How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10/11?

Start Menu Not Working is a common issue among Windows users, as it can occur due to a temporary bug or after installing a Windows update. The problem can be caused by corrupt system files, temporary bugs, misconfigured registry values, and the lack of all application package permissions. These are the leading contributors that can be behind causing this issue.

How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10/11?
How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10/11?

Let’s have a look into some causes as one of them might be a culprit:-

  • Misconfigured Value in Registry Editor- In the registry editor, there is an entry called Start, which tells how the service is started. You might encounter this error if the Start value is not configured correctly.
  • Temporary Bug- In some cases, it has been observed that the error can be fixed by restarting Windows explorer.exe. Hence, before going further, restart the explorer.exe, as the error can be triggered due to a temporary glitch or bug.
  • Not Having All Application Packages Permissions- If you do not have permission over all application packages, you may encounter this issue until you fully control the registry folder for All Application Packages.
  • Corrupt System Files- The corrupted system files can cause this issue as the start menu is a Windows component that can be stopped working at any time due to corrupt system files. Hence, you should try running the system file checker in the command prompt to check for corrupted files.

1. Use Registry Editor

In the registry editor, an entry called Start is used to specify how the service or drive is started or loaded. Most affected users have fixed their issues by changing the Start value. In my case, the value is set to 2, and my start menu is working fine.

However, if the entry value is set to 2 and the start menu is still not working, try values between 0 and 4 and see if the issue is fixed. There are up to 4 values, each with a different function to specify how the service is started. Below are the steps to change the value for the Start entry through the registry editor.

  1. Press the Win + R at the same time to launch Run Window
  2. Type regedit and click OK

    Start Menu not Working
    Start Menu Not Working
  3. Make a full registry backup to undo all the changes if something goes wrong 
  4. Go to the following destination
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WpnUserService
  5. In the right pane, double-click on the Start entry
    Double Clicking Start Entry
    Double Clicking Start Entry
  6. Change the Value data to 2. If it is already 2, then try values between 0 to 4
    Editing Registry Value
    Editing Registry Value
  7. Once done, click OK and restart your computer to check if the issue persists.

2. Restart Windows Explorer.exe

The issue can occur due to a bug or glitch, which can be fixed by restarting Windows explorer. Windows explorer allows displaying taskbar, apps, desktop and other things. Restarting Windows explorer helps most of the time when some features stop responding.

Moreover, as per the several affected users, restarting Windows explorer can fix the start menu not working issue and restarting the tons of background services. Below are the steps to restart exploere.exe:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc on the keyboard
  2. Locate and select Windows Explorer.exe and click Restart from the bottom right of the Window
    Restarting Windows Explorer
    Restarting Windows Explorer
  3. Once done, check if the issue persists.

3. Reset All Apps

You can also try resetting the apps via powershell to fix this issue. This method is also worked for most of the affected users. Therefore, try and see if this works in your case.

  1. Click Start Menu and type Windows Powershell
    Running Windows PowerShell As Administrator
    Running Windows PowerShell As Administrator
  2. Open the terminal to paste the following command
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
    Resetting All Apps
    Resetting All Apps
  3. Once done, check if the start menu is working properly.

4. Change All Apps Packages Permissions

All Application packages allow all the users in the system to access the specific application or folder. The registry editor has a folder called HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, which contains information about file name extensions such as .appx, .aps and more.

This error will likely trigger if the  HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT permission is not set properly for the All Application packages. To fix this, you will need to change the permissions of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the registry editor by typing it from Start Menu

    Opening Registry Editor
    Opening Registry Editor
  2. Right-click the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and then click Permissions

    Opening Registry Folder Permissions
    Opening Registry Folder Permissions
  3. Select ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES and tick Full Control under permissions for all
  4. Click Apply and click OK

    Taking Full Control To The Registry Folder
    Taking Full Control To The Registry Folder
  5. After that, check if the start menu is working.

5. Restart Windows From Safe Mode

According to some users, this issue can easily be fixed by restarting Windows from the safe mode. The safe mode is a process that disables all drivers and unnecessary services to determine what can cause issues. If restarting the computer does not fix it, restarting from safe mode might help.

  1. Press the Windows key and type Msconfig

    Launching System Configurations
    Launching System Configurations
  2. Hit enter to open the system configuration
  3. Go to the Boot options, and check the Safe Mode
  4. Click Apply, then click OK

    Setting Windows To Boot In Safe Mode
    Setting Windows To Boot In Safe Mode
  5.  Restart your computer to boot into safe mode
  6. Once you are in the safe mode, click Start Menu and type Msconfig
  7. Open the system configuration and again go to the Boot options from the top bar
  8. Uncheck the Safe Mode and click Apply, then OK

    Setting Windows To Boot Normally
    Setting Windows To Boot Normally
  9. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

6. Run System File Checker

SFC or System File Checker is a command that repairs the corrupted system files such as Windows DLL, exe files and others. The affected users have managed to fix this issue by executing the SFC command via the command prompt. Below we have outlined the instruction to do this:

  1. Press the Windows key and type Command Prompt
  2. Right-click the command prompt and click Run As Administrator
  3. Copy and paste the following command and wait for the verification to be done
    sfc /scannow
    Running System File Checker
    Running System File Checker
  4. Once done, check if the issue is fixed.

7. Create a New User Account

If the start menu is still not working, try creating a new account and transfer all the data into the new one if the issue is fixed. Otherwise, move on to the next method. To create a new user account, follow the steps:

  1. Open the Settings by pressing the Win + I on the keyboard
  2. Navigate to Accounts and then click Family & Other Users
  3. Click Add Someone Else To This PC

    Go to Accounts
    Go to Accounts
  4. Wait for the Microsoft Windows to open, click the I don’t Have This Person’s Sign-In Informations

    Clicking I dont Have This Persons Sign In Information
    Clicking I don’t Have This Persons Sign In Information
  5. Click Add A User Without a Microsoft Account
  6. Now here, enter your username and password, then click Next to create an account
    Typing Username And Password
    Typing Username And Password
  7. Once done, press Ctrl + Alt + Del keys simultaneously to select the Sign-out option
  8. Sign into the new user account and check if the start menu is working. If it is, transfer all the data to the new user account and delete the old one if you want.

8. Reset Your Computer

In case none of the methods has worked, the last solution you can try is to reset your computer. Resetting the computer will remove drivers, programs, and the settings you have applied. However, it will not remove the data such as photos, music, videos and personal files. Below are the instructions to reset your computer without losing data.

  1. Right-click the Start Menu icon and click Settings
  2. Go to Update & Security

    Go to Update And Security
    Go to Update And Security
  3. Click the Recovery option from the left pane
    Clicking Recovery Option
    Clicking Recovery Option
  4. Now click the Get Started under Reset This PC

    Clicking Get Started
    Clicking Get Started
  5. Choose to Keep My Files option
    Selecting Keep My Files
    Selecting Keep My Files
  6. Click Local Reinstall
  7. Click Next
  8. In the end, click Reset to start the process
    Resetting Windows
    Resetting Windows
  9.  Once done, the issue should be resolved.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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Expert Tip

How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10/11?

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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