Microsoft Windows 10 Start Menu, Cortana, Taskbar Not Working? Here’s Fix

By Martin Blanc on Aug 5, 2015 at 11:06 am EST

Microsoft Windows 10 Start Menu, Cortana, Taskbar Not Working? Here’s Fix
Microsoft Windows 10 Start Menu, Cortana, Taskbar Not Working? Here’s Fix

Here’s how to fix Start Menu, Cortana, and Taskbar issues occurring in Windows 10

Last week, Microsoft finally released Windows 10 to expectant users across the globe. Sidelining the traditional retail roll-out, the company decided to offer the OS as an update to users with legitimate copies of Windows 8.1 and 7. Windows 10 is currently installed on over 100 million PCs, which is an impressive number considering that it has only been a week since launch. However, that doesn’t mean that everything went according to plan. Despite the dozens of Technical Previews and Insider Betas aimed at collecting feedback, the final build has quite a few issues and bugs, which need to be resolved.

One issue, which has frequently been surfacing on Microsoft Forums and Reddit, is the inoperability of the Taskbar and all the features linked to it, such as the Start Menu and Cortana. After a certain period of time, all three stop responding to the user’s interactions even though the rest of the system continues to perform optimally. Microsoft is well-aware of the issue and is working to resolve it. However, until then you can try these temporary fixes to resolve the issue.

How To Fix Cortana, Search, And Start Menu Issues In Windows 10

First of all, you need to kill the erroneous processes that are causing the problems. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to launch the Task Manager. Locate Cortana or Search from the list of currently running processes and click on End Task. The processes will re-launch and this time around, functionality will be restored.

For a more permanent fix, you can try any of the below methods:

Method 1

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type in powershell and press Enter.

Step 3: Right-click on the PowerShell icon from the Taskbar and select Run as Administrator

Method 2

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the context menu.

Step 2: Type Powershell in Command Prompt and press Enter.

Step 3: Paste the following text in the Powershell window and press Enter.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Wait for the command to run and ignore the red error prompts if they arise. The Start Menu should be operational now.

Search and Cortana malfunctioning can be attributed to a corrupted search index database in most cases. To fix it, all you need to do is delete and rebuilt the Search Index. To do this, head to the Control Panel. Locate the Indexing Options utility and launch it. The utility will display a list of all the locations and applications currently being indexed. Check to see if all the drives and folders are being indexed. To add an item, press Modify and you’ll be presented with a list of all locations on the PC; tick ones you require and clock OK.

How To Rebuild Windows Search Index On Windows 10

Even if all the correct locations are being indexed, a malfunctioning Search Index can render the Search function useless. Before we delve into the method, keep in mind that the index rebuilding process may take a while and will affect system performance as well until completion. To rebuild the Index, open Indexing Options. Click on Advanced Options and press the Rebuild button in the Troubleshooting section. Click OK on the confirmation prompt and the process will start.

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