Some Windows 10 UWP icons not displaying on search, or in settings

For years I have faced this issue myself since the early days of Windows 10. Actually, after doing a lot of research, I figured out the main culprit of this issue and it was Google Drive File Stream which I have been using since it has been launched.

While doing my research the only solution to this issue I saw was Uninstalling Google Drive File Stream (GDFS). But as I heavily use that program on a daily basis, I simply couldn’t uninstall it. So, I looked for a solution where I can use GDFS and can also fix this broken icon issue. Finally, I saw this Reddit post and once I applied it, all the problem got resolved. So, today in this answer I will show you how you can fix the broken UWP icon on Windows Search issue while keeping GDFS installed.

  1. Run: regedt32.exe
  2. Navigate to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.png
  3. Look for a ShellEx key with at least one subkey. If you see any subkeys, you’ve probably found the culprit.
  4. Delete the subkeys.
  5. Right click on the shellex and click on permissions (Screenshots are given below)
  6. Under Groups or user names scroll down and select Administrators
  7. Under the permission section Deny for both Full Control and Read. Then click Apply and Ok.
  8. Restart your PC and if you have more than one monitor attached to your system, turn off the power of them. Only keep one monitor active.
  9. Once the PC restarts, in the windows, search type change resolution and the select the change resolution settings. It will take you to the appropriate settings page.
  10. On the settings page, under Scale and layout change your scale from 100% (or whatever is recommended on your system) to 125% (or higher/lower value than your recommended one).
  11. Once you change the scale, click on the search box again and search for UWP apps whose icons were broken before. You should see the icons are back to their normal state. If you don’t see that, again change the scale back to 100% and again increase it to 125%. Do it a couple of times as in some cases, it takes more than one try to make it happen. Every time you change the scale, go to search and check if the issue has been resolved or not. As soon as you see the issue is resolved, change the scale back to 100% or whatever was your recommended scale.

🎉 Problem Solved!!! 🎉

🛑 Some Special Note & Disclaimer

Though the above solution will fix the broken UWP icon issue while keeping Google Drive File Stream (GDFS) installed, but it will also bring a minor annoying issue. After this fix, you might see your computer is getting refreshed (as if you are pressing F5) randomly. Though this will not create any issue where you can’t do your work or something. But if you minimize everything in your desktop and keep looking at the screen with icons, you will definitely notice it.

Again, this is not going to slow down your system or hamper your work, but as I have seen it, I thought it is best to give this disclaimer. Currently, there is no way to fix this automatic refreshing issue or at least I am not aware of it. If anyone who is reading this answer come up with a solution to fix the refreshing issue, do let me know, I will update the answer.

I’ve also sent feedback to Google regarding this issue, but I guess many other people have also done it and as they haven’t fixed the problem yet, I’m not sure if they will ever do. But the best fix for this issue is something only Google can push.


📸 Screenshots of the above-mentioned steps


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