Full Fix: Start Menu Disappears in Windows 10, 7

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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This article brings you the full guide to fix Start Menu Disappears issue in all versions of Windows 10. If you are looking to find solutions for Windows 10 Technical Version, just scroll down the article or click here.

6 quick methods to fix the Start Menu Disappearing in Windows 10

    1. Update graphics card driver
    2. Uninstall Dropbox
    3. Try with restarting all Windows 10 apps
    4. Create a new User Account
    5. Perform a Windows Update
    6. Use third-party software.

Even more than four months since the release of Windows 10 and one major update, users are experiencing strange issues.

This time, one user of Reddit reported that his Start Menu is missing, and if you’re also facing this problem, we’re going to try to find a solution for you

The Start Menu is Missing in Windows 10

Missing Start Menu was the problem that bothered users even when Windows 10 was still in the preview phase, and it appears that it remained until today. As a lot of Windows 10 users are complaining about it on various forums.

“Start menu has missing icons and turns a clear color. It’s happening almost every day now. Any fixes for this?” Said a Reddit user.

Even more, people are complaining about this problem on Microsoft Community Forums:

I am using windows 10 for almost 2 plus months without any hitch. Since last 2 days, the start menu is not appearing when I press on the Windows 10 icon at the left side in the taskbar. However, others users on the same laptop don’t have this issue.

Some users were so frustrated about this issue that they decided to ditch Windows 10, and roll back to the previous version of Windows: “I made the call to go back to Windows 7… it wasn’t worth the pain anymore“.

Since we think Windows 10 is a really good operating system, we don’t want users to abandon it, so we did a little research on how to solve the problem with missing Start Menu in Windows 10, and we came up with the following solutions.

How to Fix Missing Start Menu Problem in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Update graphics card driver

Some users who were involved in forum discussions about this problem suggested that the problem is in your graphics card driver, so updating it may make things a little better.

To update your graphics card driver, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type device manager, and open Device Manager
  2. Expand Display adapters, right-click on your graphics card, and go to Update Driver Softwarestart menu not working windows 10 1
  3. Wait for the wizard to find any updates

In order to keep your system safe from permanent damage while installgin the wrong driver versions, we strongly recommend you to use a dedicated tool. There are many of them, but we recommend Tweakbit’s Driver Updater. This tool is very precise and allows you to run multiple scan sessions.

Based on the feedback from forums, updating your drivers probably won’t get the job done, as it worked only for one or two users. But, we included it in the article, because it won’t hurt to update your drivers, and you never know, maybe it also solves the Start Menu problem.

Solution 2 – Uninstall Dropbox

A lot of users who got this problem before had something in common, they had Dropbox installed on their computers. For some reason, it appears that Dropbox conflicts with your Start Menu, and it prevents it from normal working. So, if you have Dropbox installed, uninstall it, and see if Start Menu appears again.

This could be a big problem for Dropbox users, as they will be forced to use the web version of the service only, but we hope that Dropbox will come up with an update which solves this issue soon.

Solution 3 – Try with Restarting all Windows 10 apps

Speaking of conflicts between Start Menu and apps, maybe some of your Windows 10 apps prevents Windows 10 from working, so we’re going to reinstall all Windows 10 apps, and see if Start Menu works again.

To reinstall all apps in Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Right click on the Start Menu button and open Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. Enter PowerShell in the command line
  3. Paste the following line in the Administrator: PowerShell Window:
    • Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}start menu not working windows 10 3
  4. Wait for the PowerShell to execute the command (ignore a few red error codes)

This command will reinstall all your apps, and if some of them conflicted with Windows 10 due to a bad installation, it will be fixed now.

Solution 4 – Create a new User Account

And finally, one of the users of Microsoft Answers forum said he found out that Start Menu wasn’t working because of the corrupted Start Menu. So the last thing we’re going to try in order to fix your Start Menu problem is creating a new User Account.

To create a new User Account, if your Start Menu doesn’t work, do the following:

  1. Open Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. Add the following line, and press Enter: net user <username> <password> /ADDstart menu not working windows 10 2
  3. This command will add another user account to your computer, so just restart it, log in to the new account, and check if the problem is resolved

Solution 5 – Perform a Windows Update

Check if there is an available update for your Windows 10 computer. This might fix your problem with the Start Menu.

1. First, click the Windows Key + R on your keyboard to open “Run” app.
2. Type in the dialog box “control update
3. Perform a check to see if there is a new update

Windows 10 Update Check

Solution 6 – Use a third-party software

If you want to spend 5$, we recommend you to try and install Start10, which is a great a tool you can use to replace the Windows 10 Start Menu. You should know that before they will charge you, there is a 30 days trial period.

Start10 Features

As you can see, we don’t have an ultimate solution which fixes the problem for all users, because the cause of the problem is different.

If you have another solution that helped you or someone you know to fix the missing Start Menu, please write it down in the comments, I’m sure you’re going to help a lot of people.

Guide for Windows 10 Technical Version

One of the bugs that we have experienced in Windows 10 Technical Preview is that the Start menu feature disappears when you first power up the operating system or at some point in your usage you will simply not be able to access it but by following the tutorial below in the order it is described you will fix your Start menu in Windows 10 Technical preview and continue with your everyday work in Windows 10.

The Start menu disappears mainly because of a process that has not started when your Windows 10 Technical Preview powered up or a third party application damaged some of your Windows 10 registry files. Also as a safety precaution before you do the steps explained below I would suggest backing up your important work to prevent any potential damage along the way.

Tutorial on how to bring back your Start menu in Windows 10 Technical Preview:

Many users use Start Menu on regular basis, but several users reported that Start Menu disappeared on their PC completely. Speaking of Start Menu issues, users reported the following problems:

  • Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working – According to users, sometimes both Cortana and Start Menu aren’t working on their PC. To fix this, you just need to run a single command from PowerShell.
  • Windows 10 Start button doesn’t work – If the Start button isn’t working on your PC, the problem might be caused by corrupted user account. However, you can fix that simply by creating a new user account.
  • Start Menu lost Windows 10 – Several users reported that Start Menu is lost on their PC. This can be a problem, but you might be able to fix it by scanning corrupted system files.
  • Windows 10 Start Menu disappeared after update – Sometimes an update can cause your Start Menu to disappear. However, you can easily fix that by finding and removing the problematic update.
  • Start Menu Windows 10 won’t open, not showing up, unresponsive – Users reported various issues with Start Menu on their PC, but if you have any problems with Start Menu, be sure to try some of our solutions.

Solution 1 – Install the latest updates

If you’re having this problem, you might be able to fix it simply by installing the latest updates. By default, Windows 10 installs the updates automatically, but you can also check for updates manually at any time. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now navigate to Update & security section.
    Windows 10 Start Menu disappeared after update
  3. Click Check for updates button.
    Windows 10 Start button doesn't work

Windows will now check for available updates. If updates are available, they’ll be downloaded automatically and installed once you restart your PC. Once you install the missing updates, check if the problem still persists.

Solution 2 – Use PowerShell

Several users reported that they managed to fix the problem with missing Start Menu simply by using PowerShell. If you’re not familiar, PowerShell is a command line tool, but it offers more power than Command Prompt. To fix this problem using PowerShell, do the following:

  1. Open Task Manager. You can do that by using Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
  2. When Task Manager opens, go to File > Run new task.
    Start Menu lost Windows 10
  3. Create new task window will appear. In the input field enter powershell. Check Create this task with administrative privileges and click OK.
    Windows 10 Start Menu disappeared after update
  4. When PowerShell opens, run Get-appxpackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “appxmetadataappxbundlemanifest.xml”)} command.
    Start Menu Windows 10 won't open

After running this command, the problem with Start Menu should be completely resolved

Solution 3 – Log out and log back into your account

According to users, if Start Menu disappears from Windows 10, you might be able to solve the problem simply by logging out and logging back in. Keep in mind that this is just a workaround and not a permanent solution, so if you’re looking for a permanent solution, you might have to try something else.

To log out and log back it, you just need to do the following:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del. Now choose Log Out from the menu.
  2. Wait for a few seconds and then sign back into your account.

After doing that, your start menu should start working again. This isn’t a permanent solution, which means that you’ll have to repeat this workaround whenever the problem occurs.

Solution 4 – Restart File Explorer

If Start Menu disappears from your Windows 10 installation, the problem might be File Explorer. One suggested workaround that might help you is restarting the File Explorer. To do that, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Locate Windows Explorer on the list. Right click Windows Explorer and choose Restart from the menu.
    Windows 10 Start Menu disappeared after update
  3. Wait for a few moments for File Explorer to restart.

Once the File Explorer restarts, check if the problem still appears. If this workaround works for you, you’ll have to repeat it whenever this issue occurs.

Solution 5 – Perform SFC and DISM scans

Sometimes your Start Menu disappears because your Windows 10 installation is corrupted. If that’s the case, you might be able to solve this problem by performing SFC and DISM scans. Both these scans are designed to repair a corrupted installation, so you might want to try them out. To perform these scans, you need to do the following:

  1. Open Task Manager. Click on File > Run new task.
  2. When Create new task window opens, enter cmd, and check Create this task with administrative privileges. Click on OK to start Command Prompt.
    Start Menu Windows 10 not showing up
  3. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter to run it.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working
  4. SFC scan will now start. This scan can take up to 15 minutes, so don’t interrupt it.

Once the SFC scan is finished, check if the problem still persists. If the problem still persists, or if you were unable to run SFC scan, you need to run DISM scan instead. To do that, just do the following:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Enter and run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.
    Windows 10 Start button doesn't work
  3. DISM scan will now start. It’s worth mentioning that this scan can take up to 20 minutes or more, so don’t interrupt it.

Once the scan is finished, check if the problem still persists. If you were unable to run SFC scan before, repeat the SFC scan once again and check if that solves the problem.

Solution 6 – Create a new account

If Start Menu disappears on your Windows 10 PC, the problem might be a corrupted user account. However, you can easily fix that simply by creating a new users account. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Accounts section.
    Start Menu lost Windows 10
  2. From the menu on the left select Family & other people. Now in the left pane choose Add someone else to this PC.
    Windows 10 Start Menu disappeared after update
  3. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Start Menu Windows 10 unresponsive
  4. Now choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working
  5. Enter the desired user name and click Next.
    Windows 10 Start button doesn't work

After doing that, switch to the new account and check if the issue still persists.

Solution 7 – Remove the problematic update

Sometimes this error can occur if you install a problematic update. To fix the problem, you need to find and remove the problematic update from your PC. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Updates & security section.
  2. Now click on View installed update history in the left pane.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working
  3. List of recent updates will appear. Click on Uninstall updates.
    Windows 10 Start button doesn't work
  4. You should now see the list of installed updates. Double click the update to remove it.
    Start Menu lost Windows 10

Once the problematic update is removed, restart your PC and check if the problem still persists. If you can’t find the problematic update, you can also use System Restore to restore your PC to an earlier state.

If a certain update was causing this problem, you should know that Windows will try to install it again. To prevent this issue from reoccurring, you need to block this update. We already explained how to block certain updates from installing in Windows 10 in one of our earlier articles, so be sure to check it out for detailed instructions.

Solution 8 – Reset Windows 10

If you’re still having this problem, and other solutions can’t help you, you might want to consider resetting Windows 10. We have to warn you that this method will delete all your files and personal documents from your system partition, so be sure to back them up.

After backing up your files, you’ll need to create a Windows 10 installation media. There are many ways to do that, but the simplest way is to use Media Creation Tool. After creating an installation media, you can reset your PC by doing the following:

  1. Restart your PC few times during the boot sequence. This will force Windows 10 start Advanced Boot Mode.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  3. You might be asked to insert your Windows 10 installation media, so be sure to have it ready.
  4. Select your version of Windows and choose Only the drive where Windows is installed.
  5. Choose Just remove my files. You’ll now see a list of changes that reset will perform. Click on Reset to proceed.

Reset process will now start. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete it. After resetting your Windows 10 to default, check if the problem is resolved.

That’s it, several simple methods on how to fix your Start menu if it disappeared from your Windows 10 operating system. If you have other questions related to this subject you can write us below in the comments section of the page and we will help you further as soon as possible.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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