FIX: Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working

In this tutorial, learn how to fix Start menu not working in Windows 10.

Since its first release in 2015, Windows 10 has come a long way. Each upgrade adds a slew of new capabilities, and Microsoft has embraced open source in ways that were previously unthinkable.

There are still bugs, like with any operating system. One of the more prevalent faults that users of Windows 10 have seen is the Start Menu abruptly ceasing to function.

When you click the Start Menu button, the open Start Menu will sometimes freeze and become unresponsive, and other times it will not open at all.

In this post, we’ll go over several simple and not-so-quick fixes for whatever problem you’re having with the Windows 10 Start Menu.

How to restart Windows Explorer

The application you use to navigate your file system and open applications and files is Windows Explorer, which is now known as File Explorer. However, it also has power over the Start Menu, the taskbar, and other programs.

The first thing you should attempt if you’re having problems with the Start Menu is to restart the “Windows Explorer” process in Task Manager.

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.

To see a complete list of open apps and background processes, click “More details:”

Find the “Windows Explorer” process by scrolling through the list. Then pick “Restart” from the context menu of “Windows Explorer”:

While Windows Explorer/Finder, the taskbar, and the Start Menu are restarted, there will be a momentary flash.

Try to open the Start Menu after that. If it still isn’t working properly, try one of the alternative solutions listed below.

How to repair corrupt or missing Windows system files

Sometimes an update goes wrong, or you destroy a crucial file by accident when crawling through the filesystem.

If you’re still having problems with the Start Menu or other fundamental Windows apps, you can try restoring any missing or corrupt Windows system files.

To do so, you’ll need to run the System File Checker software after opening the Windows Command Prompt as an administrator.

Run the command sfc /scannow once you’ve opened Command Prompt as an administrator:

System File Checker will begin scanning your entire system for corrupt or missing files, replacing them with a cached duplicate.

Because this procedure can take a while, set aside 5-10 minutes to do anything else. Just make sure you don’t close the window while sfc is running.

When System File Checker is finished, you’ll either receive a report of all the files it changed, or you’ll see a notification that says something like this:

Save any open work and restart your computer if System File Checker updated any corrupt or missing system files. Once you’ve logged back in, try opening the Start Menu to see whether your problems have been resolved.

Note: You can also run the sfc /scannow command from Powershell, but you’ll need to open an elevated Powershell terminal first.

How to reset the Start Menu with default Windows 10 apps

The next option is to completely reset the Start Menu, as well as all Windows 10 programs that came preloaded or were downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

To do so, you’ll need to run PowerShell as an administrator — the command you’ll run won’t function in Command Prompt.

PowerShell can be launched in a variety of methods, but one of the quickest is to use the Run program.

To open the Run program, press Windows Key + R, type “powershell,” and then click the “OK” button:

This should launch a PowerShell session with administrator privileges.

Run the following command in the PowerShell terminal:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

The Get-AppXPackage command tries to reinstall all of Windows’ basic programs, including the Start Menu and search bar.

For each software it reinstalls, it will also register a manifest file. The manifest files, on the other hand, aren’t something you should be concerned about; they’re simply something Windows requires to run each software.

Allow 5-10 minutes, and don’t close the PowerShell window until the process is complete.

Note: While the Get-AppXPackage command is running, you may notice several scary-looking errors. Don’t be concerned; most of these are simply cautions about why a program can’t be reinstalled:

Restart your machine, log in, and try to open the Start Menu after the Get-AppXPackage command has been completed.

How to reset your Windows 10 installation

If none of the above techniques worked, the final option is to perform a factory reset of your Windows 10 installation. However, keep in mind that this is an “almost-scorched-earth” procedure that should only be utilized in extreme cases.

All of your personal files (documents, pictures, movies, and so on) should remain intact when you reset your Windows 10 installation, but all of the other drivers and apps you’ve installed will be removed. Essentially, this returns your computer to the state it was in when you turned it on the first time.

Make backups of all of your key files on a flash drive, external HDD/SSD, and/or an online file server like Google Drive or Dropbox before continuing.

Make two copies of everything. It’s unlikely that you’ll use them, but it never hurts to have them.

After you’ve completed your backups, launch a PowerShell terminal by pressing Windows Key + R, typing “powershell,” and then clicking the “OK” button.

Run the command systemreset in the PowerShell terminal to launch the Windows reset wizard.

Then select “Keep my files” from the drop-down menu:

Please wait while the wizard examines your system. Following that, you’ll see a list of all the programs that will be uninstalled:

To reset your Windows 10 installation, click “Next” and follow the steps.

The Start Menu should be functional once you’ve finished restarting Windows and establishing a new user.

In this video, we are gonna show you how to fix frozen start button problem in Windows 10:

“Cortana, open the Start Menu”

So there you have it: all of the fixes for the Windows 10 Start Menu, ranked from easiest to most difficult.

Did any of these suggestions help you? Is there a way to open the Start Menu that I’m overlooking? Let’s share with us in the comment section.

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