Windows 10, despite its sleek design and enhanced features, sometimes presents its users with the irksome issue of the Start Menu not opening. This problem can be a real hassle, affecting productivity and overall system experience. In this article, we’ll explore various ways to resolve this nagging problem, providing both simple and advanced solutions.

Understanding the Issue

The Windows 10 Start Menu is a fundamental part of the operating system, acting as the primary gateway to applications, settings, power options, and more. When the Start Menu fails to open, it isn’t just an aesthetic problem; it impacts the overall usability of the computer. Here’s a more in-depth analysis of the issue:

Common Start Menu Problems

Software Glitches: Sometimes, a minor glitch within the operating system or other software can cause the Start Menu to freeze or not open at all. This can often be a temporary problem but may recur if not properly addressed.

Corrupted Files: If vital system files that are in relation with the Start menu become corrupted or somehow produce error, this can lead to the Start Menu breakdown. Corrupted files can result from improper shutdowns, power failures, even malware error, and many more.

Incompatible Applications: Installing third-party software that isn’t fully compatible with Windows 10 may interfere with the Start Menu functionality. This is especially common with applications that modify system settings or behavior.

System Updates: Sometimes, a new update might not install correctly, or there may be issues with the update itself, leading to the Start Menu not opening.

How it Affects Users

Loss of Accessibility: The Start Menu’s failure can make accessing applications and settings a cumbersome process, often requiring users to find alternative ways to launch applications.

Decreased Productivity: For professionals and students alike, quick access to necessary tools is vital. When the Start Menu fails to open, it can slow down workflows, resulting in lost time and decreased productivity.

Frustration and Inefficiency: Constantly struggling with a malfunctioning Start Menu can lead to frustration. It can turn what should be a simple task, like launching a program, into a time-consuming and irritating endeavor.

Understanding the common problems and their impact on users is the first step towards resolving the issue. By recognizing the symptoms and potential causes, one can approach the problem with a more informed perspective and apply the right solutions. 

Simple Fixes

The issues with the Start Menu may sometimes be resolved through simple fixes that don’t require extensive technical knowledge. Here’s a detailed look at these straightforward solutions:

1: Restarting the System

  • Procedure: Click on the power icon on the login screen or press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select the restart option.
  • Why It Works: Restarting the computer can clear temporary problems or gliches that could have been preventing the Start Menu from working.

2: Checking for Windows Updates

  • Procedure: Open “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Windows Update,” and then click “Check for updates.”
  • Why It Works: Outdated system files or missing updates might lead to the Start Menu malfunctioning. Updating Windows ensures that all the system files are current and compatible with each other.

3: Running the Start Menu Troubleshooter

  • Procedure: Simply download and execute the Start Menu Troubleshooter from the official website of Microsoft. Follow the directives/commands from the screen, and it will sort the problems by automatically detecting the problems with the Start Menu.
  • Why It Works: The Start Menu Troubleshooter is created to recognize and resolve common problems with the Start Menu. By running this tool, users can often fix the issue without having to understand the underlying cause.

4: Rebooting Windows Explorer

  • Procedure: Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to open the Task Manager window, find “Windows Explorer,” right-click it, and then choose the “Restart” button:
  • Why It Works: Windows Explorer controls the user interface or UI, including the Start Menus to ease the usage for the customers. Restarting it can resolve any temporary issues or conflicts affecting the Start Menu.

Advanced Fixes

These advanced fixes are aimed at users who have some familiarity with the technical aspects of the operating system. These solutions can address more persistent or underlying issues that might be causing the Windows 10 Start Menu not to open.

1: Reinstalling Start Menu

  • Procedure: Open PowerShell as an administrator, then enter the command Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”} and press Enter.
  • Why It Works: This command re-registers all the Windows apps, including the Start Menu, which can fix corruption or other issues preventing it from working.

2: Using PowerShell to Repair Windows Image

  • Procedure: Open PowerShell as an administrator from the system, then type the command on the terminal DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth followed by sfc /scannow and press Enter:
  • Why It Works: This procedure checks the integrity of system files and attempts to repair any that appear to be crooked or absent, including those related to the Start Menu.

3: Creating a New User Account

  • Procedure: Open “Settings” > “Accounts” > “Family & other users” > “Add someone else to this PC” and then follow the on-screen instructions to create a new account:
  • Why It Works: If the Start Menu issue is linked to your user profile, creating a new account might bypass the problem.


Understanding why the Windows 10 Start Menu might not be opening and applying these solutions can help you avoid unnecessary frustration. Whether you are an everyday user or an expert, these methods can help you restore the functionality of your Start Menu.