How-To fix frozen Windows 10 Taskbar and Microsoft Edge

Background

One of the biggest issues with Windows is corruption of system files during an upgrade, that’s why most people I know do clean installs. However, in order to get the free upgrade to Windows 10 we had to ‘upgrade’.

Personally, I did not experience any issues with my upgrade, but a friend on Twitter did. He had issues with his Windows Taskbar and Microsoft Edge becoming completely unresponsive. Fortunately he was able to resolve the issues by following the instructions another Twitter friend found online. I decided to run the scan just for kicks – bad idea!

The scan turned up some hidden issues, so I spent the next 10 hours digging and reading up on stuff to try and resolve the issues. And with this blog post, I hope to save you that time.

Resolution Steps

Step 1: Open Command Prompt with Administrator rights

First thing is to open a Command Prompt with Administrator rights. This can be achieved by pressing ‘WIN’ + ‘X’ keys simultaneously on your keyboard or right-clicking on the Windows icon in the Windows Taskbar. By doing this, the Windows System Admin Start menu will appear (see figure 1).

Select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’.

Figure 1. Windows System Admin Start menu.

Alternatively if the Windows Taskbar is not responding, you could navigate to the System32 folder and right-click on the CMD.exe file and select ‘Run as Administrator’ (C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe).

Figure 2. System32 directory listing showing Command Prompt application.

Either approach above will bring up an elevated Command Prompt. The important thing here is to ensure you see the word ‘Administrator’ in the title bar of the Command Prompt.

Figure 3. Blank Administrator Command Prompt.

Step 2: Run an SFC Scan

Enter the following command into the Command Prompt:

sfc /scannow

Press enter key on your keyboard to execute command (scan time can take from 15 minutes to an hour or so, depending on your machine’s specs). If SFC manages to fix all your issues, you’re done, otherwise try step 3 below.

Figure 4. Administrator Command Prompt after SFC Scan completes.

Step 3: Run DISM to find and fix Component Store Corruption

In the same Command Prompt, enter the following command:

Dism  /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Press enter key on your keyboard to execute command (repair can take from 15 minutes to hours, depending on your machine’s specs). Hopefully that resolves the remaining outstanding issues.

Figure 5. Administrator Command Prompt after DISM completes.

When DISM fails, inspect CBS log for SFC Scan errors

If you have run a manual Disk Clean on your machine and cleaned out all the setup logs and installation files like me. You’re in a bit less fortunate position, you have two choices:

  1. Rebuild your system/Run a repair from a Windows 10 USB setup drive
  2. Have a look at the outstanding issues in the CBS log file and determine if the issues are serious or just ‘nice to be correct’ issues.
Figure 6. Administrator Command Prompt after DISM completes with error.

Below are some examples of outstanding issues on my Windows 10 build, and deem not worthy of doing a rebuild or running a repair session via the Windows 10 USB setup drive.

Figure 7. Sample CBS log entries.

References

If you need a more technical guide, see this wiki: ‘Troubleshooting Component Store / System Files Corruption‘ on the Microsoft forums.

And if you need a more information on analyzing the CBS log, see this article: ‘How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program generates in Windows Vista‘ in the Microsoft Knowledgebase.

Updates

3 August 2016

Microsoft just released Version 1607, so far, no issues and feels like everything is much faster/responsive and stable. Highly recommend updating to Version 1607.

10 April 2017

Microsoft has released the Creators Update. Another big improvement in stability and performance. Highly recommend this update.

You can manually trigger the update, for instructions see:
 https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/4014184/windows-10-creators-update-here