How To Restart Or Reset Start Menu In Windows 10

Restart Or Reset Windows 10 Start MenuRestart Or Reset Windows 10 Start Menu

The Start Menu is one of the most-used features in Windows 10. It is our go-to place when we need to search the system for something, or quickly access the pinned tiles. However, it is often found to be troublesome when it gets stuck and won’t open.

Let us show you how you can simply restart the Start Menu to get it working again. We shall also be discussing how you can reset the Start Menu to default settings. This refers to resetting the tiles and icons within the Start Menu to their default settings, without resetting the entire Windows Operating System.

How to Restart the Start Menu in Windows 10

Like any other program or feature in Windows 10, the Start Menu also has a process running in the background. If the Start Menu behaves abnormally or is completely inaccessible, you can simply restart its associated process without rebooting the computer.

How to Restart the Start Menu using the Task Manager

You can simply stop the associated process from the Task Manager and then re-run it to restart the Start Menu in Windows 10. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Open Task Manager by right-clicking the Taskbar and selecting Task Manager from the menu, or alternatively use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut keys.
  2. In the Processes tab and right-click the Start process, then select End task from the Context Menu. Or, select the Start process and click End task at the bottom-right of the window.
    task manager end task

The Start Menu will disappear. The Start Menu process should restart automatically within the next few seconds. If not, select Run new task from the Task Manager and run the following command:


The Start Menu should now respond normally, as it should.

How to Restart the Start Menu using Command Prompt

You can also achieve the same task as above using the Command Prompt. Follow the guide below:

  1. Open Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges.
  2. Now enter the following command:
    taskkill /im StartMenuExperienceHost.exe /f
    cmd kill
  3. The process should then re-run automatically. If it doesn’t, use the following command in Command Prompt to run it manually:
    start C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\StartMenuExperienceHost.exe
    run process cmd 1

Both of the above-mentioned approaches can be adopted in case the Start Menu is not responding or is malfunctioning in Windows 10.

How to Reset the Start Menu in Windows 10

Resetting the Start Menu is a completely different scenario, which is often confused with restarting it. As we mentioned earlier, resetting the Start Menu refers to resetting it to the default configuration, which you might have changed voluntarily, or it might have automatically changed by downloading new applications, or through the Preview Builds in the Insider Program.

If your Start Menu has gotten too complicated for you to navigate through, use the steps below to reset it and then reconfigure it from the beginning, according to your preference.

start menu before

Let us warn you that the process involves changing the Windows Registry settings. Therefore, it is recommended to backup and create a restore point for your system.

  1. Go to Run –> regedit. This will open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following in the left pane:
    HKEY_Current_User -> Software -> Microsoft -> CurrentVersion -> CloudStore -> Store -> Cache -> DefaultAccount
  3. Right-click DefaultAccount in the left pane, and then click Delete from the Context Menu to remove it entirely.
    regedit delete
  4. Close the Registry Editor and restart File Explorer to ensure changes are made to the System Registry without rebooting the computer.

You shall now notice when re-opening the Start Menu that all the tiles have been reset to their default settings as on a fresh installation of Windows.

start menu after 1

Closing words

It is convenient to know the shortcuts to achieve tasks in a Windows 10 environment without having to go through the trouble of performing the lengthy processes.

Restarting the Start Menu without rebooting the computer or resetting it without resetting Windows 10 entirely is a cool trick to know in case it stops responding while performing time-critical tasks.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

1 comment

  • Steve

    Thanks for this excellent info! Just wanted to point out that the registry edit is missing the “Windows” directory between “Microsoft” and “CurrentVersion”. So the full path would be:

    HKEY_Current_User -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows-> CurrentVersion -> CloudStore -> Store -> Cache -> DefaultAccount

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