Some Win32 apps missing from Start menu "All Programs" list and search

I have a screenshot here where Outlook 2013 is not appearing on the Windows 10 "All Programs" menu on Start.

This is one of many examples that I have.  I have many other programs that are missing.  Which specific programs are missing seems to be random, most of them are there but maybe 10-15% are not.

Programs that are missing also do not show up in search results on the Start menu.  If I try to pin them to Start from File Explorer, that doesn't work either.

All in all, this is pretty annoying.  For apps that don't appear on Start, the only way for me to launch them (aside from pinning them to the taskbar) is to find a shortcut in File Explorer and launch it from there.

I've tried resetting the Windows Search index, and I've made sure that the "Start Menu" folder is included in the index.  Not sure what else to do.

Any ideas?  Thanks.

 

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Last updated October 21, 2019 Views 61,429 Applies to:

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There's no such thing as "useless shortcut".

My menu (w7) was perfectly organized with all i needed and no more.

Of course, now all the additional shortcuts that were installed together with a program (i refuse to use the word "app"), as documents, uninstall and so on are 'redundant', thanks MS policy of not being able to think forward.

Anyway, beside the horrible and childish design (the one responsible for not being able to foresee the problems the migration will have generated should be kicked out of the company) of current start-menu version, the problem is within the database handling it.
There's no 'delete shortcuts and cross your fingers" solution to this.
The solution is in MS fixing the DB issue (and maybe reintroduce the menu hierarchy as it used to be).

Or, to shell out 5$ and buy Start10, wich is by far the most functional and elegant solution to the problem (and, yes, StarDock do *deserve* to get those money, even more - i took the chance to buy ObjectDock too). And, yes, install "Everything" too, as a good measure.

Waiting for a fix from MS, after 25 pages of discussion and months before the release of W10 (the bug was already known) is like waiting for snow in sicily during august.
Won't happen any soon.

C.

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Every day I pinch myself to check if I'm in some horrible post-apocalyptic MS nightmare, where they really don't care about power/desktop users anymore.  Where is the hotfix?  (hell, where is the fix??).

And I keep being reminded about how bad their search is in general - another example, I search for something in Explorer on a drive.  I double-click a folder from the search result, then choose to go back (to the search).  Now the entire search needs to repopulate itself, taking 10+secs (often much longer eg. when searching a whole drive) and I'm twiddling my thumbs.  Why was the search not cached??

I think at this point someone should use the Everything technology and just replace the entire search functionality, ie. integrate it into Explorer and add Start and settings shortcut searching to it.  If possible, integrate it into all the existing OS UI so it just replaces the MS version.  It would sell like hot cakes and show MS how it's done.

As I said, I've been using Everything (and a similar app before) for years, but it's not great for searching shortcuts.  Yes you can type "<something> .lnk" but it's so much more clumsy for this (for everything else it's a dream).

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So since I learned about this issue a couple weeks ago, I've been in regular contact with a friend at Microsoft.

Here's the latest from them: MS are aware of the issue and are definitely working on fixing it, but apparently changing the size of the data structure caused a number of unforeseen cascading changes.

For reasoning on why the database exists, this friend says it's mostly for search indexing, which I suppose makes some sort of sense.

Personally I'm very curious about who OK'd a 512 limit on the start menu. The one place where literally all the shortcuts go.

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My uncle who works at Nintendo said they've been testing a fix for 6 weeks now: 
https://twitter.com/aruntalkstech/status/627032779302178817
https://twitter.com/aruntalkstech/status/640589586394058752

apparently changing the size of the data structure caused a number of unforeseen cascading changes

Thanks for this, I needed a good laugh today.

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What a disaster...No matter what you do to reset the start menu (ex: create a new user and migrate profile), once you pass the "512apps limit" it breaks the start menu anyway: Some apps will randomly disappear, you won't be able to pin anything that is outside the start menu (ex: desktop folders), and you won't be able to pin anything from explorer via "pin to start" context menu. It will only allow to pin the apps appearing in start menu "all apps" and you can pin only from there.

Even if you reduce the number of links/apps, by moving an entire folder outside of the start menu (or deleting useless links), somehow, the start menu won't "update" : the apps/shortcuts (even moved elsewhere) will still appear there (off course with a blank icon + unclickable because you moved/deleted them).

It has nothing to see with the search in my opinion, but it is due to the poor 512apps limitation, and how windows handles the tiledatalayer database (or the tile data server service...) : it won't reset or change once it's broken...

So, the best workaround for now, is :
1. Reduce the number of links/apps (by moving some folders, or deleting useless shortcuts)

2. Delete the Tiledatalayer/database folder, to force the start menu to "reset" : after a restart and a moment, it will "reconstruct" itself, and all apps (if less than 512) will reappear, less the store and window native apps (see step3 for that). This folder is situated in  "your user name"/appdata/local/tiledatalayer, but its a bit tricky to delete, you need do it in a few steps : 

-first you need to open task manager and go down to windows processes, leave it open on the side. 

-then you delete the database folder, but it will state "the file...is in use"

-so in task manager under windows processes, end  "appmodel task" (click  yes/ shutdown blabla... it won't shutdown in fact.)

-finally you click retry and the folder will be deleted.

Restart your computer and wait for a while, your start menu "all apps" will re-populate.

3. Re-deploy store apps, so they appear again in start menu.  For that, open a PowerShell window as Administrator. Copy and paste the following line into the PowerShell window and press Enter:

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

4. All your apps are back, however all your pinned apps will be reset (the right panel will be empty) so you need to re-pin everything that you want. Personnaly I did a screen capture before, to remember what I pinned and where (use the "snipping tool" in startmenu/windows accessories, with a delay to be able to open the start menu before the capture)

5. Optional step, backup the tiledatalayer folder. In case your start menu breaks again you'll just have to restore it (to be able to copy the folder and/or restore it, see step 2 and taskmanager trick for that)

Until it get fixed, hope it helps someone...

PS : Creating a new user profile is not a very good option and can be a real disaster, as the user SID in registry will be a different one, it means you can break all your security/permissions (if you delete the first user profile and data). So - very important- in case you're a real kamikaze and want to do that,  before deleting the original/migrated profile, go in the registry, under "HKLM/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/ProfileList/S-1-5-xx-xxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxx/" , note the last 4 digits of your original profile (usually user SID finishes by -1001 if you did a clean install). After the migration you'll have to change the new profile SID by replacing with the original user SID. I guess there is plenty of topics explaining better than me how to migrate a profile in a good way...imho my solution is much less dangerous.

edit: copying the tiledatalayer database from a newly created user is another option, but due to the new user SID, the file permissions would be changed (to different SID or "account unknown" if you deleted that new profile)

This method seems to be working fine for me. :-)

I got all my installed applications in the start menu (almost all are marked "new") and I can now pin shortcuts.

Thanks.

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You can remove the "new" markers by right clicking the app shortcuts in 'All Apps'. 

Also, creating a new user profile can be an effective way to rename the TileDataLayer database of your original user account. However, it should only be used for this purpose, and once the issue is fixed, the profile should be removed for reasons stated above.

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I think the only "fix" for the start menu problem until Microsoft "fixes it" is a third party solution like Start10 from Stardock or Start 8 from IObit. There are probably other solutions out there. All these tricks that have suggested on the forum have not solved the issue for 99 percent of the users.

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It's interesting that people are finding that the Start menu 'works' again after they reduce the item count below 512. This doesn't work for everyone however. I had about 480 items on my Start menu, but I still had this problem. I reduced the count even further and I still have lots of things just not showing up, and I can't pin stuff.

I've resorted to Start10, which works pretty well. I've got it configured to a bit of a Win7/Win10 hybrid.

I'll be reasonably happy when MS get round to fixing this. But I won't be fully happy until the All Apps brings back the properly nested folder structure that has been a vital part of the Start menu for 20 years since Win95.

Oh, and MS really should communicate to App developers that they really do need to stop cluttering the Start menu. There is 100% no need for apps to install a link to their own uninstallers, and 1,001 documentation files. The latter really should be linked from within the app.

</Slugsie>

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Thanks for sharing.

I've found that one of my programs took around 300 shortcuts.

I just remove it and follow your method.

It works!

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I'm considering posting a link to Start10 in the feedback site as an released solution to the problem. There's word that they had fixed it in the fast loop but as stated earlier, "it caused unforeseen problems." No we that I'm going to risk that on any production machines.

I think the only "fix" for the start menu problem until Microsoft "fixes it" is a third party solution like Start10 from Stardock or Start 8 from IObit. There are probably other solutions out there. All these tricks that have suggested on the forum have not solved the issue for 99 percent of the users.

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