My Start screen recently became less descriptive when several tiles went mysteriously blank. With a little memory recall, the blank tiles all seemed to be Office 2013 products on Windows 8.1. For some reason, Publisher 2013 retained its icons but the others – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and OneDrive – all went blank with just the background of their colored tile to hold their space.
Unpinning and repinning the shortcuts did not resolve the issue. I was not about to uninstall/reinstall Office for just the icons.
Fortunately, with good timing, Office 2013 Service Pack 1 was available. After I installed it, the icons reappeared. I’m not sure if the blank tiles were the result of a Windows 8.1 update and Office 2013 SP1 intentionally fixed it, or the update just happened to refresh the shortcut tiles. I wasn’t able to figure out the cause but from what I’ve been able to find, installing SP1 has consistently solved the problem.