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

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32 Comments

  1. Ended up here having Edge issues, being unresponsive for the past few months ever since the Anniversary update. Figured I’d mention I disabled ‘Page Prediction’ or whatever and now it runs like it used to, smooth. I never had taskbar issues, except the casual lag here and there but tolerable.

    How ironic it says ‘Page Prediction’ is just to improve the overall experience of the web and it was what’s holding me back from a good experience, it was worst on YouTube and now back to normal – yay!

    Hope this helps someone in the wild, or me again if I forget and somehow end up here again. Heh, thanks :)

  2. I had this issue with 10.0.10586 (includes anniversary update) on a Surface Pro 4. After much messing about I remedied it by disabling Cortana through the Group policy editor. If you google ‘disable Cortana anniversary update’ you can find instructions on how to do this.

  3. So, I’ve gone through the first 2 fixes : >The restore operation completed successfully.

    >The operation completed successfully. Meanwhile I did take Edge off of the toolbar. Never use it anyway! First I’ll reboot then “I’ll be bach!”

  4. This is weird but after I left click dragged and dropped an edge shortcut to my desktop everything is fixed. I just did several restarts and shutdowns and the task bar never once locked.

    I was just putting it there so I didn’t have to worry about finding a way to launch edge since that seemed to fix the task bar. It was my little hacky work around I came up with and it seems to have fixed everything.

    I had run sfc and DSIM and even reloaded some stuff with administrator privileges in powerShell using these directions and nothing had worked. http://answers.microsoft.co

    Now for some reason some dinky shortcut being present on my desktop makes the boot go smooth WTF??? I will keep this forum posted if this stops working but I’m not complaining for now all seems fine. I’m just really confused as to why that would work.

    1. That is exactly what I did. I unpinned Edge from the taskbar, then went to the start menu, dragged and dropped it onto the desktop, checked-in with the icons in the taskbar to make sure I can move them around; bingo, it worked! Then I took the Edge icon from the desktop and dropped it where I wanted. Perfect. Thanks for the simple fix, Jordan. How weird, though, eh?

  5. I had some corrupt files but fixed these with DSIM and by using the most current build of windows on an ISO but that did not fix my task bar issues.

    I’ve even had support from the Microsoft store here in Seattle. They originally thought it was the old program in windows 8.1 I used for a start bar. but that been long gone and they did an in place install of the OS for free. I still have the issues described here with the task bar but sometimes if I wait long enough or find another way to initially launch edge the problem fixes itself. Its high annoying to the point my machine is often un restart-able without long delays to get it up and running with a full functional task bar and a start menu.

    I’m going to put an edge shortcut on my desktop and hope for the best as it seems to be edge locking up that causes the task bar to lock up all the MS (Microsoft) functions. Due to the fact that once I get a working edge window everything is fine.

    1. There’re a few things in play that causes this lagging:
      – network connectivity
      – edge is part of the windows OS (no idea about the specific details, so cannot tell you)
      – CPU throttling
      – hardware drivers

      The best solution (more like a work around) I found is to not use Edge at all. Use a different browser that is not connected to the Windows OS. My recommendations are Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

      Once you stop using Edge, the lag should disappear.

      A extra side note, if your machine has 4GB or less RAM, then you need to ensure your machine has its power plan set to “High Performance”. Otherwise you will experience lag from the constant CPU throttling.

  6. Ugh. It’s getting worse and worse. Came to point where I would to be running the DISM Restore thing ever other day and now it won’t complete saying “the object invoked has disconnected from its clients.”

    Any ideas?

    I have a Lenovo – should I just go back to Windows 7? This is getting annoying. Any hope of them patching this up?

  7. after step 3 it came to me the following message: the filename, directory name, or volume label sintax is incorrect … and now… what should i do?

    1. You get this error message for two reasons:
      1 – you have misspelled/mis-typed something. solution: try copy and paste the code again, or manually type it out.
      2 – your system may not have DISM. To check, type: dism into the command prompt. (see attached image)

      1. well, it’s strange… even despite the system says that did not correct anything, after i restarted computer the taskbar began to work normally again…. at least for a while…heheheh

      2. From the sounds of things you haven’t got the latest updates for Windows 10. The new updates should resolve the taskbar issue. Edge is still a bit buggy, would suggest using another browser for the time being.

      1. Interesting. No errors at all? The build information is found under ‘About your PC’. Quickest way to reach this dialog is to use Search (Win + Q). See attached image.

      2. Thanks. You have a very buggy build of Windows 10. I had lots of issue with that build. Only option is to update to latest patched version of 1511 (the build I have – 10586.63).

        Run Windows Update manually and it should detect the new update. Do this via ethernet if possible. I had issues with WiFi with the base build of 1511.