Last Updated on April 24, 2019

Start Button IconAre you clicking the start button but your start menu is not working? Or is the Start menu stuck and unresponsive?

That is frustrating!

The Start button has made a comeback in Windows 10, but not without bugs. Many Windows 10 users have encountered these start menu problems, and there are a few things you can do to fix them. You can perform each of these steps independently from each other.

But before proceeding, if your problem isn’t only about the start menu and the whole taskbar is not working, then check this guide about fixing your taskbar. Now, let’s continue reading this one if the problem lies only in your Start menu.

We’ve arranged our solutions in a specific order that will make it easier for you to fix the problem and do it the fastest way possible. So please keep following the methods laid here one by one until your issue is no longer bothering you.

I- Restart Windows Explorer

Windows explorer is the main process responsible of Windows 10 user interface. And since the problem lies in the start menu, a visual component of the user interface, it’s then a good idea to restart the whole Windows Explorer. When you do this, the desktop icons, open folders and the whole taskbar will disappear and will appear again after a while. This is actually a great way to refresh the whole interface and it’s very probable that it fixes your problem. Here’s how you can restart your Windows Explorer:

  • Press Ctrl Shift ESC buttons in order to launch task manager or click on any empty area in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
  • If you’re seeing the small version of it, click on More details.
  • In the Processes tab and right click on Windows Explorer and choose Restart.
  • Once restarted, you can try your start menu again and see if it works now.

If this didn’t work, don’t give up and keep following the guide, we have plenty of tricks to solve it!

II- Restart your computer

Yes this might work if the problem is not recurring. If the solution of restarting the User Interface from the last method didn’t work, then a full system restart may solve it. But wait, how can you restart your computer when your start menu isn’t working? I’ll tell you how:

  • Open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl Shift ESC buttons or click on any empty area in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
  • Open the File menu then click Run new task.
  • Type cmd, check Create this task with administrative privileges and then press Enter:
  • Click Yes to give it permission.
  • Type this command and then press Enter:

shutdown /r /t 0

  • The command will make your computer restart immediately.
  • Once restarted, check if you’re still facing the start menu issue.

If at this point you’re still facing that issue, this means it’s not just a one time issue and we need to go to other solutions, ones that are simple yet effective.

III- Turn Tablet mode on and then off again

Tablet mode is mode that changes some layout positions to make your computer more friendly in case you have a touch screen Windows 10 device. This mode changes the start menu to the old full screen mode similar to the one on Windows 8 and 8.1 and the trick of refreshing your start menu by turning the tablet mode on then off again may help with your computer’s issues. You can do this by tapping the icon (Tablet mode) in your Notification Center one time to turn it on and then again to turn it off.

IV- Check for updates

I’ll keep saying it, Microsoft is paying so much attention for Windows 10 since there are no plans for another Windows. Therefore, there are lots of updates that are out there that fix tons of bugs and issues (this one included). That’s why all Windows 10 users should always make sure they have the latest Windows 10 update. In order to do so, just go for Settings Update & Security and finally click the Check for updates button. If you find any updates, please download and install them, then give your computer a restart and see if the problem persists. Don’t worry if it’s still there, we have a few more steps for you.

At any case, if you want to know more about Windows updates and the latest updates out there including their features, I would strongly recommend that you take a look at our Full Windows 10 Updates Catalog, I’m sure you’ll find there all what you’re looking for.

V- Still stuck? Let’s Troubleshoot

Microsoft is always developing its Windows 10 troubleshooter. Everyday, I find it solving more problems than it could the day before. that’s why I would recommend giving the troubleshooter a chance scanning for problems and trying to fix them. But when we come to the troubleshooter, it needs a specific issue to work on. There are two troubleshooting categories that may help you:

  •  Search and indexing troubleshooting (since the search tool is a part of your start menu)
  • Windows store apps troubleshooting (the metro apps are taking most of your start menu space, therefore they may affect it if they have any problems).

In order to go through both troubleshoots, you need to go to your Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot which is a tab located at the left pane. Remember that the hotkey for your settings is Windows key + i.

Now on the right, you’ll find many options including the ones we talked about. Click on any of them and then click Run the troubleshooter. You’ll then need to follow the pop-up window and let the troubleshooter do its job. In case it detects any problem, it will fix it automatically. Don’t forget to do this for both search and indexing and Windows store apps one after another.

VI- Run SFC and DISM

These two tools always know how to make their way to my guides: they are really important when it comes to fixing system issues. Note that this might take a while so be patient.

  • Open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl Shift ESC buttons or click on any empty area in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
  • Open the File menu then click Run new task.
  • Type cmd, check Create this task with administrative privileges and then press Enter:
  • Click Yes to give it permission.
  • Type the following command and then press Enter:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

(note the spaces before each “/”).

  • Type the following command then press Enter:

sfc /scannow 

(make sure you put a space between “sfc” and “/scannow”)

VII- Reinstall Windows Apps (Metro Apps)

Metro apps are the ones that you install from Microsoft store and they appear on your start menu. Sometimes, errors concerning these apps may result in a problem with your Start menu functionality. That’s why at some point, we recommend that you reinstall all the Windows apps you have using a few PowerShell commands. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl Shift ESC buttons or click on any empty area in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
  2. Open the File menu then click Run new task.
  3. Type powershell and check Create this task with administrative privileges. Click Ok or press Enter.
  4. Now, you need to type this command in order to reinstall all Windows apps. This may take a while so keep some popcorn around:

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

After this reinstalling process finishes, give your computer a restart and check if the start menu is back to life.

VIII- Create a new user

If all the previous methods couldn’t solve your problem, this one is of a different perspective. Creating a new user is close to resetting your computer, you’ll have all the default settings which may fix your problem in most cases. The thing is you won’t have all your user files (downloads, documents and anything else in your default user folder) so if you try this method and it works, you should copy any files you find important on to an external flash drive, for example, and put them back on the new user. Let’s see how to create a new user:

  • Open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl Shift ESC buttons or click on any empty area in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
  • Open the File menu then click Run new task.
  • Type cmd, check Create this task with administrative privileges and then press Enter:
  • Click Yes to give it permission.
  • Type this command and then press Enter (Make sure to replace Username with the username you want and Password with your own password):

net user Username Password /add

For example if I’ll create a user named Win10FAQ2 and the password is mina then the command will look like this:

Once you’ve created the new user, let’s switch to it:

  • Open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl Shift ESC buttons or click on any empty area in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
  • Open the File menu then click Run new task.
  • Type cmd, check Create this task with administrative privileges and then press Enter:
  • Click Yes to give it permission.
  • Type this command and then press Enter:

logoff

  • Now when you computer signs out and then wakes up, you need to choose the new user from the bottom left corner and then click Sign in.
  • This will be the first time to sign in to this user, so be patient and in a few minutes you’ll be logged in.
  • You may now check your start menu functionality, if it’s working then you would probably migrate to the new user by copying your important files.

IX- Dead End? Reset your PC

Before you get upset, I want to clarify that resetting your PC won’t make you lose any of your files. Of course doing this together with a backup would be safer but if you don’t have a large external flash/hard drive then go or it and it shouldn’t delete any valuable personal files. This process will reset your whole PC settings, it’s like you’ve done a factory reset but it will keep your files. This can be done using:

  1. The Settings app in case the hotkey is working (Windows logo key + i).
  2. The Automatic Repair feature in case the previous one didn’t work.

First, let’s try the settings app

  • Open your Settings by using the hotkey: press the Windows logo key (if this one didn’t work, click here)
  • Click on Update & Security.
  •  Choose Recovery from the left pane and click on the Get started button under the Reset PC section.
  • Now you are totally free to make your choice but it’s worth giving the Keep my files option a shot.
  • Review the programs that will be lost and make sure you can recover them back yourself after the reset and then click Next.
  • One step close to Reset. Just HIT IT! You can do it!

The second way to do this: Automatic Repair

In this method, you will have to interrupt the boot process three times in a row. To do so, hold the power button as soon as you see the Windows logo, right after the computer manufacturer logo. This will turn off your computer. Turn it on again and interrupt the boot process again in the same way. Do this 3 times in total and then follow these instructions

  • After the third interruption, power your computer up without interrupting, and you’ll see a message under the Windows logo saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”.
  • Now, you will see another message saying “Diagnosing your PC”, keep waiting for a little while.
  • Now that you see this screen, choose Advanced options.
  • Go for Troubleshoot.
  • Choose Reset this PC
  • Now let’s pick Keep my files in order to save them.
  • Pick your default user if there is any in order to complete the process. You’ll be asked to enter the password for it as well.
  • One final step, obviously it’s the Reset button. Click it!
  • Here you are, resetting your PC! Well done!

If you ever encounter a problem resetting your PC, we have an article about that error message which tells you that there was a problem resetting your PC – check it if you need to.

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4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Seriously?! Your last suggestion is to to rest my PC by going into settings. Even though this article is about troubleshooting the start menu missing.

  2. Avatar

    thank you so much. went through every step and at step 7 my problem was solved. i can click start button again

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