How To Fix If Start Menu Not Working In Windows 11

Windows 11 gives its users a slick and an efficient Start Menu to work with. Although it’s more cleaner and functional than before, it still has its fair share of bugs that users must try and overcome. 

We have noticed a similar problem on our side as well. For us, the start menu doesn’t open when clicked. However, in case of some users, the start menu doesn’t appear on the desktop screen at all.

The start menu contains all the apps that you can and have to use for your day-to-day tasks. So, a broken start menu is destined to make you stressed about your work at hand.

But, not to worry as we have listed out all the possible methods that can help you fix the misbehaving Start Menu. So, without wasting much time, let’s get right to it!

Why Is My Start Menu Not Working?

A bug in the start menu is a fairly common issue. The cause for a faulty start menu could be anything ranging from a minor session glitch to an outdated graphics driver. Hence, the definite cause of this issue on your device could be any of the following:

  • Buggy Background services
  • Error in the Windows Explorer
  • Outdated graphics driver
  • Unregistered packages
  • Outdated Windows built
  • Malware
  • Corrupted data

How to Fix Start Menu Not Working

A faulty start menu can be fixed through various methods. The fixes might vary from user to user. So, in case one doesn’t work for you, make sure to give other methods a shot as well. The fixes you can follow are listed below.

Restart Your PC 

The easiest and often the most efficient way to fix your start menu is by a simple restart of your system. When you restart your computer, you end the current user session and begin a new one.

Any bugs and glitches that were interfering in your previous session are now discarded and this might ultimately help fix your issue. 

Restart the Windows Explorer 

Windows Explorer is a file manager used by the Windows OS. It is used to manage and modify all data and resources within a computer. So, if your system is buggy and unresponsive, restarting the Windows Explorer can fix your issue.

Restarting Windows Explorer reloads the desktop and could fix the start menu issue. The steps below show you how to do so.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del.
  2. Click on Task Manager.
  3. Go to Processes tab.
  4. Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.

Restart Background Services

Windows background services are system programs that run without user interference. So, sometimes these services running in the background are known to glitch the start menu.

Hence, you can be able to fix your start menu by restarting the background services. Here are the steps to do so.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager
  2. Go to the Details tab.
  3. Right-click on StartMenuExpirenceHost.exe and select End Task.
    start-menu-expirence-host
  4. Click on End Process.
  5. The process shall automatically restart after some time.  

Install All Windows Updates

Installing the latest available Windows updates can fix the compatibility issues in your system. Newer system and security patches can smoothen the workflow in your computer and hence, this could potentially fix your start menu problem. 

  1. Press the Windows key + I on your keyboard to open the settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Select Check for Updatescheck-for-updates

After Windows shows the available updates, follow and accept the on-screen procedures and update your system.

Check if Your Taskbar Is Hidden

There is a taskbar setting on Windows 11 that lets you hide the taskbar when not in use. So, it’s better to check this setting on your computer and verify that it is not enabled. Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. Press Windows key + I to open settings.
  2. From the left panel, select Personalisation.
  3.  Select Taskbar.
  4. Expand Taskbar behaviours.
  5. Uncheck the box for Automatically hide the taskbarautohidetaskbar

Run DISM and SFC

DISM can detect the corrupted files from the current Windows installation and fix them using a fresh copy. Similarly, users can scan for corrupted files using SFC and ensure that all files and programs are in a good condition.

Hence, running DISM and SFC can help you understand and fix your issue. Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the run command box.
  2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to go to the elevated command prompt.
  3. Copy and paste the code shown below, and hit enter.
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    DISM
  4. After the processing is complete, copy and paste the code shown below, and again, hit enter.
    sfc /scannowsfc

Run Windows in Safe Mode

When you boot up Windows 11 in safe mode, it only uses the minimum required programs and drivers to run the system. It doesn’t load any third-party applications and services in the memory.

So, if the issue doesn’t arise in safe mode, then third-party applications are probably responsible for your start menu issue. In such a case, uninstall these third-party programs to fix your problem. The steps below show you how to start Windows in safe mode. 

  1. Press Windows key + I to open settings. 
  2. From the left panel, select System.
  3. Go to Recovery.
  4. Click Restart now under Advanced startup.restart-now-advanced-startup
  5. On the Windows recovery screen, click on Advanced Options.
  6. Click on Troubleshoot.  
  7. Again, go to Advanced Options.
  8. Click on Startup Settings.
  9.  Finally, press F4 to go into safe mode.

Uninstall Third-party Start Menu

If you previously installed any third-party start menu app to replace the original, you have to uninstall it asap. Third-party replacement applications are not reliable most of the time and can cause bugs and conflicts in your system.

Update Your Graphics Driver

An updated graphics driver is required to ensure that your system smoothly interacts with your graphic component. An outdated graphics driver is likely can cause corruption and misbehavior within an application. So, update your graphics driver by following the steps shown below. 

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the run command box.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press OK.
  3. Go to Device Manager.
  4. Expand the Display Adapter section. 
  5. Right-click on your graphics driver and select Update Driver.
    update-driver
  6. Select Search automatically for drivers when prompted. 

Re-register the Start Menu Packages

The shell experience is responsible for handling and managing all graphical components of the Windows OS. The start menu shell experience packages can be re-registered through the windows terminal via a line of code.

So, this can fix the start menu issue for you. Follow the steps shown below to so do.

  1. Press Windows key + X and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
  2. Copy and paste the following line of code:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”
    restore-package
  3. Hit Enter and let the process complete.

Rebuild the Search Index

The Windows 11 search feature is embedded within the search menu. Any faults and errors in the search index ultimately hinder the workflow of the Start menu. Hence, in such a case, rebuilding your search index can fix the start menu issue in your system. The steps below show how you can rebuild the search index. 

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the run command box.
  2. Paste the following line and hit enter. Running this line shall open up Indexing Options.
    control /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions
  3. Click on Modify.
  4. Select Show all locations
  5. Uncheck all locations, and click OK.
    uncheck-all-location
  6. Go back to the Indexing Options window. 
  7. Click on Advanced
  8. Select Rebuild
    rebuild
  9. After the rebuild process is complete, reboot your system.

Use the Registry 

Basically, the registry consists of Windows configuration settings. So, this method is mostly applicable if you previously tampered with the registry, causing the start menu to stop working. The goal here is to disable the start menu XAML process.

XAML is mostly used to create an application interface that the user can work on.
So, it’s recommended to back up your registry before making any change as a minor blunder could cause stability issues and system failures.

Taking this into consideration, follow the method below:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the run command box.
  2. Type regedit and press OK.
  3. Paste the following address in the address bar:
    ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
  4. In the Advanced folder, locate EnableXamlStartMenu.
    If this is not available for you, right-click on an empty space and select New followed by DWORD (32-bit value). Then, name it as EnableXamlStartMenu.
    DWORD
  5. Double click EnableXmalStartMenu and set the Value Data as 0.
    value-data
  6. Close the registry and restart your system.

Perform a Full Scan of Your Pc

Viruses and malware hinder how your system performs. In this case, they can glitch out the start menu, causing all kinds of issues and problems. So, it’s best to do a full scan of your system to ensure that no malware is present on your computer. Follow the steps shown below to do so:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open settings. 
  2. On the left panel, select Privacy & security
  3. Click on Windows security
  4. Go to Virus & threat protection
  5. Click on Scan options
  6. Select Full Scan.
  7. Finally, click on Scan now
    full-scan

Reset Your PC

Windows 11 provides its user with an option to reset the PC via the system settings. Resettings a PC resets the operating system without harming your personal files.

However, keep in mind that all the contents of the C disc will be replaced. So, it’s best to back up files from local disc C before proceeding. The steps below show how you can reset your PC.

  1. Press Windows key + I on your keyboard to open settings. 
  2. Select System from the left panel. 
  3. Click on Recovery
  4. Under Recovery Options, click on Reset PC.
  5. Select Keep my fileskeep-my-files
  6. Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to reset your PC.

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