The applications menu in the top left corner of the screen will not open: if clicked nothing happens, the hotkey also does not work.
I am on elementary OS 0.3.1 Freya (64-bit) Quad-Core Intel® Core™ i7-4500U.
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I've encountered this problem before: it's caused by slingshot crashing while backgrounded. There is a very easy way to fix it.
Open a terminal, either from plank or by using the shortcut [super] + [T] and enter:
The next time you click the applications indicator slingshot will restart and work as normal.