Fixed: Windows 11 Start Menu Not Working [9 Methods]

Recently, several users have reported the “Windows 11 Start Menu not working” issue, which makes performing daily tasks a bit onerous. This article provides 9 methods to this problem. If you are interested, please continue reading.


by Yuka Updated on November 2, 2022

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What’s new of Start Menu on Windows 11?

Windows 11 was rolling out on Oct. 5th. Microsoft has made many changes in Windows 11 and added many new features. Of all the changes found in Windows 11, the biggest and most obvious may be the improved Start Menu. The Start Menu is like the main control panel of your computer. The layout of Start Menu has been changed and the included functions have been simplified to provide a cleaner and more intuitive user experience.

Windows 11 Start Menu

♨ The location of start button and menu

In Windows 11, the default location of the "Start" button is in a different location from previous versions of Windows. The "Start" button and menu will be located in the middle of the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, instead of the static location in the bottom left corner of the screen.

♨ The function of the search bar

At the very top of the start menu is a search bar. This feature allows you to type text to search for all applications and files on your machine, as well as extract information from the Internet and extract relevant results from the Windows Store.

♨ The flexibility of pinning apps

You can pin your frequently used applications to the Start Menu, and customize your start menu to perfectly meet your needs. Along the top of this pinned app menu, we see a button for All Apps. You can click it to access all apps and programs installed on the machine.

User case: Windows 11 Start Menu not working

“I just updated to Windows 11 today and the Start menu hasn't been successfully opened. I've tried to open it with touchscreen, mouse, physical keyboard and the touch keyboard but none of them worked. By the way, when I tap or click on it (not push the keyboard), it will act like it is opened (the icon will be marked) but I've never seen the pop up. I'm hoping that some of you have ideas on how to fix this issue or what it could be. Thanks.”

A new version of any operating system can have some minor bugs. For example, some users report that the Windows 11 taskbar not working after update, Windows 11 reset not working, etc.

Windows users have also reported that they are experiencing problems with the Start Menu not working on Windows 11. This problem is not new, and the same problem has occurred on Windows 10. Don't worry, you can try some troubleshooting methods to restore the Start Menu to its role on Windows 11.

How to fix “Windows 11 Start Menu not working” issue

In this article, we will discuss 9 methods to fix the Windows 11 Start Menu not working problem. It is recommended that you perform the operations in order, because these repair methods are ranked according to the severity of the situation.

Method 1: Restart Windows Explorer using Task Manager

Windows Explorer is used to browse and open files on the computer. In addition, it also controls the taskbar, start menu and various other functions of the system. Therefore, if you encounter a problem that the Windows 11 start menu not opening/working, you can try restarting Windows Explorer.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard and choose Task Manager.
  2. If you can only view the applications currently in use, click on the More Details at the bottom of the Task Manager and expand it.

More Details

  1. Then search for “Windows Explorer” service in the list of processes. Right-click on this service and select “Restart”.

Restart Windows Explorer

Now see if the Start Menu is working properly now.

Method 2: Restart your PC

If restarting Windows Explorer does not work for you and you are still facing the Windows 11 Start button not working problem, then you can try restarting your device. Since the Start menu is frozen, you must restart your PC using a different route than usual.

  1. Go to the Desktop screen by pressing Windows + D together.
  2. Then press the Alt + F4 on your keyboard to get the “Shut Down Windows” screen.

Shut Down Windows

  1. Click on the dropdown, select “Restart”, and press “OK”.


Once your PC restarts, you should be able to use the Start menu again. If you still can’t, try the next method.

Method 3: Check for any system update

If you still experience the Start Menu not working on Windows 11, You can try Windows Update. Sometimes this error may be caused by some random errors in Windows, or due to outdated Windows. As Microsoft regularly rolls out updates, these bugs will be fixed.

  1. Press Windows + I on the keyboard to open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update in the left panel.

Windows Update

  1. Click on the “Check for updates” button to start checking for any available updates to Windows for your PC.

Check for Updates

When Windows finishes updating your PC, just restart it and try to open the Start menu.

Method 4: Run DISM and SFC

DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) and SFC (System File Checker) are two most effective tools for identifying and repairing damaged Windows installations.

  1. Press Win+R to open the RUN dialog box, type “cmd” and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter together (instead of pressing enter) to open an elevated Command Prompt.

Run Dialog Box

  1. Once you’re in Command Prompt, paste the below code and hit Enter:
     DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


Tip✍: It will attempt to recover the damaged file (if any) from your current installation by requesting a fresh copy of the file from Windows Update.

  1. After completing this step, keep the Command Prompt window open to run the SFC command. Paste the below code in the Command Prompt window, and hit Enter.
    ☛ sfc /scannow

SFC Scannow

Tip✍: This tool is used to verify the integrity of all Windows 11 files to ensure they are in good condition.

After the process is complete, restart the computer to see if the Windows 11 Start Menu not working issue is resolved.

Method 5: Sign in with local administrator account

You can check if the Start menu is actually available within your install of Windows 11. You can try to log out of your Microsoft account on your PC, but instead log in with a local administrator account. If the start menu works in the new account, there may be a problem with your current user account.

  1. Press Windows + I on your keyboard to open Settings. Click on “Accounts” on the left panel.


  1. Click on “Family & other users”.

Family and Other Users

  1. Then click on “Add account” under other users.

Add Account

  1. In the next screen, select “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information”.

I Don't Have This Person's Sign-in Information

  1. Then click on “Add a user without a Microsoft Account”.

Create Account

  1. Enter a username for the new account, and a password if needed. Then click on “Next”. The new user account will now be created.

Enter a Username

  1. Sign out of your current account and sign in to the new account.

Method 6: Run Windows in safe mode

If your problem has not been resolved, you can check whether the Start Menu works in safe mode. If so, third-party applications may interfere with the function of the Start Menu. You can delete any third-party applications used to modify the Start Menu to try to solve this problem.

  1. Press Windows + I on your keyboard to open Settings.
  2. Go to System -> Recovery. Under Advanced Startup, click on Restart Now.

Restart Now

  1. Your PC will now restart to the recovery screen, click Advanced options -> Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings.

Startup Settings

  1. Then press “F4” to start your PC in safe mode now.

Enable Safe Mode

After your computer restarts, Safe Mode should be active on your system. If you can open the Start Menu, a third-party application may be causing problems with your Windows 11 system. You can try to delete the application used to customize the Start Menu to find out the culprit of the Windows 11 Start Menu not working problem.

Method 7: Run a malware and antivirus scan

Some malware and malicious service will cause issues with the Start menu. You can run a malware scan through Windows Defender to solve these issues.

  1. Press Windows + I on your keyboard to open Settings.
  2. In the Settings window, select Privacy & security -> Windows Security.

Windows Security

  1. Click on the Virus & threat protection option.

Virus and Threat Protection

  1. Click Scan options to get more scan choices.

Scan Options

  1. Select Full scan ensure that malware is removed from your system. Then click on Scan now.

Full Scan

Method 8: Reset your PC

The “Start Menu not working on Windows 11” problem may be caused by improper Windows 11 installation or upgrade. Resetting your PC will help in this situation.

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to System -> Recovery. Click on Reset PC under Recovery options.

Reset PC

  1. Click on Keep my files.

Keep My Files

Follow the instructions and you will be able to reset your PC. After resetting your PC, you must set up Windows 11. When finished, check to see if the “Windows 11 Start Menu not working” error has been fixed.

Method 9: Re-install Windows from scratch

If all other methods fail, it is time to perform a clean installation of Windows 11.

Note✍: Before proceeding with this method, we recommend that you back up all files stored on the Windows drive, such as in Downloads folder, Documents folder, etc. Using the best free backup software introduced in the next section can save you a lot of time and effort.

  1. Boot your computer from the Windows 11 installation disc. Or you can download the Windows 11 ISO file and boot from that file.
  2. Then, enter your language and other preferences and click Next. In the next screen, click Install now.

Choose Preferences

  1. You need to activate Windows. Enter your product key or click I don’t have a product key if you’re reinstalling Windows.
  2. Select the operating system you want to install and click Next. Accept the license terms and click Next.
  3. Then, choose Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

Custom Install

  1. Select the drive where you want to install Windows and click Next. Wait for the installation process to complete.

Select Drive

Best free backup software to protect your files and system at any time

The methods mentioned above may have solved your problem. As mentioned above, if you have to perform a clean installation to fix the "Start Menu not working on Windows 11" problem, you'd better create a file backup. Because this method will delete all data and installed applications on the computer, except for pre-installed applications.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a full-featured backup software that is worth a try. Also, if you create a system backup via this software before this problem occurs, you can easily restore your computer to its previous intact state. In addition to System and File Backup, you can also perform Disk and Partition Backup. It allows you to back up to multiple destination, such as internal or external hard drives, cloud drives, network location or NAS devices.

Learn how to back up your system in Windows 11 via AOMEI Backupper. The created system image can be used to solve various system problems. First of all, download and install this freeware.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch this freeware. In the left panel of this program, click on Backup.

Step 2. Then, select System Backup under the Backup tab.

System Backup

Step 3. The program will select the system and boot partitions by default as the source. You just need to choose a destination path to save the system backup.

Select Destination

Step 4. Confirm all settings and click Start Backup to backup system in Windows 11.

Start Backup

Schedule: You can schedule backup in daily/weekly/monthly and full/incremental/differential. Please note that the scheduled differential backup, even triggers and USB plug in are only available on the charged version, AOMEI Backupper Professional, for example.
Scheme: This feature is available in advanced editions. 4 different methods are supported, including By time, By space, By daily/weekly/monthly and By space, you can select one as per your needs.


After reading this article, the “Windows 11 Start Menu not working” issue should have been solved. But you can't take your data and system security lightly. Not long after Windows 11 was released, there will inevitably be many minor bugs, such as a black screen on Windows 11 after update, etc.

As long as you use AOMEI Backupper to back up your computer, you will never have to worry about data loss or system crashes. Download and try it now.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.