Fix problems with the Start menu

If you can't see Start  on your taskbar, the taskbar may be hidden.

Show a hidden taskbar

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + I, then select Personalization  > Taskbar .

  2. Turn on Lock the taskbar.

  3. Turn off Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode or Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.

If that doesn't resolve the issue you're experiencing, select any of the following headings to see steps you can try to get it working again.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager. You may need to select More details at the bottom of the window to see everything.

  2. Select the Processes tab.

  3. Scroll down to Windows Explorer, select it, then select Restart.

The process may take a few seconds, and your taskbar and Start menu may not be visible while Windows Explorer restarts. You can close Task Manager when the process is complete. 

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + I.

  2. In Settings, choose Update & security  > WindowsUpdate , and then select Check for updates. Install any available updates and restart your computer if required.

Check for updates

Note: Need another way to get to Settings? Press the Windows logo key R, then type ms-settings: (note the colon) in the Open box. Select OK to open Settings. 

If you didn’t have any updates that required a restart, it’s still a good idea to restart your device to make sure any pending updates are installed.

To restart your device when you can’t access Start , press CtrlAlt + Delete, select Power  and then select Restart .

Note: You can also manually shut down your device by pressing and holding the power button. Shutting down this way risks losing unsaved data, so first be sure to save and close everything you’re working on. If you shut down this way, you can restart your device by pressing the power button again.

While it’s likely you have the most recent drivers, if you’re still having trouble with the Start menu, you can try fixing it by manually updating your graphics or audio drivers. For more info, see Update drivers in Windows 10.

If you still can’t fix your problem with the Start menu, try creating a new local administrator account.

If you're signed in with your Microsoft account, remove the link to that account first by doing the following (if that's not how you're signed in, skip to creating a new administrator account):

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + I.

  2. In Settings, select Accounts  > Your info  (in some versions, it may be under Email & accounts  instead).

  3. Select Sign in with a local account instead. You'll see this link only if you're using a Microsoft account, and you may not see it if your device is on a network.

  4. Type your Microsoft account password and select Next.

  5. Choose a new account name, password, and password hint, and then select Finish and sign out.

Create the new administrator account:

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + I.

  2. In Settings, select Accounts  > Family & other people  (or Other users , if you’re using Windows 10 Enterprise).

  3. Under Other users , select Add someone else to this PC.

  4. On Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Professional, provide a name for the user and a password, and then select Next. On Windows 10 Enterprise, select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information, and then select Add a user without a Microsoft account.

  5. Set a user name, password, and password hint. Then select Next > Finish.

Next, make the new account an administrator account:

  1. Under Family & other people  (or Other users , if you're using Windows 10 Enterprise), choose the account you created, and then select Change account type.

  2. Under Account type, select Administrator > OK.

Sign out of your account and then sign in to your new account. If everything is fixed, move your personal data and files to the new account. 

To move your personal files from your old account to your new account, try opening File Explorer, expanding This PC > OSDisk (C:), and looking in the Users folder, where you should see folders for both accounts. You can then copy and paste your files from the old account folder to similar locations in the new account folder. Or if you prefer, you can upload your files from your old account to OneDrive, and then sign into the new account and download the files from OneDrive.

If the problem still isn't fixed, try deleting the old administrator account:

  1. Under Other users, select the old administrator account, then select Remove > Delete account and data.

  2. After the old account is removed, restart your device and sign in with the new account again.

If you were using a Microsoft account to sign in before, associate the Microsoft account with the new administrator account.

  1. In Settings , select Accounts  > Your info  (in some versions, it may be under Email & accounts  instead).

  2. Select Sign in with a Microsoft account instead and enter your account info. You'll see this link only if you're using a local account, and you may not see it if your device is on a network.

Note: Need another way to get to Settings? Press Windows logo key  + R, then type ms-settings: (note the colon) in the Open box. Select OK to open Settings. 

If none of the previous options work, try resetting your PC using Recovery options in Windows 10.

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