Windows 11’s Start menu is not working? Here’s what to do

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
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  • If your Windows 11 Start menu is not working, note that it can be related to some random and temporary bugs.
  • As a first recommendation, you should restart your computer to see if the problem is fixed.
  • Relaunching Windows Explorer is one of the most popular options that will definitely help.
  • In order to make your Windows 11 Start menu work, we suggest trying to sign in with the local administrator account.
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Is your Windows 11 Start menu not working? Make sure you read this guide completely because it’s dedicated only to you!

This feature is definitely an overhaul over the old one from Windows 10. As you can see in this detailed Windows 11 build review, there are some noteworthy changes brought to the table.

However, some might face a few problems; most commonly, people reported that precisely the Start menu suddenly stops, becomes unresponsive, or gets frozen.

Fortunately, these are just random bugs, which can be fixed with ease. Thus, you don’t have to be an expert to solve this annoying problem.

After repeated testing, we made sure to deliver the best solutions to get rid of this issue. Therefore, if your Windows 11 Start menu is not working, following the steps below will surely help.

However, we recommend running Windows 11 on VM and testing it there before getting it to your main machine.

What similar issues should I be aware of?

Our readers have met with a couple of variations to this problem that can be fixed with ease:

Windows 11 Start menu not opening – This is actually the same issue as the one we tackled in our article, so the steps below should make things right again.

Windows 11 Start menu stuck or frozen – Although most of our readers complained about the Start menu not working at all, for some of them it got stuck or frozen. One of the solutions below will definitely help you if you experience the same situation.

What can I do if the Windows 11’s Start menu is not working?

1. Restart your PC

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard.
  2. As revealed below, select the Power icon at the bottom right corner.
  3. Click on Restart.

You should consider this option as the first thing to do when Windows 11’s Start menu is not working. It can help if you’re encountering random and temporary problems with your system.

2. Relaunch Windows Explorer

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard.
  2. Select and open Task Manager.
  3. In the list of Processes, search for Windows Explorer.
  4. Select it, then click on Restart.

Windows Explorer, also known as File Explorer, is a specific component that browses and opens files on your PC. It is able to control OS options like the taskbar or the Start menu.

In these terms, trying to restart it from Task Manager might make a difference. However, if it still seems like your Start menu is not working, keep reading this article.

3. Check for Windows updates

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. From the left window pane, go to Windows Update.
  3. Now, look at the right side of the window, and select Check for updates.

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Microsoft is issuing a lot of patches and updates regularly, so checking for the latest updates and installing them can help if your Windows 11’s Start Menu is not working. Follow the steps above to do that.

4. Sign back in with the local administrator

  1. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I keys.
  2. Go to Accounts.
  3. Select the Your Info section.
  4. Scroll down, then select Manage my accounts.
  5. Select Sign in with a local account instead.

5. Reset your PC

  1. Press Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  2. Go to System, then select Recovery.
  3. Select Reset this PC, then click on the Reset PC button.

Do not interrupt the recovery process until the prompt to log in to Windows is displayed.

Moreover, before following the above instructions, don’t forget to back up your personal files, or else you’ll lose all information currently stored on the PC.

Note icon
As pointed out by one of our readers, keep in mind that removing your third-party antivirus may do wonders. Give it a try and let us know if the trick works for you as well.

6. Rollback to an earlier build/Windows 10

  1. Press the Windows key + I to start the Settings app.
  2. Now select Windows update from the left pane.
  3. Choose Advanced options from the menu on the right.
  4. In the next window, click on Recovery.
  5. Now click on the Go back button.
  6. In the next couple of dialogues you will be asked about your reason to switch back and if you want to check the updates first. But in the end, you will be able to click the Go back to earlier build button.

If the previous solutions didn’t work, you can wait for a patch. However, going back to an earlier build makes a lot of sense too.

You can easily do that by following the steps above but you need to keep in mind that you aren’t supposed to be able to go back to Windows 10 if you’ve used Windows 11 for more than 10 days.

We agree that it’s a very short period, so let us tell you that you can also bypass that by using our complete guide on how to roll back from Windows 11 to Windows 10.

Another possible tweak would have been to change the Start menu to the old look by performing a Registry modification.

Unfortunately, since the build 22000.65, you can’t revert the Start menu to the way it was in Windows 10 with the Registry hack.

However, you can still move the Task icons to the left, like they used to be in the old Windows 10 and this will at least bring a little bit of comfort, hopefully. The below steps will help you do that in no time:

How can I get back the Windows 11 Classic Start menu?

  1. Hit the Windows key, then type regedit.
  2. Open Registry Editor.
  3. In the opened window, look at the search bar, then copy and paste the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. From the left window pane, right-click Advanced, then choose New, and DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Input this value name, then hit Enter: Start_ShowClassicMode
  6. Double-click the same value and change the data to be 1, and then select OK.
  7. Now, restart your PC.

How can I get the old Taskbar on Windows 11?

  1. Righ-click the Taskbar and select Taskbar settings.
  2. Click on the Taskbar behavior section to expand it.
  3. Select the drop-down menu from the Taskbar alignment option and select Left instead of Center.

These are the best options we thoroughly tested, so we strongly recommend giving each of them a try if your Windows 11 Start menu is not working.

For a full account personalization, we suggest checking some easy ways to change passwords & usernames in Windows 11.

If this guide was helpful, give it a like in the section below. Also, do not hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter to get access to some more interesting subjects.

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