StartMenuExperienceHost.exe Missing or Crash Windows 11/10

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

In this article, we’ll explore the issue of the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe missing or crashing in Windows 11 or Windows 10. We’ll begin by understanding what StartMenuExperienceHost.exe is, how it relates to the Start menu, and why it might be missing or crash. Following that, we’ll provide a detailed, step-by-step guide to troubleshoot and fix the problem, ensuring that your Windows 11/10 Start menu experience is smooth and trouble-free.

Also see: Start Menu Not Working or Won’t Open in Windows 11/10

StartMenuExperienceHost.exe Missing or Crash in Windows 11 10

What is StartMenuExperienceHost.exe?

StartMenuExperienceHost.exe, also known as the Start Menu Experience Host, is a vital system process in Windows 11 and 10. This process plays a critical role in managing the Start menu experience, ensuring that users can access applications, files, and settings through the Start menu interface seamlessly.

The primary functions of the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe include:

Useful tip: Change Windows 11 Start Menu Search to Google

  1. Rendering the Start menu interface: The Start menu is an essential part of the Windows user interface, providing a central access point for applications, system settings, and user files. StartMenuExperienceHost.exe is responsible for rendering the Start menu’s visual elements and ensuring that it appears and functions correctly when a user clicks the Start button or presses the Windows key.
  2. Managing user customizations: Windows allows users to personalize their Start menu experience by pinning apps, resizing tiles, and modifying the menu’s layout. The StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process handles these customizations, ensuring that the Start menu reflects each user’s preferences.
  3. Live Tiles and content updates: The Start menu in Windows 10 can display live tiles, which show real-time information from apps, such as weather updates, news headlines, or calendar events. StartMenuExperienceHost.exe manages the display and updating of this dynamic content.
  4. Integration with Windows Search: The Start menu is integrated with Windows Search, allowing users to search for applications, files, and settings directly from the start menu. StartMenuExperienceHost.exe helps manage this search functionality, ensuring that search results are displayed accurately and promptly.
  5. Start menu animations and transitions: StartMenuExperienceHost.exe also manages the animations and transitions in the Start menu, such as the opening and closing animations or the smooth scrolling of the menu items. These visual effects contribute to a more intuitive and engaging user experience.

StartMenuExperienceHost.exe disable

In summary, StartMenuExperienceHost.exe is an essential component of the Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems that handle various aspects of the Start menu experience. It ensures that the menu’s interface, functionality, and customizations work smoothly and reliably, contributing to a seamless and user-friendly experience on Windows devices.

Why does the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe go missing or crash?

There could be several reasons why the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file might go missing or crash, leading to issues with your Start menu. Some of the most common reasons include:

  1. Corrupted system files: System files can become corrupt due to malware, power failures, or hardware issues, which can result in the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file going missing or becoming damaged.
  2. Third-party applications: Sometimes, third-party applications or utilities might interfere with the proper functioning of the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe, causing it to crash.
  3. Windows updates: In some cases, a recent Windows update might introduce a bug or incompatibility that affects the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file, leading to its disappearance or malfunction.

Recommended resource: How to Remove “Recommended” From Start Menu in Windows 11

How to fix the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe missing or crash issue

Now that we understand the potential reasons behind the issue, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of troubleshooting and fixing the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe missing, not running, showing error or crash problem in Windows 11 or 10.

Related issue: Windows 10/11 Start Menu Search Can’t Find Anything

Step 1: Restart your computer

Before diving into more advanced solutions, it’s always a good idea to try a simple restart. Restarting your computer can resolve many minor issues and conflicts that could be causing the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe to go missing or crash.

Step 2: Run the System File Checker (SFC)

If the issue persists after restarting, the next step is to use the built-in System File Checker (SFC) tool to scan and repair any corrupted system files, including the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe.

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Admin).Open Windows Terminal Admin Windows 11
  2. In the command prompt, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.SFC scannow Windows 11
  3. The SFC tool will scan and repair any corrupted system files it finds. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and check if the issue has been resolved.

Step 3: Perform a DISM scan

If the SFC scan doesn’t fix the issue, you can try the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool, which can repair the Windows image and resolve more complex issues.

  1. Open the Windows Terminal (Admin) again.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthRun DISM Windows 11
  3. Once the DISM scan is complete, restart your computer and check if the problem is resolved.

Alternative method: How to Startup Repair Windows 11/10 using Command Prompt

Step 4: Adjust registry permissions for User Shell Folders

If none of the previously mentioned solutions resolve the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe issue, you can try modifying the registry permissions for the User Shell Folders key. This step involves changing the permissions to enable inheritance, which may help restore the functionality of the Start menu, Search, and Notification Area.

Warning: Modifying the Windows registry can lead to serious system issues if not done correctly. Make sure to follow the steps carefully and create a system restore point before proceeding.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog, type “regedit” (without quotes), and press Enter. This opens the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  3. Right-click on the “User Shell Folders” key, and then select “Permissions” from the context menu.User Shell Folders Permission
  4. In the Permissions window, click the “Advanced” button to access advanced settings.StartMenuExperienceHost.exe high CPU error
  5. In the Advanced Security Settings window, select the checkbox next to “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object.”Faulting application name StartMenuExperienceHost.exe
  6. Click on the “Enable inheritance” button to apply inheritance settings.
  7. Click “OK” to save the changes and close the Advanced Security Settings window.
  8. Restart your computer. After rebooting, the Start menu, Search, and Notification Area should be functioning properly.

Step 5: Disable unnecessary startup programs

Some third-party applications might run at startup and interfere with the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. Disabling unnecessary startup programs can help identify and resolve conflicts. You should also try to disable any unnecessary startup services and check whether this helps to resolve the issue.

Step 6: Uninstall recent updates or conflicting software

If the issue persists, you might want to check if a recent Windows update or a newly-installed application could be causing the problem. Try uninstalling any recent updates or applications, then restart your computer and check if the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe missing or crash issue is resolved.

Uninstall an Update in Windows 11

Step 7: Check for malware or virus infections

Malware or viruses could be responsible for the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file going missing or crashing. Running a thorough scan using a reliable antivirus program can help identify and remove any potential threats.

  1. Install a reputable antivirus program if you don’t have one already.
  2. Update your antivirus program to the latest virus definitions.
  3. Perform a full system scan and follow any recommendations to remove or quarantine identified threats.
  4. Restart your computer and check if the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe issue has been resolved.

Run Full Virus Scan Windows 11

Step 8: Create a new user account

In some cases, the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe issue might be related to your user profile. Creating a new user account can help you determine if this is the cause.

  1. Press Win + i to open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts and then select Family & other users from the left pane.
  3. Click on Add account and follow the on-screen instructions to create a new user account.

    Create local admin account Windows 11

    Windows 11

  4. Log out of your current account and log in with the new account.
  5. Check if the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe issue persists. If it’s resolved, you can transfer your personal files to the new account and continue using it.

Step 9: Perform a System Restore

If none of the above solutions work, you can try performing a System Restore to roll back your system to a previous state when the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe was functioning correctly. This solution is only applicable if you have a previously saved system restore point. Normally, you should see some saved restore points unless you have disabled the automatic creation of system restore points.

Step 10: Reset your PC or perform a clean installation

As a last resort, if none of the previous solutions resolve the issue, you may need to reset your PC to factory defaults or perform a clean installation of Windows 11 or Windows 10. The reset options will allow you to keep your data and files while the clean installation will remove any installed applications and updates. Either way be sure to back up your important data before proceeding.

Reset your PC:

  1. Press Win + I to open Settings.
  2. Click on System and then select Recovery from the left pane.
  3. Click on the Reset PC button and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Reset Windows 11

Perform a clean installation:

  1. Create a Windows 11/10 bootable USB drive using media creation tool or using Rufus.
  2. Restart your computer and boot from the USB drive.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to perform a clean installation of Windows 11 or 10.

Install Windows 11 from USB

Why does StartMenuExperienceHost.exe cause high CPU?

StartMenuExperienceHost.exe should not cause high CPU usage under normal circumstances. However, if you notice high CPU usage related to this process in Windows 10/11, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. Bug or glitch: Sometimes, a temporary bug or glitch can cause the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe to consume more CPU resources than usual. In this case, restarting your computer might resolve the issue.
  2. Corrupted files: If the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file or its associated system files are corrupt, it may result in high CPU usage. Running the System File Checker (SFC) and DISM scans, as mentioned in the troubleshooting steps, can help fix corrupted files.
  3. Malware or virus infection: If the high CPU usage is caused by a malware or virus disguised as StartMenuExperienceHost.exe, running a thorough antivirus scan can help identify and remove the threat.

Is StartMenuExperienceHost.exe a virus?

The genuine StartMenuExperienceHost.exe is not a virus. It is a legitimate system file in Windows 11 and Windows 10 responsible for managing the Start menu experience. However, malware or viruses can sometimes disguise themselves as legitimate system files, including StartMenuExperienceHost.exe.

To ensure that the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file on your computer is not malicious, you can:

  1. Perform a full system scan with a reputable antivirus program.
  2. Verify the file location: the genuine StartMenuExperienceHost.exe should usually be located in the C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy folder. If you find it in any other location, it could be suspicious.

Is StartMenuExperienceHost.exe a virus

“Faulting application name StartMenuExperienceHost.exe” error

If you encounter an error message that states “Faulting application name StartMenuExperienceHost.exe,” it indicates that the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file is experiencing issues that cause it to crash or malfunction. To resolve this error, follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in the previous sections of this article.

Can I disable StartMenuExperienceHost.exe?

It’s not recommended to disable or delete the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe file, as it is a critical system component responsible for managing the Start menu experience in Windows 11. Disabling or deleting this file can lead to system instability or other unexpected issues.

If you’re experiencing problems related to StartMenuExperienceHost.exe, it’s best to follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article to resolve the issue without affecting the overall stability and functionality of your Windows 11 system.

Final thoughts

If you are encountering issues with the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process in Windows 11 or Windows 10, try the troubleshooting steps provided in this guide. Remember to start with the simplest solutions, like restarting your computer, and work your way through the more advanced methods if necessary.

Additionally, it’s important to keep your system up to date, maintain good security practices, and regularly monitor your system’s health to prevent issues from arising in the first place. As Windows continues to evolve, it’s essential to stay informed about new updates, features, and potential issues that may arise.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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