Thursday, December 31, 2015

Guide: Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working - Six Solutions

Cortana has a bug that causes the Start button and the notifications icons to become unresponsive. The November Update "fixed" the issue by forcing the installation of a new instance of Windows 10, thereby resetting customized user defaults back to Windows defaults. Unfortunately, the November Installation has the same Cortana bug, meaning the Start button and notifications icons can become unresponsive again. Here are five methods for dealing with the issue.


  1. Restart Computer – Before doing a bunch of work trying to fix something that might just be frozen, restart the computer. This might fix it, though not likely, specially if Cortana has failed or gone missing. This probably will not work.


  2. Install 3rd Party Software – Classic Shell http://www.classicshell.net/ – This method is the most reliable solution. Go to the website, download the version (32-bit or 64-bit). Run the .exe installer, follow the wizard instructions, configure your Classic Shell Start button. THANK YOU ClassicShell.net for this reliable solution!


  3. Create New User Profile – See my article, Methods to Add a New User Profile. This is a temporary solution to allow access to Programs in the Start Menu. If you take this route, save all your work in a common folder so that you can access it from your original profile. Don’t delete the original profile as a Microsoft patch may fix the Cortana bug. Be forewarned, a new user profile will be vulnerable to the same bug as the original user profile, which means you may have to create another new user profile if the Start button becomes unresponsive again.


  4. Check Cortana in the Registry - This method adds a DWORD value that may be missing to your Registry. Before adding the DWORD value, press CTRL + F > type EnableXamlStartMenu > hit Enter > wait for the find command to search the registry for the DWORD value. If it is there, skip this solution. If it is missing, try this solution.
    • Win+ R > type regedit > press Enter
    • Navigate to the following registry location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/Advanced
    • Right click "Advanced" > choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value > type: EnableXamlStartMenu
    • Open Task Manager and close Microsoft Edge from there (if it is open ).
    • Restart the computer and check Cortana.


  5. Edit Powershell – This solution disables development mode and installs the AppX package for all users (meaning Cortana is reinstalled). This also means that if you need development mode, you'll have to reenable it, which may cause Cortan to bug out, again. Some users have reported that this method doesn't work until certain service trees have been closed. Here's the steps:

    Delete TileDataLayer Folder:
    Win Key + R > type %AppData% > Make sure "Show Hidden Files" is check marked in the View Tab > in the address bar, choose "Local" from the drop down menu next to AppData > scroll through the Local folder until you see "TileDataLayer" then right click choose delete

    Open Command Prompt (Admin)
    Right click Start Button > click Command Prompt (Admin) > type Powershell > hit Enter> type Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

    To Reenable Development ModeWin Key + I > click on Update & Security > click For Developers > choose Development Mode


  6. Reinstall Windows 10 / Install Windows 10: November Update – This will reinstall Windows 10, reset defaults to Windows products, and most likely result in the Cortana bug reappearing.

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