Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working windows 11/10

Sometimes, a simple reboot can resolve the issue and restore your start menu functionality.


Windows 10 start menu is a welcome addition to quickly access apps, settings, and files on your computer. However, sometimes when you click on the start menu you may experience “Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working“. This error prevents access start menu and makes it difficult to launch applications or access system settings. Several users report they can’t click on the Windows start menu: “Critical Error: Your Start menu isn’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in.” The exact reason for this error can vary but corrupted system files, outdated drivers, conflicting software, problems with user profiles, or even a temporary glitch in the operating system are common. In this article, we’ll explore several solutions to help you resolve this problem and get your Start menu back up and running smoothly.

How to Fix Windows Start Menu Critical Error

This error typically prevents users from opening the Start menu, There can be multiple reasons behind the error, but the most common ones are:

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  1. Corrupted system files: If essential system files are damaged or missing, it can lead to various issues, including problems with the Start menu.
  2. Software conflicts: Certain third-party software or drivers may conflict with Windows components, causing the Start menu to malfunction.
  3. User profile issues: Problems with user profiles, such as corrupted user data or incorrect permissions, can also result in Start menu errors.
  4. Windows updates: In some cases, updates or changes to the Windows operating system may trigger issues with the Start menu functionality.

Depending on the cause of the error, you may need to try different solutions to fix it. Here are some common methods that have worked for many users:

Restart Your Computer

This is one of the quickest and simplest solutions to fix different problems on Windows 10. Restarting your computer can clear the system’s memory and restart all processes, often resolving minor glitches.

  • Simply click on the Start button, then select the power icon.
  • Choose “Restart” from the options provided.
  • Wait for your computer to shut down and restart. Once it’s restarted, check if the Start menu is functioning properly.

Restart Windows Explorer Process

The Windows Explorer process controls the Start menu and taskbar. Restarting this process can sometimes resolve issues with the Start menu. Well, it’s not always effective, but you should try before moving on to more advanced solutions.

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  • In the Processes tab, find “Windows Explorer.”
  • Right-click on it and select “Restart.” This will refresh the Windows Explorer process.

Now check if this help fix Windows Start Menu Critical Error

Install Latest Windows Updates

Microsoft frequently releases Windows updates to address known issues and vulnerabilities. Installing the latest updates can fix bugs that may be causing the Start menu error. Check and make sure your PC has installed the latest Windows updates.

  • Press Windows + I to open settings,
  • Click Update & security, then Windows Update,
  • Now click the check for updates button.
  • Let Windows download and install the update if available,
  • Restart windows and check if the start menu working properly

Re-register Windows Start Menu

The Start menu is a built-in app so it can’t be uninstalled or reinstalled but you can re-register Start menu components using PowerShell commands. This process helps reset the Start menu configuration, potentially resolving any underlying issues causing the error.

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager,
  • Click on File and then select Run New Task
  • In the dialogue box, type Powershell
  • Checkmark on create this task with administrative privileges then click ok
  • Copy and paste the following command in the Powershell and then press Enter:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Reinstall default app windows 10

  • Wait for the process to finish, and after completion, restart the computer
  • Now check again to see if the Start Menu ais back to normal.

Run System file checker utility

System files are essential for the proper functioning of Windows. If these files are corrupted, it can lead to various issues, including Start menu errors. Running the System File Checker (SFC) utility and DISM restore health command can scan for and repair corrupted files, restoring the Start menu’s functionality.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator,
  • Perform DISM restore health command: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Then run the SFC utility command: sfc /scannow and press enter key
  • Restart windows after complete the scanning process
  • Now check if this help fix the Windows Start Menu Critical Error.

DISM restore health and sfc utility command

Check with New User Account

If the above solutions didn’t help, Creating a new user account can help determine if the problem is specific to your user profile. If the Start menu works fine in a new account, it suggests that there may be corruption or misconfiguration in your original user profile.

  • open an elevated command prompt window, type the following and hit Enter

net user username /add

  • Here username is your new username.
  • You will see a The command completed successfully message.
  • Log into your new account and see if has resolved your issue.

Add user account using command prompt

Again Malware infections can interfere with system processes, including the Start menu. Running a full antivirus scan can detect and remove any malicious software that may be causing the error.

Use Windows security (Defender) or a third-party antivirus program to perform a full system scan.

Sometimes, third-party applications or services can interfere with system processes, leading to Start menu errors. Performing a clean boot starts Windows with minimal drivers and startup programs, and helps you identify and isolate the cause of the problem.

Also read:

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.

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