How to Fix Your PC’s Broken Start Menu

Photo: PixieMe (Shutterstock)

The Start Menu is an iconic Windows element (let’s pretend Windows 8 never happened). It’s the launchpad of Windows, providing access to files, apps, controls, and more. But lately, the Start menu hasn’t been working as expected, and neither have Windows search or certain apps.

There’s a reason for that, and, while there’s no official fix yet, there are workarounds to get things going again.

What’s up with the Window’s Start menu bug?

If you notice your Start menu not responding, you’re not alone. As reported by BleepingComputerWindows is currently experiencing issues with the Start menu, Windows search, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. Microsoft confirmed as much in this post about known issues with Windows 11 version 22H2. However, the bug affects other client versions of Windows as well, including Windows 10, version 22H2; Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 20H2.

According to Microsoft, the problem stems from third-party processes, like the screen recording tool ClickShare, using Office APIs on a PC running Office through ClickToRun. ClickToRun is a feature that allows you to run Office programs without having those programs fully downloaded on the PC.

How to fix the Windows Start menu bug

Microsoft is working on a patch, but it’s not out yet. In the meantime, the company has a few steps it recommends you take to remedy the issues.

First, the official workarounds: Microsoft says you can uninstall any problematic apps that integrate with Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Calendar to prevent the issue from occurring. Of course, if you rely on these apps, that’s not a suitable workaround. Instead, try removing these items from startup, which you can manage from Settings > Apps > Startup. Be on the lookup for updates or guidance from the developers of these apps, too.

You can also try the following scripts to fix the issues as they pop-up, although Microsoft says they won’t prevent the issues from occurring in the future. The next time Start, search, or UWP apps give you trouble, open a Powershell prompt, then run: .FixUserShellFolderPermissions.ps1. If the script can’t access the registry key, open an elevated Powershell prompt and run: FixUserShellFolderPermissions.ps1 -allprofiles. If a particular app doesn’t run, run this script: FixUserShellFolderPermissions.ps1 -register.

If none of those work for the Start menu, Microsoft has a laundry list of general troubleshooting stepsincluding checking that Start is installed, making sure Start is running, and installing the latest updates.

But remember: Microsoft is working on a patch. Be sure to install the latest update whenever it hits your PC.

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