General Restart Start Menu Process in Windows 11

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Start_banner.png

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended. The Start menu contains shortcuts of all your apps, settings, and files.

Microsoft separated the Start menu into its own process, called StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This has a number of benefits, including simplifying debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces.

This will allow you restart the Start menu as needed without having to restart the explorer.exe process.

Restarting the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process can be helpful if the Start menu will not open, frozen, or acting buggy.

This tutorial will show you how to restart the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process to restart the Start menu as needed for your account in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in Task Manager Processes tab
  • Option Two: Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in Task Manager Details tab
  • Option Three: Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in Command Prompt
  • Option Four: Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in PowerShell


EXAMPLE: Start menu
Start_menu.jpg






OPTION ONE

Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in Task Manager Processes tab


1 Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc).

2 Click/tap on the Processes tab in Task Manager. (see screenshot below)

3 Select Start in the Name column, and click/tap on the End task button. (see screenshot below)

4 The Start process will now automatically stop and start to restart your Start menu.

5 You can now close Task Manager if you like.

If the Start process doesn't automatically restart, you can run the C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file to restart it.


Reset_Start_menu_in_Task_Manager-1.png






OPTION TWO

Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in Task Manager Details tab


1 Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc).

2 Click/tap on the Details tab in Task Manager. (see screenshot below)

3 Select StartMenuExperienceHost.exe in the Name column, and click/tap on the End task button. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Start_menu_in_Task_Manager-2.png

4 Click/tap on End process to confirm. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Start_menu_in_Task_Manager-3.png

5 The StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process will now automatically stop and start to restart your Start menu.

If the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process doesn't automatically restart, you can run the C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file to restart it.


6 You can now close Task Manager if you like.





OPTION THREE

Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in Command Prompt


1 Open Windows Terminal, and select Command Prompt.

2 Copy and paste the taskkill /f /im StartMenuExperienceHost.exe command into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

3 The StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process will now automatically stop and start to restart your Start menu.

If the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process doesn't automatically restart, you can run the start C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\StartMenuExperienceHost.exe command to restart it.


4 You can now close Windows Terminal if you like.

Reset_Start_menu_in_command.png






OPTION FOUR

Restart StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process (Start menu) in PowerShell


1 Open Windows Terminal, and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Copy and paste the taskkill /f /im StartMenuExperienceHost.exe command into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

3 The StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process will now automatically stop and start to restart your Start menu.

If the Stop-Process -Name "StartMenuExperienceHost" -Force process doesn't automatically restart, you can run the Start-Process -FilePath "C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\StartMenuExperienceHost.exe" command to restart it.


4 You can now close Windows Terminal if you like.

Reset_Start_menu_in_PowerShell.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Almighty1

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Thanks for this Shawn as it also fixes the issue without having to reboot if Alt-tab no longer works all of a sudden during a Windows login session, thought it was Explorer.exe before but wasn't.
 

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Stigg

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Where I find this useful in both Windows 10 and 11 is after an NVIDIA display driver update. Sometimes after the update my start menu doesn't work. Restarting the computer fixes it, but ending the Start process is quicker and easier. The Start process quickly restarts again after ending it.
 

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