Windows 10 start menu not working : Here is how to fix

The Start menu has made a welcome return in Windows 10, but is still subject to errors that arise from time to time, especially the Search button that brings all kinds of problems related to Cortana.

So if your Cortana is dead and your search has stopped, we advise you to carefully follow the solutions we have decided to propose today.

Disable/restart the third-party antivirus, enable Windows Firewall

To be clear, we are not suggesting to completely disable and remove all third-party antivirus software from your device, but based on feedback here and on the Internet, some programs cause Windows Search to fail. Avast is one of the culprits, so try to uninstall it, if you have one, then find an alternative if necessary we recommend Windows Defender.

Or, you could simply try temporarily disabling your Avast shields, which should report the search in the Start menu. At least in the case of Avast, once the screens are reactivated, the search in the Start menu may continue to work as it should.

On the other hand, enabling Windows Firewall has also helped some users. It seems that the search and indexing are strangely sensitive to security settings, so hacking with them enabling and disabling things could give positive results.

Move or rebuild Swapfile.sys

The Pagefile and Swapfile are two important and inextricably linked functions of Windows 10. The paging file reduces the weight of the PC RAM by allocating a certain amount of space on the hard disk to RAM operation if the memory runs out. The swapfile performs the same function, but especially for modern Windows apps, so it is more targeted in its scope.

Since Cortana is a modern Windows app, you can try to rebuild the Swapfile to start everything – and the search in the Start menu – goes back into action. This will also imply the reconstruction of the Pagefile, since the Swapfile depends directly on the Pagefile.

Although it is not recommended to disable the Page file a priori, you can move it to another drive to “restart” it effectively. Or, if desired on the original disk, you can disable it, restart the PC, and then re-enable it after reboot.

If the search for the Start menu still does not work, we advise you to read the next tip carefully.

Register again in Cortana

So far we have established that Cortana is a probable culprit because the search in the Start menu does not work. If the reboot of the process fails, you can try to re-register the Cortana app.

To get started, open Windows File Explorer and go to the following location:

C: Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0

Right-click on “powershell.exe” and then click “Run as administrator”. After opening PowerShell, copy the following code snippet and run it:

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

Once you have finished running the command, close PowerShell, reboot your system and you should restart the search in the Start menu!

Run Windows Troubleshooting

The easiest solution is to use the tools built into Windows to help you. Of course, this is far from a 100% solution, but it’s fast, so it’s worth trying.

1. Go to the control panel (click on Start, then scroll down the Windows system folder and you will find it there).

2. Change the display to “Large Icons” or “Small Icons” if you have not already done so, then click on “Troubleshooting -> System and Security -> Search and Indexing”.

3. Click “Next” in the troubleshooting tool, then check the box for the problem (most likely “Files do not appear in search results”, even if the Windows search works, even if slowly, you need to select the third box down).

4. Finally, click on Next to scan, which will automatically attempt to resolve any problems.

Restart Windows Explorer

Needless to say, the first thing you should try is rebooting the PC, but if it fails, the slightly niche solution is to restart the Windows Explorer process. This is responsible for managing the files on the PC and for the smooth operation of the Start menu.

Press  CtrlShiftEsc to go directly to the Task Manager, click “More Details” in the lower left corner if it is not already selected, then scroll down in Windows Explorer, right click and press “Restart”. Suddenly the PC will hang but nothing alarming, the problem of the Search button in the Start menu will be solved anyway.

Check the Windows search service

Another reason why the search in the Start menu might not work is because the Windows Search service is not running. The Windows Search service is a system service and runs automatically when the system is started.

Check if the service is running or not by pressing Win + R, typing services.msc, then scroll down to find it. If it says “Running” in the Status column, it’s running (obviously). Otherwise, you will have to start it manually.

Right-click on “Windows Search” and then click on “Properties”.

In the Properties window, click the “Start” button to start the service. Also, make sure the startup type is set to “Automatic” or “Automatic (delayed start)”. This ensures that the service is started automatically each time the system is booted. Once you have finished editing, click “OK”.

Started the service everything should return to normal. One of the best methods that has given great results.

Restart the Cortana process

As we now know all too well, Cortana can be responsible for the non-functioning of the boot menu search which is behaving abnormally. In this case, restarting the Cortana process will solve the problem.

To do this, right click on the taskbar and then click on “Task Manager”.

Once the task manager is open, you must find the Cortana process in the Processes tab and click on the “End Task” button.

The above action will restart the Cortana process and you may also solve the problem of searching the boot menu.

Or try “Everything” as an alternative and final solution

If these corrections have not yet solved the problem, it may be time for an alternative solution. Void Tools has released an excellent and very light tool called “Everything” which indexes and instantly searches for all files on your computer. It’s easy to use and probably faster than the integrated Windows option.

Leave a Comment