Q: Critical Error – Start menu and Cortana aren’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in.

In Windows 10, the Start menu will crash, and I’ll get one of the following errors:


“Critical Error – Start menu and Cortana aren’t working.  We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in.”




“Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working.  We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in.”




(Updated 05/16/16 with Automated Troubleshooter)

(Updated 02/04/16 with Version update guidance)

(Updated 01/15/16 with URL to new published content)

We are aware that some customers are experiencing this error, and we are actively investigating. A number of customers have reported resolving these error messages by installing the Windows 10 November update.

Start by ensuring you are running Windows 10 version 1511

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows Logo  + r , type ms-settings: , Click OK , Click System , then About.
  2. Look under Version to find out which version of Windows your PC is running.

If your version is not 1511, use Windows Update to get the Windows 10 November update.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows Logo  + r , type ms-settings: , Click OK , Click Update & security , then Check for updates.

For guided support, we have created a Start menu troubleshooter. After you've completed the troubleshooter, restart your device.

You may also be able to temporarily resolve the issue by booting to Safe Mode, and then immediately booting back into normal mode.  This workaround may resolve your problem for a while, however the error may return later.

To boot to Safe Mode: 

  1. Hold the Shift key down while you press the Power icon and select Restart.

  2. Once you are within the Windows Recovery Environment, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and Restart.

  3. When it restarts, you should see a number of options.  Press 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with networking.

  4. Once you sign into your account in Safe Mode, you’re done.  Just restart your PC to return to a normal boot.

If you are running a 3rd-party antivirus software, we recommend uninstalling and then reinstalling the antivirus software, as this may also provide a workaround for this problem.  The easiest way to uninstall an app is to find it in the Start menu’s app list, right-click the app, and select Uninstall. 

Some customers have reported that adding a new local administrator account has resolved their Critical Error. If that doesn’t work, try removing the original administrator account now that you have a new one created. Details on creating the new local administrator account can be found here along with some additional content on these errors.

We would like to thank the community for providing logs to help us investigate this issue.  With your help, we now have enough information provided in the logs you have provided to drive continued investigations into a solution.  

Thank you!

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Question Info

Views: 496,277 Last updated: July 18, 2018 Applies to: