Start Button, Taskbar Frozen or Unresponsive: Fixes

The Start button and Taskbar in various version of Windows may suddenly become unresponsive or frozen, failing to respond to clicks or other user input.

Fixes

Try the hotfix Microsoft has provided a hotfix for this issue as it occurs under Windows Vista. Unfortunately, a number of users report that the hotfix only temporarily cures the issue.

Remove problematic startup items/services Follow these steps:

  1. Startup in safe mode (tap the F8 key on your keyboard repeatedly as the computer is starting up)
  2. Select a method of safe booting from the menu (first try with networking; if the crash still occurs, try without networking)
  3. Once the system has booted, click the Start button and type MSCONFIG then press enter in Windows Vista (in Windows XP, click the Start button, then click “Run” and type MSCONFIG then press enter)
  4. Go to the startup tab
  5. Uncheck any third-party and nonessential startup items–on most systems, this would includeall items on the list. Apply the changes and press OK, then restart the system if it does not happen automatically. Startup normally (i.e. not in safe mode)
  6. If the problem not occur, go back to MSCONFIG and start re-enabling items in groups. Enable a few items, then restart and check to see if the problem. If it does, boot into safe mode again and disable some of those items then re-attempt a normal startup. Keep enabling items until you find the culprit, then leave that service turned off permanently or uninstall it.

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