4 Top Solutions for Server 2016 Start Button Not Working RDP

You may have encountered Server 2016 Start button not working RDP issue when you were remotely accessing another computer via RDP. This post briefly introduced four ways to help you troubleshoot this issue.


By Ellie / Updated on October 27, 2022

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How do I get my start button to work in the RDP session?

Nowadays, a lot of people work remotely via Windows RDP. While they remotely access another computer, they may encounter various problems. One of the most common problems is that the Server 2016 Start button not working RDP issue, as reported by one of the RDP users as follows.


The Start menu on the remote desktop is non-responsive during the RDP session. I cannot even reboot the remote desktop as I cannot use Restart from the non-operable Start menu. How do I get my start button to work in the RDP session?"

- Question from Quora

How to solve the Server 2016 Start button not working RDP issue?

Windows Server 2016 RDP or Windows 2012 R2 start button not working over RDP problems have been frequently seen on different forums. When you click on the Start button and it doesn’t pop up, what should you do? In this part, four solutions are mentioned to help you solve the Server 2016 Start button not working RDP issue. Follow the solutions to troubleshoot the issue. Please note that all these operations are carried out within the RDP session.

Solution 1. Restart the computer

If there is something wrong with your computer, the first thing you can think of is to restart the computer remotely. Then how could you restart your computer if the Start button doesn’t work properly? You could press Windows + R, then run the command “shutdown /s /t 0” to power off or “shutdown /r /t 0” to restart your machine remotely. Try this to see if it helps.

Solution 2. Change settings

If you are running an important program and don’t want to restart your computer, you could try to change some settings on your computer.

Step 1. Press Windows + R to invoke the Run dialog box, and type in “ms-settings: personalization-start” to invoke the Settings window.

Ms Settings

Step 2. Click Personalization first and then click Start.


Step 3. Uncheck the following two options: Show more tiles on Start and Use Start full screen.


Solution 3. End the explorer.exe task

Another quick fix for that issue would be to close all the open folder windows and make the Taskbar disappear. Then you can enable it again to see if the problem is solved.

Step 1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to invoke the Task Manager window.

Task Manager

Step 2. Go into the Details tab and find the task named “explorer.exe”.


Step 3. Right-click “explorer.exe” task and then click “End task”. This will close all your open folder windows and make the Taskbar disappear. After this, restart your computer, and your problem will be fixed.

End Task

Step 4. You can enable it again by going into File > Run new task and then entering explorer.exe.

Run New Task

 Solution 4. Use shortcuts to invoke the Start menu

If the Start button doesn’t work properly and you don’t want to restart your computer or change anything else on your computer, you could use some shortcuts to invoke the Start menu. The easiest way is to press the Windows key or CTRL ESC. This may temporarily solve your problem.

Free & Stable RDP alternative for Windows Server

If you still can't solve the Server 2016 Start button not working RDP issue after trying the above-mentioned solutions, here we recommend you to download the most flexible and easy-to-operate remote control alternative AnyViewer

AnyViewer is a free and fast remote access software for Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 R2. You could flexibly access almost everything you need on another computer even if you are far away from it.  

AnyViewer allows you to easily connect to remote computers without changing any settings on your computer, for example setting up port forwarding or VPN. As long as you can access the Internet, AnyViewer can be used normally. Follow the steps below, you can start your remote control right away.

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Secure Download

Step 1. Download, install and launch AnyViewer on both computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill in the signup information.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you've logged in to.

Free Editions

Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices, then click One-click control to achieve unattended remote access.

Connect to My Devices

Note: If you want to assign more devices, you can upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan. You can also connect to another computer in privacy mode, which means they can black the screen and block the mouse and keyboard of the remote computer.


This post primarily introduces 4 ways to troubleshoot the Server 2016 Start button not working over RDP issue. If you're facing this problem right now, try the solutions mentioned here one by one. Another option for you is to use an RDP alternative AnyViewer, which is an easy-to-use remote desktop tool. With it, you'll barely encounter problems during the remote session, ensuring you a perfect remote control experience.