On Windows 8.1 sometimes I can't click the Windows button. Nothing happens. Does anyone know what causes this or why it happens? Last time this happened I was running Outlook, Firefox and Vmware.

I realize there aren't many details in this question but there just isn't that much to say. What would you like to know?

Pressing the key on the keyboard works. This doesn't happen very often, but has happened a couple times over the past few days. Once it starts happening, it doesn't go away on its own but after I restart the computer it is fine. No I'm not using some kind of patch to get the start menu back.

  • Not very much information to help you with here. – mdpc Nov 8 '14 at 23:51
  • Yeah; The reason you are getting downvotes is because the quality of this question is extremely and entirely not acceptable. Please provide more information. For instance if you press the Windows key does the start screen get displayed? Furthermore are you using a program to get the "start menu" back in 8.1. Except more from a 2 year Superuser veteran and nearly 2,500 reputation, – Ramhound Nov 9 '14 at 0:55
  • Is the Windows button the only thing that doesn't work or is the system generally hung? Any other symptoms? Does it eventually recover on its own, or do you just do without it for the session, or do you reboot and that fixes it? How frequent? If it is an unusual occurrence and you can't reproduce it, it will be tough to solve. – fixer1234 Nov 9 '14 at 1:21
  • @fixer1234 it is an unusual occurrence so no it can't be easily reproduced – Celeritas Nov 9 '14 at 2:13
  • @Ramhound I updated the question to answer your questions. There isn't much to be said, I don't believe in putting filler just for the sake of talking. – Celeritas Nov 9 '14 at 2:15

This used to happen occasionally on my laptop then I discovered this temporary solution. I didn't know (and still don't know) what caused it - I could leave the laptop which was working fine all alone for some time only to come back and have an unresponsive Start button.

After some time probably due to an update from Windows Update the problem went away.

  1. Open Task Manager.

  2. Find the process Windows Explorer and right-click, Restart or just highlight the process and click Restart.

enter image description here

It should work now. This also fixes problems like "Unable to Click Network button" and others since it's related to the same process.

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  • That did the trick for me but i dont see a restart option only end task and end task tree – Crash893 May 16 '15 at 21:13
  • @Crash893 see the screenshot I added. – Rsya Studios May 18 '15 at 4:24

This could be any number of reasons and we can't offer anything specific without more details from you.

To figure out what is causing this issue on your computer, do a clean boot: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

After that, continue using msconfig as instructed in the article above to enable one non-Microsoft service at a time, reboot, and check your start menu. Repeat this process until you identify which service is causing your start menu not to open.

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  • Clean boot can be really useful for problems caused by what's loaded during startup and that are immediately evident. It sounds like this occurs randomly during an occasional session and likely involves something started in the session. Even if the problem relates to something loaded during startup, it sounds too random for the clean boot approach to be efficient at identifying it. If you disable the "cause" and the problem doesn't recur, you don't know if its because you found the cause or it just didn't happen again yet. – fixer1234 Nov 9 '14 at 1:30
  • AFAIK you can't hook into explorer.exe without killing it off first. Anything that's going to affect the Windows UI is going to have start up at boot time. When these issues happen sporadically, they can take a long time to diagnose. – user388043 Nov 9 '14 at 1:49

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