10 Methods to Unfreeze Taskbar/StartMenu/Explorer in Windows 8/10/11

Many times, you would have felt a frozen taskbar or frozen start menu problem. In this situation, Windows Taskbar, Start Menu, and Windows Explorer do not work and it gets hanged or freeze on startup. The frozen taskbar/start menu problem mostly appears with Windows 8/10/11 OS. In this article, I will discuss in detail about reasons and solutions to this problem. I will also explain 10 easy methods to fix frozen taskbar/start menu issues in Windows 10/11 machines.

Method 1: Use Advanced System Repair Tool to unfreeze Windows Explorer, Start Menu, and Taskbar.

There are many reasons that may result in the taskbar frozen problem in Win 10/11 like corrupted system files, incorrect registry settings, virus or malware in your PC, Graphics is not working properly, outdated system software and driver etc. The best solution to fix this problem permanently is using the Advanced System Repair Tool. This tool scans for the bugs and fixes almost all the issues with Windows OS.

Method 2: Press Windows Key + CTRL + SHIFT + B

This is one of the useful shortcuts that will simply restart your graphics card and fix the issue instantly. If the frozen issue is happening due to a simple graphics problem, then it will be resolved by pressing the following shortcuts key.

Step 1: Save & Close all the opening apps.
Step 2: Go to the desktop by pressing Windows Key + D button.
Step 3: Now use the following shortcut keys to restart or refresh the graphics driver.
Windows Key + CTRL + SHIFT + B

win_ctrl_shift_b

Method 3: Restart Windows Explorer

Restarting Windows Explorer means restarting all the startup components including the graphics driver. So, if the taskbar is stuck at startup due to an unknown reason, it gets easily fixed.

There are 2 easy ways to restart Windows Explorer.

Trick 1: Using Task Manager
Step 1: Press CTRL + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
Step 2: Click on the More details button.

expand_task_manager

Step 3: Under the Process tab, find Windows Explorer > Right-click on it > Select Restart.

restart_win_explorer

Trick 2: Using Command Prompt

If somehow Task Manager is not opening, you can use the command prompt to restart Windows Explorer.

Step 1: Open CMD as administrator. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run command. Type cmd and press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER. It will ask you for the administrative confirmation, click yes.

cmd_admin

Step 2: Paste the following command in the command prompt and press enter. It will kill your explorer.exe and your desktop and taskbar will be removed, and you will see a black desktop without a taskbar. Don’t worry, in the next step, you will be able to launch fresh explorer.exe.
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

explorer_kill

Step 3: Now paste the following command to the command prompt to launch the explorer.exe. This command will return your desktop to its normal state.
start explorer.exe

explorer_start

Method 4: Using Windows Powershell

You can use Windows Powershell to unfreeze the Windows taskbar.

Step 1: Open Windows Powershell as administrator. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type powershell in the Run dialog box and press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER.

powershell_admin

Step 2: Paste the following command and press enter.
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

powershell_command

Method 5: Check whether User Manager is enabled or not.

If User Manager is disabled by your administrator or due to installing software, you may face an issue with the taskbar. You must check whether the user manager is enabled or not.

Step 1: Open the Run box by pressing Windows Key + R.
Step 2: Type services.msc and click OK to open Service Window.

servicesmsc

Step 3: Find User Manager > Right Click > Properties.

user_manager_properties

Step 4: Go to the General Tab and select Automatic in the Startup type. Press OK to save settings.

user_manager_automatic

Method 6: Repair Windows File System

If there is any sort of corruption in the Windows File System, then it gets unable to load the necessary startup files and starts creating issues like taskbar frozen and so on. You must scan and repair Windows File System using sfc /scannow command. This command runs on Commands Prompt and doesn’t take a longer time to complete.

Step 1: Open CMD as administrator. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run command. Type cmd and press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER. It will ask you for the administrative confirmation, click yes.

cmd_admin

Step 2: Type the following command and press Enter. Wait until it gets 100% and finish the process. It will take 2-5 minutes, depending on your system speed.
sfc /scannow

sfc scannow

Step 3: Once the scan completes it will show you the result about the health of your Windows File System. If there would be any corruption, this command will fix them automatically.
Method 7: Kill Windows Explorer forcefully.

If the Taskbar and Windows Explorer are completely frozen then the best idea is to kill Windows Explorer completely and then start it again using the task manager.

Step 1: Go to the Desktop and then press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to open the menu. Click on Task Manager to open it.

ctrl_alt_del

Step 2: Right-Click on Windows Explorer and select End Task.

task_manager_end_explorer

Step 3: Click on File > Run new task

run_new_task

Step 4: Write explorer.exe and press OK to launch Windows Explorer again.

new_task_explorer

Method 8: Disable Recently Open Items

When the taskbar is started, it loads all the list of startup items including recently open items. Disabling the recently open items option may speed up the loading of the start menu and taskbar.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + i to open settings.

win_i

Step 2: Go to Personalization > Start. Turn off the “Show recently opened items in jump list on Start or the Taskbar and in File Explorer Quick Access”.

recently_open_items_turnoff

Method 9: Disable Third Party Services

If two services are conflicting with each other, the start menu and taskbar go to a deadlock situation. In order to fix this issue, you must disable all the third-party services and restart the PC to check whether your problem is fixed or not.

Step 1: Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key + R. Type msconfig and press OK.

msconfig

Step 2: Go to Service Tab. Select “Hide all Microsoft services” and then click on Disable All button to disable all the services in one go.

disable_all_services

Step 3: Just restart your PC and analyze the taskbar and Windows Explorer behavior. If all goes OK, then you can enable services again one by one.

Method 10: Restore Windows 10/11

This is the last option if none of the above methods work for you. When you select a restore point to restore windows, it will remove installed apps, updates, and drivers after the date of the restore point. It will not remove your files, folders, and saved data on the hard drive.

Step 1: Open Settings > System > About. Now click on the System Protection link on the right sidebar.

system_protection

>Step 2: Click on the System Restore button. It will start Restore Wizard that will help you to restore your PC to an earlier point. Click on the Next button.

system_restore

Step 3: Select the Restore Point and click on Next.

restore_pc_earlier_point

Step 4: It will ask for your confirmation. Click on Finish to start the process. It will take a few minutes to complete the process. You must keep charged your laptop fully or plug in the laptop charger.

confirm_restore_point

Summary

In this article, I have tried to explain how to fix the freezing or hanging taskbar, Start menu, and Explorer problem. There are 10 useful methods are defined that will help you to get rid of the freezing start menu/taskbar problem.