Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working? Try These Fixes

One of these tips should get the Start menu back on track

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When the Windows 10 start menu is not working, it may manifest in one of several ways:

  • Nothing happens when you click the Start button.
  • Keyboard shortcuts to open it don’t work.
  • The Start menu isn’t visible.

The instructions in this article only apply to Windows 10.

Causes of Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working

The Windows 10 Start menu may stop working for a variety of reasons, including an incomplete operating system update, an update bug, corrupted system files, or corrupted user account files.

How to Get a Windows 10 Start Menu to Work 

  1. Restart your computer. Yep, sometimes the easiest solution works. Power down your computer, wait for a few minutes, then turn it back on again. If you’re still having the same problem, try some of the suggestions below. 

    1. On your keyboard press Win+I (Win is the Windows logo key) to bring up Settings.
    2. In the left column, select Update & Security.
    3. In the main panel, select Check for updates, then follow instructions to download updates.
    4. You may need to restart your computer after the process is completed. 
  2. Sign out of your account and sign back in.

    1. To do this, on your keyboard press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
    2. From the menu, select Sign out.
    3. From the sign-in screen, type your password and select the right-arrow to enter.
    4. Check to see if the Start menu is now working. If not, continue trying the suggestions below.
    1. On the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, right-click and, from the menu, select Task Manager.
    2. In the Task Manager window, select File > Run new task.
    3. In the Create new task window, in the text field type powershell, then choose OK.
    4. In the Windows PowerShell window, at the prompt type net user newusername newpassword /add.
    5. Press Enter.

    Replace “newusername” with the user name you would like to use, and replace “newpassword” with the password you would like to use. 

    Once you've finished the process above, restart your computer and login with this new account. Then, check to see if the Start menu is working. If it is, you’ll want to transfer your files to the new account, and delete the old one. 

  3. Repair Windows files.

    1. On the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, right-click and, from the menu, select Task Manager.
    2. In the Task Manager window, select File > Run new task.
    3. In the Create new task window, in the text field type powershell, then choose OK.
    4. In the Windows PowerShell window, at the prompt type sfc /scannow, then press Enter.
    5. Wait for 100% verification and a message about system health.
    6. If you see the message “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some (or all) of them,” at the prompt type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth, then press Enter.
    7. Allow the program to run and wait for a message about system health.
    8. Restart your computer and check to see if you’re still having problems with the Start menu. 
  4. Reinstall Metro/Modern apps.

    1. On the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, right-click and, from the menu, select Task Manager.
    2. In the Task Manager window, select File > Run new task.
    3. In the Create new task window, in the text field type powershell, then choose OK.
    4. In the Windows PowerShell window, at the prompt type the following command, then press Enter:
      Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) \AppXManifest.xml”}
    5. When the process completes, reboot your computer and check to see if the Start menu is now working. 
  5. Boot to Safe Mode with Networking.

    1. On your keyboard press Win+R (Win is the Windows logo key).
    2. In the Run window, in the text field type msconfig.
    3. In the System Configuration window, select Boot, then check Safe boot and Network, then choose OK.
    4. Reboot your PC; it will start up in Safe Mode with Networking.
    5. Return to the System Configuration window, select Boot, then uncheck Safe boot and Network, then choose OK.
    6. Reboot your PC again, and check to see if the Start menu is working.
  6. Reset Windows. This option reinstalls Windows 10, and allows you to keep your files.

    Before reinstalling Windows, be sure you have backups of all your personal files, and any files needed to reinstall applications not included with Windows. 

    1. On your keyboard press Win+L (Win is the Windows logo key) to log out of Windows.
    2. While on the login screen, press and hold Shift as you select Power > Restart in the lower-right corner of the screen.
    3. After the system restarts, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC
  7. If, after all that, you’re still having problems, consider consulting with a professional to get your computer fixed