Start Menu And Cortana Aren’t Working Error

Start Menu And Cortana Aren't Working Error

When your trusty Windows companion becomes obstinate, and the Start Menu and Cortana decide not to work, it’s time to turn the tables.

Let’s dive into what causes this annoying issue and the step-by-step solutions to bring back control of your Windows experience.

The Start Menu and Cortana are critical components of the Windows operating system. They allow easy navigation and swift access to programs and files.

However, occasionally, you may be met with the dreaded “Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working” error. This guide will illuminate the potential causes and offer detailed solutions to get your Windows system back on track.

Start Menu And Cortana Aren't Working Error

Causes of the “Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working” Error

Several factors can lead to the occurrence of this error, and they include:

Windows Updates: Sometimes, new Windows updates can create unanticipated issues, including errors with the Start Menu and Cortana.

Corrupted Files: Corrupted system files could be another cause. The Windows operating system relies heavily on its system files, and any corruption in these can lead to errors.

Cortana Settings: Occasionally, changes to Cortana’s settings may disrupt its functionality and, by extension, affect the Start Menu.

Fixing the “Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working” Error

Here are the solutions to fix this error:

Method 1: Restart Your Computer

The most basic yet sometimes effective method involves restarting your system. This action can rectify minor bugs and errors:

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard.

Step 2: Click on the power button in the bottom-right corner and choose “Restart.”

Method 2: Use Windows Troubleshooter

Windows Troubleshooter is a handy tool for fixing a variety of issues:

Step 1: Press Win + I to open Settings.

Step 2: Click on “Update & Security.”

Step 3: Choose “Troubleshoot” from the left pane.

Step 4: Select “Windows Start Menu” in the right pane, then click “Run the Troubleshooter.”

Method 3: Check for Corrupted Files

The System File Checker (SFC) can locate and fix corrupted files:

Step 1: Press Win + X and choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” or “PowerShell (Admin).”

Step 2: Type “sfc /scannow” and hit Enter.

Step 3: Wait for the scan to complete and follow any on-screen instructions.

Method 4: Reinstall Cortana

If Cortana is the issue, reinstalling it might be the solution:

Step 1: Press Win + X and select “PowerShell (Admin).”

Step 2: Type in “Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}” and press Enter.

Method 5: Create a New User Account

Sometimes, the error might be associated with your user account:

Step 1: Press Win + I to open Settings.

Step 2: Click on “Accounts,” then “Family & other users.”

Step 3: Under “Other users,” click on “Add someone else to this PC.”

Step 4: Follow the prompts to create a new account.


Facing the “Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working” error can be a daunting experience. However, with the detailed solutions outlined in this guide, you’re equipped to tackle and overcome this issue.

Get your Start Menu and Cortana back on track and make the most out of your Windows experience!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the frequently asked questions to this topic:

1. What is the “Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working” error?

This error typically indicates an issue preventing the Start Menu or Cortana from functioning correctly on a Windows computer. It is commonly accompanied by a message prompting you to “sign out now” to rectify the issue.

2. Can Windows updates cause the Start Menu and Cortana to stop working?

Yes, new updates can occasionally disrupt the normal functioning of Windows components, including the Start Menu and Cortana. It’s always a good practice to keep your system updated, but sometimes, certain updates may introduce unforeseen issues.

3. I’ve tried restarting my computer, but the error persists. What should I do next?

If a system restart doesn’t fix the issue, you can try using the Windows Troubleshooter or checking for corrupted system files using the System File Checker (SFC). If these methods don’t work, you might need to consider reinstalling Cortana or creating a new user account.

4. Is there a risk of losing data when fixing the “Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working” error?

Most of the solutions provided, like running the Windows Troubleshooter or the System File Checker (SFC), don’t typically lead to data loss. However, creating a new user account might result in you losing access to files and settings associated with your old account.

5. I’ve fixed the error, but it keeps reoccurring. What should I do?

If the “Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working” error keeps coming back, it might indicate a deeper issue with your Windows system. In this case, it’s recommended to back up your data and consider performing a clean installation of Windows.


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