How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10?

Start Menu is a small button located on the lower-left corner of the taskbar which is used to operate Windows 10 to allow the user to browse to different locations.

Start Menu has always been a key part of Windows Operating Systems. Throughout the years, it has remained the same until Windows 8 where the layout was completely revamped and became seriously buggy which is why 100s of thousands of users were affected and are still affected to date.

Microsoft is pretty hopeful about the success of Windows 10 as they worked a lot in creating such an elegant OS version. The whole look of the OS is great but there are still some bugs which are like dirty fishes in clean water. One of those bugs is related to the working of the Windows 10 Start Menu. I, myself have been facing this issue as I was unable to trigger the start menu. This thing frustrated me a lot and I know, it would be frustrating for you too.

A majority of Windows 7, 8 users migrated to Windows 10 right after its release. A number of them including me faced this issue. There was no solution to this and restarting the system didn’t help too.

What Causes your Windows 10 Start Menu to Stop Working

This issue is most common in newer builds of Windows 10. The reason why it occurs is that most Windows 10 users have either upgraded from Windows 7, Windows 8, or from Windows 10’s current build to a newer Windows 10 build which is pushed automatically. Considering the updates and pushes, and third-party apps in the Shell Context, these can affect Start Menu.

There are numerous methods to solve this issue. You can try these methods sequentially if the first one doesn’t work.

Revert and Update your Windows Again

The first and the most effective solution to this problem is to revert to the previous build 10049 of Windows 10, also called Windows 10 Technical Preview. After reverting to build 10049, update your Windows again. Make sure to activate the Windows before rebooting your PC. Otherwise, it will be back where it was before.

Repair Windows Image

If the above-mentioned method doesn’t make you happy, try this method to get your start menu back to its working state. For this, you have to repair your Windows image.

  • Open Command Prompt (Admin) by pressing Win + X shortcut keys on your keyboard.
  • Type the following line of code inside the command prompt to scan and repair the Windows image.
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

start menu not working

Restart your PC after the scan is completed and in most cases, it will work for you.

Through an Elevated PowerShell

This method will re-register the apps using PowerShell and should generally fix the issue if it is related to apps corruption.

Open the Command Prompt by hitting the Win + X shortcut key.

Type PowerShell (case-sensitive) inside CMD and press enter. It will load the PowerShell inside Command Prompt. You can also load Windows 10 own PowerShell application by searching for PowerShell through Cortana. Run the Powershell with administrator rights.

start menu not working1

Type the following code inside the PowerShell and hit Enter key afterward.

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

After hitting the enter key, wait for it to execute the command. Ignore any errors you get during this process. In the end, you would surely get a working Start Menu.

You should also check out the Start Menu & Cortana guide for related fixes that may help if the methods above do not work.

Create and use a new user account

If all else fails, you still have the option to go nuclear and create an entirely new user account. Since creating a new user account in Windows 10 essentially re-registers the Start Menu and most other system components, this method has been successful at solving this problem for tons of users who have been affected by it. While creating and switching to a new user account seems like a pretty drastic measure, it is a baby step compared to clean installing Windows 10 from scratch, which you would otherwise be inclined to do to try and solve this problem. If you find that the Start Menu works perfectly in the new user account that you create, you can simply transfer all of your data to it and start using it instead of your original account.

To create a new user account in Windows 10, you need to:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Accounts.
  4. Click on Family & other users in the left pane.
  5. In the right pane, click on Add someone else to this PC under Other users.

Go through the new account creation wizard – it doesn’t matter whether the new user account you create is a Microsoft account or a Local account as either one is capable of getting the job done.

Once the new user account has been created, sign into it and check to see whether or not the Start Menu

Run Start Menu Troubleshooter

Microsoft is aware of the issue and its effect released their repair tool. This tool checks for the issues by itself and attempts to repair Start Menu. You can download it from here

Run System File Checker

This is a utility tool called System File Checker. If there is a corrupted Windows Resource protection File inside your Windows OS, you would have some difficulties in performing the SFC scan on your PC as some of the Windows functions may not work as expected before you run SFC Scan.

Go to the elevated Command Prompt by right-clicking on the start menu icon. Select the Command Prompt (Admin)from the list. You can also navigate to a command prompt by using the shortcut keys Win + X and then, select it.

sfc scannow 1

After running the Command prompt, type the following command mentioned below to run the SFC scan. Make sure that you don’t abort this process and wait for it to complete. The resulted will be shown after the scan is completed.

sfc /scannow

Hit Enter on the keyboard after typing. It would start scanning for corrupted or missing files on your PC.

Editors’ note: This How To post was originally published on September 14, 2015, and was updated on August 08, 2018, to reflect new information.

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.

Expert Tip

How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10?

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.

Download Now

I'm not interested