Windows Button Not Working — 10+ Ways to Fix It

Deyan Georgiev
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Jan 26, 2023

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The Windows Start button is an integral part of Windows and the easiest way to access all our programs and settings. So, it can be very frustrating when it suddenly stops working. Luckily, there are several ways to tackle the issue of the Windows button not working, and we explain each one below.

So, why doesn’t the Start button work in Windows 10? Keep reading to find out.

How to Fix the Windows Button Not Working

1. Restart Your PC

Before moving on to more complicated solutions, try restarting your PC to see if that will fix the Start button. To restart your PC, press CTRL + Alt + Delete. Then, click the Power button, and select Restart.

Alternatively, press and hold down the Power button on your keyboard to shut down your PC manually. If you still can’t click the Windows start button after restarting your PC, you will need to delve deeper into Windows to find the solution.

2. Update Windows

If the Windows version on your system is outdated, it can lead to various issues, including the Windows start button not working. Windows regularly rolls out new updates to introduce new features and provide bug fixes, so whenever you encounter an issue on your PC, you should check if any new updates are available.

To do that, simply go to Settings and write updates in the search box. Then, click on the Check for updates option.

If an update is available, click on Install now, and it will automatically download and install in the background. Then, restart your computer, and your issue will hopefully be fixed.

3. Sign Out of Your Account

If the Start button doesn’t work in Windows 10, the solution could be as simple as signing out of your account and logging back in.

To sign out of your account:

  1. Press Windows key + X to open the Windows Power User Menu.
  2. Select Sign Out from the menu.

windows power user menu with the sign out option highlighted in the shut down or sign out dropdown menu

  1. Wait a few seconds and sign back in.

If signing out of your account doesn’t fix the issue of the Windows Start button not working in Windows 10, you can also try creating a new user account. To do that:

  1. Use the Windows key + I shortcut to open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Open Family & Other Users from the side panel on the left.
  4. Click Add someone else to this PC.

family and other users windows settings with the a highlight on the option to add someone else on this PC

  1. Click on I don't have this person's sign-in information.
  2. Then, choose to Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  3. Enter the username and password of the new account and click Next.


If the problem was caused by a glitch in your user profile, creating a new account should do the trick.

4. Perform a Malware Scan

Malware on your PC can also cause the Windows Start menu to malfunction. In this case, you should run a malware scan to remove any harmful apps or software that could prevent the Start button from working properly. If you don’t have an antivirus installed on your computer, check out our top antivirus software picks you can currently try.

5. Lock the Taskbar

If you can’t see the taskbar and Windows button on your PC, it may be because the taskbar is hidden.

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Select Personalization > Taskbar.
  3. Toggle on Lock the taskbar.

windows taskbar settings with a highlight on the toggle switch button on the lock taskbar option

  1. Also, ensure the Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode button is switched off.

6. Restart Windows Explorer

File Explorer, previously known as Windows Explorer, is a file management application found in every version of Windows since Windows 95. It is used to view and manage all the files, folders, and drives found on your computer, including the taskbar and Start menu.

In Windows 10, the Start button may not be working due to issues with File Explorer. If that is the case, restarting File Explorer should help fix the issue.

Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Click Task Manager.
  3. In the Task Manager window, click More Details.
  4. You will find Windows Explorer in the Processes tab under Apps.
  5. Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.
  6. Wait for Explorer to restart and check whether the Windows button has regained function.

windows explorer app with the restart option highlighted in the dropdown menu in the windows task manager

When you restart File Explorer, all the processes dependent on it, including the desktop, the taskbar, and the Start Menu, will reload, which often fixes the issue of the Start Button not working in Windows 10.

7. Check for Corrupt Files

Corrupt system files are files that have become damaged and refuse to open properly. They can lead to various performance issues on your PC and can even interfere with the function of the Start Menu.

Luckily, Windows has a built-in command line utility called System File Checker (SFC), designed to fix file corruption on your PC.

To run an SFC scan, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key + S to open the search box on your PC and type command.
  2. Right-click the Command Prompt icon and click Run as administrator.
  3. In Command Prompt, type SFC /scannow and hit Enter.

command prompt application on windows with a highlighted SFC /scannow command

Once the scan is complete, a message will pop-up that determines the problem with the system files. If there are any corrupt files on your PC, you will likely get the following message:

Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.

Alternatively, you may also receive a message that the SFC tool could not fix some of the corrupt files, in which case you will need to replace them manually.

8. Re-Register Built-in Windows Apps

Another possible solution for the Windows icon not working problem is to re-register all the built-in apps in Windows 10 using the PowerShell tool.

  1. Press Windows key + S to open the search box and type PowerShell.
  2. Right-click the Windows PowerShell app and select Run as administrator.
  3. In PowerShell, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter.
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

windows powershell with a highlighted command
Once the process is complete, restart your PC to see if this solution worked.

9. Rebuild Indexing Options

If you can’t click Start on Windows 10, you may need to rebuild the Index. Indexing is a built-in Windows function that inspects the files, emails, and other content on your PC while cataloging essential information, such as the words, file location, and metadata they contain.

The main purpose of indexing in Windows 10 is to speed up your search and provide faster search results.

To rebuild the Windows 10 search index:

  1. Press Windows key + S and type in Indexing in the search box.
  2. Click on Indexing Options.
  3. In the Indexing Options windows, click Modify.

windows indexing options with a highlight on the modify button

  1. From here, click the Show all locations button.

indexed locations pop up window with a highlight on the show all locations button

  1. Then, uncheck all the ticked boxes and select OK.
  2. Click on Advanced, and in the Troubleshooting section, click Rebuild.

indexing locations advanced options pop up window with a highlight on the rebuild button

  1. You will see a warning pop up stating that the rebuild may take a while. Click on OK and wait for the process to complete.

rebuild index confirmation pop up window with a highlighted OK button

  1. Once it's done, reboot your PC and see if you can now click the Search button.

10. Disable Temporary Cortana Files

One of the biggest updates in Windows 10 was the introduction of Cortana, Microsoft’s personal virtual assistant. However, Cortana was not too well received by Windows users, partly because of how integrated it is into the system, so many have chosen to disable it.

Unfortunately, Cortana is known for its high CPU usage and is the common culprit of many Windows issues, including the Windows 10 Start button not working.

Luckily, you can easily disable Cortana via the Windows registry.

  1. Press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialogue box.
  2. Type Regedit and press Enter.
  3. Right-click on the Windows Search folder in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

windows registry editor with the windows search dropdown menu highlighted on the New option

  1. Name the new value AllowCortana. Then, double-click it and set the value to zero.

dword (32-bit) value pop up window in the window registry editor

  1. Click OK and close the Registry Editor.

Restart your computer and see if the Start button has regained function.

Note: If you want to restore Cortana again, simply set the AllowCortana value to 1.

11. Create New Registry

If the Windows 10 Start button is still broken even after you’ve disabled Cortana, you may need to create a new registry for the start menu.

To create a new registry:

  1. Press Windows key + R and type Regedit in the Run dialogue box.
  2. Hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the screen and select New>DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name the new file EnableXamlStartMenu, as seen in the image below.
  5. Restart your PC, and the Start button should be fixed.

windows registry editor creating a new registry file EnableXamlStartMenu

12. Boot Into Safe Mode

If the Windows 10 Start button still doesn’t work, you should try booting Windows into Safe mode next. However, you should be aware that Safe Mode is the most basic form of Windows, so you will lose access to some files and drivers.

Follow these steps to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

  1. Press Windows key + S and type MSConfig into the search box to open the System Configuration tool.
  2. Under the Boot tab, check the Safe boot option and click OK.

 windows system configuration settings with a highlighted safe boot checkbox

  1. You will then be prompted to restart your computer to apply the changes.
  2. Click Restart, and you will boot into Safe Mode.

13. Restore/Factory Reset Windows

When all else fails, your last option is to restore or factory reset Windows. When you perform a factory reset, Windows will return to its default settings without you losing any of your data.

To perform a factory reset on Windows:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. In Settings, click on Update & Security.
  3. Select Recovery from the side panel and click on Get Started.

windows recovery settings with a highlighted get started button in the reset this pc section

  1. In the dialogue box that opens, select Keep my files.

reset pc options with a highlight on the keep my files option

  1. Next, click on Local reinstall.

windows reset pc settings with a highlight on the local reinstall option

  1. Click Next and then Reset to factory reset Windows 10.

Bottom Line

So, why won’t the start button work on Windows 10? There are several reasons — from an outdated Windows version to glitches in your user profile. Whatever the cause, chances are one of the solutions mentioned above will help you fix the issue of the Windows button not working.

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Deyan Georgiev

Deyan Georgiev

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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