File explorer missing from start menu and start menu personalisations greyed out Windows 10

And the saga continues.....

My main profile on Windows 10 has lost File explorer (in the start menu) and I can no longer customize my start menu.  When I go into personalisations the settings are greyed out.

I ended up with this problem because my start menu stopped working and I did the following (based on feedback from the community).

dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
sfc /scannnow

The start button now works but I have lost File Explorer (from start menu) and the ability to customise the start menu.

Other profiles are fine.....

Does anyone have any suggestions, other than moving all of my data to a new profile.

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By the way - I also tried the solution below, but it didn't work...

1. Run cmd as Administrator, type this 2 commands as follows:

cd C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows
ren "Start Menu Places" "Start Menu Places Originals"

*note: If cant rename the folder, change first the ownership of the folder

2. then on File Explorer go to "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows"
3. create a new folder "Start Menu Places"
4. sign out to your current original account(the one with the start menu settings greyed out), 5
5. and then sign in to another account(if none create a new one one Settings -> Family & Other Users -> Add Someone else to this PC
6. now , on the other account, then on File Explorer go to "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places Original"
7. Copy all shortcuts files(Documents, Downloads, Videos and etc.) and Paste it on "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places"
8. Sign out to the account, then login to your original account.
9. [addtional by wjbodin3], repeat step 6 & 7's copypaste while on your original account, overwriting the files


and voila!!!!!, Folders on start menu in Settings should be enabled!!!!
sorry i dont have any screenshots, i will update this post with screenshot later...

PS:
if your logged in to the other account, due to this the shortcut Win+E, may become disabled, and to go to File Explorer,
just click the File Explorer in the taskbar or right click on it then click any link on the jumplist.
also, after making the fix, by then you can now delete the other account if you dont need it.

Hi,

Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft Community.

I appreciate you for providing details about the issue and your efforts towards resolving it.

Let us try to create a Local account and check.

Follow the steps from the below article, created by Andre Da Costa

How to: create a Local Account in Windows 10

Hope it helps.

Let us know the status, we are glad to assist you further.

Thanks & regards,

Abdul Malik

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Hi and thanks for your reply.

I have already checked that if I create a new account (local or otherwise) the problem goes away.  The new user account is fine, as are my other existing user accounts on the same laptop.

So... the problem is limited (fortunately) to one user account.  Having already gone through the drama of moving all of my files etc to the new (problem) user account, I don't really want to do it again.

So what I am after is a way to fix the problem user account.  If all else fails I will do the workaround (new account) but I am looking for a solution to the problem rather than a workaround.

I can't seem to find any reference in the registry that looks promising so I at a dead end.   I have read that even in Windows 8 people had a problem with this.   Having said that, I have yet to come across a solution.

Thanks

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Hi,

I managed to fix this by renaming one of the links in

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Placesand then renaming it back.   E.g.

  • I renamed HomeGroup to HomeGroupX
  • I opened the "choose which folders appear on start" screen and they were no longer grey
  • I closed Settings
  • I renamed HomeGroupX back to HomeGroup
  • I re-opened the "choose which folders appear on start" screen and they were still OK
  • I selected the ones I wanted (including HomeGroup) and they all appeared on the start menu and operated as expected

Regards,

Phil

P.S.  As an aside, I think that this situation was a side effect of the various fixes that I had to do to repair the "windows 10 start menu not working" issue.   I followed some instructions that I found on the internet that got my start menu partially working again, but broke this (or maybe this was broken too and they didn't fix this aspect).

Unfortunately, I've had the windows 10 start menu issue on another computer since then but I fixed it with no side effects with the following, fairly unlikely sounding approach.   For some reason, under Display Settings->Display->"Change the size of text, apps and other items" there was a red warning message about an unsupported scale factor so I reset it, logged out and back in (as it insists that you do) and suddenly my start menu was working again.   People with start menu problems might want to experiment with changing display settings to see whether that helps.

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thanks alt rockfan...

Ive been pulling my hairs for quite a while nothing seemed to work

I tried your sugestion and  it worked

I am really happy

thanks

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Hi,

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Appreciate the steps you have taken to fix this issue.

 

This will surely help other community members. 

 

Feel free to post if you have any further query on Windows.

 

We are happy to assist you.

Thanks & regards,

Abdul Malik

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Worked for me too, you are a windows Ninja AltRockFan

Thank you

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Thanks, this worked perfectly.

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Thank you for this work round, I was scratching my head after my start menu lost the plot.

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THIS!!!! THIS worked like a charm!!!! I've been struggling with this annoying problem for a while and you sir saved my day! Thanks!

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Hi,

I managed to fix this by renaming one of the links in

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Placesand then renaming it back.   E.g.

  • I renamed HomeGroup to HomeGroupX
  • I opened the "choose which folders appear on start" screen and they were no longer grey
  • I closed Settings
  • I renamed HomeGroupX back to HomeGroup
  • I re-opened the "choose which folders appear on start" screen and they were still OK
  • I selected the ones I wanted (including HomeGroup) and they all appeared on the start menu and operated as expected

Regards,

Phil

P.S.  As an aside, I think that this situation was a side effect of the various fixes that I had to do to repair the "windows 10 start menu not working" issue.   I followed some instructions that I found on the internet that got my start menu partially working again, but broke this (or maybe this was broken too and they didn't fix this aspect).

Unfortunately, I've had the windows 10 start menu issue on another computer since then but I fixed it with no side effects with the following, fairly unlikely sounding approach.   For some reason, under Display Settings->Display->"Change the size of text, apps and other items" there was a red warning message about an unsupported scale factor so I reset it, logged out and back in (as it insists that you do) and suddenly my start menu was working again.   People with start menu problems might want to experiment with changing display settings to see whether that helps.

Great job!  Thanks!

Seasoned Windows User

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Last updated December 26, 2020 Views 11,119 Applies to: