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File Explorer Icon Missing from Start Menu Windows 10

Normally, Windows 10 File Explorer icon is displayed on the Start menu as well as on the taskbar by default, so you can quickly go to File Explorer from the Start menu or taskbar. However, occasionally, the File Explorer icon is missing from Windows 10 Start menu, so that you have to open File Explorer using other methods. This would be inconvenient to you. Now this post will show you how to restore missing File Explorer to Windows 10 Start menu.

Part 1: How to restore missing File Explorer back to Windows 10 Start menu

Step 1: Open the Settings app, and then click Personalization.

Step 2: On the Personalization page, click Start on the left-side pane, and then click the link ''Choose which folders appear on Start''.

Choose which folders appear on Start

Step 3: Switch the toggle button under ''File Explorer'' to ''On'' position. This will make the File Explorer icon appear on the Start menu.

Switch to On

While following the steps above to restore the missing File Explorer icon back to Windows 10 Start menu, if you find the File Explorer option in Settings is grey out and unavailable, as shown in the screenshot below, you need to enable it with the methods in the Part 2.

File Explorer grey out

Part 2: What if the File Explorer option is grey out

To enable the File Explorer option, you need to firstly check the ''Start Menu Places'' folder.

Step 1: Navigate to the ''C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places'' folder. If you can’t see the ''ProgramData'' folder, show hidden files and folders in Windows 10.

Alternatively, you can quickly go to the ''Start Menu Places'' folder by running ''C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places'' in the Run (Win + R) dialog box.

Type path in Run box

Step 2: Check if the File Explorer shortcut is in the ''Start Menu Places'' folder. If the shortcut exists in the ''Start Menu Places'' folder, but the File Explorer icon is missing from Windows 10 Start menu, fix the problem with method 1. If the File Explorer shortcut is missing in the ''Start Menu Places'' folder, get it back with method 2.

Method 1: Remove and then restore File Explorer shortcut to Start Menu Places folder

Step 1: Move the existing File Explorer shortcut from the ''Start Menu Places'' folder to the Recycle Bin, and don’t empty the Recycle Bin.

Step 2: Restore the File Explorer shortcut from the Recycle Bin back to the ''Start Menu Places'' folder. Then the File Explorer option in Settings will be available, so you can the toggle button to ''On'' position to get the missing File Explorer icon back to Windows 10 Start menu.

Method 2: Get back missing File Explorer shortcut to Start Menu Places folder

Step 1: Create a File Explorer shortcut

1. Right click on Windows 10 desktop, then point to New and select Shortcut.

New shortcut

2. Type %windir%\explorer.exe in the box, and click Next.

Type the location of File Explorer

3. Name the shortcut ''File Explorer'', and click Finish. This will create a File Explorer shortcut on your desktop.

Type File Explorer

Step 2: Add File Explorer shortcut to Start Menu Places folder

1. Open the ''Start Menu Places'' folder, move the previously created File Explorer shortcut from the desktop to the ''Start Menu Places'' folder.

Add File Explorer shortcut to Start Menu Places folder

2. If prompted with the ''Destination Folder Access Denied'' dialog, just need to click ''Continue'' to confirm it.

Click Continue

After the File Explorer shortcut is added to the Start Menu Places folder, the File Explorer option in Settings is enabled and available. Switch the toggle button under File Explorer to On possition so that the missing File Explorer icon can be restored back to Windows 10 Start menu.