How to Fix Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working

The Start menu is your primary gateway to navigating Windows 10, so when it does run up, it becomes a problem. If your PC or laptop’s Start menu is locked or generally unresponsive, here’s how to fix it.

You should back up any files that you can’t afford to lose before trying some of the fixes listed below. Here’s how to back up Windows 10.

Method 1. Turn off and on again

There’s a reason that Roy in IT crowd famous for saying ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’ slogan. In many cases, this is all you need to do to fix problems with your laptop or PC.

It is also the easiest method. Try restarting your PC, maybe even a few times, and see if that fixes the problem. Obviously you don’t want to do this often, but if it works, you should be up and running within minutes.

Method 2. Update Windows 10

Usually errors like these are resolved when the next Windows update is released. Microsoft is constantly improving and refining its descendants, so keeping your system up to date is a very good idea.

Your version of Windows 10 will most likely be set to automatically install newer versions, but if that’s not the case, you can easily update it manually, even without a Start menu. head.

The simplest way to open Settings is to hold down the Windows key on your keyboard (the one to the right of Ctrl) and press i. If for any reason this doesn’t work (and you can’t use the Start menu), you can hold down the Windows key and press R which will launch the Run command.

We’ve also noticed that if Settings doesn’t open from the main Start menu, you can click the search box first, then the gear icon, and this can make Settings appear.

how to fix windows 10 start menu error

In the box that appears, enter the following text, including the colon

ms settings:

and click OK.

Once the Settings app is open, you should click Update & security. In the main pane on the right hand side you will see an option to Check for updates or a Download button in newer versions as shown below. Click here and then install any updates that Windows provides.

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how to fix windows 10 start menu error

You will probably need to restart your machine when this is finished, but hopefully it will solve your Start menu problem. If that’s not the case then you can try some other solutions.

Many thanks to our reader Robert Garrett for sending us the following information. It works, so we included it here first (slightly edited).

Method 3. Create a new user profile

Create two New account with administrator privileges. They must have administrative rights for the tasks you need to perform. If you do not have administrator rights and/or cannot create a new account, give up now and reinstall Windows and all your applications.

Log out and sign in to one of the new admin accounts you just created. Check to make sure your start menu is working properly. If not then something else has happened and you can try this whole thing again after trying the other fixes below.

The thing is, you have to have a working new account with a functional start menu before the rest of this process will do you any good, so if you can’t get to this point after that, already time to reinstall Windows. Sorry.

The good news is… if you’ve done this, you should be able to fix the problem. Now open File Explorer and make sure that your folder options allow you to see system files, hidden files, and file extensions.

Sign out of this account, then log in to the second new admin account you created, and reset the folder options accordingly so you can see “everything”. Navigate to your destination : usersLocalTileDataLayerDatabase folder You will see about 8 files. Select all and copy them all to:usersLocalTileDataLayerDatabase directory, replace all files there.

The reason you have to create two new accounts to do this is (1) when you first log into the new account, Windows creates a new start menu for that account (which should hopefully work) and (2) once you’re signed in to an account, all of these files are “locked” by Windows (for signed-in accounts) and you won’t be able to copy them.

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Log out, log back in to the original account with the broken start menu and it should work now. Note that any customizations you previously made to the menu will be gone and you will have to make them again, but at least you can now.

To create a new Windows account, you need to press Win + R and then type dashboard. Now select User Accounts > Change Account Type > Add New User in PC Settings. You’ll see some options that let you add users to your Family or just use General. Set up one of these and see if that solves the problem.

Don’t delete your original user account, though, as you’ll want that after the bug has been patched.

How to fix Start Menu error in Windows 10

Method 4. Using Command Line Utilities

If the thought of tinkering with code doesn’t send chills down your spine, there are several utilities you can use to solve your Start Menu problem. Before you begin, we strongly recommend backing up any files that you can’t afford to lose.

Scan file system

System File Checker is a built-in utility that, as the name suggests, will go through your system to see if anything is corrupted.

The first thing you need to do is open the Task Manager window by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

At the top of the new window, you’ll see an option for File > Run new task. Click here and then in the Create new task box, type CMD, but don’t press enter. In the area where you entered CMD, you will see a box called Create this task with administrative privileges that you need to check. Now click OK.

how to fix windows 10 start menu error

A new window will now appear with a blinking cursor next to c:windowssystem32>

Enter the following command;

sfc / scannow

and press Enter.

how to fix windows 10 start menu error

Windows will now scan your file system and tell you if it detected any differences.

If you see the message Windows Resource Protection found corrupted files but was unable to fix some (or all) of them then you will need to run another program to see if these problems can be resolved.

At the command line prompt, type the following;

DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth

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make sure you include spaces after each word.

This process can take some time to run, so let the PC do the work and go make yourself a cup of tea. You have earned it! When the DISM is complete, you should expect to receive a message letting you know that all is well. You should run the sfc /scannow utility again to check that there aren’t any other errors lurking in the system.

If, after all this, you are still having problems, then more drastic measures need to be tried.

Reinstall Windows Applications

Just like in the SFC section above, you will need to launch the Command Line interface in Administrator mode. To do so, press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, choose File > Run New Task, and then type CMD. Make sure that Create this task with administrative privileges highlighted, and then click OK.

You should see a black terminal window appear with a blinking cursor next to the c:windowssystem32> prompt. Enter the word powerpress enter then copy and paste the following command (yes, you can paste in the command line in Windows 10!);

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}

How to fix Start Menu error in Windows 10

Press enter, the process will run. Don’t be alarmed by the red error messages that may appear.

How to fix Start Menu error in Windows 10

This is normal, if a bit scary, but when the process is over, you’ll see a prompt appear at the bottom of the dashboard. Close the window and hopefully your Start menu will be fully functional again.

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Posts “How to Fix Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working” posted by on 2019-08-21 13:41:00. Thank you for reading the article at

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