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How to fix Start Menu button not working on Windows 10

The Start Menu is a core part of Windows. While you can run apps from their folders directly, via desktop shortcuts, or even the run box, the Start Menu is much quicker way to do it. If nothing else, it was one of the leading reasons Windows 8 was so poorly received. The Start Menu has improved on Windows 10, and small subtle changes are still being made to make it better however, it’s also one of the features that tend to break a lot. Here’s how you can fix the Start Menu button not working on Windows 10.

Fix Start Menu button not working

Make sure that you try to open the Start menu by clicking on the button with your mouse. It may not respond to the Win button on your keyboard but it may open when you click on it with a mouse. You should also restart your system at least once to see if that fixes the problem.

If it doesn’t, proceed with the fixes below.

Windows 10 1903 fix

This fix is exclusive to the Windows 10 1903 version. It still hasn’t rolled out to the stable release channel but if you’re running it on the Release Ring, you can give this fix a try. In fact, it should be the first thing you try before you do anything else.

The Start Menu is now a separate process that you can restart much like you can restart Explorer.exe. Open the Task manager and on the Processes tab, look for Start. Select it, and click the Restart button at the bottom.

Remove third-party apps

Many Windows 10 users still do not like the look and functionality of the Start Menu which is why they tend to use apps to modify it. For the most part, these apps are stable and rarely break anything but, you should remove them if your Start menu button stops working.

On that same note, if you have any apps installed that modify how your keyboard works e.g., an app that remaps keyboard keys, disable it.

Enable XAML

XAML is the language modern Windows 10 apps are written in and the Start Menu is an XAML app that requires UAC access. Normally, UAC access for it is enabled by default however, you may have accidentally disabled it, or enabling it again might fix the problem. You can do this from either PowerShell, or from the Command Prompt.

PowerShell

Open PowerShell with admin rights and run the following command;

Get-AppxPackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle |% {Add-AppxPackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “\appxmetadata\appxbundlemanifest.xml”)}

Command Prompt

Open a new Notepad file and paste the following in it. Save the file with the CMD extension and run it with admin rights. It will make a modification to the Windows Registry that will enable XAML.

REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /V EnableXamlStartMenu /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

Delete Cortana files

If you’re not on Windows 10 1903, the Start menu, Search, and Cortana are still tightly integrated with each other which is why deleting files related to Cortana might solve the problem.

Open Command Prompt with admin rights and run the following commands, one after the other.

CD /d “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy”
Taskkill /F /IM SearchUI.exe
RD /S /Q Settings

Registry Fix

Open the Windows Registry and navigate to the following location;

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WpnUserService

Here, you will see a value called Start. Double-click it and set it to 4.

Next, go to the following location;

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.

There should be a value called EnableXamlStartMenu here. If it isn’t present, right-click Advanced and select New>DWORD (32-bit) value and create it. It’s value should be set to 0 by default.

Restart your system after making changes to the registry.

Disable sign in information

This solution is somewhat obscure but it has worked for some users. Open the Settings app and go to the Accounts group of settings. Select the Sign In options tab and disable the ‘Use my sign in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart’ option. Restart your system.

If all else fails

Run Windows 10 in safe mode and check if the Start menu button works or not. If it doesn’t, your final course of action is to create a new user account and delete the one where the Start menu button won’t work. It may not be the greatest solution but it is better than doing a fresh install of the OS and installing your apps again.

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