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I recently encountered the well-known Critical Error: Start Menu and Cortana aren't working message:

Critical Error: Start Menu and Cortana aren't working

Signing out and in again did not help. But I found a solution on a German website:

In Windows, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to show the security screen.

There, press and hold Shift and click on the Shutdown symbol in the bottom right corner of the screen, then Shutdown.

It worked for me – Windows seemed to reconfigure itself during shutdown and during the following boot, during which it even restarted once.

What exactly does Shift do here? Is this documented somewhere?

  • It appears you are attempting to self-answer your question. So write question, then submit an answer, a question should not have the answer contained within it. When this is a proper question I will reverse my vote. – Ramhound Sep 18 '15 at 0:38
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    @Ramhound It is a proper question. He asks "What exactly does Shift do here? Is this documented somewhere?" – DavidPostill Sep 18 '15 at 9:27
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Pressing the Shift key tells the PC to do a full shutdown rather than a hybrid shutdown.

Source

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