Windows 10 Start Button Not Working – Quick Fix

Windows 10 has been designed to be fast, secure and safe that comes with many handy features. However, similar to other operating systems, it also has some annoying bugs. The most irritating one that users face is the Windows 10 Start button stops working.

No matter how many times you click the button, it stays unresponsive and doesn’t open at all. The Windows 10 Start button may not work if you have corrupted system files, outdated OS version, Explorer issues or accidentally disabled Windows key.

So, to fix the problem, try out the 8 quick-and-easy solutions.


How to Fix Windows 10 Start Button Not Working?

To fix Windows 10 Start Button not working, try out the following 8 quick-and-easy solutions.

Re-login to Account

A simple fix like signing out and re-login to your account can solve any problem with the Windows key.

To re-login,

  1. Move the cursor on the Windows logo and click on your profile icon.
  2. Select Sign out.
  3. Give your password and re-login.

Restart Windows Explorer

If you can’t access the Windows 10 Start button, restarting Windows Explorer from the Task Manager can come in handy. 

Windows Explorer is the file management application for browsing files and folders that also controls Task Manager, Start Menu and others. Any issue in the Explorer often prevents you from opening the Start menu. So, give it a restart to fix the problem.

1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and select Task Manager.

2. Under the Processes bar, search for Windows Explorer.

3. Once you find it, right-click on it and click Restart.

Windows will restart Explorer along with the Start menu and Taskbar. After it’s done, check whether you can open Start.

Repair Corrupted or Missing System Files

Windows 10 Start button might not work if there’s any corrupted file during updates or you accidentally delete some important files. To fix it, repair or restore corrupted and missing files, if any.

Here are the steps to follow:

1.  In the Windows Search box, type PowerShell, then select Run as administrator and open it.

2. On the Administrator Windows PowerShell screen, type sfc /scannow. Ensure to put a space between “sfc” and “/scannow”.

3. If it shows a message saying, Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violation, you’re all set. But if it’s unable to fix them, type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth. Connect to the internet as Windows will download a clear version of corrupted files to replace them.

Restart your computer and check if it resolves the Start button freeze-up issue.

Rebuild Windows 10 Search Index

If your Windows 10 Start button is not working, there’s a chance that your search indexing files have been corrupted. Hence, to fix Windows 10 Start button not working, repairing or rebuilding the search index can be a quick solution.

1. Open the Run command box by pressing Windows key+R.

2. Type control /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions in the box and hit Enter.

3. On the Indexing Options screen, click Modify in the bottom left.

4. Select Show all locations.

5. Uncheck the boxes for currently selected locations and click Ok.

6. Again on the Indexing Options, click Advanced and select Rebuild under Troubleshooting.

7. Click Ok on the popup.

Once it’s done, open Run, type shutdown /r and hit Enter to restart your computer

Enable Windows 10 Key in Registry Editor

Make sure to enable Windows 10 key in Registry Editor for fixing the frozen Start button.

Windows Registry Editor can enable and disable the keyboard keys. So, you need to check whether Windows keys are disabled accidentally and causing the problem. Follow the process below:

1. Type Run in the Windows search box or press Windows key+R together.

2. Type regedt32 in the opened dialogue box and click Ok.

3. Click Yes on the confirmation message and open Registry Editor.

4. From the left menu, select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet.

5. Click Control Folder and scroll down to find the Keyboard Layouts folder. Open it.

keyboard layouts

6. If you can’t see the scancode map registry entry key, it’s already enabled on the PC.

7. If there is any scancode map registry entry, then right-click on it, select Delete and click Yes on the warning message if prompted. Restart the PC.

Reinstall Windows 10 using Media Creation Tool

If you want to reinstall Windows 10 in an already activated OS, then follow these steps:

Note: Before installing Windows 10, the PC must meet the system requirements. Make sure to check with the manufacturer’s website for updated driver and hardware compatibility.

1. To use the Media Creation Tool, you need to download it first. Go to Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool and click the Download tool now.

2. Go to setup.exe file, right-click on it and select Run as administrator.

3. Select Accept on the License term page.

4. Select Upgrade this PC now on the What do you want to do? page and click Next.

5. Follow the on-screen instructions to walk through the process. Apart from the Enterprise Edition, all other Windows 10 editions are available.

  • If your Windows 10 is previously upgraded and now you’re reinstalling it using Media Creation Tool, your digital license will be automatically activated.
  1. You will see a recap of what is chosen and what will be kept during the upgrade before installation. Set the option among Keep personal files and apps, or Keep personal files only, or Nothing by selecting Change what to keep.
  2. Save all the files and close the apps that are running. Then select Install.
  3. Your PC will automatically restart a few times till the end of the installation process. Do not turn off the PC in between that.

Then check if the new installation can solve Windows Start Menu not opening issue. 

Update Windows 10 OS through Settings

If you’re using an outdated version of Windows 10, updating it can help you to fix the problem of the Windows 10 Start button not working.

1. Click on the Windows icon and select Settings (the gear icon).

2. Select Update & Security.

3. Click on Check for updated under Windows Update.

4. It’ll show the available updates. Select Install Now or Download.

After updating, check whether the Start menu starts functioning properly.

Do a Clean Installation of Windows 10

If none of the solutions can prevent your Windows 10 Start button from locking up, perform a clean installation. However, it’ll uninstall all previously installed drivers and programs. 

So, it’s advisable to keep a backup of important files and data on flash drives, external HDD/SSD or online storage like Google Drive and Dropbox. Now, let’s start a clean installation of Windows 10:

1. Type PowerShell in the Windows search box to open it.

2. Run the command systemreset to open the Windows reset wizard.

3. Select Keep my files.

4. It’ll take some time to analyze the system and then a list will appear with the applications that’ll be removed.

5. Click Next at the bottom.

6. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset the Windows 10 install.

7. After it’s done, create a new user and it’ll surely fix a freezing Start button on Windows 10.

Hopefully, the aforementioned solutions have been helpful for you to fix the Start button issue. If you know any more tips, feel free to let us know in the comment section.