Fix: Start menu, Cortana, Notification Area not launching in windows 10

From Day 1 after upgrading to Windows 10, exactly 1 year before, there was an annoying bug which stabs me randomly when I try to use my Windows 10 PC.

Below were various symptoms:

  1. Start menu not launching
  2. Cortana UI not launching
  3. Notification area not launching
  4. Start menu and Notification area launches, but Cortana UI not launching

In symptom #4, if you try to perform a search after launching Start menu, nothing will happen since Cortana UI can’t be launched.

Searching through Microsoft Answers forums showed that this bug is dated back before the RTM release of Windows 10 which means they exists during Preview build days but neither of the solution worked perfectly. It’s still an open bug as far as I am concerned. Most of the solution suggested are:

  1. Run a lengthy PowerShell script
  2. Create new local account and copy settings
  3. Series of registry edits
  4. Scan for file system errors
  5. Restore your PC to previous state
  6. Fresh install Windows 10

All the above solution mentioned, involves manual edits, running scripts, changing states, etc. which is a No-No. Because you are spending your times to fix a problem which again takes time to bring your machine back to it’s current state. That’s not an ideal solution at all since this issue can comes back again anytime and you are gonna spend more time on it.

Luckily, after many frustrated days and trial-and-error, I somehow devised solution to fix the above issue.

This is one of the event message that’s logged in Event Viewer;


“Activation of app Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy!CortanaUI failed with error: The app didn't start in the required time. See the Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operational log for additional information.”

One main reason for this was, Windows Updates was downloading in background. If that’s the case, let the download complete and reboot your system and see whether it’s fixed. If that solved you problem, cool.


If that didn’t helped, keep reading.

  1. Open This PC (Ctrl+E), select Settings.

  2. Select Upgrade and Recovery.

  3. Select Recovery –> Advanced Settings –> Restart now.

  4. After reboot, you’ll be taken to Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.

  5. Select Advanced options.

  6. Select System Restore.

  7. System will prepare for restoring. Enter you account password when prompted.


  8. You’ll get System Restore prompt, choose Next.

  9. Once your restore points are listed, stop right there. Now, CLOSE the System Restore prompt.

  10. Turn OFF your PC.

Now, turn ON your PC, wait for system tray items to load.

Check you Start menu, Cortana and Notification area. Everything works fine and your system is back to normal.

Hope this helps.

Did you asked Cortana in Microsoft Edge?

If you are like me, you like to read articles/contents online, preferably long readings. And, many times, you might come across phrases and words whose meaning you don't know or you can't recollect. The usual procedure was to open another tab and search for the meaning or we continue reading ignore it at all.

Back in 2011, I created an Internet Explorer Accelerator - Google Define with Preview, which helps to preview the selected words meaning without leaving your content and of course, very useful too. In 2013, Google shutdown their service and that put all the users in trouble. I quickly created another IE Accelerator - Oxford Dictionary Accelerator with Preview, which takes definition from Oxford Dictionary.

Today in 2015, Microsoft launched their new OS - Windows 10 with new browser - Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge comes with Cortana integration, which can do the same thing what my previous Accelerators does; among many other great features.

With Microsoft, you only need to select the word/phrase and selected Ask Cortana. That's all. All relevant information will be loaded, all without leaving the content.



Do it. I bet, you'll like it. Thanks.

Cortana coming to Android and iOS - Deal or No-Deal?

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. That's everyone had when they first heard the flash news - Cortana is coming to both Android and iOS platform.

Cortana is branded as the world's best personal assistant developed for Windows platform. Cortana is the digital personal assistant in Halo game series, with self-evolving artificial intelligence. Cortana in Windows platform is self-evolving too; learn and adapts based on user's usage and pattern. Besides, Cortana has a personal touch when compared with similar services in other platforms and the service is well impressive and interesting too. You feel like you are interacting with a person digitally unlike robotic interactions.


When the news broke out, the internet community said it's because Microsoft is struggling for relevance. Well, that's also true to an extend. But, there is a threat hidden deep inside that move. Any guess? The threat is to Google itself. No. No. No. It's not about people using Cortana in Android will switch to Windows Phone. But, it's the other way round. Let me explain.

In the smartphone race, Andoid has an upper-hand. Smartphones made people caring more about apps and apps. The users know which app they need to download and install for accessing particular service. Let me say, for example, you want to know hotel/resort ratings you'll directly use Tripadvisor app. Similarly, for searching for a video, you'll use YouTube app or similar. That's it. Now, think about pre-smartphone era, the desktop time where we were too lazy to type-in or remember any website urls/addresses, where we load our favorite search engine and type-in the search term like - 'tripadvisor' or 'hotel casion royale tripadvisor' and relied on search engine to do the job. This trend is slowly declining with the penetration of smartphones and search engines are losing revenue in that aspect, not as large chunk but slowly and steadily. No search engine can escape from that, because changes are as part of the evolution.

Now, back to the topic - Cortana coming to Android and iOS. Bing is the decision engine from Microsoft and is way behind in the search engine market share and Google is still the favorite search engine for the world. That's undeniably true. If Microsoft tries to compete against Google search engine to bring the perception that Bing is as good as Google or Bing is better than Google, then it going to a do-or-die model with an unknown timeline. What if Microsoft is successfully enough to make people use Bing service without telling them they are actually Bing service.

Well that's what going to happen right now. Cortana is powered by Bing. Yes, you heard it. All those who knows Windows Phone also knows about Cortana and likes the personal touch. When people start using Cortana in non-windows platform like Android and iOS, in effect, they are using Bing services indirectly. And, Android and iOS combined has a huge volume of smartphone share. Imagine what happens when people start using Cortana in those platforms thus gives steady rise in Bing service usage. Just in case, if you don't know Apple's Siri is powered by Bing service.

Bing is more that a search engine; it's a decision engine. It's a platform which is spreads across on every underlying core services and powering it Up, like powering Cortana, powering Siri to name a few.

Once a wise man said - "If you can't win the game, Change the game". That's the takeaway.