Start Button On Windows 7 Stops Working, How To Fix Without Restarting The Machine?

Windows 7 - Splash Screen

Image by Brent Schmidt via Flickr

Sometimes, odd things might happen on Windows 7.  One of those odd things I had encountered recently was the Start button refused to open up and stopped working for some strange reasons.  I could always reboot the machine and had the problem fixed, but I was in the midst of doing something important.  Fixing this problem without needing to reboot my machine was easy enough.  I had to:

  1. Open up task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc)
  2. Highlight explorer.exe
  3. End process of Explorer.exe (i.e., kill the Explorer.exe process)
  4. On the top menu, click on File >> New Task (Run…)
  5. Type in Explorer.exe for new task and click OK.

After doing the steps above, I was able to use the Start button again!  The steps above could also work for some other problems too, because often killing an old process of a task or a program and renew such a process would actually help to get rid of the problem!