Windows 10 taskbar icons gone? Here are 2 simple solutions

Windows 10 taskbar icons suddenly gone missing?

Quick launch icons disappear and reappear upon reboot?

Here are two simple solutions that you can try to solve your problem.

Restart the Windows Explorer process

1. Right-click on the taskbar and then click on Task Manager.

Or use the following methods to open Task Manager:

2. In the Processes tab, you scroll down to Windows Explorer.

Find the Windows Explorer process in the Windows Task Manager

Note: If you don't see the Processes tab, then you will have to click on More details located in the bottom left of the Task Manager window.

Show more details in Windows Task Manager

3. Right-click on Windows Explorer and then click on Restart.

Restart the Windows Explorer process in Windows 10

You can also select Windows Explorer and then click on the Restart button at the bottom right of the Task Manager window.

Restart the Windows Explorer process in Windows 10

Remove the “Desktop” folder from Bitdefender's Ransomware protection

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 might be Bitdefender's ransomware protection.

I removed the “Desktop” folder from Bitdefender's Ransomware protection and my problem was solved.

This solution works for Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security.

1. Open the Bitdefender interface.

2. Click on VIEW FEATURES.

3. Click on Protected Folders located at SAVE FILES.

4. Click next to Desktop on REMOVE.

5. Close Bitdefender.


References:

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