I've been using Windows 10 for a while, and all of a sudden, clicking the Window’s icon in the lower-left corner no longer displays the normal Start menu. I've rebooted, and it doesn't come back. It's really hard to use WIndows without the start menu! Can you help me recover it?
As with most of the questions that appear here, this one clearly isn’t from a random person—it actually happened to Ken, and it happened multiple times. The first time that Windows 10 lost its Start menu, he fought with it for a few days, and then simply reformatted his hard drive and started over. That’s the real-life equivalent of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”; in other words, extreme overkill.
The problem is when this issue occurs, and the Windows 10 Start menu disappears, all “modern” Windows 10 applications fail, as well. The Settings app, for example, is a “modern” app and it won’t run if the Start menu won’t run. (The Start menu is just a “modern” app, like the Settings app; if one doesn’t work, none of them work.) It’s next to impossible to use Windows 10 without any “modern” applications, and so you must be able to fix this problem.
Ken wasn’t alone in his suffering—a quick search online provided many questions dealing with the same problem. He found many incorrect answers, and tried them all. The second time the same problem occurred, he went in search of the correct solution (along with some unprintable comments) and luckily, hit upon the simple, yet totally unexpected and unlikely solution.
It turns out that the problem stems from a corrupted file associated with your user account (Ken proved this by creating a second user on his computer—the Start menu, and all “modern” apps, worked fine for that new user.) If you don’t care about preserving your settings and documents, you can simply create a new user, and log in as that new user from then on. Problem solved.
If, on the other hand, if you care to preserve all your settings and documents, you need to find a way to repair your own user account. The solution boils down to copying a single file from a working user account to your own account, but the steps aren’t obvious.
The solution involves setting up multiple user accounts as administrators on your computer and copying a very important single piece file from a working administrative user account to your own user account. Fixing the problem is trivial once you have the instructions, which you can find here: http://www.urtech.ca/2015/09/solved-fix-windows-10-start-button-does-nothing-in-10-minutes/. The steps are quite simple, but they appear complicated. If you’re nervous about taking on this task, find a computer-literate friend, or a professional. They’ll surely be able to follow the instructions and get your installation of Windows 10 working again.