Start menu not working in Windows 10 due to a critical error - fixing the problem

How did it all start?

After the next restart, I wanted to go to the start menu to view the weather through the Windows application, but I saw the following message:

First of all I pressed the "Exit" button. The system was logged out and the login window was displayed. I entered the password, waited for the desktop to appear, and then tried to open the start menu again. But the error didn't go away!

Configuration settings

  • Press the key combination Win + R and enter in the input field:
  • Press Enter to launch the system configurator. The "General" tab contains the item "Custom. ". Under it, tick all available options:

  • After clicking on “OK”, you will be prompted to restart the PC. Agree!

If this instruction did not lead to anything, then launch the “msconfig” window again and go to the second tab - “Loading”. There, activate the "Without GUI" option:

Reboot the PC again. Well, did it help? Hope so!

And I again saw a message about a critical error in the Start menu.

Editing the registry

This method is somewhat more complicated and involves changing the values ​​in the system registry, in which you need to find the parameter responsible for Start.

  1. Press the key combination Win + R, enter the command “regedit” and click on the OK button (or press the Enter button).

  2. Registry Editor will start. Just in case, we create a backup copy before making changes to it. To do this, click on the "File" menu, then - "Export...".

    Specify a file name, select a location for saving and click the “Save” button. Now, in case something goes wrong, you can return to this copy of the registry.

  3. In the registry, we need to get into a folder called “Explorer”. The full path to it looks like this: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer.

  4. Double-click on the “EnableXAMLStartMenu” parameter to open its properties, change the value to “0” and click OK.

  5. If there is no such key, create it yourself:
      right-click anywhere in the right area of ​​the window, in the context menu that appears, select “Create” item, then “DWORD Value” (32 or 64 bits depending on the bitness of the system).

  6. A new parameter will be created. Name it "EnableXAMLStartMenu" and press Enter.

  7. After making changes to the registry, restart Explorer. How this is done is described in the previous section. In some cases, a computer restart is required.


Let's move on to more radical measures. If you have the option to automatically create restore points enabled in the settings, then there is a chance to fix the problem.

  • Press the Win + X combination to open the context menu:
  • Select the Control Panel item. A window will open where you should switch to the “Small Icons” view mode (upper right corner), then click on the “Recovery” item:

  • A list of options will open, where you need to select “Start. ” (as shown in the previous screenshot).
  • A "Wizard" will be displayed, the first step of which is to specify "another point. “, and then from the list select the one that corresponds to the date when the Start menu worked without errors.
  • To perform all the necessary actions, the system will restart and begin the rollback procedure to the previous state.

If at the end of the process everything works for you, then I wrote this article not in vain!

Installing the classic theme

Windows 7 has several pre-installed themes. Among them there are basic ones that can radically change the graphical display of the interface of the entire OS. Including return the "Start" panel to the classic look. Also, the use of simplified themes can significantly save the power of the processor, video card and RAM. To change the OS theme to classic, you need to do the following:

  • Start menu.
  • Select "Control Panel".
  • Here we find the item "Personalization".

Another way to get here. Directly from your desktop. This way of navigating is much faster and takes place via the right-click submenu.

  • Right-click on the desktop.
  • Select the bottom item "Personalization".
  • In the "Change sound and picture on your computer" window, go to "Basic (simplified) themes".
  • Clicking on the Classic theme icon will activate it.

After that, the graphical display of all elements of the Windows 7 interface will become classic. Including the Start panel. You can change the theme to the previous one by clicking on its mouse icon (left button).

Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana Critical Error

After upgrading to Windows 10, a significant number of users are experiencing the system reporting that a Start Menu and Cortana is not working.. At the same time, the reason for such an error is not entirely clear: this can happen even on a freshly installed clean system. Below I will describe the known methods to fix the critical error of the start menu in Windows 10, however, their performance cannot be guaranteed: in some cases they really help, in others they do not. According to the latest available information, Microsoft is aware of the problem and even released an update to fix it a month ago (you have all the updates installed, I hope), but the error continues to bother users. Another guide on a similar topic: Windows 10 Start menu not working.

Guide to restart "explorer.exe"

"Explorer.exe" (aka "Explorer") is a background process, which ensures stable operation of the graphical interface of the operating system. He is also responsible for the "Start" button. It is possible that the process algorithms began to work incorrectly, which provoked the error. In this case, the process must be restarted. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open "Task Manager" by pressing one of the button combinations "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" or " Ctrl+Shift+Esc".

    Open the "Task Manager" menu by pressing the combination of buttons "Ctrl + Alt + Delete" or "Ctrl + Shift + Esc".

Open the "Processes" tab and look for a process named "Explorer" (it can also be named as " explorer.exe" ). Then right-click on the process and click on "Restart".

We find the process with the name "Explorer", right-click on it and click on "Restart"

After the done operations, check the status of the Start menu. In most cases, restarting File Explorer resolves these issues.

Note! If this method does not work for you, try restarting File Explorer manually.

To do this:

  • complete this process by clicking on "End task" ;

    Right-click on the “Explorer” process, then left-click on the “End task” option

  • then click on “File”, select there "Start a new task" and enter in the line "explorer.exe", click "OK".

    Click on “File”, select “Run a new task” there

    Write in the line “explorer.exe ”, click “OK”

Simple reboot and boot in safe mode

The first way to fix this error is suggested by Microsoft itself and it consists either in a simple restart of the computer (sometimes it can work, try), or by booting your computer or laptop in safe mode, and then rebooting it in normal mode (works more often).

If everything should be clear with a simple reboot, then I'll tell you how to boot in safe mode just in case.

Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard, type msconfig and press Enter. On the Boot tab of the system configuration window, highlight the current system, and apply the settings. After that, restart your computer. If this option doesn't work for some reason, see the Windows 10 Safe Mode guide for other solutions.

So, in order to clear the Start menu and Cortana critical error message, do the following:

  1. Enter Safe Mode as described above. Wait for Windows 10 to finish loading.
  2. In Safe Mode, select Restart.
  3. Log in to your account normally after the reboot.

In many cases, these simple actions already help (we will consider other options later), while according to some messages on the forums - not the first time (this is not a joke, they really write that after 3 reboots earned, I can not confirm or deny). But it happens that after that the error occurs again.

Create an account

Press: "Ctrl + Shift + Esc", then:

Enter the command:

If the Start is working, transfer the settings and programs to a new entry. Press Win+R then:



Press Options.

​​Select the created entry, click the "Copy" button.

A critical error appears after installing an antivirus or other actions with the software the problem arose either after installing the antivirus in Windows 10, or simply when it was saved during the OS update (it is advisable to remove the antivirus before upgrading to Windows 10 and only then install it again). At the same time, Avast antivirus is most often called the culprit (in my test, after installing it, no errors appeared).

If you suspect that a similar situation could be the cause in your case, you can try to remove the antivirus. At the same time, for Avast antivirus, it is better to use the Avast Uninstall Utility removal utility available on the official website (you should run the program in safe mode).

Disabled services (if disabled, try turning on and restarting the computer), as well as installation of various programs to “protect” the system from malware, are cited as additional causes of a critical error in the Start menu in Windows 10. It's worth checking out this one as well.

And finally, another possible way to solve the problem if it is caused by the latest installations of programs and other software is to try running System Restore through the Control Panel - Recovery. It also makes sense to try running the sfc /scannow command from the command prompt as an administrator.

Running a command in PowerShell

You can solve the problem with the Start menu by using a special command in Windows PowerShell. Using this method can cause problems with the App Store, but compared to the non-working Start button, this is not so important.

However, before starting the following steps, it's a good idea to create a system restore point, just in case, to which you can return in case of emergency.

  1. Since Start does not work, you will have to launch PowerShell through Explorer. To do this, open the “v1.0” folder, which is located at: С:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0. In 64-bit systems, instead of the “System32” folder, open “System64″. Once in the desired directory, right-click on the file “powershell.exe” and select “Run as administrator” from the context menu.

  2. In the PowerShell window that opens, enter the command below and run it by pressing the Enter key: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_. InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

  3. After the command will executed, Start should work. But here, alas, there is no absolute guarantee of success.

If all else fails

If all the methods described above to fix the error turned out to be inoperative for you, there is a method with resetting Windows 10 and automatically reinstalling the system (no disk, flash drive or image is needed), I wrote in detail about how to do this in the article Restoring Windows 10.

In case it will be interesting:

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12/26/2015 at 16:02)See also:,Windows 10 Photo Viewer: a standard program, how to find, enable and configure

This problem appeared after activating KIS 2015 in non-official ways.

01/07/2016 at 21:51

I had the same problem. I rebooted my computer in safe mode and it went away. Thanks for the article site!

03/02/2016 at 19:02

Good day. I want to tell you about the successful solution of the problem on the computer with your help. After seeing this error Cortana. He began to look for the cause of its elimination. In your article I read about the AVAST antivirus, I recently installed it. When it was removed, the problem disappeared. Thanks a lot for the tip. I didn't even know that Avast could bring such a problem.

Troubleshooting Windows 10 critical bugs: Cortana app, Start menu, KB 3081424 and KB 3081436

Upgrading to Windows 10 brought not only new features to users, but also new problems.

So, many have encountered errors that manifest themselves as cyclic reboots of the computer or the failure of some system functions, for example, the Start menu and the voice assistant Cortana.

nothing specific to their solution. However, ways to eliminate some of them have already been found.

Automatic OS Diagnosis

On Windows (Windows) 10 Press "Win + R" next:

Go to:

Diagnostic tools are categorized. Go to:


Run diagnostics.

If after checking there are errors, the OS will offer to fix them.

Cyclic reboot after installing updates KB 3081424 and KB 3081436

One of the purposes of installing Windows updates is to improve system stability.

However, with KB 3081424 and KB 3081436 all-in-one packages for Windows 10, the opposite happened - users flooded Microsoft Support with complaints about the cyclic restart of the computer after installing these updates.

In less severe cases, a fatal error is manifested by a crash in Windows 10 applications, in particular Mail, People, and Calendar.

How to fix

If the computer boots in normal or safe mode, open the Programs and Features section of the control panel, turn on the view of installed updates and uninstall the update that caused the problems.

If Windows 10 gives a critical error in both modes, roll back the system from the recovery environment:

  • Press the Shift + keys before starting Windows F8.
  • On the Action Selection screen, click Diagnosis.

  • Select Advanced Options.

  • Then - "System Restore".

  • Next, roll back to a checkpoint created before the problem occurred.

After the rollback, boot into Windows, launch the Settings app from the Start menu, and open the Update & Security section.

The list of available updates will probably include the one that caused the crash.

To prevent this update from being installed again, you need to hide it. But since there is no such feature in Windows 10, let's download Microsoft's "Show or hide updates" utility, which replaces it.

Once launched, the utility will check for updates and offer the choice of hiding (hide updates) or making visible those that are hidden (show hide updates).

Let's choose the first one and hide what we want to get rid of (KB 3081424 or KB 3081436). Let's restart the computer.

In addition to this method, Microsoft offers another solution to fix a critical error associated with KB 3081424 and KB 3081436: installing patch KB 3081440.

This patch automatically fixes the above problems and does not require any packages to be removed first.

However, installing it manually is not so easy - it requires Internet Explorer, which also fails when KB 3081436 and KB 3081436 fail.

critical error start menu +cortana +does not work windows 10 / 2 video solution

Fix critical errors Windows 10: app Cortana, start menu, KB 3081424 and KB 3081436

Run Start Menu Troubleshooting

Microsoft has launched a Start Menu diagnostic troubleshooting package that finds and fixes problems with the Start menu and Cortana. This wonderful tool performs extensive checks to determine what exactly is preventing the Start menu from functioning properly.

Download the Microsoft Start Menu Troubleshooter (startmenu.diagcab) and run it.

To apply fixes automatically, click the Advanced button and turn on Apply Fixes Automatically. But if you just want to do a dry run, uncheck the box first.

The Start Menu Troubleshooter first checks for the following potential problems:

1. Required applications are not installed correctly

Checks if the applications 'Microsoft. Windows. ShellExperienceHost' and 'Microsoft. Windows. Cortana' are properly installed or not and automatically reinstalls the packages if necessary.

If the troubleshooter is unable to reinstall packages, try manually reinstalling ShellExperienceHost and Cortana. Scroll down to the end of this article for instructions.

2. Registry Key Permission Issues

Checks if the current user has permissions to access the following registry key and fixes the ACL if necessary: ​​

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeviceAccess\Global

3. Database tile is corrupted

The tile database file is located here:

%localappdata%\TileDataLayer\Database \vedatamodel.edb

The troubleshooter checks if this file exists and is currently in use by the logged on user. If so, this is taken as a good sign. Otherwise, it deletes the corrupted tile database file and creates a new copy.

4. Application manifest is corrupted

Checks if the following manifest file is missing and its content is empty.


Missing or corrupting this file can cause user interface issues in several areas of Windows. As a side note, running SFC and/or DISM should restore the original copy of that file from the source.