What to do if your Windows 10 App Store icon is missing

The sudden disappearance of the App Store icon in Windows 10 is one of the more random things you get to troubleshoot as an IT tech. One minute it’s there and working fine and the next there is a blank space where the icon should be and clicking it does nothing. So what are you supposed to do if your Windows 10 App Store icon is missing?

Sometimes, you might see an ‘@Microsoft’ link instead of an app entry as in the main image above. This was from my own PC that I had to troubleshoot this very problem recently, hence this tutorial.

While the lack of Windows 10 App Store should be a non-issue, it is so intrinsically linked to so many things within Windows 10 that it will inevitably affect other things too. It may affect Mail, Maps, News and even Windows Update. The whole download ecosystem is linked and a fault with one aspect of it can have knock-on effects on the other parts.

As always when troubleshooting Windows, try a full reboot first. It will often fix the majority of issues you come up against. If it doesn’t, read on.

Troubleshooting missing Windows 10 App Store icon

There are a few troubleshooting methods we can use to restore the App Store. The first thing to do if to check the icon cache. It may not be the App Store at all so this is a logical place to check. The icon cache is what Windows uses to display icons faster than looking them up all the time. If this gets corrupted, icons can disappear.

Usually, if the icon database is corrupt, other icons will also be affected but I have seen it where only Microsoft-related icons are missing. This makes it worth a check.

  1. Navigate to C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsExplorer.
  2. Select Shift and right click an empty space in the window.
  3. Select Open command window here.
  4. Right click the Windows taskbar and select Task Manager.
  5. Select Windows Explorer and End Task.
  6. Type ‘del iconcache*’ into the command window and hit Enter.
  7. Reboot your computer.

If resetting the icon database doesn’t work, we need to re-register the Store app. It may look complicated but is actually very straightforward. It requires Windows Firewall to be active so if you don’t use it, you will need to turn it on temporarily.

  1. Type ‘power’ into the Windows Search/Cortana bar and select Windows PowerShell.
  2. Type ‘Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}’ into the PowerShell window and hit Enter.
  3. Let the process complete.

You will see a lot of code scroll in the window. Most of it should be yellow on a green background like the image but some may be red. A little red text is fine but if the majority of it is red, recheck you have Windows Firewall turned on and retry.

Once complete, your Windows desktop should automatically refresh and the Windows 10 App Store icon should reappear. If you saw icons with the ‘@Microsoft’ entry, that should change to the app icon.

If nothing changes we should reset the store cache.

If you still have the PowerShell window open, type ‘wsreset.exe’ and hit Enter. Otherwise, use the Windows Key + R and type it in there. Once complete, the Windows Store should appear as a separate window and be fully working.

Both of these methods are very effective if your Windows 10 App Store icon is missing. The first rebuilds the Windows App Store database while the other flushes the cache and forces the App Store to begin again. In the vast majority of cases, either should be enough to fix your issue. If it doesn’t, the only other way I know of to address the issue is a system reset.

System reset when Windows 10 App Store icon is missing

A system reset is a last resort but will restore the Windows 10 App Store icon. It takes a little while but will reset your computer without deleting any of your files or folders. You will need your Windows 10 installation media if you use a desktop. If you use a laptop, you won’t as the recovery partition has all the data.

  1. Insert your Windows 10 installation media DVD or USB into your computer.
  2. Type ‘refresh’ into the Windows Search/Cortana box and select Reset this PC.
  3. Select the Keep my files option.
  4. Select Reset in the popup window.
  5. Allow the process to complete.

Depending on your computer, this could take as little as ten minutes or much longer. The end result should be a fully working computer complete with working Windows 10 App Store icon.

Know of any other ways to troubleshoot a missing Windows 10 App Store icon? Tell us about it below if you do!

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