Windows 10 taskbar and start menu not working after May 2019 update 1903

Tried a few of the suggested fixes found on this site and elsewhere but nothing has worked.  I don't have dev profile activated, yes I have firewall running, no I haven't installed any other software other than the update to make this happen....  This is a bone stock W10 virtual machine that I use for development and only have VS2019 installed.  It was running fine then I ran the update.  Now the taskbar and start menu will not work.  

- Can't open start menu, it attempts to spawn to the start menu process and then that process immediately gets killed

- Can't open the settings app, it spawns the app if I click on it but after the window appears it is immediately killed

- Can't right click on items on taskbar

- I did restart explorer.exe task and that for about 10 seconds fixes the problem then it immediately goes back to not working

It sure seems MS has a rogue background task that is monitoring processes and if the magic setting/config/info isn't set in a valid way that background process kills the start and property window activation's.  

So, since I'm sick of MS and an obvious and downward spiral over past few years to Windows stability, it's clear I have to move to Mac and Linux for all dev work....  Sadly, I prefer to run Windows VMs locally to save money so I don't have to pay for AWS or some hosted VM option to development software for Windows.  But, at this point, seems that's the only way I can use Windows today.  I suppose AWS is not having this bug affect new EC2 instances b/c they use Windows Server desktops but I wouldn't be surprised if the bug hits their server UI layer as well eventually.

MS....  you're broken.  If anyone has truly a deep or accurate understanding of the problem please share, I still see lots of others that also do not have a fix yet.  



Try to re-register Start Menu and related elements using below mentioned steps: 

1. Open Task Manager, click File > Run new task. 

2. Type powershell in the Create new task box. Check the option 'Create this task with administrative privileges'. Click OK. 

3. In the administrative Windows PowerShell window, type/paste following and press Enter key: 

Get-appxpackage -all *shellexperience* -packagetype bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “\appxmetadata\appxbundlemanifest.xml”)} 

4. Let it complete and then restart your system. 

Hope this helps!


Note: Included link in this reply refers to blog post by a trusted Microsoft MVP.


Microsoft MVP (Windows IT Pro), since 2014 · Windows Insider MVP · Windows Help (

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Thank you for writing to Microsoft Community Forums.

One of the possible causes of this issue is that registration of Cortana and ShellExperienceHost apps is failing, in which case left clicking the Start Menu or clicking on the Cortana search box may not work, Start button and Cortana does not respond and clicking taskbar icons may also result in no response.

You may try the following troubleshooting methods and let us know if it works.

Method 1: Reregistering Start menu and apps.

Right click on Start button or press and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) or Press the Windows key and the X key together and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Type the following command and press the Enter key to execute it.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Reboot the computer after the command execution completes.

Method 2: Deleting the registry keys listing Cortana and ShellExperienceHost.

Disclaimer: The registry is a database in Windows that contains important information about system hardware, installed programs and settings, and profiles of each of the user accounts on the computer. Windows often reads and updates the information in the registry.

Normally, software programs make registry changes automatically. You should not make unnecessary changes to the registry. Changing registry files incorrectly can cause Windows to stop working or make Windows report the wrong information. Please take a backup of the registry. Follow the steps given in the article below:

How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key and the R key together.

  • Type Regedit and hit the Enter key.

  • Take a backup of the registry by following the steps mentioned in the article above.

  • Navigate to: HKLM\software\Microsoft\windows\currentversion\appx\appxalluserstore\updatedapplications

  • Reboot the computer and check the status.

Method 3: Create a new user account.

You may also create a new administrator account to ensure that the user profile is not corrupted. Create a new user account by following the steps mentioned in the link below and let us know how it goes.

Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10  

Since the Windows is installed on a virtual machine, I would suggest to post the query on Microsoft TechNet Forums, in case the issue persists after following the above steps.


Peer Samie

Microsoft Community-Moderator

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Question Info

Last updated May 3, 2021 Views 51,526 Applies to: