How to Fix Windows 11 Start Menu Not Working

By Rajat Gupta 13 Min Read
How to Fix Windows 11 Start Menu Not Working

The Start Menu is like the front door to your Windows 11 computer, letting you get to your apps, stuff, and settings. But sometimes, this door gets stuck, and the Windows 11 Start Menu stops working. It’s really annoying, but don’t worry—this article is here to help you fix it in an easy, straightforward way.

In this article, we’re going to figure out why the Windows 11 Start Menu stops working. It could be because of computer glitches or things not playing nice together. We’ll explore all the possible reasons. Then, we’re going to follow simple steps to troubleshoot and make the Start Menu work again. Just follow along, and soon enough, you’ll have your Start Menu back, and your Windows 11 will be up and running smoothly again.

Way to Fix Windows 11 Start Menu Not Working

Facing a malfunctioning Windows 11 Start Menu can be a frustrating experience. However, there are effective methods to address this issue and restore its functionality. By following the appropriate steps, you can quickly overcome this hurdle and have your Start Menu up and running smoothly once again.

Here are some easy fixes to try for troubleshooting Start Menu not working:

1. Restart Your PC

If your Start Menu is not working, sometimes a simple restart can help. Before trying any other troubleshooting methods, you can attempt to restart your system. It’s akin to turning your computer off and then back on again.

To restart your PC, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Start button located at the bottom of your screen.

2. It will open up the Start Menu. Here, click on the Power icon and choose Restart, then let your computer do its thing.

Restart Windows 11

After it starts up again, check if the Start Menu is working. If not, then you can follow the below-mentioned methods to restore functionality to your Start Menu.

2. Update Windows

The next step that can help you with your Start button not working is updating your windows. An old or outdated window might cause your Start button to malfunction. To fix it you can update your Windows operating system to the latest version.

Here are the steps you can follow to update Windows:

1. Press Win + I to open the Windows settings.

2. Click on the Windows Update tab on the left pane and click on the Check for updates button.

Check for Windows Update

3. After that, let your computer do the rest.

4. If there are any updates available, you will receive an option to download and install them. Click on it to update your Windows operating system.

Afterward, check if the Start Menu is back to normal. Sometimes, an update can easily fix it, as Windows updates include bug fixes, security updates, and other feature enhancements. Therefore, it is also important to check for updates if your Windows system is not working properly.

3. Sign Out of Your User Account

If you are still facing Start Menu not working issues on Windows 11, then your user files might be corrupted. To fix this, signing out of your user account and signing back in can refresh your computer. This action can also help you resolve the Windows 11 Start button not working.

To Sign out of your user account, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Start button, then click on your profile picture or name.

Click on the User Profile Pic

2. Choose the Sign-out option from the menu that appears.

3. Wait a few seconds after signing out and sign back in.

Sign Out User Account

This is not a solid method to fix the issue. However, before trying critical troubleshooting methods, you can attempt these hacks to resolve the issue. If you are still facing the issue, proceed to try other methods.

4. Restart Windows Explorer

All the taskbar elements are closely integrated with Windows Explorer. Therefore, if any taskbar element, including the Start Menu, is not functioning properly, you can attempt to restart Windows Explorer.

Windows Explorer acts as a digital organizer that allows you to find, open, copy, and move files around your computer. Occasionally, restarting Windows Explorer can also resolve issues with the Start Menu on your system.

To restart Windows Explorer, follow the following steps:

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open the Task Manager.

2. This will open the Task Manager. Click on the Processes tab on the left pane and look for Windows Explorer in the list.

3. Right-click on it, and then click Restart from the context menu.

Restarting Windows Explorer

This will restart the taskbar elements of your Windows system, including the Start Menu. This action might resolve the Start Menu issue.

5. Run DISM and SFC

Another easy fix for correcting your Start Menu will be running Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) and System File Checker (SFC). These are like super-scan tools that can find and fix problems in your computer and repair the corrupted Windows installations.

To use them you will need to Open the Command Prompt as an administrator by following the given steps:

1. Click on the Start button and type Command Prompt.

2. Right-click on Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator.

Open Command Prompt as an administrator

3. In the Command Prompt window, run the following command to perform the System File Checker and wait for the process to complete:

sfc /scannow
Running SFC Scan

4. Once done, run the Deployment Image Servicing and Management command. For that, type the below command and press Enter to execute it.

dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Note: To execute the DISM command, you need a stable internet connection, as it will attempt to restore any corrupted files from your current installation by requesting a fresh copy of the file from Microsoft’s servers.

Runing the DISM command

5. Allow the scans to finish. The process will take around 15-30 minutes to complete. They will search for problems and attempt to fix them automatically.

6. Once the command has restored all the damaged and corrupted Windows installation files, you should see something like this.

DISM Scan Complete

6. Boot Into Safe Mode

If you are still encountering the issue of the Start Menu not working on Windows 11, you can reboot your system into Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a special mode in which your computer operates, functioning as a simplified version of itself. This mode aids in troubleshooting because only essential components are active on your system, potentially leaving out any troublesome software that is causing the issue.

Here’s how to get into Safe Mode on Windows 11:

1. Click on the Start button, and then click on the Power icon.

2. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on Restart.

3. Your computer will restart and display a Choose an option screen.

4. Click on Troubleshoot, then select Advanced options, and finally, click on Start-up settings under Advanced options.

5. Click on Restart, and then choose the Safe Mode option from the list.

Windows Startup Settings

6. Your computer will then restart in Safe Mode.

In Safe Mode, check to see if the Start Menu functions better. If it does, this could indicate that something else is causing the problem. Please note that to exit Safe Mode, simply restart your PC, and Windows will boot up normally.

7. Re-register the Built-in Windows Apps

Built-in Windows apps are like the tools in a toolbox, but sometimes they can get a bit rusty and need a tune-up. Re-registering them is like giving them a fresh start, which might help the Start Menu behave.

Here’s how you can do this:

1. Press the Windows Key to open up the Start Menu.

2. Here, type PowerShell and right-click on Windows PowerShell from the search results.

3. Then, select Run as administrator.

Windows PowerShell Run as Administrator

4. In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press the Enter key.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}
Re-register the Built-in Windows Apps

Let the process finish, then check if the Start Menu is working better.

8. Terminate Cortana

Cortana is a virtual assistant on your computer. Microsoft introduced it on Windows 10 and Windows 11, but sometimes it can act up and affect the Start Menu. Temporarily stopping it might help the Start Menu recover.

So, you can also try these methods to check if the Start Menu works. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows + I to open the Settings Apps.

2. Next, click on the App tab on the left pane and select the Installed apps.

Installed App List

3. Now, find the Cortana app and then click on the three dots at the right end of Cortana, and click on Advanced options.

Cortana Advanced option

4. Lastly scroll and find the terminate option and click it. This will terminate Cortana temporarily.

Terminate Conrtana

9. Factory Reset

If all the above-mentioned methods did not help you troubleshoot your issue, then you can try Factory Reset. A factory reset is like giving your computer a fresh start, wiping out everything you added. It can solve deep-seated issues, but use it as a last resort.

Here’s how you can factory reset your Windows 11 computer:

1. Go to Settings, then System, and choose Recovery.

Windows Recovery Option

2. Click on the Reset PC button.

Reset This PC option

3. Next, you will get the Reset this PC option. Here, choose the Keep My Files or Remove Everything option according to your need.

Reset Windows Operating System

4. After that, follow the instructions carefully.

5. Then wait for the process to be completed.

Note: Be careful while resetting your Windows 11. You can follow our detailed guide on how to reset Windows 11 without losing data.

After the reset process is complete, you will find that all the Windows bugs and glitches, including the Start Menu, have been fixed. This is the final method recommended after exhausting all possible troubleshooting solutions.


Fixing a troublesome Windows 11 Start Menu not working might seem tricky, but these steps can assist you. Remember, it’s akin to giving your computer a tune-up so that it can function more effectively. Whether it’s a simple restart, running special tools, or exploring Safe Mode, you have options.

Simply follow the methods one by one, and you might witness the Start Menu shining once again. So, don’t allow a stubborn Start Menu to hinder you. Give these solutions a try, and your Windows 11 experience could be smooth sailing once more.

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With a flair for explaining complex tech ideas in simple words, he crafts articles that make technology easy to grasp. Whether it's the latest trends or handy how-to guides, he brings a touch of clarity to the ever-changing tech world. Beyond writing, he loves exploring gadgets and experimenting with software, all to share the best insights with you.
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