Windows can be maddening at times, with each update bringing its own set of bugs, issues, and vulnerabilities. Often important features disappear after a problematic update, making it difficult to get the most out of your computer. So, if you’re looking to restore some important Windows 10 features, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we are going to show you exactly how to restore crucial features and user interface elements that might have gone missing from your Windows 10 PC due to an update gone wrong.

Restore missing UI features in Windows 10

Note that some of these features may also disappear after changes to basic settings or after installing certain third-party Windows software. Some of these features are also “hidden” by design when your PC is in tablet mode. Either way, here’s how you can recover some of the most important user interface elements when they disappear in Windows 10.

1. Restore Missing Start Menu in Windows 10

The Start menu is hidden by default in tablet mode. To retrieve it, you need to switch to desktop mode. To do this, first tap/click the ‘Notification’ icon on the far right of your taskbar, right next to the clock.

Now switch to desktop mode by tapping/clicking on the “Tablet mode” thumbnail, as shown in the screenshot below.

Although the above method should work in most cases, it will not help if the Start menu is corrupted. To resolve this issue, you need to re-register the Start menu via PowerShell. For that, open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and click File > Run New Task.

In the popup box, type ‘powershell.exe’ (without the quotes) and check the box that says “Create this task with administrative privileges”. Now press “OK”. Note that you must run PowerShell with administrator privilege for this to work.

In the PowerShell window, copy+paste the following code and press Enter:

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

To finish, restart your computer and you should get your Start menu back.

2. Restore Missing Recycle Bin in Windows 10

The Recycle Bin is another one of those UI elements that aren’t available in tablet mode, so you can get it back by switching to desktop mode as described above. If it’s still not visible, go to Start > Settings.

Now select ‘System’ as seen in the image below.

Now click on ‘Tablet Mode’ on the right pane and Disable “Hide app icons on taskbar in tablet mode”. This should restore the Recycle Bin to your desktop taskbar.

To restore the Recycle Bin icon to the desktop itself, go to Start > Settings as described above. Now click on ‘Personalization’.

Now select a theme in the left pane and click on “Desktop icon settings” down the window.

In the resulting pop-up window, select Recycle Bin (and any other desktop icons you want) and click “Apply” or “OK” to apply the new setting.

You should now have the Recycle Bin icon on your Windows 10 desktop.

3. Restore Missing Search Bar in Windows 10

The search bar next to the Start button can sometimes disappear due to faulty settings. To restore it, right-click on the taskbar and check Search > Show search box.

That’s it! The search bar should be immediately visible next to the Start button.

4. Restore Missing File Explorer in Windows 10

the File Explorer can sometimes also disappear, taking the entire desktop with it, including all open windows, taskbar, Start button, desktop icons and more. To restore it, open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and click File > Run New Task (as described in [1] above).

Now type ‘explorer.exe’ (without quotes) in the pop-up window. Make sure you check the option to create the task with administrator privileges before pressing “OK” or Enter.

You should immediately recover your full desktop experience without having to restart your PC.

5. Restore Missing Taskbar in Windows 10

If you don’t see the taskbar, just check if it’s just hidden. To do this, move the mouse pointer to the bottom of your screen. If the taskbar appears, check the option that says “Lock the taskbar”. If you don’t see the option here, click “Taskbar Settings”.

In the next window (you can also access it from Settings > Personalization > Taskbar), you will find the option to lock your taskbar. Toggle the option to “On”, as shown in the screenshot below. You also need to disable “Auto-hide taskbar in desktop mode” and “Auto-hide taskbar in tablet mode”.

The taskbar can also sometimes disappear if there is a problem with File Explorer. In this case, restart File Explorer (as described in [4] above) should solve the problem.

6. Restore missing notification area icons in Windows 10

If the icons in the lower right notification area, including clock, volume, network, etc., disappear, they can be restored quite easily. To do this, go to “Taskbar Settings” (as described in [5] above), scroll down and click “Enable or disable system icons”.

Now enable all the icons you want in the taskbar notification area and disable anything you don’t.

If the icon you want to restore is not listed above, go back using the back arrow in the upper left corner of your window and choose “Select the icons that appear in the taskbar”. You will hopefully find your icon there.

7. Restore any built-in Windows tool using System File Checker

In rare cases, the methods described above may not work, or you may wish to restore functionality that cannot be easily restored. In such cases, you should run the System File Checker (SFC) to see if any of the critical system files are corrupted.

To do this, first open task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) File > Run new task (as described in [1] above). Now type cmd.exe and check the box “Create this task with administrative privileges”. Now press Enter.

This should open the command prompt as shown in the screenshot below. Type the following code and press Enter:

sfc /scannow

The SFC tool should automatically replace the corrupted system files with the original files. It will also notify you of any integrity violations after the check is complete. Note that this is a nuclear option that should restore functionality, but it will be the default for that particular build without any customization.

Easily Restore Missing UI Elements in Windows 10

With our tutorial above, you can easily restore missing features and user interface elements to your Windows 10 PC. So, if your computer is missing one or more of the familiar Windows 10 features, try the methods listed below. above and let us know your experience in the comments below.