folders, files and shortcuts. (EDIT: starting with Version 1511 Microsoft has significantly increased this limit.)

The best solution, in my opinion, is not to fight against these bugs, since you really have no other option than wait for a fix from Microsoft. Instead, until Microsoft gets its act together, replace its Start menu with a third-party one. The top contenders are :

Otherwise, here is a list of workarounds for the Microsoft one :

  1. Rebuild the search index by going to Control Panel / Indexing Options / Advanced and using the Rebuild button.
  2. Reset the Start menu layout by opening an elevated command prompt, exit Explorer, delete the Start menu database at %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\appsFolder.menu.itemdata-ms and run Explorer again. (EDIT: this file no longer exists in newer versions of Windows 10.)
  3. Ensure your Windows 10 Start Menu does not exceed 512 items by reducing the number of indexed locations
  4. Reinstall all applications, by entering in Powershell as Administrator
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
  5. Try a new user account, since your profile might be damaged

Even if one of the workarounds works for you, the bug can hit again at any time. The only lasting solution is to use a more stable Start menu replacement.

  • If I use Start10, will I be able to restore my apps in bulk?
    – Dims
    Oct 17, 2015 at 11:30
  • Nevermind! Classic Shell seemed perfect! :)
    – Dims
    Oct 17, 2015 at 11:37
  • @harrymc - It does not really change your answer but starting with Version 1511 Microsoft increased the limited on the number of items significantly.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:01
  • @Ramhound: Thanks - I have added your remark in the text.
    – harrymc
    Dec 4, 2015 at 20:42

To "refresh" the Start Menu, follow these steps:

  1. Open the "Run command" window by pressing WIN+R.
    (i.e. hold down the Windows key and then press R.)
  2. Type "cmd" at the prompt, and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the command prompt to open.
    (It will be a flashing cursor block.)
  4. At the command prompt, type this:
    taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
    You should notice these all vanish: Start Menu, Taskbar, any open File Explorer windows.
  5. Type this at the command prompt:
    Now those components should all load back in.
  6. Close the command prompt and try the Start Menu. Hopefully it should have refreshed.
  • Make sure to get the command prompt and not just paste the taskkill into Run, since Win+R won't work afterwards. I regained my command prompt by right-clicking a tab in Notepad++.
    – Noumenon
    Dec 2, 2018 at 19:51
  • @Noumenon Also, the infamous Ctrl+Alt+Del allows you to launch Task Manager, in which you'l find a "Run Mew Task" menu option...
    – manuell
    Oct 29, 2019 at 12:54
  • This just closes explorer, same result as restarting the PC which is way easier for average people. Ctrl+Shift+Right-click open Taskbar area has Exit Explorer
    – gregg
    Nov 18, 2019 at 20:59

You can find 'start menu' under: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

You can also set default 'Apps' at: Settings -> System -> 'Default apps'

  • 3
    Yes, I can finde something in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, but the content of this folder is not correspond with the content of visually presented items. For example, this folder contains my actual OneNote link, which is not presented when I am entering my search
    – Dims
    Aug 14, 2015 at 15:32

You could uninstall the application as a whole. You wont be able to do so in the app manager, it's grayed out.

You need to open a powershell as admin and type this in

Remove-AppxPackage Microsoft.Office.OneNote_17.6027.10021.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

if this one doesn't work try this

Remove-AppxPackage Microsoft.Office.OneNote_17.4027.10061.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

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