Fix Critical Error: Start Menu isn’t Working in Windows 10

Last Updated on September 16, 2017

The Critical Error: Your start menu isn’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in error is quite rare in my opinion in Windows 10.

However, this has shown up once or twice in a few PCs that I have handled over the past few years. In this post, I’ll take a look at this critical error, and will list a few tips on how to fix it.


Start Menu Repair Tool

If you can log into your PC and the issue only persists with the Start menu, then you can use the Official start menu repair tool by Microsoft for Windows 10.


  1. Download the Start menu troubleshooter and open it on your PC.
  2. Upon opening the start menu troubleshooter, you’ll see a settings wizard. Click the Next button.
  3. Let the tool do its work. It will automatically check for the most common issues that show up in the Start menu. Things like permission issues, corrupt manifest files and database errors are very common.
  4. After the repairing is complete, close the troubleshooter and restart your PC.

Now, check if you get the Critical Error: Your start menu isn’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in error.

Create a new Administrator Account

You can also try creating a new administrator account to fix this issue. Since most of the custom settings for start menu are based on user preferences, changing the user account can sometimes fix the Start menu isn’t working error.

  • Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  • Click on File > Run new task to open the Create a new task box.
  • Check the Create this task with administrative privileges. Type cmd in the text field and press Enter.
  • To create a new Admin account, type the command in the next line. This will create a new user with the username: tempUser with the password: tempPassword. You can use whatever username and password combinations that you like for this and not just this one.
    net user /add tempUser tempPassword
  • Close all foreground programs on your PC and sign out. Now, login to the newly created user account using the credentials that you just set up.
  • Press Windows + R keys and type %LOCALAPPDATA%\TileDataLayer and press Enter. This will take you to the C:\Users\<yourUsername>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer directory. Delete the folder with the name Database.
  • Sign out of the new temporary account and log into your older account.

Now, you’ll not get the Critical error start menu isn’t working or any similar issue with the start menu. You can either delete the temporary account or leave it as it is after completing these steps.

 Uninstall Dropbox

For some unknown reasons, the Dropbox app for Windows 10 is sometimes also a culprit for the “Critical Error — Start menu isn’t working” error. Uninstall Dropbox for Windows to fix the issue.

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run box. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter. This will open the Program and Features list on your PC.
  • Look for Dropbox for Windows in the list. Right-click on it and select uninstall.
  • Restart your PC and you won’t get the Critical Error: Start menu isnt’t working error on your PC.

That’s it.

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Written by Utkarsh

Utkarsh Bhatt is a certified tech expert and software engineer for a Fortune 500 Company. He was born in 1995, making him one of the oldest members of the team at EFX. Utkarsh loves solving technical issues and is always the first to jump on any problem that needs solving. When he’s not coding or debugging, he enjoys playing video games (especially Super Smash Bros.) and watching cartoons.

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1 thought on “Fix Critical Error: Start Menu isn’t Working in Windows 10”

  1. After I set up a new user account I can’t delete the Database folder because some files are being used by other services. I tried stopping those services and even deleting the new user account but the process only took me halfway there. I don’t get the “Critical Error – Start Menu isn’t working…” msg anymore, but the Start Menu doesn’t work properly with a left click. I can only use a right click.


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