Windows 11 Taskbar missing icons/bricked on boot with Game Pass games installed on another drive

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Hi there, up until a few days ago windows 11 was working just fine but recently when booting up, all the taskbar icons are gone. I got around this by restarting the explorer process about 10 times or so, but seemed to be more of a timing issue where after about a minute the restart trick worked. Sign-in was also very slow. It appears that windows explorer was dying or taking a long time to initialise trying to read some kind of data


Windows 11 was installed on an M.2 drive, and I had an SSD and HDD in my system as well.


What fixed the problem was that I uninstalled game pass games that I had installed to the SSD via the default Xbox app, and deleted and Xbox app related folders that I could off that drive. Games installed on the M.2 drive appeared to be unrelated.


This was on build 22000.348 (latest as of the current date). The SSD is a Crucial 750GB SSD (can't remember the speed rating) while the M.2 where the OS and the Xbox app was installed was 1TB.  

2 Replies

I'm having the same issue, installing the game pass games to another drive is unfortunately not an option for me. Hopefully there is a fix soon! @FireFox2m 

@evant3 So uninstalling the games entirely at least works? Maybe it's a specific game or sub-set of games? Personally the ones I had installed that caused the issue were Art of Rally and Ori and the Blind Forest. Possibly Minecraft as well with some RTX mods that I can't remember which drive it was on.