How to fix Windows 10 critical error: ‘Your start menu isn’t working’

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An infrequent but very annoying error can occur when upgrading to Windows 10 from a previous version stating ‘Critical Error, Your start menu isn’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in’. Of course, the next time you sign in, you usually still see that error. Here’s how to fix the Windows 10 critical error, ‘Your start menu isn’t working’ for good.

The error may manifest itself as ‘Start error and Cortana aren’t working’ but it’s the same thing.

Fix Windows 10 critical error: ‘Your start menu isn’t working’

We will need to boot into safe mode to get it fixed.

1. Hold down the shift key as you select Start Menu, then Power and then Restart.
2. Select Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, Startup Settings and Restart.
3. Once rebooted, select F5 for ‘Safe Mode with networking’.
4. Sign into your Microsoft account.
5. Reboot your machine normally.

For the vast majority of users this is enough to cure the error. If it doesn’t work for you, we have a little more work to do.

Add a new account to Windows 10
Creating a new account within Windows 10 usually works if booting into safe mode doesn’t. Here’s how.

1. Navigate to Settings, Accounts and Your account.
2. Select Family & other users and then Add someone else to this PC.
3. Create an account and log into Windows using it.
4. If the error no longer appears, log out of the account and log back in using your original account.
5. Delete this newly created account if Windows now works properly

Fortunately, most users only have to perform the boot into safe mode to cure the Windows 10 critical error: ‘Your start menu isn’t working’. However, the rest of those I know who had this error found the second step fixed it for them. Hope it helps!

More Windows error tutorials you might find useful:
How to run compatibility mode in Windows 10
Removing the USB speed error notification in Windows 10
How to set up a minidump for BSOD troubleshooting in Windows 10