Jan 15

Windows 10 start menu freeze & Windows Explorer unresponsive

Tag: Tipps und TricksTorsten @ 08:57

Ever since I use Windows 10 Professional x64 (fresh install, no upgrade from previous Windows versions) on my machines I have the problem that the start menu sporadically freezes.
Mostly when I resume the computer from standby mode. I can click on the start menu button and no menu comes up. I can attempt to double click icons on my desktop but nothing happens.
it looks like the Windows Explorer process is hanging.

Cortana is not activated on my machines and no Microsoft Account is used in Windows.

The Internet is full of people having Windows 10 start menu issues.
Just two example links: Windows 10 Start Menu isn’t responding accurately, Cortana won’t load, cant search anything on computer and Schwerwiegender Fehler Ihr Menü „Start“ funktioniert nicht. Wir beheben das Problem, sobald sie sich erneut anmelden)

Many bugfixes are suggested and I have tried the following – non of them solved my problem:

  • sfc /scannow
    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    found no problems.
  • Reinstalling Windows Apps via Powershell
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register „$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml“}
    Dot not work (only made things worse, afterwards default apps like calc were no longer working and I had do go back to an old restore point of windows to get it working again)
  • Rebuilding the Windows 10 search index
  • Remove the folders explorer.exe and iexplore.exe in the registry path
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution.options
  • Starting the Application Identity Service
  • Creating a new user profile
  • Disabling Search Online in the start menu

Sadly the only workaround that seems to help is starting the task manager (Ctrl-Shift-ESC or right clicking the taskbar and selecting Task Manager). Then scrolling down to „Windows Explorer“. Opening the context menu via right mouse button and selecting „Restart“. Then everything works again – until the next freeze. This is no real bugfix, just a temporary workaround. And it has the side effect, that programs which were displayed in the tray now no longer show up in the tray (even though they are still running), until one also restarts these programs.

I have this problem on multiple machines and while researching in the Internet I found many users with this problem, but no real solution.

I cannot understand how Windows can be shipped with such a major issue. Explorer and start menu are crucial to the operating system.

I hope Microsoft will finally prioritize this issue and find a way to eliminate it once and for all.