How to Fix Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11

Is your Startup menu not working on Windows 11? 

One of the biggest changes that Windows 11 brought was an improved Start menu. Since it’s the main key to the user interface of Windows systems, Microsoft decided to move its location. Along with that, the developers also changed the entire layout, all of which contributed to simpler functionality.

But what if the feature that’s intended to simplify your tasks stops working itself? As the Start Menu is used to launch programs and apps, search for important files, adjust settings, etc. the issue can get you frustrated in no time, demanding an immediate fix from your end.

Several factors play a role behind the Startup Menu not working on Windows 11, including corrupted files, and a glitch in the system. If you’re facing a similar issue and don’t know what to do, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll go over all of the methods through which you can get the Startup menu to begin working again. 

So, let’s dive right in!

1. Restart Your PC. 

Sometimes, the only issue with the Startup Menu is that it’s frozen. This could occur due to some temporary glitches. While the exact origin of such glitches is unknown, they’re mostly eliminated by a simple restart.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Start by going to the desktop screen by pressing Win + D keys on your keyboard.
  2. Now, press the Alt + F4 keys to open the Shut Down Windows screen.
  3. From the dropdown menu, choose Restart and then click on OK
shut down windows screen

2. Restart Windows Explorer. 

The unknown glitches can also arise in certain programs if not the entire PC. For that reason, we recommend you restart Windows Explorer if restarting your computer didn’t work for you. This default program is responsible for powering the Startup Menu and hopefully, a fresh start will fix the issue.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the Task Manager on your PC by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del keys
  2. Go to the Processes tab and look for the Windows Explorer process.
  3. Once you find Windows Explorer, right-click on it and choose Restart.  
task manager

3. Update Windows. 

It’s possible that you’re not the only Windows user facing such an issue. Usually, when the problems are widespread, Microsoft looks into the matter and officially releases a fix through a version update.

To check and install an update on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + i keys to launch Windows Settings
  2. From the left pane, select Windows Update.
windows 11 settings
  1. Now, click on the Check Updates button from the right side of the screen. 
windows update
  1. Allow Windows to install any pending updates, if available. 

Once the updates are installed, restart your computer to check if the issue is resolved or not. If not, move to the following method to fix the Startup menu not working on Windows 11.

4. Re-Register Start Menu by Windows PowerShell.

Earlier, Windows featured default troubleshooters that diagnosed and resolved Startup Menu related issues automatically. Unfortunately, it was removed from the system a few years back. Now, an alternative to this is to reinstall and re-register the Start Menu via Windows PowerShell.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Win + R keys to launch the Run command box. 
  2. Now, type in powershell and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys to run Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges. 
  3. Copy and paste the following command and press the Enter key
Get-appxpackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + "\appxmetadata\appxbundlemanifest.xml")}
windows powershell
  1. Finally, restart your PC. 

5. Run DISM and SFC. 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM and System File Checker or SFC are Windows default tools that identify and repair corrupted files and Windows installations. Running these scans on your PC may resolve the Startup menu not working issue as it has for many other users as well.

Follow the steps below to go about this method:

  1. Open the Run box by pressing Win + R keys
  2. After that, type in cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously from your keyboard to launch Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
run command box
  1. Next, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11
  1. The process will take some time to finish as DISM will restore the corrupted files with their new uncorrupted copies. 
  2. Now, run the SFC scan by typing in the following command: 
sfc /scannow
Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11
  1. Lastly, restart your PC to update these changes. 

6. Update or Install Pending Drivers. 

Occasionally, outdated or missing drivers can interfere with Windows UI elements and result in various kinds of issues, including the Startup Menu not working on Windows 11. What you can do in such a situation is update the drivers or install the ones you don’t have.

Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. Begin by pressing Win + X keys to open Device Manager
  2. Next, click on Display adapters to expand it. 
  3. Right-click on your default driver and click on Update driver
windows 11 device manager
  1. From the screen that opens, select Search automatically for drivers
Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11
  1. Finally, wait for Windows to update the driver as it may take some time for the process to complete. 

7. Reboot in Safe Mode. 

If you think that the Startup Menu isn’t functioning due to interference from a non-Microsoft program or malware, this method is for you. When booting into Safe Mode, only the essential services by Microsoft are allowed to run. This can help you determine where the problem truly lies. Then you can take the necessary steps to fix the issue.

Below are the steps you need to follow to enter Safe Mode:

  1. Go to Windows Settings by pressing Win + i keys on your keyboard. 
  2. From System, click on Recovery.
  3. Under the Recovery Options section, look for Advanced startup, and click on the Restart now button next to it. 
recovery in windows settings
  1. A recovery screen will appear as your computer restarts. From there, select Advanced options
  2. From the next screen, click on Troubleshoot
Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11
  1. Under the Advanced options screen, choose Startup Settings
advanced options
  1. Lastly, press F4 to reboot your PC in safe mode. 

8. Run Antivirus Scan.  

The Startup menu not working on Windows 11 issue may also arise due to a possible malware or virus on your system. To check whether that’s the case, you need to run an antivirus scan.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. From Windows Settings, select Privacy & Security from the left pane.
  2. Next, click on Windows Security
  3. Afterward, click on Virus & threat protection
windows security
  1. Select Scan options
Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11
  1. Now, choose the Full scan option and click on the Scan now button. 
Startup Menu Not Working on Windows 11

9.  Reset Your PC. 

When nothing else seems to be resolving the problem, you should consider resetting your PC. It will allow your computer to start fresh, eliminating all bugs, viruses, and any other factors causing the issue with the Start Menu.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Win + i keys to open Settings on your PC. 
  2. From System, go to Recovery
  3. Click on the Reset PC button next to Reset this PC under the Recovery options section. 
recovery in system settings
  1. Lastly, select Keep my files in the window that opens and follow the on-screen instructions to reset your computer. 
reset this pc

This concludes our guide on how to fix Startup Menu not working on Windows 11. By following any of the methods mentioned in this guide, you will be able to get your Start Menu to begin working again in no time. In case of any confusion, reach out to us by commenting down below. We’ll try our best to provide further assistance. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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