The Windows Start Menu is one of the most useful and versatile parts of the operating system. Though the start menu works perfectly fine for the most part, there might be occasional problems. Sometimes, the start menu just doesn't open no matter what you do. Other times, you cannot click or open anything even if the start menu opens. In those situations, you can restart the start menu to fix the problem.
There are two ways to restart the start menu on Windows 10. The first method uses the newly added Start Menu process. The second method uses the good old Explorer.exe process. Both methods work perfectly fine. Use the one you are comfortable with.
Method #1: Restart the Start Menu Process
In the recent version of Windows 10. i.e, May 2019 v1903, Microsoft created a separate process for the Start Menu. This makes the start menu much more responsive, fast, and reduces the chances of it crashing. Since the start menu has its own process, restarting that specific process with restart the start menu. You can do this from the Task Manager.
1. First, we need to open the task manager. So, right-click on the taskbar and select the Task Manager option.
Note: If you can't use the taskbar, you can use
taskmgr run command or press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to open the task manager.
2. By default, the task manager won't show all the running processes. To see all the running processes, click on the More Details option appearing on the bottom left corner.
3. Now, go to the Process tab, find the Start process, select it and click on the End Task button. This action will end the running start menu process.
That is it. There is no need to manually start the process. Windows will automatically start the Start process almost immediately. This action will restart the start menu.
(Alternative Method) Restart explorer.exe Process
As an alternative, you can also restart the start menu by restarting the explorer.exe process. This method is particularly useful if the above method did not work or if you are using an older version of Windows 10. i.e, lower then v1903. The good thing is, restarting explorer.exe is very similar to restarting the start menu process.
1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. You can also use the Ctrl + Alt + Shift keyboard shortcut.
2. All the system processes are hidden by default. Under the minimal view, you will only see the user application processes. So, in the task manager, click on the More Details option to see all the running processes.
3. In the full view, go to the Processes tab. Here, find the Windows Explorer process, right-click on it and select Restart.
Note: Don't worry if you see multiple Windows Explorer processes. Just select one and restart it.
4. As you can guess, the above action will restart explorer.exe file. This will also restart the start menu.
That is all. It is that simple to restart the Windows Start menu. If the start menu is still acting funny, I've already written detailed steps to fix start menu problems. Follow that guide.