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Troubleshoot problems with Shell in Windows 11

This article discusses how to troubleshoot Shell issues, including the Start menu and the taskbar in Windows 11, if both of the components are unresponsive.

Re-register Shell Experience App

The first step you can try is to re-register Windows Shell. To do this, execute the following actions.

Get-appxpackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “\appxmetadata\appxbundlemanifest.xml”)}

Close the Powershell Window and see if the Start menu is working again.

Powershell command to re-register Windows Shell

Restart the Windows Explorer Process.

Also, another step you can try is to Restart the Explorer process. See the following steps:

  1. Open the Task Manager using the steps above.
  2. Go to the Processes tab.
  3. Locate Windows Explorer, select it, then choose Restart.

See if the Start menu is working again.

Restarting Windows Explorer in Task Manager

Check if the Start menu is working in Safe mode.

The best way to troubleshoot if an App is causing problems with the start menu is by booting into safe mode. In the Safe Mode, the computer starts with a minimal set of drivers and startup apps, which may help troubleshoot the problem.

Therefore, to start the computer in Safe mode, see the steps below:

Try updating or rolling back Graphics drivers.

Sometimes, an updated display driver may also cause Windows Shell to stop working. If you believe GPU drivers recently updated, see the steps below:

GPU properties in the Device Manager

Remove any 3rd party customizer if you have installed

If Windows installation has a Tweaker installed, it may be causing the problem. Common customizers include ExplorerPatcher, WinAero tweaker etc. Therefore, remove them and see if that helps.

Remove the latest cumulative update

After the steps above, another option you can try is to remove the latest cumulative update. The recommended step for the same is to use Windows Recovery options explained in the following steps:

Uninstall Updates option in WinRE

Reset Windows 11

If nothing helps, eventually the last option to troubleshoot Start menu issues in Windows 11 is to do a Reset of Windows. The Recovery options guide can help you in the process of Resetting your computer.

To summarize, these issues can help you troubleshoot problems with Start menu in Windows 11.

Also check:

Recovery options in Windows 11 – Your Windows Guide

Fix problems with the Start menu (microsoft.com)

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