12 Fixes: Critical Error Start Menu Isn’t Working On Windows

We will tell you how to fix the Critical error Start Menu isn’t working on Windows 10/11 on your PC. The Start Menu is one of the most important components of Windows, from where you can access the installed apps and settings instantly.

The critical error Start Menu refers to the Start Menu freezing or not opening when you click on the Start Menu button.

In fact, you can get a critical error message stating “Your Start menu isn’t working” or “Start Menu and Cortana are not working.

When the Start Menu is not working, you cannot open the installed apps or go to various Settings easily. You need to fix this critical problem with Start Menu so that you can operate Windows smoothly.

You should know the reasons for this start menu critical error. In this article, we will provide all the possible solutions on how to fix critical errors Start Menu.

critical error start menu

Possible Reasons Behind Critical Error in Start Menu Appearance on Microsoft Windows 10/11

If Start Menu is not working on your Windows 10 or Windows 11, here are the possible scenarios you can come across.

  • The start menu does not open when you click on the Start menu button.
  • The start menu does not go away and freezes even when you click outside or open any application.
  • Start menu and Cortana not working simultaneously.
  • Start menu opening or flashing randomly without you clicking on it.
  • The start menu opens very slowly and clicks do not work smoothly.
  • The start menu button disappeared from the taskbar.

If you have come across any of these scenarios on your Windows 10/11, here are the possible reasons why you are facing a Start menu critical error.

  • System files have been corrupted.
  • System files have been damaged.
  • Antivirus software causing issues.
  • Any newly installed application causing issues.
  • Internet Explorer causing system files to malfunction.
  • Issues with the current administrator or user account.

The most possible reason is that the system files of the operating system are corrupted or damaged. Sometimes, when system files get corrupted, some Windows components can also start malfunctioning. For example, you may find Cortana not working when Start Menu critical problem occurs.

How Do You Fix Critical Error Start Menu Not Working Windows 10/11?

Here are all the possible solutions to fix critical errors Start not working on Windows 10 or 11.

  1. Reboot Your Computer
  2. Uninstall Your Anti-virus Software
  3. Disable Internet Explorer
  4. Hide Cortana from Taskbar
  5. Go For A Clean Boot
  6. Create A New User Account
  7. Restore Your System
  8. Switch To Safe Mode
  9. Run A System File Check
  10. Update Windows 10
  11. Terminate Local Security Authority Process
  12. Reinstall Your Start Menu

You should try out every mentioned solution one by one and follow the steps minutely.

Solution 1 – Reboot Your Computer

The first thing you should do when your Start menu gets frozen or shows a critical error is to restart your computer. You cannot restart your computer from the Start menu.

Hence, you should click on a blank area of the desktop and press the Alt+F4 keys together. You will find Shut Down Windows from where you have to select the Restart option and click on Ok.

Restart your computer to fix critical error start menu

Alternatively, you can press Windows+L to get the lock screen. Click on the Turn Off icon at the bottom-right corner and select the Restart button.

In case both the above options are not working for you, you can restart your computer manually. Press the Restart button or the Power button on your cabinet.

Solution 2 – Uninstall Your Anti-virus Software

Third-party anti-virus software can sometimes restrict the regular operations of Windows components. You need to uninstall your anti-virus software and restart your computer to see if the problem is resolved.

  • Press Windows+R keys together to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type “Control” and press Enter key to open Control Panel.
windows run window to open control panel
  • Go to the Programs and Features option.
click programs and features option
  • Find out the third-party anti-virus software you have installed on your computer.
  • Select the anti-virus software and click on Uninstall button.
uninstall anti-virus software

Solution 3 – Disable Internet Explorer

If you have updated your Windows from an older version, Internet Explorer could be the reason why your Start menu is malfunctioning. That is why you have to disable Internet Explorer and see if the problem is solved. Here are the steps to disable Internet Explorer.

  • Press Windows+R keys together to open the Run dialog box. Type “appwiz. CPL” and press Enter key.
  • The programs and Features window of the Control Panel will open on your screen. Click on Turn Windows Features On or Off.
programs and features
  • From the Windows Features window, locate Internet Explorer and uncheck it so that you can disable it. You will see a warning message where you have to click on the Yes button. Finally, click on the Ok button.
Disable Internet Explorer
  • Restart your computer and click on the Start menu to see its status.

Solution 4 – Hide Cortana from Taskbar

There are times when you will receive the critical error stating that the Start menu and Cortana are not working together. Some users have reported that hiding Cortana from Taskbar can help solve the issues. Here are the steps by which you can hide Cortana.

  • Right-click on the Taskbar and go to Cortana and click on the Hidden option.
Hide Cortana from Taskbar
  • Right-click on the Taskbar and go to Cortana and click on the Show Cortana icon option.
  • Restart your computer and see if the solution has worked.

Solution 5 – Go For A Clean Boot

There are times when third-party apps interfere with Windows components. This leads to Start Menu stopping working. A clean boot is basically booting your system with only the essential Microsoft apps. Here are the steps to go for a clean boot.

  • You must be logged in as an administrator. Press Windows+R keys together and type “MSConfig” and press Enter key.
  • Once the System Configuration window opens, go to Services and enable Hide All Microsoft Services. Click on Disable All button.
disable all services
  • Go to the Startup tab, click on Open Task Manager. On Task Manager, go to the Startup tab.
  • Select every item individually and click on Disable button. Thereafter, click on the Close button.
disable startup applications
  • On System Configuration, click on Apply and Ok buttons.

Restart your computer and see if the problem is solved. If not, enable all the disabled services and try out the other solutions.

Solution 6 – Create A New User Account

Sometimes, when you make certain changes in settings here and there, certain Windows components can get messed up. This leads to the malfunctioning of the Start menu.

Hence, it is wise to create another user account and log in to that new user account and see if the problem with the Start menu is there. If not, you can permanently start using that new user account instead of the current problematic account. Here are the steps to create a new user account.

  • Press Windows+R keys together and type “netplwiz” and press Enter key.
  • Once the User Accounts window opens, click on Add button.
Create A New User Account
  • Click on Sign In without a Microsoft account option.
Create Local Account
  • On the next screen, click on the Local Account button.
  • Assign a username and password and click on the Next button followed by the Finish button.
add username and password

Restart your computer and log into your system with the new user account.

Solution 7 – Restore Your System

Restoring your system to an earlier version can resolve the issue with Start Menu. Thereafter, you can update your Windows version to the latest version if required. Here are the steps you need to follow.

  • Press Windows+R keys together to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type “rstrui.exe” and press Enter key to open the System Restore window.
  • When the System Restore window opens, follow the on-screen instructions. Select a Restore Point to where you want your system to go back.
Restore Your System

Complete all the steps and your system will restore to an earlier point where the issue with the Start menu does not exist.

Solution 8 – Switch To Safe Mode

If the problem of the Start menu malfunctioning cannot be fixed normally, you can boot into Safe Mode once and boot back in Normal mode. When you boot in Safe Mode, a minimum number of system files gets loaded into the memory.

Therefore, when you get back to Normal mode, the other system files are reloaded in the memory. Hence, any corrupted system file gets reloaded which could fix the issue easily. Here are the steps to boot into Safe mode.

  • Press Windows+L keys together.
  • Click on the Power icon at the bottom-right corner. Press the Shift key and hold it while you click on the Restart option.
Switch To Safe Mode
  • This action ensures that your system restarts with boot options. Go to Troubleshoot and then to Advanced options> Startup Settings. Finally, click on the Restart button.
  • Press the F5 key when your computer restarts so that it boots into Safe Mode.

The problem is likely to get solved just by booting into Safe Mode. Thereafter, restart your computer and boot into Normal mode.

Solution 9 – Run A System File Check

The System File Check is useful in finding corrupted system files and repairing them automatically. You have to use Command Prompt to access the System File Check application. Here are the steps to follow.

  • Press Windows+X keys together.
  • From the menu, select Windows PowerShell(Admin) option. You might get a confirmation message, click on the Yes button.
Open Windows PowerShell
  • When Command Prompt opens, type “SFC /scan now” and press Enter key. Wait for the scanning to get over.
Run A System File Check
  • If no error is found, type “Repair-WindowsImage -RestoreHealth” and press Enter key. Wait for the scan to get over and restart your computer.

Solution 10 – Update Windows 10

When your Start menu is malfunctioning, you should your Windows version. Updating the current version with the latest available Windows version can fix the problem. Here are the steps to update Windows 10 easily.

  • Press Windows+R keys together to open the Run box.
  • Type “ms-settings:” and press Enter key.
  • From the Settings Windows, click on the Update & Security option.
  • If a new version is available for update, you will see the Download and Install option. Click on it and give enough time for your system to update your Windows OS with the latest version.
Update Windows 10 to the latest version

Solution 11 – Terminate Local Security Authority Process

The local Security Authority Process is responsible for executing the security policies in Windows. Due to its malfunctioning, the Start menu can get affected.

Therefore, you have to temporarily terminate the process from Task Manager and check if the Start menu is working properly. Here are the steps to terminate the Local Security Authority Process.

  • Press the Shift+Ctrl+Esc keys together to open Task Manager immediately.
  • Go to the Processes tab on Task Manager and look for Local Security Authority Process. There could be multiple processes open under its label.
  • Right-click on Local Security Authority Process and click on the End Task option from the drop-down menu.
Terminate Local Security Authority Process from task manager
  • Close Task Manager and restart your computer. When Windows restarts, click on the Start menu and see if the problem is solved.

Solution 12 – Reinstall Your Start Menu

When none of the above solutions is working out, you have to reinstall the Start Menu app so that the corrupted Startmenu gets replaced. You can install the Start menu app again from Windows PowerShell. Here are the steps to reinstall Start Menu again in Windows.

  • Press Windws+X keys together. And click on Windows PowerShell(Admin) option.
  • When PowerShell opens, type “Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.XML”}” without the quotes and press Enter. Make sure you copy and paste this command correctly for perfect execution. Wait for the execution process to get over.
  • Restart your computer and click on Start Menu, and hopefully, the problem is resolved finally.