The Start Menu is an iconic Windows element (let’s pretend Windows 8 never happened). It’s the home of Windows, providing access to files, apps, controls, and more. But lately, the Start menu isn’t 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 solutions to get things going again.
What’s up with the Windows Start menu bug?
If you find your Start menu unresponsive, you’re not alone. As reported by BleepingComputer, Windows 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 also affects other client versions of Windows, 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, such as the ClickShare screen recording tool, which uses Office APIs on a PC running Office via ClickToRun. ClickToRun is a feature that allows you to run Office programs without the programs being fully downloaded to your PC.
How to fix the bug in Windows Start menu
Microsoft is working on a patch, but it’s not out yet. In the meantime, the company has a few steps it recommends for you to resolve the issues.
First, the official workarounds: Microsoft says you can uninstall any problematic apps integrated with Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, or Outlook Calendar to prevent the problem from happening. Of course, relying on these apps is not a suitable solution. Instead, try removing these items from the startup, from which you can manage Settings > Apps > Startup. Also look for updates or guidance from the developers of these apps.
You can also try the following scripts to fix the issues as they appear, though Microsoft says they won’t prevent issues in the future. The next time Start, Search, or UWP apps give you problems, open a Powershell prompt and run: .FixUserShellFolderPermissions.ps1. If the script cannot access the registry key, open an elevated Powershell prompt and run: FixUserShellFolderPermissions.ps1 – all profiles. If a particular app isn’t working, run this script: FixUserShellFolderPermissions.ps1 – register.
If none of these work for the Start menu, Microsoft has a laundry list of general troubleshooting steps, including checking if Start is installed, making sure Start is running, and installing the latest updates.
But remember: Microsoft is working on a patch. Make sure to install the latest update when it hits your PC.