11 Effective Solutions for Windows 11 Taskbar Icons Missing

Windows 11 has arrived, and while it offers a great user experience, it also comes with its fair share of issues. One common problem that users have reported is missing taskbar icons. This can be quite frustrating, as it makes it difficult to launch apps quickly. But don't worry, we've got you covered. In this article, we will explore 11 effective solutions to fix the taskbar icons missing error in Windows 11.

1. Repin Icons

If you notice that only a few specific app icons are missing from the taskbar, you can try repinning them. To do this, search for the app in Windows Search (press Windows+S), right-click on the app name, and select “Pin to taskbar.” If the app is already pinned, you can try unpinning it and then repinning it again to see if that helps.

pin app icons to taskbar on windows 11

2. Restart Windows Explorer

Sometimes, simply restarting Windows Explorer can resolve the issue. To do this, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager, find “Windows Explorer” under the Name column, right-click on it, and select “Restart.” Please note that this will close all apps abruptly, so make sure to save your work and close all apps before doing this.

restart windows explorer via task bar in windows 11

3. Rebuild Icon Cache

Windows creates cache versions of app icons to load them faster. However, corrupt cache files can cause the taskbar icons to go missing. To fix this, you can rebuild the icon cache files. Open the Command Prompt with admin rights and execute the following commands one by one:

cd /d %userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsExplorer
attrib –h iconcache_.db
del iconcache_.db start explorer

After executing these commands, reboot your computer to allow Windows 11 to recreate the icon cache files if necessary.

4. Re-Register Taskbar

If the taskbar is not functioning properly, you can try re-registering it with the operating system. Open the Command Prompt with admin rights and execute the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}

If you encounter an error, you can try the following command instead:

Get-appxpackage -all shellexperience -packagetype bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “appxmetadataappxbundlemanifest.xml”)}

After executing the command, press Windows+E to open File Explorer and navigate to the following file location: C:/Users/%username%/AppData/Local/. If you can't find the folder or see an error, make sure to enable “Hidden items” in the View menu. Delete the TileDataLayer file if it exists and reboot your computer to check if the taskbar icons are visible now.

5. Disk Cleanup Tool

Cleaning up your disk storage can help fix common errors like missing taskbar icons. Open the Disk Cleanup Tool with admin rights, select the drive where you have installed Windows 11, and click on “Clean up system files” to begin the cleanup process. After the process is completed, minimize all windows to see if the app icons are visible on the taskbar.

6. Update, Reinstall, or Rollback Display Drivers

Faulty display drivers can cause display errors, including missing taskbar icons. Make sure to update, reinstall, or rollback your display drivers to ensure they are functioning properly. You can find detailed instructions on how to update drivers in our extensive guide on drivers. Focus on the display drivers and graphics card drivers in the Device Manager.

7. Delete IconStreams Registry

Editing the Registry Editor can help fix issues related to missing taskbar icons. However, it is important to take a backup of the Registry Editor before making any changes. Open the Registry Editor with admin rights, use the Find menu to search for “iconstreams,” and delete the file. Repeat this process for the “pasticonstreams” file. Reboot your computer, and the two files will be recreated automatically.

8. Run Microsoft Store Troubleshooter

Windows comes with built-in troubleshooters to fix common problems. If you think that only icons of apps installed via the Microsoft Store are missing, you can run the Microsoft Store troubleshooter. Open Settings, search for “Find and fix problems with Windows Store apps,” and follow the on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter.

9. Scan for Malware or Virus

Malware or viruses can also cause issues with the taskbar icons. Make sure to perform a full scan using Microsoft Defender or a reliable antivirus app like Malwarebytes to detect and remove any potential threats.

10. Update Windows

Sometimes, a recent Windows update can cause issues like missing taskbar icons. Make sure to check for updates and install any available updates to fix the problem. If you are using an Insider Preview build, check if there is an update that addresses the reported issue.

11. Uninstall Updates

If you suspect that recently installed updates are responsible for the missing icons, you can uninstall them. Open Settings, go to Update history, and click on “Uninstall updates.” You will see a list of recently installed updates. If you are unsure which update caused the issue, you can search for the KB number on Google and Microsoft Support forums to gather more information. Uninstall the updates starting from the latest one.

Windows 11 is an incredible operating system loved by users worldwide. The taskbar is a crucial feature that allows us to quickly access our favorite apps. If you prefer the Windows 10 Start menu and taskbar, you can bring it back to Windows 11. Alternatively, if you are experiencing a missing taskbar, we have covered that issue as well.

Remember to try these solutions one by one until you find the one that works for you. Hopefully, these fixes will help you resolve the taskbar icons missing error in Windows 11 and improve your overall user experience.