Troubleshooting Guide: What to Do When Your Windows 10 Start Menu is Not Working

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The Windows 10 start menu is as essential as the engine in a car. It is the launchpad that leads us to the myriad of applications, settings, and files within our system. This integral feature, however, isn’t exempted from occasional breakdowns. Just as car engines may stutter, the Windows 10 Start menu too, may sometimes refuse to work.

Commonly, users experience issues such as the Start menu freezing, becoming unresponsive, or even disappearing. Understanding these issues and knowing how to fix them is crucial for any Windows 10 user.

Understanding the Issue: Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working

A. Explanation of the problem

The issue manifests itself in different ways: the Start menu may not pop up when clicked, or it might appear but fail to respond when options are selected. Some users find that they encounter this issue sporadically, while others face it persistently.

B. Causes of the Windows 10 Start Menu problem

There could be multiple reasons why the Start menu would stop working — here are the most common ones:


Software glitches:

Sometimes, small bugs within the operating system can cause the Start menu to malfunction.

Insufficient system resources:

If your system is running low on resources, it might fail to properly load the Start menu.

Corrupted system files:

Essential system files that have become corrupt can interfere with the Start menu’s operation.

Compatibility issues with other software or updates:

Occasionally, new software or updates might conflict with the Start menu, causing it to stop working.

Basic Troubleshooting Steps

A. Restarting the system

The first and most straightforward step is to restart your system. Like a fresh breath of air, a restart can clear minor glitches that could be causing the issue.

B. Checking for Windows updates

Ensure that you have all the latest updates installed. Microsoft often releases patches that fix bugs in the operating system.

C. Checking for software compatibility issues

If the issue started after you installed a new piece of software or an update, try uninstalling it to see if that resolves the problem.

Detailed Solution Guides

A. Using Windows Troubleshooter

Microsoft includes a handy Troubleshooter in the system that can diagnose and fix a multitude of issues. You can locate this tool in the System Settings under ‘Update & Security’. On running the troubleshooter, follow the prompts and let it tackle the issues it finds.

B. Creating a new user account

Sometimes, the Start menu problem could be tied to your user account. Creating a new one can offer a fresh start. A step-by-step guide can be found on Microsoft’s website, along with instructions on transferring files between accounts.

C. Performing a System File Check

The System File Check, also known as SFC, is a helpful tool that can scan and repair corrupt system files. You can run this tool through the Command Prompt window.

D. Reinstalling Windows Apps

Sometimes the issue can be resolved by reinstalling Windows Apps. These are integral parts of the system, and resetting them can iron out any bugs.

E. Performing a System Restore

System restore is a feature that takes your PC back to an earlier point in time, known as a system restore point. It can undo recent system changes without affecting your files or data.

Preventive Measures for the Future

To prevent future issues with the Start menu:

A. Ensure your Windows system is up-to-date
B. Regularly scan your system for corrupted files
C. Avoid installing software from non-reputable sources.


While the Windows 10 Start menu not working can be a significant inconvenience, the solutions are usually straightforward. Regular maintenance and vigilance can also help prevent such issues.


A. What causes the Windows 10 start menu to stop working?

Various factors could cause this, including software glitches, insufficient system resources, corrupted system files, and compatibility issues with other software.

B. How do I fix the start menu in Windows 10?

You can use various methods, such as restarting the system, using Windows Troubleshooter, creating a new user account, performing a System File Check (SFC), reinstalling Windows Apps, or performing a system restore.

C. Is there a shortcut for the start menu?

The keystrokes Ctrl + Esc can open the Start menu as a quick shortcut, or you can also press the Windows key.

D. What should I do if none of the solutions are working?

If none of the solutions work, your last resort could be to reset your PC or contact Microsoft Support for further assistance.

E. Can updating Windows 10 cause the start menu to stop working?

Yes, sometimes updates can lead to software incompatibilities that break specific features, including the Start Menu.

F. What permanent solutions exist for the Windows 10 start menu problem?

Keeping your system updated, regularly scanning for corrupted files, and avoiding the installation of dubious software can help prevent this problem.

G. Can software incompatibilities cause the start menu to stop working?

Yes, conflicts between certain software or updates can cause the Start menu to malfunction.