{Solved} Fix Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working Error


Windows 10 users do face some common issues. One of these is a critical error start menu, and Cortana isn’t working, during which they lock up and become unresponsive. We can delay Rectifying Cortana errors for a while, but start menu issues are very important for everyday use. There are several reasons for this error, such as Windows Configuration and other is antivirus software.


Also Check: How to Temporarily Disable Avast Antivirus

When Windows 10 was launched, it received a great welcome as many people updated their Windows from Windows 8 to Windows 10 in less than 24 hours. But people were troubled and frustrated when the start menu began to misbehave. Sign Out of Current Profile. Simply sign out of the profile you’re currently logged in to and sign in once again. Disable or Update Antivirus. Some antivirus apps can also cause the ‘Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working’ error. Create a New User Profile. This is another workaround to resolve the issue with your PC’s Cortana and Start Menu. Re-Register Cortana. Re-registering (resetting and reinstalling) the Cortana app using the Windows

The start menu is the option that displays everything that is on Windows, so naturally, it becomes annoying when it suddenly stops working and makes it nearly impossible to do anything on your PC.

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

So if you are also facing these issues, below are some ways to fix the critical error when the start menu and Cortana aren’t working, and I hope your errors would be rectified soon and your PC will be working like usual again.

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Method 1: Checking and Repairing corrupt Windows files

Window files sometimes become corrupt, creating a nuisance and making it impossible to work on your PC as it also stops the working of the start menu. But fortunately, Windows 10 has developed a way to resolve this.

1. Launch Task Manager – Press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys simultaneously; alternatively, right-click on the taskbar and then select Task Manager.

task manager
task manager

2. Run a new Windows task– When the Task Manager window opens, click the More details option and then select Run new task from the File menu.

Run New Task
Run New Task

3. Run Windows Powershell– Type PowerShell in the Run new task box and click on the option ‘create this task with administrative privileges’ and then click OK.

powershell create new task

4. Run the system file checker– Type sfc in the window and press the return key. Scanning will take some time and will be done with either of these results. Also, look up any Critical Structure Corruption Errors in Windows too.

Windows did not find any integrity violations or Windows resource protection found corrupt files and repaired them, or Windows resource protection found corrupt files but could not fix them.


Method 2: Create New User Profile or Account

Creating a new user account is an excellent option when the starting menu and Cortana aren’t working. All your settings would transfer to the new account when upgrading it from the default one. All the files would require to transfer from one account to the other. Your installed software won’t affect it.

1. Launch task manager – Open task manager and choose Run new task from the File menu. Click on the box for Create this task with administrative privileges and type the new username and password. Neither would contain spaces, and the password would be case-sensitive.

2. Log into your new account – Restart your Windows and log into the new user account. The start menu must be working now. After this, you can change the local account to a Microsoft account for transferring your data.

Method 3: Refresh your PC

get started
get started

It is another way to fix the error when the start menu and Cortana aren’t working. You can refresh your Windows 10 installation, almost the same as reinstalling the operating system. This can also help you fix it.

Moreover, documents would remain the same, but you will need to reinstall the applications not part of Windows.

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Method 4: Reinstallation of all Windows apps

You can make your start menu work again by downloading and reinstalling all Windows 10 apps. This won’t be a challenging task as the Windows apps are built into Windows 10 and are readily available from the Windows store. The reinstallation is automatic and quick, so it will take only a few minutes. You need to make sure that all your data should get saved in these Windows apps as a backup, as the process might delete any data that could be important to you.

1. launch the task manager and open a new PowerShell window for reinstalling.

When it is opened, copy this line Get-AppXPackage –AllUsers I Foreach {Add-AppxPackage –DisableDevelopmentMode –Register”$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml’) and paste it into the PowerShell window.

powershell AppXManifest

2. Then wait until the time downloading and installation takes place and restart Windows.

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Method 5: Boot into Safe Mode and then come back to normal mode

Though some people claim that it is only a temporary fix for the issue as the critical error again appears after some time. But still, this is one of the best ways to try to rectify the problem when the start menu and Cortana aren’t working. As a lot of people have accepted that booting into safe mode and then returning to normal mode removes the critical error.

1. When Windows 10 starts, click on Windows key + L to log out.

2. Click on the Power button in the bottom right corner and then click restart and shift simultaneously. Also, check for any Application Error 0xc0000142.

3. The computer will now restart to boot options. Click on Troubleshoot > Advanced > Startup Settings. Click on the Restart button.

startup settings restart

4. Once your computer gets restarted, press F5 to access safe mode with networking.

safe mode with networking

5. The problem would resolve by now by entering the safe mode. You need to restart your PC now.

Method 6: Download the Start menu troubleshooter

Almost everyone using Windows 10 confronts the problem when the start menu stops working. So Microsoft developed a troubleshooter that will help you to fix problems with the start menu. Though this would be only a temporary fixation of the issue. You simply need to click on the download link for the start menu troubleshooter and then run it as per the instructions.

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Method 7: Turn your PC off and on again and again

We can solve a lot of issues only by turning the laptop on and off again and again. It is the most comfortable method to try when the start menu and Cortana aren’t working. So if you are also facing a critical error, try to restart your PC a few times and then check if the problem is solved. If this method works, your PC would be running as smoothly as before.

Method 8: Scan File System

We call it a System File Check; it will check your system to determine if anything gets corrupt. Firstly, open the Task Manager window by pressing CTRL+ SHIFT+ ESC.

After this, you will see the option for File > Run new task. Click on it, then type CMD in the Create new task box and tick the box displaying Create this task with administrative privileges. Then click on OK.

A new window will appear now. Type sfc/ scannow in it and press enter. Windows will be scanning your files now and will show you if there are any errors or discrepancies.

Method 9: Install the Recent Update of Windows 10

Windows 10 Start Menu Troubleshooter
Windows 10 Start Menu Troubleshooter

Keeping your system up to date is always a good idea to let it work smoothly. As Microsoft continually improves its progeny, you should always be aware of its latest updates. As we can solve some critical errors when Windows gets updated. Also, check for any Windows 10 Activation Error if it interrupts your process.

Usually, versions of Windows are automatically designed to report and install newer versions, but if that doesn’t happen, you can quickly update it manually.

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Method 10: Hide Cortana from the taskbar temporarily

Usually, Cortana is responsible for the start menu issue, so try to hide it from the taskbar as it might help temporarily. Also, be aware that third-party antivirus software causes the problem of generating the critical error of the start menu. So try to uninstall it and then reinstall.

So these were ten ways tested and tried by many professionals and users of Windows 10 who face the problem of the start menu, and Cortana isn’t working. If you also face this issue, go for any of the suggested methods to solve your problem in no time.

See also: FIX: The Application Unable To Start Correctly (0xc0000005)


With assistance from this guide, we hope you could completely resolve the Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working error.