Fonts installed by using “Install as shortcut” are missing after a system restart in Windows 10 Creators Update

Applies to: Windows 10

Symptoms


Fonts that you installed by using the Install as shortcut option on a computer that is running Windows 10 Creators Update, Version 1703, are no longer available after a system restart. When this problem occurs, the missing fonts are not visible in the Fonts item in Control Panel or in the font picker list in Windows applications.

The list of missing fonts can include fonts that were installed before or after the computer was upgraded to Windows 10 Creators Update.

Cause


This problem occurs because of an issue in the Windows font cache.

Status


We are aware of this problem and are working to resolve it in a future update of Windows.

Workaround


Important
Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it,
back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

To work around this problem, use one of the following workarounds.

Note These workarounds can cause Windows 10 to take slightly longer to start up.
 

Workaround 1: Disable the font boot cache

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Locate the following registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize
  3. Create a DWORD (32-bit) registry entry.
  4. Name the new entry DisableFontBootCache.
  5. Set the value of the new entry to 1.
     

Workaround 2: Delete the FNTCACHE.DAT file before system logoff

The FNTCACHE.DAT file is located in the %WINDIR%\System32 folder. To avoid this problem, you can delete this file.

The FNTCACHE.DAT file is automatically rebuilt at system restart. Therefore, to use this workaround, you must delete this file before every system logoff. You may want to create a script that automatically runs at system logoff to delete the file.

More Information


Side effects of disabling the font cache

If the font cache is disabled, all the installed fonts are read two times at system start: One time for session 0, and a second time for session 1. Because the size of the default font cache is around 370 MB, this behavior causes an additional 740 MB of IO during system start. The effect of this additional IO varies based on several factors, including the following:

  • Group policy settings
  • Logon scripts
  • Tasks to run at system start
  • Disk throughput:
     
    • Disk interface: SATA versus IDE
    • Disk speed: 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM versus SSD