windows 10 start menu not working

Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working? How to Fix This Problem!

Ever since its introduction to Windows in 1995, the start menu has been associated with the Windows Operating System (OS) much like peanut butter is associated with jelly. This is why its elimination in Windows 8 came as a shock to most users and was criticized worldwide.

With Windows 10, Microsoft learned its lesson and brought the Start menu functionality back. However, there are several issues on Windows 10 that can affect the Start menu.

One issue became a widespread problem when older systems were upgraded to the new OS. Fortunately, you can make the problem disappear. There are a few steps you need to take in order to fix problems with the Start menu.

Steps to Back up Your PC

Back up your PC

Backing up your system is always a good idea, whether or not you have any issues with your PC. If you make a backup of your current files on another drive, it allows you to the freedom of deleting unnecessary junk from your computer or even resetting your system for a major performance boost without worrying about data loss. It is recommended that you back up your PC before attempting to repair the Start menu. To back up your computer, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Settings and go to Update & Security.
  2. Select ‘Backup’ from the left panel in the window that appears.
  3. Connect an external drive to your computer for storing your data.
  4. Click ‘Add a Drive’ and select the attached drive. This can take some time but Windows will do the rest for you.

Steps to Restart Your PC

Restart

Sometimes, the problem with your Start menu simply lies with a bad system boot and can be solved with a simple restart. In other cases, an uninstalled update may be the root cause of the problem, so a restart might help by installing the update, which will fix the issue. The restart should not delete any existing files, but you must make sure that any open files on which you are currently working are saved.

There are several ways to restart a computer. The most obvious is the Desktop start button. Since we are trying to fix the Start menu, this might not be an option. Therefore, we will look at three alternative routes:

  1. Press [ctrl] + [alt] + [delete] simultaneously to bring up the blue Task Manager screen. Click the power icon in the lower right corner, and select the ‘Restart’ option.
  2. Alternately, you could press [Alt] + [F4] on your keyboard, which will bring up a window with options to shut your system down, put the system in sleep/ hibernation mode, log off from your account, or restart the PC. Choose the restart option.
  3. If you are not logged into the computer, there should be a power icon in the lower right corner of the screen you can click on. Select ‘Restart’.

Steps to Repair Corrupt Files

The first thing you should do is to look for any corrupted files in your system that may be wreaking havoc on it. Windows 10 makes it really easy for you to check your system for these troublesome files and eradicate them.

Corrupt Files

These are the steps you need to follow:

  1. First launch the task manager by pressing the [Ctrl], [Alt], and [Del] keys simultaneously. This will take you to a blue menu screen with a few options. Click on the Task Manager option. Alternatively, you can press [Ctrl], [Shift], and [Esc] at the same time to directly open the Task Manager.
  2. Once the Task Manager is open, click on the file button on the top bar, and select ‘Run new task’ .
  3. After the previous step, a new window opens with a prompt that asks you to type in a task to run. Type in “PowerShell” and check the box below the field that grants the task administrative privileges. Finally, click ‘OK’.
  4. When the PowerShell opens, type in ‘sfc /scannow’ at the prompt and press Enter. The resulting scan will probably take some time to finish as it checks all the files in your system. Once it finishes, you will see one of three possible outcomes.
    1. Windows failed to find any corrupt files. Your system is corruption free.
    2. Windows finds some corrupt files, but fixes them implicitly without you needing to do anything else. Your system is now corruption free.
    3. Windows found some corrupt files but could not fix them. In this case, you need to type into the PowerShell prompt ‘DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth’ without the quotation marks and press [Enter]. This allows the OS to download fresh files to replace the corrupt ones and discard them. This may take some time to finish.

Steps to Run Windows Update

Windows update

Microsoft has turned a new leaf since its Windows 10 release. The corporation has committed to rolling out two feature updates that add functionality each year as well as its monthly fixes and security updates. Since updates build on previous ones, it is extremely important to keep your PC updated at all times. There are fixes in every release that address some, if not all, of your PC problems quickly.

  1. In order to bring your computer up-to-date with the latest update release, open the settings window. This is easily accessed on the Start menu, but if you cannot access it because of your Start menu issues, you can click the Notification Center icon on your taskbar. Once it opens, click ‘All settings’ at the bottom. Alternately, you can press [I] and the [Windows] key at the same time.
  2. Select the “Update & Security” option from the Settings window.
  3. Click Windows Update from the left panel in the window that appears, and a button will appear in the right panel called ‘Check for Updates’. Click that button and Windows will do the rest. It will also start downloading the latest version of Windows 10 if it is not already installed. As soon as any required downloads are complete, you can choose to either restart immediately and allow the updates to take effect or choose a suitable time for the upgrade to take place when you won’t need the system.

Steps to Create a New User Account

Create new user account

Usually, creating a new account will eliminate any issues that persist regarding the Start menu. However, there is a downside: you will need to manually transfer your local files to the new user account. Your settings and applications should carry over, though.

  1. First, you need to get into the PowerShell mentioned in a previous method. Press [Ctrl], [Shift], and [Esc] at the same time to open the Task Manager; click the file button on the top bar, and select ‘Run new task’; type “PowerShell” into the prompt that appears and check the box that grants administrative privileges before clicking ‘OK’.
  2. In the PowerShell window, type: ‘ net user DifferentUsername DifferentPassword  /add’ except you must replace ‘DifferentUsername’ with the actual new username you want on the account and ‘DifferentPassword’ with the password you want associated with the account. The password is case-sensitive and must not contain a space (this is also true of the username).
  3. Close the PowerShell window. Your new account should now exist, but you will need to transfer your files and settings from the previous account. When you begin using your new account, the Start menu problem you had should be resolved.

Steps to Refresh/ Reset Your Computer

Refreshing or resetting your computer should not be done regularly. It is time-consuming and can interrupt your daily workflow. However, every once in a while, it may give your system a much-needed boost. Follow the steps below to perform a system reset:

  1. Make sure you save any unsaved work before you begin. Press [L] and the [Windows] key to sign out from your account.
  2. The login screen should appear, asking for your account password. Below the password field, there will be three options—one of which is the Power icon. Click on that, hold down [Shift] and choose the restart option while you continue holding it.
  3. When the computer restarts, a blue screen will give you the option to start the system normally, troubleshoot your PC or shut down the computer.
    Troubleshooting mode
  1. Click ‘Troubleshoot’.
    Reset PC
  2. The next page has two options: ‘Reset this PC’ and ‘Advanced Options’. Choose the former.
    Keep my files
  3. The next screen gives you the option to either refresh the system or reset it. The major difference between the two is that refreshing your PC maintains your personal files as is, but removes the settings and software/ applications in your system. Reset, gives you a do-over. Everything will be erased from the system and your PC will start from scratch. Make your decision wisely.

Steps to Reinstall All Windows Programs

Reinstall all Windows Apps

Another way to resolve Start menu issues is to reinstall all the programs that come pre-installed with Windows 10. As technically taxing as it may sound, it is actually pretty simple and does not require a lot of effort on your part.

The process does not take up a lot of time and also restores your data just the way it was. Apps and programs that store your data on the web such as OneDrive should remain unaffected. However, proceed with caution when you choose to do this step as some applications may stop working after you try this method. If this happens, you should be able to reinstall them individually.

  1. First, get into the PowerShell following the method previously mentioned. Press [Ctrl], [Shift], and [Esc] at the same time to open the Task Manager; click the file button, and select ‘Run new task’; type in “PowerShell” and check the box that grants administrative privileges; click ‘OK’.
  2. When the PowerShell is open, type (or copy-paste) the following:

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

  1. Now, simply wait for the process to complete. If you encounter red text that resembles an error, just ignore it.
  2. Restart your system. The reinstalled programs, including your Start menu should be fixed.