Windows 10 taskbar icons gone? Bitdefender could be the problem

Windows 10 taskbar icons suddenly gone missing?

Quick launch icons disappear and reappear upon reboot?

If you're using Bitdefender 2016, 2017 or 2018, then that could be the problem and this tutorial will show you in a few simple steps how to solve your problem.

But first:

I'm using Windows 10 from the beginning and never had any issues regarding taskbar icons, until one day I noticed that the quick launch icons pinned to the taskbar were missing.

First I thought that it was a single occurring problem and a reboot would help.

So I rebooted my PC and the icons appeared again.

But then I noticed that the icons kept disappearing and reappearing upon reboot.

I searched on Google for a solution and found out that the problem was Bitdefender's ransomware protection.

After making a small change in Bitdefender – my problem was solved.

This tutorial will show you in a few steps how to fix your problem.

Note: I'm now using Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018, but this tutorial should also work for Bitdefender Internet Security and Total Security (2016 and 2017).

And now:

Solve the missing taskbar icons problem

By default, your “Desktop” folder is added to the protected folders list of the ransomware protection of Bitdefender 2016, 2017 and 2018 and this will probably cause your taskbar icons to disappear and reappear.

If you remove the “Desktop” folder from this list, the problem will be solved.

Note: I think they solved the problem in Bitdefender 2018, but if you still experience problems, then follow the steps of this tutorial.

Bitdefender 2016 and 2017

1. Open Bitdefender.

2. Open Ransomware Protection settings.

open ransomware protection settings in bitdefender 2017

In Bitdefender 2017, you will have to click on VIEW MODULES and then click on RANSOMWARE PROTECTION.

open ransomware protection settings in bitdefender 2017 2

3. In the protection list, you click on Desktop to select it.

4. Click on the REMOVE button located below the protection list.

remove folder from bitdefender ransomware protection list

5. Close Bitdefender.

This solution fixed my problem and hopefully also yours.

Bitdefender 2018

1. Open Bitdefender.

2. Click on VIEW FEATURES.

view features in bitdefender 2018

3. Click on Protected Folders located at SAVE FILES.

open protected folders list in bitdefender 2018

4. Click next to Desktop on REMOVE.

5. Close Bitdefender.

This solution fixed my problem and hopefully also yours.

Maybe you're also interested in:

Bitdefender Safepay: How to disable it or repair it when it doesn't work


Microsoft Forum: Windows 10 taskbar icons gone? - Answer from VanKnowles

Bitdefender Forum: Ransomware protection affecting pinned items

BleepingComputer: Windows 10 quick launch icons disappear upon reboot

Bitdefender: How ransomware protection works in Bitdefender 2017

Bitdefender: How Ransomware protection works in Bitdefender 2016