Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working Fix Critical Error 7 Ways

This is the most extreme guide to fix windows 10 start menu not working along with critical errors that might also appear on the Cortana Search Box making it difficult to interact.

windows 10 start menu not working fix

At a glance, you’ll discover:

  • Methods to fix start menu
  • Eliminate any critical errors
  • Fix for lousy Cortana search box
  • Powershell Commands fix
  • Remove class not registered error

Alright, let’s get started.

How to fix Windows 10 start menu not working

Windows 10 is a very powerful Operating System that was first released in 2015. Throughout the years, there were thousands of updates and major releases, fixing variations of issues and bugs. One of the major problems was the vanishing of the start menu and a taskbar that has access to many icons, shortcuts, and functions.

Some causes of the windows 10 start menu not working after update are:

  • Presence of corrupted or outdated start menu and Cortana temporary cache files.
  • Failure of windows explorer.
  • A system bug, error, or glitch.
  • Accidental removal or deletion of system files.
  • The taskbar is hidden from settings.

1. Restart Windows Explorer

If we’re being unable to locate the start menu, our first step is to launch Windows Explorer using different shortcuts and keys. Press the keys ” windows + r ” to launch the run dialogue box. Type cmd and press enter. Then, execute the syntax:  start ..  This will open up Windows Explorer.

Alternative hotkeys: Windows + E

Next, perform these steps.

  1. Press the hotkeys ALT + CTRL + DEL
  2. Click on ‘Task Manager”.
  3. Under the performance tab, right-click on “Windows Explorer”.
  4. Select “Restart”.

As you do the action, some animations and flashes might occur on the screen. When it’s complete, the taskbar along with the start menu should appear once again.

2. Replace Corrupted Files

If the start menu is not working in Windows 10, the most common reason could be due to corrupted or deleted system files. This next solution requires caution and patience to perform successfully as we’re going to restore the files to their initial states.

  1. Open command prompt as described above in the first solution.
  2. Now, execute the syntax: runas /user:Administrator cmd
  3. Enter your admin password to launch the command prompt as an admin.
  4. After that, execute: sfc /scannow

The moment you run the last command, it will start scanning for corrupted systems and replace them with proper working files. When the process is over, takes 5-10 minutes, restart your computer.

Alternative to launch the command prompt as an admin: simply open run dialogue box, type cmd and press “CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER”. This should help you skip directly to the sfc /scannow command, which is step number 4 above.

3. Powershell Commands Fix

We can also use the PowerShell command for windows 10 start menu not working solution.

  1. Press Windows + R.
  2. Type Powershell in the run dialogue box and press CTRL + SHIFT + Enter.
  3. Copy this red highlighted code entirely and execute this command inside the Powershell terminal:
     Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”} 
  4. Wait for some minutes until the process is complete.

The above Windows Powershell command will simply reinstall all the default Windows applications including the start menu. It is extremely helpful for windows 10 critical error start menu not working fix.

4. Run Windows Update

To run a Windows update, we need to open the settings panel by pressing the hotkeys Windows + I button. Make sure that your computer is connected to the internet.

Next steps:

  1. Click on “Update and Security”.
  2. Select “Check for updates”.

It takes a while to scan the Windows server to detect new releases, depending upon your network speed. Once the check is complete, it will automatically start downloading the updates, not only for the operating system but for other apps as well. This is a necessary step to fix start menu not working windows 10.

You can see the progress next to “Status:” where it says whether the files are downloading or pending installation. Follow the on-screen instructions later to complete the update process because it’s just a matter of clicks. Also, your computer will require a restart, so have enough battery charge or power before attempting an update because a shut down in the middle of the progress might cause errors.

Also check: How to solve dns servers not responding in Windows for internet

5. Recreate Cortana Directory

Sometimes windows 10 start menu and cortana not working errors occur simultaneously. So, the solution is to clear corrupted files from the Cortana system. Therefore, we need to run the command prompt as admin (check the last paragraph of solution number 2 for help). The next steps are to copy and execute the following commands one by one:

  • CD/d “%LOCALAPPDATA%PackagesMicrosoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy”
  • Taskkill /F /IM SearchUI.exe
  • RD /S /Q Settings

Caution: The function of the above syntaxes is to terminate the Cortana process, and delete its directory. Then the Cortana has to be restarted, which is done automatically by Windows and the directories are recreated. Don’t forget to restart your computer at the end.

6. Enable XAML Process

The Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) is a programming language developed by Microsoft that is specifically helpful in creating navigation designs and user interfaces. Since the upgrade from Win8 to Win10, the start menu uses XAML processes to function properly. Therefore, another common fix for windows 10 start menu and taskbar not working is to ensure that these XAML works are enabled.

  1. Open Run.
  2. Type “regedit” without double inverted commas and press enter.
  3. Copy this directory: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. Paste the above directory in the registry editor address bar and press enter.
  5. Right-click on blank space.
  6. Go to New and click on “DWORD (32-bit) value”.
  7. Rename the new registry item to “EnableXamlStartMenu”. Again, no double quotes required.
  8. If the field for value is prompted, leave it to 0.
  9. Restart the computer.

7. DISM Command Tool

The DISM command tool will help you fix the windows 10 class not registered start menu not working error. To perform this, we need to first replace corrupted files as described in solution number 2. But, this time, do not close the cmd window until you execute the following commands one after another by pressing the key enter.

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Next, reinstall the windows application using Powershell and then reboot your computer (see solution3 above).


1. how do I fix critical error Start menu not working?

To fix the critical error, open Windows PowerShell as an admin and execute this command: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"} After that, restart your computer. Check the solution number 3 for more details.

2. What causes critical error start menu?

The critical error on the start menu occurs when we might have accidentally deleted its files or they are corrupted due to some reasons, like the presence of a virus or the operating system is downloaded or installed from an untrusted or unofficial source.

3. how do I fix Cortana on windows 10?

We can recreate the Cortana search box installation directory by using command prompt syntaxes to fix it, as described in solution number 5.

4. Why is the windows 10 start menu not working?

The start menu in Windows 10 could be frozen because of the failure of windows explorer, corrupted files, glitches, bugs, and removal of temporary cache directories and files by some cleaner software, viruses, or accidental human activities.

5. How to open the control panel without taskbar or desktop icons?

If there're desktop icons still visible, then use them to launch the CPanel. Otherwise, use the method explained in solution 1 to open Windows Explorer using the command prompt. After file explorer pops up, click on its address bar, delete the existing words and address, type "Control Panel" without double quotes, and press enter. This is another method to open CPanel inside Windows 10.


In this way, we can fix windows 10 start menu not working in seven different ways. In some cases, your entire system might be getting corrupted due to the use of a cracked version of Windows OS. Using such versions is always harmful because they are exposed to viruses, malware, and spoofed codes.

Moreover, You can always visit a PC repair center to install a genuine version of the Windows Operating System after backing up your data. Never try it yourself unless you’re an experienced person because it requires the formatting of hard drive partitions and a bootable USB drive. One mistake can corrupt the entire hard drive and the worst part is, you might never recover it and could need replacement. Therefore, always take the help of an IT expert who performs such tasks safely on daily basis.

Anyways, let me know in the comment box below if you are able to get the start menu and Cortana search box working again or not after applying the above solutions. If it did, which solution helped you? This might help our future readers as well. (See you) 🙂