Windows Start button and Search stopped working

Dave Horne

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I had this same issue months ago before Windows 11 and it was caused by an update. It was later resolved in a later update.

Now all the icons in the Taskbar are left aligned; after the Windows 11 upgrade, the Taskbar was center aligned.

In order for me to shut down the computer, I'm forced to Ctrl+Alt+Del, and go from there.
 

Dave Horne

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Thanks for suggestions. I've tried most of those earlier in the year when I had this issue (under Windows 10) and nothing worked. (I didn't reinstall Windows, I just waited a few months for another update to fix this problem.)

I forgot to mention in my initial post, I see I'm also missing the clock normally positioned at the far right on the Taskbar.

I'm rebuilding the Search Index, but I'm not holding my breath for any fixes.

Thanks. If this resolves itself, I'll be back to post an update.
 

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Bastet

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I would suspect that the Windows 11 update has been corrupted, perhaps due to the problem with Windows 10. Was there a problem with the taskbar/clock on Windows 10?
I’n my case the registry fix on that site improved the Start not working but on occasion it does fail to open when clicked.
 

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Dave Horne

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"I would suspect that the Windows 11 update has been corrupted, perhaps due to the problem with Windows 10. Was there a problem with the taskbar/clock on Windows 10?
I’n my case the registry fix on that site improved the Start not working but on occasion it does fail to open when clicked."

I don't remember having a clock problem in Windows 10 when the Windows Start button stopped working. The Search function in Windows Start also stopped as well back then, as I recall.

I upgraded to Windows 11 several weeks ago and everything was fine until a few days ago.

I initially tried just about everything from that list you provided when I had that problem in Windows 10. Since that issue seemed to start right after a Windows Update, and since I wasn't alone, I waited a few weeks and then my issue was resolved with another update.

Back to the present - The problem I have now does not seem to be related to an update as I usually keep Updates paused for a week and manually check if there's an update.

I was transferring 80+GB of photos from my desktop to an external drive and when that was finished, or before it was finished, a window popped up telling me to sign back in or something along those lines. (Everything was copied. ) At that time, I restarted the computer - no change, turned the computer completely off and then back on again - no change, signed out and back in - no change. That's when I posted here.

I'll wait a month or two and if I still have this problem will consider other options.
 

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Bastet

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It’s an inconvenience at best especially as a simple sign out then in again fixes the Start button.
If it’s a serious problem for you then I would recommend returning to Windows 10 & trying to fix the problem there before attempting to upgrade to 11 again.
 

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Dave Horne

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It’s an inconvenience at best especially as a simple sign out then in again fixes the Start button.
If it’s a serious problem for you then I would recommend returning to Windows 10 & trying to fix the problem there before attempting to upgrade to 11 again.
It's academic at this point. After using Windows 11 for several weeks and not having any issues, I removed the Windows 10 files from my computer and freed up 24 GB.

I'm hoping a future update solves this issue for me (as I had a very similar issue in the past).
 

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Dave Horne

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Well, I'm further along.

There was just an update - 2021-11 Update for Windows 11 for x64-based Systems (KB5008295).

After this update, the Task Bar was back to being center aligned (instead of being left aligned under Windows 10) and my clock returned.

The issue now, when I click on the Windows icon, either in the Task Bar or keyboard, I receive a Critical error message telling me "Your Start menu isn't working. We'll try to fix it the next time you sign in."

I've tried signing in several times, but that does nothing.

So, Search is now working and the clock is back; the Windows Start menu is still not working, but we're further along.

As long as I don't invoke the Windows Start menu, all is ... better. :)

I can live with this until they figure this out.


... One more thing, if I right click the Windows Start menu, I can access _every_ item listed, it's just if I left click the Windows Start menu I'm given that critical error message.
 
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Dave Horne

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While I wait for Windows to solve this glitch, I simply click on the Windows Start icon, and drag that critical error message down to the lower left of the task bar. It's out of the way and anyone looking at my desktop probably wouldn't notice it.
 

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Dave Horne

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Well, this is curious.

I booted up my windows 11 desktop computer today and we're back to a left aligned Task Bar with a non working Windows Start, a non working Search, and no clock in the right corner.

I'm back now to my original post.
 

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Dave Horne

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I had this same issue months ago before Windows 11 and it was caused by an update. It was later resolved in a later update.

Now all the icons in the Taskbar are left aligned; after the Windows 11 upgrade, the Taskbar was center aligned.

In order for me to shut down the computer, I'm forced to Ctrl+Alt+Del, and go from there.
The updates today, Tuesday 23 November 2021, solved this issue.

So, it would appear this will be my last post regarding this. :)
 

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Dave Horne

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I was a tad too quick with my previous response.

The Search works, the clock is back, the task bar icons are now center aligned, BUT when I click on the Windows icon I receive a "Critical error - Your Start menu isn't working. We'll try to fix this the next time you sign in." I signed out and back in, but I still receive that message even though Search is working.

I just drag that Critical Error message down and to the left where it's almost completely out of view.

So, they're aware of the issue but it's still not completely fixed. I can live with this.
 
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Dave Horne

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One more thing, when I right mouse click on the Taskbar, I only see Taskbar Settings. The only way to access Task Manager is by Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
 

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