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Thread: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

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    Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Here's an interesting one for anyone who fancies a challenge

    Last night I upgraded from Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate) to 8 Pro, and then 8.1 Pro. It went fairly smoothly, I didn't have any of the issues with USB3 performance that I'd read about. The 8.1 upgrade installer hung first time but ran on second attempt.

    I'm left with one weird problem though. When I press Winkey + X to bring up the "Start" menu that has Control Panel, Command Prompt, Device Manager, etc., hardly any of the options on this menu actually work.

    The last 4 entries (Search, Run, Shutdown, Desktop) DO work, but none of the other options above those ones do. When I click them, nothing happens.

    Things I've tried are:

    * Checked event viewer - no relevant entries in system or application logs

    * Tried UAC on and off

    * Checked the contents of C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX (this folder contains the files for each shortcut on the Win+X menu) , and compared it to another install of 8.1 Pro. All files appear to be present and correct.

    The weird part is, if I manually double-click the shortcuts in this folder they work correctly, so the shortcuts themselves seem to be OK. It seems to be the Win+X menu itself that's broken, or the links between that and the shortcut files.

    The only other thing I can think of is to refresh Windows, but I really don't fancy reinstalling all my desktop apps.

    EDIT: to clarify the part above about the 8.1 installer hanging first time - this was only during the pre-flight check where it says "checking you're ready to install Windows" - NOT during the actual upgrade procedure.
    Last edited by dannyboy75; 20-09-2013 at 04:09 PM.

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    I just managed to resolve this. For the benefit of anyone else who encounters this issue in the future, it seems it's caused by one or more desktop applications that install [Win 8 incompatible] shell extensions into the Windows right-click context menu.

    I downloaded and ran http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html from Nir Sofer's brilliant site. This util lists every shell extension and allows you to quickly disable them, so I just disabled each non-Microsoft one in turn (you must then restart Windows Explorer), until I found the culprit.

    With offending shell extension disabled ( RWipe & Clean v8.0 in my case), every option on the 8.1 Power Users (Win + X) menu now works

  3. Received thanks from:

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Thanks so much for this. I have been pulling what is left of my hair out trying to sort this!

    My culprit was J River media center's context menu.
    "Don't mention the war!"

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    No probs, glad someone found it useful

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    I created an account just to say, THANK YOU! I've almost gone crazy, I upgraded to Windows 8.1 Update 1 today and had the same problem. Turns out it was just like you said, some other applications that install a shell extension to the context menu (in my case it was Tabbles) caused the context menu items in the Start button to not work, despite the fact that they still work when you go into the WINX folder and open the shortcuts.

    BTW, there's a better tool to do this. Use CCleaner, it provides a much better interface to view your context menu items and disable them.

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Quote Originally Posted by chaoscreater View Post
    I created an account just to say, THANK YOU! I've almost gone crazy, I upgraded to Windows 8.1 Update 1 today and had the same problem. Turns out it was just like you said, some other applications that install a shell extension to the context menu (in my case it was Tabbles) caused the context menu items in the Start button to not work, despite the fact that they still work when you go into the WINX folder and open the shortcuts.

    BTW, there's a better tool to do this. Use CCleaner, it provides a much better interface to view your context menu items and disable them.
    Sorry for the postdate response,

    i have the same problem. i have disabled all non microsoft menu. The problem is still there. The power menu doesn't work. I have tried with ccleaner and shellmenuview

    Do you have any idea ?

    regards

    olivier

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    ok i have found the solution. I have recently install airdroid to connect my new smartphone. After the uninstall, the menu works fine.

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy75 View Post
    I just managed to resolve this. For the benefit of anyone else who encounters this issue in the future, it seems it's caused by one or more desktop applications that install [Win 8 incompatible] shell extensions into the Windows right-click context menu.

    I downloaded and ran shexview from Nir Sofer's brilliant site. This util lists every shell extension and allows you to quickly disable them, so I just disabled each non-Microsoft one in turn (you must then restart Windows Explorer), until I found the culprit.

    With offending shell extension disabled ( RWipe & Clean v8.0 in my case), every option on the 8.1 Power Users (Win + X) menu now works
    Hi, great posts guys - my issue was in the new Windows 10 (upgraded from 7SP1) - never thought about shell extensions - well over 200 - anyway the culprit was NCH Express Zip and a WinMerge program extension. When testing, you need to ensure you log out and log back in so that Windows Explorer gets bounced properly (the shexview program leaves a blank screen when done from its program). Thanks all, TD

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Quote Originally Posted by olizan View Post
    ok i have found the solution. I have recently install airdroid to connect my new smartphone. After the uninstall, the menu works fine.
    Thanks a million, no gazillions, olizan! Uninstalling airdroid resolved the Win+X menu problem AND the manage computer problem! I was searching for days with this, playing with sfc /scannow and stuff...but many thanks..created account to say thanks from the bottom of my heart!

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    I had this a while ago and am embarrassed to say that for me it was the Windows key lock on my keyboard
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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    D'oh! That made me chuckle, thanks. It's so annoying when it's a silly little thing like that.
    "Don't mention the war!"

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    You guys are genious's, thank you. I just registered to let you know that I also got hit by the issue via AirDroid (v3.1.4 on x64 Windows 10 Pro).

    After some testing, I've found that the last 4 items (Search, Run, Shut Down, Desktop) do seem to work, but everything above that fails. My guess is, something in WIndows iterates all of those menu items (in reverse order) and a File Explorer extension is failing and causing the remaining items (again, reverse order) to never get processed.

    Unfortunately can't post URL/image cuz I'm a n00b here, but i.imgur.com/Jc2wJni.png is a screenshot illustrating my findings

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    FYI - all you AirDroid folks, the AirDroid dev fixed the issue with v3.1.4.1 (so quick, too - about a whole 3 or 4 hours after posting to their forum).

    EDIT argh, still can't post URL... annoying... forums.airdroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16383&p=42879

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Quote Originally Posted by aplocher View Post
    FYI - all you AirDroid folks, the AirDroid dev fixed the issue with v3.1.4.1 (so quick, too - about a whole 3 or 4 hours after posting to their forum).

    EDIT argh, still can't post URL... annoying... forums.airdroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16383&p=42879
    Removing AirDroid Desktop Client 3.14 from Win 8.1 reactivated all Win+X mode Windows links
    Thx aplocher

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    I have been working for days trying to resolve this problem in Windows 10, and this did the trick! There was a single context menu item that was obsolete, and that was keeping the WinX context menu from working. THANK YOU for sharing the link to shexview!

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    Re: Winkey + X menu shortcuts not working in Win 8.1

    Dannyboy75, thanks for the solution.

    I got this problem recently and used shexview to track the suspected file extensions.
    I started to diasable some openoffice-extensions and restarted explorer and it win-x started to work again!
    The funny thing was that when I re-enabled these extensions and restart explorer it ALSO WORKS! S it should not be openoffice...
    When I reboot the computer win-x is not working again, util I just restart explorer from thde shexview tool.
    It sounds like the tool fixes temporerily the corrupted registry or whatever it is. (it does *NOT*help to restart explorer from command window).

    Has someone got same behaviour?

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