27 January 2016

Windows 10 start menu chrome apps icon glitch - fix

A Chrome App or a Chrome Website App being pinned to desktop or in the taskbar retains the originale icon attached... But for some reason the icon changes to the default Chrome icon when pinned to the Windows 10 startmenu.

The fix is to trick the windows 10 startmenu and change the shortcut so the chrome application is launched by another primary program, e.g.

cmd /c "chrome.exe --app=https://inbox.google.com" 
  with start folder "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\"

Chrome shortcuts

Chrome logos showing all over the startmenu
The shortcuts used by Chrome are very simple, you will find two types 

Shortcut for opening an App "webpage"
chrome.exe --app=https://inbox.google.com" 

Shortcut for opening an App-id
chrome.exe  --profile-directory=Default --app-id=ejjicmeblgpmajnghnpcppodonldlgfn

Both of these refere to the same executable Chrome.exe

Windows 10 Startmenu Manifest files

Windows 10 searches for a Manifest for the executable when in the startmenu context, in some version of Chrome this manifest has been added to the application folder. 
C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.VisualElementsManifest.xml

When this is present start menu icons will prefer this Manifest over local icon informations. 
On can try to remove chrome.VisualElementsManifest.xml but is a reither crude approach.

A have found a less intrusive fix.

Open the file location of the Chrome App you want to fix
You will see e.g chrome.exe --app=https://calendar.google.com

Change the path so Chrome.exe is launched through "cmd /k" 

Change the Target path to use cmd /c "chrome.exe  xxxxx"

e.g.     cmd /c "chrome.exe --app=https://inbox.google.com" 
  with start folder "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\"

remember the minimized run start to hide the command window getting launched... 

By changing the reference to chrome.exe and using cmd /c as a proxy launcher, windows 10's startmenu no longer detects the chrome.VisualElementsManifest.xml as primary manifest... You still get to receive auto updates from Chrome without needing to worry about chrome.VisualElementsManifest.xml 

Missing icons ?

If you need to find original icons that have been saved by Chrome they are located in 
\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications 

Final result

Windows 10 Start menu all cleaned up

Tip for getting the Chrome App list back (if missing)

By the way: if you are missing the Chrome App list you can simply make a desktop shortcut to chrome.exe --show-app-list and then pin it.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --show-app-list

For the Windows 10 startmenu this becomes
cmd /c "chrome.exe --show-app-list" 
  with start folder "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\"


Hanny Yeung said...

This certainly needs to be on the top answers in Google Product Forums etc.
Having my start menu full of chrome icons for almost 4 months without anything done by Google, I ought to look for a solution. This is the simplest fix I've seen, and it works perfectly.

Hats off to you sir!

Jan Buchholt Hebnes said...

Thanks for the feedback.

boeck said...

sperb tutorial thx