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Fix: Start Menu & Cortana not Opening in Windows 10

Update: It seems that the final version of Windows 10 is also affected by the issue. The start menu fails to open after upgrading from a previous version of Windows.
Windows 10 is currently available as Technical Preview which means that there are still a lot of issues and bugs which need fixing before the Operating System gets ready for use by consumers. Some users using the Windows 10 Technical Preview (build 9926) are facing an odd issue where the Start Menu (and Cortana/Search) would not work/open anymore, no matter if they click on the Start Button, Press the Windows key on the keyboard or press Ctrl + Esc. System Restore seems to be the cause of this error, but there can be more. Anyways, here’s how to sort it out.

Making the Windows 10 Start Menu Work Again

There can be multiple reasons for the broken Start Menu and as usual, one solution cannot fit everywhere. Still, you should definitely give the following a try and who knows, the Start Menu starts working again, saving you from a full reset or reinstalling Windows 10 again.

Do backup any data you’ve saved in the Modern AppsĀ  as all of them will be re-installed. Desktop software and apps won’t be affected though.
  1. Open Windows PowerShell as Administrator
    1. Right click Start button
    2. Choose Command prompt (Admin)
    3. Key in Powershell in the black window and hit Enter
  2. Paste the following command in the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window and press Enter key:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
  3. Wait for PowerShell to execute and complete the command. Ignore the few errors (in red color) that may pop up.
  4. When it finishes, try hitting Start and hopefully it’ll start working. If not, this solution won’t apply to you, unfortunately.windows 10 start button and menu

Are you able to solve it for you by following the procedure mentioned above or it fails? If it it fails, do make sure that you ran Powershell as Administrator (window will be called Administrator: Windows PowerShell ) and gave the command enough time to execute.

Other Fixes Suggested by Visitors

Uninstall Dropbox and then Disable AutostartRobert Gavick suggested in comments that uninstalling dropbox fixed the issue for him. So if you have dropbox installed on your Windows 10 PC, just uninstall it. You can then re-install it, but set it to not to autostart at boot.

Boot into Safe ModeDebbie W. mentioned in comments that booting the PC into safe mode and then normally fixed this problem on multiple PCs. Others have also confirmed it to be working for them. So do give it a shot if you’ve exhausted all other options. Read more in her comment.

Uninstall CCleaner or Avast AntiVirus – CCleaner and Avast AntiVirus are two known softwares culprit of causing this error. So if you have any of these installed, just get rid of them soon.

Still no luck? You can get everything to work fine by creating a new user account and working under it. You will lose some of your user data, but most of the files and documents can be transferred over by copying the data from Desktop, Documents, Pictures and other libraries.

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