Troubleshooting & How-Tos

Invisible Taskbar Icons on Windows - But Only Microsoft Store Apps (Solved)

Somewhere during my attempts to fix a broken Google Drive install on my desktop,
the icons on my Windows Taskbar all disappeared. Not all of them actually…just the ones for programs installed through the Microsoft Store. I dug into that one, and found that it’s often fixed by…uninstalling Google Drive. *facepalm*

None of these fixed it for me, because Drive was the problem, but I’m collecting them here for future reference.

  • Unpinning and re-pinning the affected apps.
  • Uninstalling and re-installing the affected apps.
  • Clearing the icon and thumbnail caches. I used the command prompt:
    > taskkill /f /im explorer.exe to close explorer in case it’s using the files. (/f forces it to close, and /im tells it the next parameter is the program (or ‘image’) name)
    > cd C:\Users\<myname>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\
    > del icon* thumb*
    > start explorer.exe to launch explorer again.
  • Fixing corrupted files with DISM and SFC.
    > DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    > DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    Reboot.
    > sfc /scannow
    Reboot again.

Fortunately, once I finally got Drive properly uninstalled, it resolved this problem too – even after reinstalling a fresh copy of Drive.