Windows Start Menu is a gateway to all the apps and software available on your system. You can pin app shortcuts and also have the default Windows apps there. But what happens when the Start Menu on Windows 10 won’t open or stops working suddenly?
Without further ado, here is a list of issues and their solutions that are known to fix this problem.
1. Update Your Windows 10
Windows 10 does a pretty good job of updating your computer. If you have set the update settings to default, updates will be installed automatically when you are not active on your computer.
Updates bundle a lot of bug fixes and performance improvements. To check for new updates and install them immediately, press Windows key+I to open Settings and click on Update & Security.
The screenshot below shows that there are some updates available for my PC which are waiting to be installed during my non-working hours.
If you too get a similar list of updates, click on Install now, reboot after updates are installed, and check if Start Menu works again.
2. Start Menu Troubleshooter
Microsoft is aware of the problem which is why they have a dedicated tool to resolve this issue. Download it using the link below and run it. The tool will search for registry errors, corrupted database files, and installed apps errors. If it finds something, you will be notified and be asked to follow the on-screen instructions.
When you turn off your PC, it does not switch off completely. Microsoft has a hidden feature that will help you perform a full shutdown where the system will exit all apps and services altogether.
To do so, press the Ctrl+X keys on your keyboard and then press U twice.
You can also use the Command Prompt to initiate a full shutdown. Search for Command Prompt, right-click, and click on Run as admin. Now type the below command:
shutdown /s /f /t 0
4. Dropbox Issue
Several users have reported on Microsoft as well as Dropbox forums that the Start Menu stops working after installing Dropbox on Windows 10. If you are using Dropbox as your preferred cloud storage service and facing this error, try uninstalling it once from Control Panel and reboot to see if it resolves the error.
If Start Menu works again, then you must wait until Dropbox releases an update to fix the issue. However, if you want to use Dropbox, then there are some other steps to make sure that it does not interfere with the Start Menu. Read them from the link below.
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5. AMD Graphics Driver Issue
This is another known issue where not updating the AMD graphics driver causes the Start Menu to stop working. If you are using old drivers for the AMD-made graphics component, please update them to the latest ones. To do so, right-click anywhere on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings.
Click on Updates on the lower left and then click on Check for updates. If you do find one, install it. Check if Start Menu is functioning again and if not, we have some more solutions.
6. Change Sign-In Option
Some of our helpful users suggest that turning off auto-finish device update helps resolve the issue. Press Windows key+I to open Settings and search for Sign-in options.
Turn off the 'Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device' option.
7. Restart Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is the service that you use to explore your computer, browse files and so on. Restarting it can solve quite a few problems including the one where Start Menu stops working.
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to launch the Task Manager. Search for Windows Explorer under the Process tab. Once you find it, right-click on it, and select Restart.
Note that doing so will close all open windows. So save everything before restarting Windows Explorer.
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8. Application Identity Service
This particular service is responsible for deciding which Windows apps should run and which shouldn’t. While it works flawlessly most of the time, you may need to run it once to check if Start Menu has been killed by it.
Press Windows key+R to open the Run prompt and type services.msc before hitting Enter.
Locate Application Identity, right-click on it, and select Start.
Now reboot your computer and check if this fixes the issue.
9. Run SFC and DISM Scan
These two commands can solve so many problems that Microsoft often suggests running them. Both commands instruct Windows to scan deep for corrupted files and fix them automatically.
Search for CMD in Windows and right-click on it to choose Run as Administrator. You can also use Ctrl+X shortcut and launch it from there. If you can’t find the Command Prompt, launch PowerShell as admin (has a blue background).
Type these commands and hit Enter after each command.
dism /online /cleanup image / restorehealth
I would suggest rebooting your system before you check whether the Start Menu is functioning normally.
10. Edit Registry
If you still haven't solved the issue, then it is a bit more serious than what we thought. But don’t worry, we've got more solutions. We can edit the associated registry file manually to see if that fixes the issue.
Press Windows key+R to open Run prompt and type regedit before hitting Enter.
Here you will find an entry named Start. Double-click on it to open it.
The hexadecimal value should be 4 here and not 2. Change it and click on OK. Reboot your computer and recheck the Start Menu.
11. Rogue App
Windows 10 ships with a lot of apps pre-installed that are designed to make your life easier. It is possible that one of the apps is misbehaving and causing the Start Menu to fail. That is a known issue so we will have to re-install Windows app. There is an easy way to do it.
Press Windows key+X and select PowerShell (Admin) to launch it.
Once it opens, type the following command and hit Enter.
You will see a lot of movement on the screen with many processes running. Don’t worry as it is all expected, even if you see text in a red font which may look like warnings. Once things calm down, reboot your computer and check again.
Start the Menu
The Start Menu is like a window providing you quick access to programs and apps on the fly, anytime. We hope one of the above solutions works for you. If you found another way to resolve the error, do let us know in the comments below.
Next up: Is your Windows 10 PC lagging while play games? Fullscreen Optimization is the culprit. Here is how to turn it off.