The Windows key on your keyboard is pretty useful when you want to access your start menu or navigate to any setting on your system. This Windows key is also known as the Winkey, and it has a Microsoft logo on it. Whenever you press this Winkey on your keyboard, the start menu pops up, and you can easily access the search bar or execute shortcuts for your system applications. However, it can be very frustrating if you lose the functionality of this Windows key on your system. Some users may face this issue of the Windows key not working on their Windows 10 system.
In case your Windows 10 start button or the Winkey is not working, you won’t be able to execute any shortcuts such as Winkey + R to open Run or Winkey + I to open settings. Since the Windows key plays a crucial role in executing the shortcuts, we have a guide that you can follow to fix Windows 10 start button not working.
How to Fix Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working
Why Windows 10 Start button not working?
There may be several reasons why your Windows key is not working on your Windows 10 system. Some of the common reasons are as follows:
- The problem may be with your keyboard itself, or you may be using a damaged keyboard. However, if the problem does not go away even when you change your keyboard, it is probably a Windows problem.
- You might accidentally enable the gaming mode, which prevents you from using the Windows key for its primary functions.
- A third-party software, application, malware, or game mode can also disable the start button.
- Sometimes using outdated drivers or incompatible drivers can also freeze the Windows 10 start key.
- You might have to manually enable the Windows key function within the Windows OS registry editor.
- Windows 10 has a filter key feature, which sometimes causes issues with the start button.
So, these were a few of the reasons behind the Windows 10 start menu frozen issue.
We are listing down the methods you can follow to fix the Windows button not working on your desktop or laptop.
Method 1: Sign out and re-login on your account
Sometimes a simple re-login can help you fix the issue with your Windows key. Here is how to sign out of your account and re-login:
1. Move your cursor and click on the Windows logo or the start menu.
2. Click on your profile icon and select Sign-out.
3. Now, type your password and re-login into your account.
4. Finally, check if your Windows key is working or not.
Method 2: Disable the Game Mode in Windows 10
If you use the game mode on your Windows 10 system, then it is the reason why you are facing the issue with your start button. Follow these steps to fix the Windows button not working by disabling the game mode:
1. Click on your Windows icon from the taskbar and type settings in the search bar. Open Settings from the search results.
2. Go to the Gaming section from the menu.
3. Click on the Game Mode tab from the panel on the left.
4. Finally, make sure you turn off the toggle next to Game Mode.
After you disable the game mode, hit the Windows key on your keyboard to check if it works or not.
Also Read: Fix Windows 10 Updates Won’t Install Error
Method 3: Enable Windows key within the Registry Editor
The Windows registry editor has the ability to enable or disable your keyboard keys. You may accidentally disable the Windows key in the registry editor of your system. Therefore, to fix Windows 10 start button not working, you can follow these steps to enable the Windows key using registry edit:
1. Click on the Windows menu and type run in the search bar.
2. Once you open the run dialog box, type regedt32 in the box and click OK.
3. If you get any confirmation message, click on YES.
4. After the registry editor opens, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
5. Click on the System.
6. Tap on CurrentControlSet.
7. Click on the Control folder.
8. Scroll down and open the Keyboard Layouts folder.
9. Now, if you see any scancode map registry entry, make a right-click on it and click on delete.
10. Click on YES if any warning message pops up on your screen.
11. Finally, restart your computer and check whether the Windows key starts working on your system.
However, if you are unable to find the scancode map registry entry key, then it might not be available on your system. You can try the next methods to fix Windows 10 start menu frozen.
Method 4: Run System File Checker Scan
By default Windows 10 comes with a system file checker tool known as the SFC scan. You can perform an SFC scan to find corrupt files on your system. To fix Windows button not working issue, you can follow these steps to execute the SFC scan on your system:
1. Click on the Windows icon in your taskbar and search Run in the search bar.
2. Once the run dialog box opens, type cmd and click on Ctrl + Shift + Enter on your keyboard to launch the command prompt with administrative permissions.
3. Click on YES when you see the prompt message that says ‘do you want to make changes on your device.’
4. Now, you have to type the command following command and hit enter: sfc /scannow
5. Finally, wait for your system to scan and fix the corrupt files automatically. Do not shut down or exit the window on your system.
After the scan completes, you can restart your computer and check whether this method could resolve Windows 10 start button not working issue.
Also Read: How to Repair Corrupted System Files in Windows 10
Method 5: Use Powershell Command
If you want to make adjustments to your system, then the PowerShell command can help you execute various commands to fix the issues in your system. Many users were able to fix the start menu not working issue by performing the PowerShell command.
1. Click on the Windows icon and type run in the search box.
2. Open the Run dialog box from the search results and type PowerShell in the box. Click on Ctrl + Shift + Enter on your keyboard to launch the PowerShell with administrative permissions.
3. Click on YES when you see the prompt message that says ‘do you want to make changes on your device.
4. Now, you have to type the following command and hit enter. You can directly copy-paste the above command.
5. After the command completes, you can check if the Window key starts working on your system.
Method 6: Disable the Filter keys feature on Windows 10
Sometimes, the filter key feature on Windows 10 causes the window key from working properly. Therefore, to fix Windows 10 start menu frozen, you can disable the filter keys by following these steps:
1. Go to the search bar by clicking on the start menu in your taskbar and type the control panel.
2. Open the Control Panel from the search results.
3. Set the View mode to category.
4. Go to the Ease of Access settings.
5. Select ‘Change how your keyboard works’ under the ease of access center.
6. Finally, you can uncheck the box next to ‘Turn on Filter Keys’ to disable the feature. Click on Apply and then OK to save the changes.
That’s it; you can try using the Windows key on your keyboard and check if it works properly or not.
Method 7: Use DISM command
DISM command is pretty much similar to an SFC scan, but executing a DISM command can help you repair the image of Windows 10.
1. Open the Run dialog box by searching run in the search bar of your system.
2. Type cmd and click on Ctrl + Shift + Enter from your keyboard to launch the command prompt with administrative permissions.
3. Click on YES to allow the app to make changes on your device.
4. Type the following command in the command prompt:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
5. After the command completes, type another command Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /restorehealth and wait for it to complete.
6. Once the command completes, you can restart your computer and check if the Windows key starts working properly or not.
Method 8: Update Video and Sound drivers
If you are using outdated video and sound card drivers on your system, then they might be the reason why your Windows key is not working, or the start menu may get frozen. Sometimes, updating your sound and video card driver can help you resolve the issue.
1. Click on the Windows icon in your taskbar and search device manager.
2. Open the Device Manager from the search results.
3. Double-click on the Sound, video, and game controller.
4. Now, make a right-click on your Audio Driver and select Update driver.
5. Finally, click on Search automatically for drivers. Your system will automatically update your sound driver. However, you also have the option of manually updating your sound driver, but it may be time-consuming for some users.
Also Read: How to Backup and Restore Device Drivers in Windows 10
Method 9: Check for new Windows updates
You may be using an outdated Windows version on your system, and it might be the reason why your Windows key is not functioning properly. Therefore, make sure you keep your Windows 10 up to date. Windows 10 automatically download the updates, but sometimes due to unknown issues, you may have to download the updates manually. Follow these steps to check for available Windows updates for your system:
1. Go to your search bar in the taskbar and go to the Settings app.
2. Click on Update and Security.
3. Under Windows Update, click on check for updates.
4. Finally, your system will automatically show you the available updates. You can click on Install Now to download the available updates if any.
After updating your Windows 10, you can check whether this method could fix the start menu not working in Windows 10.
Method 10: Restart Windows Explorer
Some users could fix the Windows key not working in Windows 10 by restarting the Windows explorer. When you restart Windows Explorer, you will also force the start menu to restart as well.
1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del from your keyboard and select task manager.
2. Click on the Process tab.
3. Scroll down and locate Windows explorer.
4. Finally, make a right-click and select Restart.
After the Windows explorer restarts, you can check whether your start menu is working properly or not.
Method 11: Create a New User Account
If you are still unable to access Windows 10 Start Menu, you can create a new user account. Many users were able to fix the Windows key by creating a new user account. Follow these steps to create a new user account on your system.
1. Click on your Windows icon and search settings in the search bar. Alternatively, you can click on Windows + I keys from your on-screen keyboard to open settings.
2. Click on the Accounts section.
3. Now, click on family and other users from the panel on the left.
4. Select ‘Add someone else to this PC.’
5. Now, a Microsoft account window will pop up, where you have to click on the ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information’ We will be creating a new user account without a Microsoft account. However, you have the option of creating a new user with a new Microsoft account.
6. Click on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
7. Finally, you can create a username and set a password for your new account. Click on next to save the changes and create the account.
That’s it; your Windows key will start functioning properly with your new user account.
Also Read: How to Fix Windows 10 running slow after update
Method 12: Run a Malware Scan
Sometimes, the malware or virus on your system may prevent the windows key from functioning properly. Therefore, you can run a malware or virus scan on your system. You can use the free version of Malwarebytes , which is good antivirus software. You have the option of using any other antivirus app of your choice. Running a malware scan will remove harmful third-party apps or software that were causing the Windows key from losing its functionality.
1. Download and install Malwarebytes on your system .
2. Launch the software and click on the Scan option.
3. Again, click on the start scan button.
4. Finally, wait for Malwarebytes to finish scanning your device for any virus or harmful apps. If you find any harmful files after the scan, you can easily remove them from your system.
Method 13: Reinstall Windows 10
If none of the above methods works, you can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch . However, make sure you have the Windows 10 product key handy. Moreover, having a fast USB thumb drive or external SSD is a plus for installing Windows 10 on your system.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q1. Why does my start button not work on Windows 10?
There may be several reasons behind your start button not working on Windows 10. You might be using your system with the gaming mode, or some third-party app or software may be interfering with your start button. However, make sure your keyboard is not damaged, and if all the keys are working properly, then it is some Windows problem.
Q2. Why is my Windows key not working?
Your Windows key may not work if you enable the filter keys to feature on your system. Sometimes, when you use outdated sound and card drivers, it can cause the Windows button to lose its functionality. Therefore, to fix the Windows key, you can update your video drivers and check for available Windows updates.
Q3. What to do when the start button is not working?
To fix your Windows 10 start button, you can easily follow the methods listed in our guide. You can try disabling the gaming mode on your system or turn off the filter keys feature, as it can also interfere with your start button.
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We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to fix Windows 10 start button not working issue. If you still have any queries regarding this article, then feel free to ask them in the comments section.