SOLVED Start menu and other taskbar items won't open


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Hello,

My laptop is only 2 months old, and has Windows 10. For some reason, recently my Start menu won't open, by either the mouse or keyboard button. Other taskbar items (bottom right icons) aren't opening either, e.g. battery info, wifi menu, audio settings, calendar/clock, and messages. However, I can open the tray only. This means I cannot open many apps or programs unless they're already pinned to the taskbar.

However, I did have the calculator app pinned to the taskbar, and this also fails to open properly (the window will open, showing the calculator logo, and then closes itself after a few seconds), which implies something is wrong with the default Windows 10 apps perhaps.

I have tried a couple of solutions found elsewhere or on other forums, but to no avail. The following are the solutions I've already tried:

Running the following commands on Powershell:

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> sfc /scannowBeginning system scan. This process will take some time.Beginning verification phase of system scan.Verification 100% complete.Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix someof them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Forexample C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently notsupported in offline servicing scenarios.PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthDeployment Image Servicing and Management toolVersion: 10.0.14393.0Image Version: 10.0.14393.0[===========================90.6%==================== ]Error: 1726The remote procedure call failed.The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.logPS C:\WINDOWS\system32>

I tried again, but the following message comes up instead:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthDeployment Image Servicing and Management toolVersion: 10.0.14393.0Image Version: 10.0.14393.0Error: 1910The object exporter specified was not found.The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.logPS C:\WINDOWS\system32>

I then tried to reinstall all default apps, based on a suggestion that directed me to this website: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-reinstall-default-apps-in-windows-10/

i didn't try to reinstall individual default apps, as I have no idea what would have been the problem, and reinstalling all default apps surely would have made this unnecessary anyway.

I was then told I should make a new username and password (using e.g. Powershell or command prompt as admin), which i tried. When I logged out of my current user account, and logged into the new user account, the same problem occurred.

After that, I received no other solutions or advice. I did of course restart my laptop after each change I made.

Can someone please help me?

Thanks!
 
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Hi Sophia,

Welcome to the Forum.


Microsoft provide a troubleshooting file that may help you.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...ubleshoot-problems-opening-start-menu-cortana

There is also some other advice that may help too on the website.


Regards,

Regedit32


Thanks Regedit32 for the quick response.

I went to the site you recommended. Checked for updates, none required, laptop is all up to date. Restarting not the issue (as I restarted many times already).

The troubleshooter showed me the following, but said it wasn't able to fix the issue:
"Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost" and "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana" applications need to be installed correctly.

Looking online, I tried the following solution to re-register the Start menu, then restarted, and still nothing. https://www.kapilarya.com/re-register-start-menu-windows-10

Any suggestions?
 
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I also tried to run sfc /scannow as an admin, and it came up with the following message:

Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some
of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For
example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently not
supported in offline servicing scenarios.

Not sure if this is related, or a separate issue?
 

Regedit32

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Kapil often has useful information. So his suggestion about registering the Start menu was not a bad idea, except for the fact its not the Start Menu that your error message in the troubleshooter mentioned.

You'll need to try registering the two identified problems:
  • Microsoft.Windows.Cortana
  • Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost

Assuming your Windows is installed on the C drive, then try the following:
  • In your search box type powershell
  • In the search results right-click on Windows PowerShell and select Run as administrator
  • When prompted by the User Account Control click Yes
  • In the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window type or copy & paste the following:
Code:
Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode

Press Enter key then type or copy & paste the following:

Code:
Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Windows\SystemApps\ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode

Press Enter key

Sample image


sample.png


When done close the Windows PowerShell window and any other open programs.

Now Restart computer.

Report back on how you go.

 
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Kapil often has useful information. So his suggestion about registering the Start menu was not a bad idea, except for the fact its not the Start Menu that your error message in the troubleshooter mentioned.

You'll need to try registering the two identified problems:
  • Microsoft.Windows.Cortana
  • Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost

Assuming your Windows is installed on the C drive, then try the following:
  • In your search box type powershell
  • In the search results right-click on Windows PowerShell and select Run as administrator
  • When prompted by the User Account Control click Yes
  • In the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window type or copy & paste the following:
Code:
Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode

Press Enter key then type or copy & paste the following:

Code:
Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Windows\SystemApps\ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode

Press Enter key

Sample image


View attachment 5892

When done close the Windows PowerShell window and any other open programs.

Now Restart computer.

Report back on how you go.


Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked, still can't open start menu. :(
 
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Regedit32

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Does the same issue occur when you boot into Safe Mode?

Press Windows Key + R key then in the run dialog type msconfig and click OK

Now select the Boot tab then check the Safe Boot option and click Apply/OK and restart computer.

This should take you to Safe mode. Sign in, and see whether the Start menu works there.

Now repeat above steps, but this time in the Boot tab remove the check next to Safe boot then click Apply/OK so you can restart and boot into a normal Desktop mode.

Let me know if it works in Safe Mode.
 

Regedit32

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Also, could you let me know whether you have any Restore points that are saved before the time this issue began.
 
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Does the same issue occur when you boot into Safe Mode?

Press Windows Key + R key then in the run dialog type msconfig and click OK

Now select the Boot tab then check the Safe Boot option and click Apply/OK and restart computer.

This should take you to Safe mode. Sign in, and see whether the Start menu works there.

Now repeat above steps, but this time in the Boot tab remove the check next to Safe boot then click Apply/OK so you can restart and boot into a normal Desktop mode.

Let me know if it works in Safe Mode.

Still doesn't work I'm afraid, after all that :(

As for Restore points, could I ask how might I check this?

Would resetting my PC and either keeping my files, or even deleting all my files/programs, resolve this issue? Most, if not all, of my files etc are backed up online anyway, so I could try this?
 
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Forgot to mention, when I logged in via Safe Mode, I got the following message straight away:

This app can't open
Tips can't be opened using the built in Administrator account. Sign in with a different account and try again
 
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Regedit32

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Well you've tried about all the ideas that I know have worked for some users over the last couple of years.

I think at this point your only real option would be to attempt a in-place upgrade of the operating system.

Basically, that involves downloading the latest Windows.iso image from Microsoft, then mounting the image and running the Setup.exe with the intention of reinstalling Windows 10 over the top of itself. You can choose to save files and settings during the process, but be aware that third party applications may end up in a Windows.old folder, so you may need to re-install those later.

This Article on our Forum explains how to go about getting the Windows.iso image.

https://www.windows10forums.com/articles/how-to-download-windows-10-iso.35/

When you have that, you then right-click on the download and select Mount, then in the folder that opens, click the Setup.exe to begin the process.

If you are going to later re-install any third party programs, then perhaps do one at a time, and wait to make sure its not one of these third party programs that is somehow interfering with the Start menu.


If you'd rather not go down this route, then the only other option would be to make use of a Restore point you may have which pre-dates the date your Start menu stopped working.
 
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Well you've tried about all the ideas that I know have worked for some users over the last couple of years.

I think at this point your only real option would be to attempt a in-place upgrade of the operating system.

Basically, that involves downloading the latest Windows.iso image from Microsoft, then mounting the image and running the Setup.exe with the intention of reinstalling Windows 10 over the top of itself. You can choose to save files and settings during the process, but be aware that third party applications may end up in a Windows.old folder, so you may need to re-install those later.

This Article on our Forum explains how to go about getting the Windows.iso image.

https://www.windows10forums.com/articles/how-to-download-windows-10-iso.35/

When you have that, you then right-click on the download and select Mount, then in the folder that opens, click the Setup.exe to begin the process.

If you are going to later re-install any third party programs, then perhaps do one at a time, and wait to make sure its not one of these third party programs that is somehow interfering with the Start menu.


If you'd rather not go down this route, then the only other option would be to make use of a Restore point you may have which pre-dates the date your Start menu stopped working.

well, after following your suggestion, it now finally works!! i was able to keep all my apps as well, as far as i can tell. thanks so much for all your help and patience. what a weirdly complicated issue this turned out to be!
 

Regedit32

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Hi Sophia,

I'm glad you finally have a working Start menu :)


It is strange how these bugs seem so easy to solve for some, and for others, like yourself, the issue just won't go away without a in-place upgrade.


I never did ask you what OS Build you were on, but you will now be completely up to date, so perhaps if you were on an older version, this issue will not raise its ugly head again.
 
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Try setting up a new administrative user. If that restores access to the menu then transfer your stuff there. Worked for me some time ago. I now keep at least two users should access to the menu disappear again.
nvsoar
 
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Hello,

My laptop is only 2 months old, and has Windows 10. For some reason, recently my Start menu won't open, by either the mouse or keyboard button. Other taskbar items (bottom right icons) aren't opening either, e.g. battery info, wifi menu, audio settings, calendar/clock, and messages. However, I can open the tray only. This means I cannot open many apps or programs unless they're already pinned to the taskbar.

However, I did have the calculator app pinned to the taskbar, and this also fails to open properly (the window will open, showing the calculator logo, and then closes itself after a few seconds), which implies something is wrong with the default Windows 10 apps perhaps.

I have tried a couple of solutions found elsewhere or on other forums, but to no avail. The following are the solutions I've already tried:

Running the following commands on Powershell:

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> sfc /scannowBeginning system scan. This process will take some time.Beginning verification phase of system scan.Verification 100% complete.Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix someof them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Forexample C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently notsupported in offline servicing scenarios.PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthDeployment Image Servicing and Management toolVersion: 10.0.14393.0Image Version: 10.0.14393.0[===========================90.6%==================== ]Error: 1726The remote procedure call failed.The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.logPS C:\WINDOWS\system32>

I tried again, but the following message comes up instead:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthDeployment Image Servicing and Management toolVersion: 10.0.14393.0Image Version: 10.0.14393.0Error: 1910The object exporter specified was not found.The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.logPS C:\WINDOWS\system32>

I then tried to reinstall all default apps, based on a suggestion that directed me to this website: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-reinstall-default-apps-in-windows-10/

i didn't try to reinstall individual default apps, as I have no idea what would have been the problem, and reinstalling all default apps surely would have made this unnecessary anyway.

I was then told I should make a new username and password (using e.g. Powershell or command prompt as admin), which i tried. When I logged out of my current user account, and logged into the new user account, the same problem occurred.

After that, I received no other solutions or advice. I did of course restart my laptop after each change I made.

Can someone please help me?

Thanks!
 
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Hello Sophia,
You made me feel better. I am on an ancient HP2000. When this happens to me, I've usually unplugged my Ethernet, wandered to another room using WIFI and come back only to find Start dead. I've always been able to get it back with a hard power off, not a restart... just held the button down long enough to turn the thing off. At any rate, it seems to be a Microsoft problem which they will sort out in time. Thanks for putting it out here for conversation and making folks aware.
 
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I've had this issue for many months now, with newly built Windows 1607 boxes in my enterprise environment. I've tried everything I can think of, followed every suggestion on the internet, and nothing seemed to work in my case.

After being on the phone with Microsoft Premiere support for a few hours today, we finally found something that fixes these issues, and hopefully it will save someone some time/stress.

What we found was a registry key that needed to be deleted, because some provisioned apps were "hung" in that key, and needed to be jump-started. (Specifically Cortana and ShellExperienceHost.)

The key to delete was: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\UpdatedApplications\

Now, if that key exists for you, just delete the whole thing (at your own risk, of course) and restart. That immediately fixed ALL issues we were having with the Start Menu not opening.
 
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