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Full Guide on Critical error Start Menu not Working on Windows 10

Critical Error – Start menu not working can be quite troublesome, but users claim that this error can be fixed. And in this post, I will introduce some Windows 10 critical error fixes.

Quickly access installed apps and settings makes Windows 10 Start Menu one of the most useful components. But many users reported “Critical Error – Start menu not working”message on Windows 10.

A critical error refers to the error causing a program to abort, which may happen in an OS, a running program, software or application. Depending on users’ feedbacks, the common error is the start menu critical error in Windows 10.

Simply put, the start menu is part of Windows components, enabling you to quickly access installed settings and apps. But because of some registry errors, corrupted system files, conflict with antivirus software, etc., the issue happens.

In case the issue happens, you couldn’t access the installed apps and settings from the start menu, and even it freezes your computer. This post will walk you through how to fix Windows 10 critical error start menu.

Back up Data before Windows 10 Critical Error Fix

Speaking of file backup, using a third-party backup software is a good choice, but which one should you choose? On the market, MiniTool ShadowMaker is worth recommending since it is comprehensive and powerful backup software, compatible with Windows 10/8/7/XP/, etc.


File backup, system backup, disk backup, and partition backup are included in this software. Incremental backup & differential backup, as well as automatic backup are supported. You can also easily implement file sync and disk cloning for data backup with the software, to learn the detailed steps of how to back up files with MiniTool ShadowMaker, check out the post.

There are 9 possible solutions and you can try them one by one.

Windows 10 Critical Error Fix Solution 1: Restart Your Computer

Rebooting the computer is the easiest way to remove critical error regarding the start menu. Just hold on the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time to open the Task Manager menu. Then, click the Power button to choose Restart.

Solution 2: Enter Safe Mode

Rebooting your computer to the Windows safe mode seems to be effective. Some users report that returning to the normal mode after entering safe mode could remove the Windows 10 start menu error. It is worth a fix although a few of users said a temporary fix and the same error may come back again.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and L key to log out when Windows 10 starts.

Step 2: Click the Power button in the bottom right corner, press the Shift key and choose Restart to enter Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

Step 3: Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. If required, type the password.

Step 4: Press F5 to enter safe mode with networking.

Step 5: Later, restart your computer after entering the safe mode and see if critical error start menu happens. If yes, try the next one.

Solution 3: Install the Latest Windows 10 Update

Sometimes certain Windows 10 updates may cause the issue - critical error your start menu isn’t working. Microsoft may be aware of this issue and offers some new patch updates to fix this problem. So, make sure you download and install the latest update.

Solution 4: Create a New User Account

Creating a new Windows account with administrator privileges also creates a new user profile, which may fix critical error start menu.

Step 1: Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys.

Step 2: Go to File > Run new task.

Step 3: Type powershell in the text box. Make sure the Create this task with administrative privileges option is ticked.

Step 4: Type net user yourname yourpassword /add in the popped-up window and hit Enter.

Step 5: Then, restart your computer and log into the new account you have created. Then, start menu can work properly if you click it. If the message “critical error your start menu isn’t working” still persists, try other methods.

Solution 6: Uninstall Dropbox or Your Antivirus Software

According to users’ feedbacks, Dropbox is one of the main reasons for “critical error start menu isn’t work”. To help you out, you can remove this app from your computer. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Run dialogue box and then type appwiz.cpl in the text box.

Step 2: Go to find Dropbox and click Uninstall to remove it.

Step 3: Restart the PC to see if the issue is fixed.

Solution 7: Use the Windows Start Menu Troubleshooter

Shortly after rolling out Windows 10, it was notorious for the critical error regarding start menu or Cortana. As a result, Microsoft officially released a special troubleshooter to fix various start menu problems.

Currently, this tool has been removed from the Microsoft website, but you can click here to download it to have a try.

Solution 8: Reinstall the Start Menu and Register Cortana

Step 1: Run Task Manager, go to File > Run new task, type powershell to open the command window.

Step 2: Type the following command and hit Enter:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Step 3: The process may take some time to finish. After that, reboot the PC to see whether the critical error is resolved.

Solution 9: Refresh Windows 10

If all the above ways couldn’t help you to fix the issue “critical error your start menu isn’t working”, you can consider refreshing the Windows operating system. PC reset is the last solution and it may remove apps and some files, so you also need to create a backup with MiniTool ShadowMaker in advance by following the steps mentioned above.

Step 1: Press Windows + L, press Power, hold Shift and click Restart.

Step 2: After entering WinRE, go to Troubleshooting > Reset this PC.


Step 3: There are two options for you to choose: Keep my files and Remove everything. To keep your personal files, you had better choose the first option and then follow the on-screen instructions to finish PC resetting.


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