How to Fix Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working Critical Error

As the users updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10, they began to encounter a severe error that their Start menu and Cortana are not in working condition. It becomes an annoying situation because these are included in the basic settings. If you encounter this error, you will be definitely unable even to open the WinX menu of the Start menu too. So, you fail to use your system and even unable to use the search function.

Friends! Don’t worry at all. Here, I am going to share some handy solutions to fix this error promptly. It does not trail any other error if you apply them. I am sure with the next update from Microsoft; this issue will be fixed. Till then, implement the following solutions to have a perfect time again.

Solution # 1: Run the System into the Safe Mode and then Standard Mode [Most Working Solution]

You need to reboot the system into the Safe Mode to fix this critical issue. Here is how to restart the system into the Safe Mode.

Press “Windows + R” combination of keys to launch the “Run” prompt.
Type here “msconfig” and press Enter.
msconfig command in RunHere, in the System Configuration, you need to go to the “Boot” options below and check the checkbox “Safe boot” here.
Select Safe BootSelect Safe BootNow click “OK” to apply the changes and to reboot the system into the Safe Mode.
Once you are in the Safe Mode, press “Windows + R” keys to launch the Run. Type here “msconfig” and press Enter to launch the System Configuration.

Here, uncheck the “Safe Boot” checkbox and reboot the system into the standard mode.
There will be no error in the Start menu or Cortana now.

Solution # 2: Create a New User Account

It is a bit technical, but very useful in this kind of situations when you are almost stuck in a chaotic situation. You can create a new user account. Follow the steps below to do so.

Press “Windows + R” combination of keys to open the “Run” box. Type “Control Userpasswords2” and press Enter.
Create User Account commandIt will show you the User Accounts window. Here, check the box “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer” and click “Add” option to create a new user account.

Here, add your email ID to start a user account.

Now log out of this account and log in by using the new account. In this account, there is no issue with the Start menu or Cortana Search function. Everything is working correctly.
Worried about your data in the old user account? No issues! Go to This PC and select “C” Drive here.

Now click the “Users” folder on the C drive and open your old user account. Copy the data and paste it in the new User account that exists in the same “Users” folder.

Still worried about the old account that is not working? Again no issues. Right-click the Start button in the new user account. Select “Control Panel” from here.

Click “User Accounts” category in it. Select “Manage Another Account” feature. Now remove the “old account” that was not working well.

Enjoy using the new user account with everything functioning properly.

Solution # 3: Install Windows Updates

If you are stuck with this grim issue, you need to install the latest updates for Windows 10 to get out of it. Here is how to perform this action without using the Start menu.

Press “Windows + R” combination of keys to launch the Run dialogue. Type here “control update” and click “OK” to move ahead.
Check for Updates CommandThis command will directly take you to the “Windows Update” category. Click “Check for Updates” to install the latest updates, and that’s all.

Solution # 4: Fix By Using PowerShell

Since Cortana is not working, you need to adopt a different way to launch PowerShell. Here is how to perform this task.

Press “Ctrl + Alt + Del” keys together to launch Task Manager.

Here, select “File” and click “Run new Task” option.
Run New Task in Task ManagerHere, type “PowerShell” in the box and press Enter to move ahead.

Now PowerShell window appears on the screen. Here, right-click the PowerShell icon on the taskbar and select “Run as Administrator” option from its contextual menu.
Run PowerShell as Admin

Type here the command <Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}> and press Enter. Type this command without <> signs.
PowerShell Command Now, wait for some moments until the system finishes the command. Close the PowerShell window and reboot the system. Check now the Start menu and Cortana if they are workable now.

Solution # 5: Fix By Using Command Prompt (Admin)

The Start menu is not working. The Cortana search assistant is also not in working condition. You need to press “Windows + R” keys to open the Run dialogue box and type here “cmd.exe” to launch the Command Prompt with Admin rights.

Now type “ren %windir%\System32\AppLocker\Plugin*.**.bak” and press Enter to apply it.
Wait for a while until it completes the process and reboots the system to apply the changes.

I am sure this time both of the functions will be working.

Solution # 6: Run System File Checker Scan

Run the System File Checker scan to get rid of this error. You need to check the corrupted or missing system files by using this utility. It automatically detects and fixes the errors in the System files. Here is how to use it.

Press “Windows + R” combination of keys to launch the Run box. Type here “cmd.exe” to open the Command Prompt (Admin) and click “OK.”

In the Command Prompt, type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter to start the scanning process.
System File Checker scanningWait until the utility is checking the system files.

When it completes the verification process, close the Command Prompt window and reboot the system to repair the damaged or corrupted system files.

Solution # 7: Uninstall Antivirus Program

If you are using the Windows default antivirus program, it’s ok. If you have any third-party antivirus tool in your system, just uninstall it. It may be interfering with the functionality of the Start menu and Cortana search assistant. Do the following to perform this action.

Press “Windows + R” keys to launch the “Run” box and type “appwiz.cpl” in it. It will directly take you to the installed programs list. Select Antivirus and click “Uninstall” option above.
Uninstall antivirus toolReboot the system and see if the error is fixed and Start menu and Cortana are workable.


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