When you need to navigate to any setting or access your start menu, the Windows key is a great tool. This Windows key, also known as the Winkey and with a Microsoft logo on its surface is called the Winkey. The start menu opens when you press the Winkey key on your keyboard. You can access the search bar and execute shortcuts for system applications. It can be frustrating to lose the functionality of the Windows key on your computer. This issue may occur to some users with Windows 10 systems.
If your Windows 10 start button isn’t working or the Winkey doesn’t work, you won’t be able execute shortcuts like Winkey + R or Winkey + I. We have a guide to help you fix the Windows 10 start button that isn’t working.
Contents [ hide]
- Fixing the Windows 10 Start Menu not Working
- Why is the Windows 10 Start button broken?
- Method 1 – Sign out and log in to your account
- Method 2 – Disable the Game Mode on Windows 10
- Method 3 – Enable Windows key in the Registry Editor
- Method 4: Run System File Checker Scan
- Method 5 – Use Powershell Command
- Method 6 – Disable Filter keys on Windows 10
- 7: Use DISM command
- Method 8 – Update Sound and Video drivers
- Method 9 – Check for Windows Updates
- Method 10 – Restart Windows Explorer
- Step 11: Create a new user account
- Method 12: Run a Malware Scan
- Method 13: Reinstall Windows 10
How to fix Windows 10’s broken Start Menu
Why is the Windows 10 Start button broken?
Windows 10 may not be working properly due to a variety of reasons. These are some of the most common reasons:
- Your keyboard may be the problem, or your keyboard may be damaged. If the problem persists even after changing your keyboard, it could be a Windows problem.
- Inadvertently enabling the gaming mode can cause you to be unable to use the Windows key’s primary functions.
- The start button can be disabled by third-party software, applications, malware, and game modes.
- Incompatible drivers and outdated drivers can sometimes cause Windows 10 to freeze.
- It is possible that you will need to manually enable Windows key functions within the Windows OS registry editor.
- Windows 10 features a filter key feature that can sometimes cause issues with the start button.
These were just a few reasons why Windows 10’s start menu was frozen.
Here are some ways to fix the Windows button that doesn’t work on your laptop or desktop.
Method 1: Sign out, then re-login to your account
Sometimes, a simple relogin is all that’s needed to fix an issue with your Windows Key. This is how you sign out of your account to re-login.
- Click on the Windows logo with your cursor or the start menu.
- Click on the profile icon to select Sign-out.
- Now enter your password to re-login to your account.
- Final, verify that your Windows key works.
Method 2: Disable Windows 10’s Game Mode
Your problem with the start button is likely to be caused by the game mode in Windows 10. These steps will fix the problem with the Windows button not functioning:
- Type settings in the search bar by clicking on the Windows icon in the taskbar. From the search results, open Settings.
- Click the link to go to the Gaming section.
- From the panel to the left, click on the Game Mode tab.
- Last, ensure that you disable the toggle next to Game Mode.
To verify that the game mode is disabled, press the Windows key on the keyboard.
Also read: Windows 10 Updates Will Not Install Error
Method 3: Enable Windows key in the Registry Editor
You can enable or disable keyboard keys using the Windows registry editor. Inadvertently, you might disable the Windows key in your registry editor. To fix Windows 10’s broken start button, follow these steps:
- Type run into the search bar by clicking on the Windows menu.
- After opening the run dialog box, enter regedt32 into the box and click OK.
- Click YES if you receive a confirmation message.
- Once the registry editor is open, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
- Click on the System.
- Click on CurrentControlSet.
- Click on the Control folder.
- Scroll down to open the Keyboard Layouts Folder.
- If you see any registry entry for scancode maps, right-click it and click on delete.
- If you see a warning message, click on YES.
- Restart your computer, and you will see if the Windows key is working.
If you cannot find the scancodemap registry entry key, it may not exist on your system. To fix Windows 10’s frozen start menu, you can use the following methods.
Method 4: Run System File Checker Scan
Windows 10 defaults include the SFC scan, a system file scanner tool. To find corrupt files on your computer, you can run an SFC scan. These steps will help you fix the Windows button not working problem.
- Click on the Windows icon from your taskbar to search Run in the search box.
- To launch the command prompt with administrative rights, simply type cmd in the run dialog box.
- When you see the prompt message asking you if you wish to make any changes to your device, click on YES.
- You will now need to enter the following command and hit Enter: sfc/scannow
- Wait for the system to scan and fix corrupt files. Don’t close the browser or close it.
Once the scan is complete, you can reboot your computer to see if this could fix the Windows 10 start button not functioning issue.
Also read: How To Repair Corrupted Files in Windows 10
Method 5: Use Powershell Command
The PowerShell command is a tool that can be used to modify your system. It allows you to execute various commands to correct the problems. Many users were able fix the problem with the start menu not functioning by using the PowerShell command.
- Click on the Windows icon, and then type “run” in the search box.
- Type PowerShell into the Run dialog box. To launch PowerShell with administrative rights, click on Ctrl+ Shift + Enter.
- When you get the prompt message asking if you would like to make some changes to your device, click on YES.
- Enter the following command, and hit enter. You can also copy-paste this command.
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) \AppXManifest.xml”
- You can verify if the Window key is working after the command finishes.
Method 6: Disable Filter keys on Windows 10.
Windows 10’s filter key feature can sometimes cause the window key to stop working correctly. These steps will fix Windows 10’s frozen start menu.
- Click on the Start Menu in your taskbar to open the search bar. Type the control panel.
- Open the Control Panel in the search results.
- Change the category to view mode
- Go to the Ease of Access settings.
- Under the ease-of-access center, select ‘Change the way your keyboard works’.
- To disable the filter keys, uncheck the box beside ‘Turn On Filter Keys’. To save your changes, click on Apply and then OK.
This is it. You can now test it by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard to see if it works.
Method 7: Use the DISM command
The DISM command works in the same way as an SFC scan. However, executing a DISM Command can help you to repair Windows 10’s image.
- Search run in the search bar to open the Run dialog box.
- To launch the command prompt with administrative rights, type cmd.
- To allow the app make changes to your device, click on YES.
- Enter the following command at the command prompt
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
- Once the command is completed, enter Dism /Online/Cleanup -Image /restorehealth. Wait for it to finish
- After the command is completed, you can reboot your computer to verify that the Windows key works properly.
Method 8: Update Sound and Video drivers
You might have an outdated sound and video card driver on your computer that is causing your Windows key not to work or your start menu to freeze. You may be able to resolve the problem by updating your sound card and video driver.
- Click on the Windows icon from your taskbar to search for device manager.
- From the search results, open the Device Manager.
- Double-click the Sound, Video, and Game Controller buttons.
- Right-click on the Audio Driver and choose Update driver.
- Click on Search automatically to find drivers. The system will update the sound driver automatically. You can manually update your sound driver however, this may take some time for some users.
Also read How To Backup and Restore Device Drivers In Windows 10
Method 9: Search for Windows Updates
Your Windows key may not be working properly because you are using an older Windows version. Keep Windows 10 updated. Windows 10 will automatically download updates. However, there are times when you might need to manually download them. These steps will help you check for Windows updates available for your system.
- Navigate to your taskbar’s search bar and then to the Settings app.
- Click on Update and Security.
- Click on Windows Update to check for updates.
- Your system will then automatically display the latest updates. To download any updates, click on the Install Now button.
You can test this method after you have updated Windows 10 to fix the Windows 10 start menu not working.
Method 10: Restart Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer could be restarted by some users to fix the Windows key not functioning in Windows 10. You can also restart Windows Explorer to force the start menu to start over.
- Use the keyboard keys Ctrl + alt + de to select task manager.
- Click on the Process tab.
- Scroll down to locate Windows Explorer.
- Next, click on the right-click to select Restart.
You can verify if your start menu works properly after Windows explorer has restarted.
Method 11: Create a new user account
You can create a new account if you still have trouble accessing Windows 10 Start Menu. Many users were able fix the Windows key issue by creating a new account. These steps will help you create a new account on your computer.
- Click on the Windows icon to open search settings. To open settings, click on Windows + I keys on your on-screen keyboard.
- Click on the Accounts Section.
- Click on your family members and other users in the panel to the left.
- Select “Add another person to this computer.”
- A Microsoft account window will now open. Click on the “I don’t know this person’s sign in information” button to create a new user account. You have the option to create a new user using a Microsoft account.
- Click on “Add a user” without a Microsoft account.
- You can now create a username for your account and choose a password. To save your changes and to create an account, click on Next.
This is it. Your Windows key will now work properly with your new account.
Also read: Fixing Windows 10’s slowness after updating
Method 12: Run a Malware Scan
Sometimes the virus or malware on your computer can prevent the windows key’s proper functioning. You can perform a virus or malware scan of your system. You can download Malwarebytes for free, which is a good antivirus program. You can also choose to use any other antivirus program of your choosing. A malware scan will detect and remove any third-party software or apps that may have caused the Windows key to lose its functionality.
- Download Malwarebytes and install it on your system.
- Start the program and click on the Scan option.
- Click again on the Start Scan button.
- Wait for Malwarebytes’ scan to complete scanning your device for viruses and harmful apps. You can remove any potentially harmful files found after the scan.
Method 13: Reinstall Windows 10
Reinstall Windows 10 from scratch if none of these methods work. Make sure to have your Windows 10 product key. A USB thumb drive, or an external SSD, is a great way to install Windows 10 on your computer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Q1. Q1.Why does the start button not work in Windows 10?
Windows 10’s start button may not work for you. Your system might be in gaming mode or a third-party software or app may be interfering. Make sure that your keyboard is clean and in good condition. If the keys work properly, it could be a Windows problem.
Q2. Q2. Why does my Windows key not work?
If you enable filter keys on your system, your Windows key might not work. The Windows button can sometimes become inoperable if you have outdated sound and card driver drivers. To fix the Windows key, update your sound and card drivers. Also, check for Windows updates.
Q3. Q3. What do you do if the start button doesn’t work?
You can follow these steps to fix the Windows 10 start button. Try disabling gaming mode or turning off filter keys to fix your Windows 10 start button.
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We hope you found this guide helpful and that it helped you to resolve the Windows 10 start button not functioning issue. If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to post them in the comment section.