Windows 10 Start Button not Working? 9 Fixes to Pick From

A Windows Explorer reboot is often the fastest solution

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Start button is one of the most recognizable UI components that has been with Windows since the very beginning.
  • It is important to look for alternative ways to reboot your PC to get rid of the Start button error. 
  • The guide below will show you what to do when you encounter issues using the Start button.
Windows 10 start button not working

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Your Start menu button not working can be a genuine concern, and we understand you may be panicking right now, but calm down, and we will show you all you need to know.

When Windows 8 was released, many people were disappointed by the lack of a Start Menu, an integral part of Windows. Windows 10 fixed that because it brought back the Start Menu.

Users worldwide were excited to see Start Menu back, but sadly, some users report that the Start button doesn’t work on Windows 10, so today, we’re going to explore this issue.

Why is Start Menu not opening on Windows 10?

The reasons behind this problem vary. Sometimes, it is simple settings that have been misconfigured; other times, you may have had your computer compromised by malware.

Additionally, there are random times when a glitch in your Windows user profile may make the Start menu disappear.

Furthermore, corrupted computer files may trigger the error, and you should have the Start button restored by deleting them.

Whatever the case is, you do not have to consult a technician, as in a few clicks, you should be able to get the Start button back in Windows 10 and 11.

Start Menu is integral to Windows, but many users reported various issues. Speaking of issues, here are some common problems that users reported:

  • Windows 10: Start Menu and Cortana not working
    • Start Menu and Cortana are closely related, and if one of those features isn’t working, try installing the latest updates and check if that helps.
  • Windows Start button not working on Windows 10, quit working on Windows 10
    • Many users reported that the Start button stopped working on their Windows 10 PC.
    • To fix this problem, you might have to use Powershell and re-register all preinstalled applications.
  • Start Menu button is frozen, won’t open on Windows 10
    • This is another common problem with Start Menu; a temporary glitch usually causes it.
    • Sign out of your account and log back in to fix the problem.
  • Start Menu crashing in Windows 10, missing in Windows 10
    • According to users, sometimes Start Menu could be crashing or even missing on your PC.
    • You might have to create a new user account and switch to it to fix the problem.

What to do if Start Menu and Taskbar are not working on Windows 10?

There are all sorts of issues that can occur with the Start Menu, and many reported an unresponsive Taskbar in Windows 10. However, a few users even reported that the whole Start Menu doesn’t work.

This can be a problem, but it can be fixed by restarting the Windows Explorer process.

In some rare instances, you might get a Critical error in Start Menu, and if this happens, it’s advised to repair your profile or installation.

Luckily for you, fixing these issues isn’t hard, and in today’s guide, we’ll show you how to do it.

What can I do when the Start button is not working in Windows 10?

1. Check for Windows updates

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now go to the Update & Security section.
    Windows Start button not working Windows 10
  3. In the right pane, click the Check for updates button.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working

Updates will be downloaded automatically in the background if any updates are available. Once your system is up to date, the issue should be resolved entirely, and your Start Menu should start working again.

Microsoft is aware of this issue, and if there is a fix available, it will be released via Windows Update; therefore, make sure that you keep your Windows 10 up to date, and if there are any updates available, download them.

Windows 10 usually downloads the missing updates automatically, but sometimes, issues can prevent updates from downloading. So a manual check, as mentioned above, is a valid option.

2. Use the PowerShell to fix this issue

  1. Press the Windows button, type Powershell, and click the Run as administrator option.
    start menu button not working
  2. Paste this into PowerShell:
    • Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working
  3. Press Enter to execute it.

That would be all, and your Start button should be working now.

You can try this workaround if you don’t want to wait for the official patch. This isn’t a permanent solution, but it gets the job done and fixes the issue temporarily, so if the problem manifests itself again, you might need to repeat this process.

For the permanent solution, make sure that you check for the latest Windows 10 updates regularly.

3. Sign out of your account

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Del.
  2. Now click the Sign out button.
    start menu button not working
  3. Wait for a few moments and sign back into your account.

After signing back in, check if the problem is still there.

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Sometimes, the Start Menu button won’t work if there’s a glitch with your user account. But, according to users, the simplest way to fix this problem is to sign out of your account and log back in.

Since your Start Menu and Start button aren’t working, you’ll need to sign out using the steps we mentioned

4. Restart Windows Explorer

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Del to open Task Manager.
  2. Locate Windows Explorer on the list.
  3. Right-click it and choose Restart from the menu.
    Start Menu button frozen

Once Windows Explorer restarts, the issue should be gone, and your Start Menu will start working again. Remember that this is a temporary solution, so you’ll have to repeat it once the problem reappears.

Many users reported that you could fix the problem with the Start Menu button simply by restarting Windows Explorer.

The Start Menu is a part of Windows Explorer, and by restarting Windows Explorer, you’ll force Start Menu to restart as well.

5. Use Command Prompt

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, run the command below and hit Enter.
    CD/d "%LOCALAPPDATA%PackagesMicrosoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy"
  3. Next, type the following two commands and hit Enter after each one.
    Taskkill /F /IM SearchUI.exe
    RD /S /Q Settings

After the commands execute, the damaged files will be rebuilt, and you should be able to use Start Menu again without issues.

Sometimes problems with the Start Menu button can be caused by specific Cortana files. According to users, you can fix this problem simply by deleting these files from the Command Prompt.

These are just some temporary files; your PC will recreate them, so there’s no need to worry.

6. Modify your registry

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. In the left pane, navigate to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesWpnUserService
    Windows Start button quit working Windows 10
  3. In the right pane, double-click Start DWORD, set Value data to 4, and click OK.

After making these changes, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.

Occasionally, issues with the Start Menu button can occur due to Dropbox. Note that Dropbox can sometimes interfere with Windows processes, leading to this and many other problems.

However, you should be able to fix this problem by making a few changes to your registry.

7. Create new values in your registry

  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. In the left pane, navigate to this key:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
  3. In the right pane, right-click the empty space and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value.
  4. Enter EnableXamlStartMenu as the name of the new DWORD.

After doing that, close Registry Editor and restart Windows Explorer from the Task Manager. Once the Explorer restarts, your Start Menu should be working again.

The problem might be related to your registry if you’re having issues with the Start Menu button. According to users, they managed to fix this problem simply by creating new value in their registry.

8. Enter Safe Mode

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security section.
    Windows Start button not working Windows 10
  2. From the menu on the left, choose Recovery.
  3. In the right pane, click Restart now button in the Advanced startup section.
    Windows Start button quit working Windows 10
  4. A list of options will appear. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Click the Restart button.
  5. Once your PC restarts, select any version of Safe Mode by pressing the appropriate key.

Once you enter Safe Mode, check if everything is working. If so, restart your PC, boot back to your account, and check if the issue is resolved.

According to users, you might be able to solve this problem simply by entering Safe Mode. This is quite simple to do, following the above steps.

9. Create a new user account

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the Accounts section.
    Windows Start button not working Windows 10
  2. Navigate to Family & other people in the left pane. In the right pane, click Add someone else to this PC.
    Start Menu button frozen
  3. Choose I don’t have this person’s sign-in information, then Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  4. Enter the desired user name and click Next.
    Start Menu crashing Windows 10

After creating a new user account, switch to it, and check if that solves your problem.

If the problem doesn’t appear on the new account, you’ll need to move your files to the new account and check if that solves your problem.

We believe you must have repaired the start menu button not working issue by now. Note that these solutions are not written in any particular order, and we recommend starting with whatever solution looks most appropriate to your situation.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or maybe some other solutions for this problem, write them down in the comments section.

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