How to Restart and Reset the Start Menu in Windows 11

Giving the Windows 11 Start menu a quick reboot is a quick and easy way to troubleshoot any issues with it.

The Windows 11 Start menu helps you locate your programs, access system settings, files, folders, etc. And while it’s as useful as it is, it can act erratically at times or just stop working.

Your Start menu can act up due to various reasons. However, in most cases, you can restart or reset it to fix the problem quickly. Here we show different ways to restart and reset the Start menu in Windows 11.

You could restart the Windows Explorer to restart the Start menu in Windows 10. However, in Windows 11, the Start menu uses an independent process. So, you will need to end the Start process in the Task Manager to restart the Start menu. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Right-click on Start and select Task Manager.
  2. In Task Manager, click on More Details to expand the Task Manager view.
  3. In the Processes tab, scroll down and locate the Start process.
  4. Right-click on Start and select End task.
  5. This will end and restart the Start menu immediately.

Alternatively, you can also end the StartMenuExperienceHost process in Task Manager’s Details tab to restart the Start menu. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Launch Task Manager and open the Details tab.
  2. Scroll down and locate the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe entry.
  3. Right-click on the process and select End Task. Click End Process to confirm the action.
  4. The process will close and restart immediately.


How to Restart Start Menu using Command Prompt or PowerShell

You can also use the Command Prompt or PowerShell to restart the StartMenuExperienceHost process to restart the Start menu. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Press Win + X to open the WinX menu.
  2. Click on Windows Terminal (Admin) to open the terminal as administrator.
  3. In the Windows Terminal window, type the following command and hit Enter to execute the command:
    taskkill /f /im StartMenuExperienceHost.exe
  4. The above command will terminate the StartMenuExperienceHost process. Once done, Windows will automatically restart the process and restore the Start menu.

If restarting the Start menu didn’t help, you can modify a registry entry to perform a reset. Unlike a restart, a reset will restore the Start menu settings to its out-of-the-box default. This should help you fix any issues that may have been triggered due to incorrect modifications made to your Start menu.

Note that incorrect registry modifications can cause your system to malfunction. We recommend you create a restore point before proceeding with the steps below.

To reset the Start menu in Windows 11:

  1. Press Win + R to open Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location. You can copy and paste the following registry path into the Registry Editor’s address bar for quick navigation.
  4. Right-click on the Default Account key and select Delete
  5. Click Yes to confirm the action.

Next, you will need to restart Windows Explorer to apply the changes. You can do this via the Task Manager.

To restart Windows Explorer:

  1. Press Win + X to open the WinX menu.
  2. Click on Task Manager.
  3. In the Processes tab, scroll down and locate the Windows Explorer process.

  4. Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.

This should successfully reset the Start menu in Windows 11 and remove any customizations. You can customize the Windows 11 Start menu to your liking after it starts working again.

The Start menu makes it easy to navigate your system. If it’s not opening or working, you can perform a quick restart of the process to fix it. If the issue persists, you can reset the Start menu to its factory default status.

a man using a windows 11 laptop

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