7 Quick and Easy Ways to Restore Missing Windows Features

By | March 11, 2022

Learn how to recover your lost Windows features without stress or worry.

It’s both worrying and troublesome when important Windows features mysteriously disappear. This sometimes happens after a Windows update, when you install a program that changes your system settings, or after someone else uses your PC.

If your taskbar has disappeared, your Start Menu is gone, or your shutdown options are no longer available, don’t panic. We will explain the easiest way to recover lost Windows tools without needing to reset your computer.

Restore Search Bar (Search Bar)

The search bar next to the Start button in Windows 10 used to be integrated with Cortana. This means hiding Microsoft’s voice assistant causes it to disappear, and showing Cortana will bring it back.

Now that the two are separate, recovering a lost search bar has become even easier. Just right click an empty area on the taskbar and select Search > Show search box.

If it doesn’t work, right click the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. If option Use small taskbar buttons is set to On, turn it off to bring up the search box again.

Restore Taskbar

If your taskbar has disappeared, you must first make sure that it is not simply hidden. Move your mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen to see if it appears. If so, right-click the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.

Turn off option Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode. Activate Lock the taskbar to secure it in place.

If the taskbar does not appear, press the Button Windows + I to open the Windows Settings app. choose Personalization > Taskbar and turn off auto-hide option there.

The taskbar sometimes disappears if there is a problem with File Explorer. Restarting Explorer (explorer.exe) via Task Manager can fix this, without you needing to reboot your PC. This trick can also work if File Explorer itself disappears.

Since you cannot access Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar, open it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. On tab Processes, right click Windows Explorer and select Restart.

Restore Missing Taskbar Icons

If you can no longer see the clock, volume controls, network icons, and/or other useful icons on the taskbar, here’s how to re-enable them.

Right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings and scroll down to section Notification area. Click Turn system icons on or off and make sure that all the taskbar icons you need are selected in the list.

If the missing icon is not listed, click return to the previous screen and select Select which icons appear on the taskbar. Hope you find it and can activate it there.

return Start Menu

If your Start Menu does not appear when you click the Start button in Windows 10, there are two main possible causes.

The most common and easiest fix is ​​Windows in Tablet mode, which replaces the Start menu with touch-screen friendly tiles.

To switch back to desktop mode, click the notification icon next to the clock on your taskbar or press the Button Windows + A. When the Notifications pane opens, click fashion tablet to turn it off.

The second, more serious cause is a corrupted Start menu. You can fix this by re-registering the menu via PowerShell, which is accessible via Task Manager if the search box isn’t working or is available.

  • open Task Manager from the taskbar and click File > Run new task.
  • Type PowerShell in the Open field, select Create this task with administrative privileges and click OK.
  • When PowerShell opens, copy and paste the following, and press Enter:
Get-appxpackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “appxmetadataappxbundlemanifest.xml”)}
  • Restart your computer, and the Start menu should be restored.

Restore Recycle Bin

If the Recycle Bin icon has disappeared from your desktop, you will not be able to drag and drop files to delete them or recover deleted files. Here’s how to get it back.

open Start > Settings > Personalization or right click the desktop and select Personalize.

choose Themes in the left menu, scroll down, and click Desktop icon settings. Select the checkbox Recycle Bin and click OK or Apply.

If the checkbox is checked, Windows may be in Tablet mode, as discussed in the previous tip. It automatically hides desktop icons, including the Recycle Bin.

To display the Recycle Bin when in this mode, go to Start > Settings > System > Tablet > Change additional tablet settings. Turn off option Hide app icons on the taskbar in tablet mode.

return Power Options Missing

Clicking Power in the Start menu usually lets you restart or shut down your PC or put it into Sleep mode. If you see an empty box instead of that option or a message that says “There are currently no power options available”, there are several fixes to try.

Run the Power Troubleshooter

The simplest solution to get rid of the power option is to run the Windows 10 Power troubleshooter. Type troubleshooter in the Start menu search bar and click Troubleshoot settings.

When the Troubleshoot screen opens, click Additional troubleshooters, choose Power, and click Run the troubleshooter. Windows will then check for power issues and hopefully suggest a fix to apply (or apply it automatically).

Tweak Group Policy Editor

If you’re running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can recover lost power options via the Group Policy Editor.

  • Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu search bar and press Enter.
  • When the Group Policy Editor is open, go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.
  • In the right pane, select Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, and Hibernate commands.
  • choose Not Configured or Disabled, then click Apply and OK.

The Sleep, Restart, and Shut down options will then reappear in your Start menu without you needing to reboot your PC.

Edit Windows Registry

If you are using Windows 10 Home, there is a registry change that can restore power options (this also works in other editions of Windows). Type regedit in the Start menu search box and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer

Double click entry NoClose in the right pane (if any) and change the value from 1 to 0.

Return Button Disk Clean

The built-in Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 10 allows you to quickly delete junk files and free up space. But sometimes, the button is missing from the Drive properties.

To restore the Disk Cleanup key, open Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputer

Right click MyComputer, choose New > Key and call cleanuppath new key. Right click Default in the right pane and select Modify.

Type (or copy and paste) the following in the field Value data, then click OK:%SystemRoot%System32cleanmgr.exe /D %c

open This PC in File Explorer, right-click the drive and select Properties. The Disk Cleanup button is now available on the General tab.

What’s Lost Can Always Be Found

While it’s natural to worry if you can’t access familiar Windows features, restoring them is usually fairly easy. You just need to know the relevant settings to change or tweak to apply.

However, if a lost Windows tool proves impossible to get back, it’s possible that the tool is corrupted. In this case, your best option is to run System File Checker (SFC). It will detect if system files have been corrupted or modified and automatically replace them with the correct versions.

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