How To Fix Windows 10 Start Menu If It's Frozen

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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When Windows 10 is running, it's a great operating system. When this is not the case, it causes a lot of inconvenience and a lot of frustration. Among Microsoft's pile of quirks is its knack for puking brain-scratching bugs. Of course, this technical issue is expected when you get rid of your QA team and rely on user feedback instead. Anyway, one of those bugs is the Start Menu crashing.


The good news is that there are a few solutions to Start Menu crashing in Windows 10. Some are simple; others are more delicate. You can try the four major fixes below, from simply closing programs to tinkering with Microsoft's Windows Media Creation Tool. Here are the details.


Fix Frozen Start Menu Issue

Since there are many symptoms that can cause the Start menu to crash in Windows 10, here is an overview of the solutions that might work for you.

1. Check for corrupted files causing your Windows 10 Start Menu to freeze

Many problems with Windows boil down to corrupted files, and Start menu issues are no exception. To resolve this issue, launch Task Manager either by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting Task Manager or by pressing 'Ctrl + Alt + Suppr.'

  1. Taper "PowerShell" in the "Cortana/Search bar", click once on « Windows PowerShell » from the list if necessary, then right-click and choose " Execute as administrator " or select it in the right pane.
  2. Now type "Sfc / scannow" without quotes and strikes " Enter. » Note the space between "sfc" and "/scan now." " 
  3. If you see the " Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to repair some (or all) » error, type “DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/RestoreHealth”, without quotes. You will need to be online, as Windows will download clean versions of corrupted files and replace them. If you see “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them” You are ready.

If the above solution does not fix your Windows 10 Start Menu crashing issues, continue to the next option.



2. Kill Windows Explorer Process

Removing Windows Explorer is a quick and easy fix that can come in handy in a variety of situations, such as when you have unresponsive windows or sporadic Windows desktop issues. The process is not guaranteed to work, but has saved many Windows users from reinstalling their operating system. Here is how to kill Windows Explorer process.

  1. Right click on the "The Start Menu" icon and select " Task Manager " in the menu, or hold “Ctrl+Shift+Esc. »
  2. Now scroll down the “Processes” tab until you find “Windows Explorer”. If Windows Explorer is already open, you will see another entry with a drop-down option as shown below. Ignore this entry and choose the one without a drop-down list.
  3. Then right click on the « Windows Explorer » task specified above and select "Restart" from the menu.

If restarting Windows Explorer does not resolve your Start menu stuck issue, continue to solution #3.

3. Rebuild Index to Fix Your Frozen Windows 10 Start Menu

Indexing is the process of inspecting files, emails, and other types of content in your Windows 10 operating system. The method also involves cataloging essential data, such as words, locations of files, metadata, etc. If you search by keyword in Windows Explorer, you are using the indexing process which examines all stored data to match your search criteria. The data index can significantly speed up the search process. Here's how to rebuild the Windows 10 index.



  1. Hold down "Windows key + R"  to open the "Run" window. Alternatively, right click on the "The Start Menu" and select " To run. »
  2. Now type "control/name Microsoft.IndexingOptions" without the quotes, and click " OKAY. »
  3. Then click " Edit " at the bottom left of the "Indexing options" window.
  4. From there, click on the "Show all locations" button.
  5. Next, uncheck all currently checked locations and select " OKAY. »
  6. Now click " Advanced, " then click "Rebuild" in the Troubleshooting section. A message appears indicating that this may take some time. Click on " OKAY " Continue.
  7. When the rebuild is complete, hold "Windows key + R" to open the "Run" window again, then type "stop /r" without quotes, and click " OKAY " to restart your machine.

If rebuilding the Windows 10 index didn't fix your reluctant Windows 10 Start menu hang, it's time to create some support.


4. Use Media Creation Tool to Repair Windows 10 Start Menu

There are several fixes to the Windows 10 Start menu issue, but the Media Creation Tool is the only widely reported method to fix the Start menu stuck issue. So if you've ever made the mistake of jumping into a long-winded solution from a random internet forum and it didn't work, try this process.

The good news is that even though using the media creation tool is a bit lengthy, it is the most likely method to solve your problem. The tool won't delete your existing files when used correctly, although it's worth backing up anything important.


The bad news is that this procedure involves downloading the Microsoft Windows Media Creation Tool and creating Windows 10 installation media on a DVD or USB storage device. If something goes wrong, you'll need to perform a clean install of Windows 10 and restore your data from the backup.

How to use Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

  1. Go to Microsoft's Media Creation Tool site and download the Media Creation Tool, which appears in the bottom section of the page.
  2. Create a system installation disc using the Windows Media Creation Tool.
  3. Double click on « setup.exe » from the media you created to start the installation process.

Notes: When browsing through the installation menus above, be sure to click “Keep files and apps”. This step ensures that the installation process updates or replaces necessary files and preserves your data and applications. However, it usually won't retain installed programs.

Perform a new installation

When none of the above procedures causes Windows 10 Start menu to crash or freeze, back up all your data and start a fresh installation of Windows 10, but make sure you have your Windows product key 10 at your fingertips! If you have a fast USB or external SSD, installing Windows from there is your best bet – you'll be done in about half an hour.

One solution at a time

A lot can go wrong with an operating system, especially one as prolific as Windows 10. After all, over 50 million lines of code are running behind the scenes on your device.

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