Experiencing the unresponsive Start Menu and Taskbar issue in Windows 11? Here are some fixes

Arif Bacchus

clean installation of Windows 11 build

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Windows Insiders recently started reporting an issue where the Start Menu and Taskbar in Windows 11 were unresponsive and other areas of the operating system would not load. Microsoft eventually responded and determined that it was a server-side deployment that went out to Insiders that was canceled.

Though we’re hearing that Microsoft’s fix to get your Windows 11 PC working isn’t quite working for everyone, we did want to put together a guide to help. Here’s what to do if you’re impacted on both the Windows 11 Dev Channel or the Beta Channel.

First up, there’s the “Microsoft fix” for the Dev and Beta channel. These fixes will only apply if you’re on build 22449 or build 22000.176 of Windows 11, Note that the fix involves using Command Prompt, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

  • Step 1: Use CTRL-ALT-DEL and choose to open Task Manager.
  • Step 2: Choose “More details” at the bottom of Task Manager to expand Task Manager.
  • Step 3: Go to “File” and choose “Run new task”.
    Step 4: Type “cmd” in the “Open” field.
    Step 5: Paste the following: reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0
    Step 6: Hit enter, and then your PC should reboot. After rebooting, everything should be back to normal.

The folks at Windows Central also have some workarounds if Microsoft’s fix is not working for you. On three of our PCs, Microsoft’s fix worked fine, but if you still can’t seem to get things right, here are a few things you can try. Again, some of these are technical, and others are more simple. We suggest you go for Microsoft’s own fix first and try these at your own risk.

  • Try going to Windows Update > Update history, uninstalling the latest cumulative update for Windows, and the reinstall it by checking for updates.
  • Try Not to Sync the Time and Date. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del, Select TaskManager, then Select More Details. Select File, then Run New task. Type Control.exe. In Control Panel, uncheck Synchronize with an Internet time server and change the date to a date few days ahead of today and then restart and change the time back to current.
  • Create a new admin user account using Command Prompt and use it temporarily in place of your own account to ensure you still have access to your PC.

While it seems like it was an accidental server issue, this is quite the major bug for Microsoft to experience. It is coming only a few days after they announced Windows 11 would be heading to general availability on October 5. It seems as though Microsoft might have more work ahead of itself and might need to be more careful to ensure that problems like this will not happen again.

We hope one of these fixes works for you. If you have some tricks to help solve this issue, let us know in the comments below.