Windows 10 programs not working? This could be why

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If you're having trouble launching applications in Windows 10 then a bug, which has now been patched, in security software from AVG and Avast could be responsible.

Some Windows 10 users recently discovered that they were unable to launch Microsoft Office and other applications on their systems. When they tried to do so, the were shown a message that said Windows was unable to find the software they were trying to open.

At first, it was believed that either an Avast or Windows 10 cumulative update issue was to blame but now it has been confirmed that the issue was caused by programs from Avast and AVG being installed on a user's machine.

A component in AVG/Avast's security software leads to Image File Execution Options registry entries to be created for a number of programs that would launch applications through a filter. However, a recent update led to something in this filter being broken which caused the programs listed in it not to launch.

Failure to launch

For users experiencing issues launching programs in Windows 10, don't worry as the issue has now been fixed through an automatic update. In a post on its forum, a product manager from Avast provided more details on the issue as well as a download link to manually patch it, saying:

“I am sorry that it took so long but the fixed version is finally here! If you don't want to wait for the automatic update, please download the installation package here: and reinstall the product manually to get the latest available version including the fix. We've tested all the affected scenarios and everything shall get back to the original state after the update/reinstall to the latest version. We sincerely apologize for all the inconveniences.”

Microsoft also added the issue to the Windows 10 2004 health dashboard where it stated that Windows 10 2004, Windows 10 1909, Windows 10 1903, Windows Server 2004, Windows Server 1909 and Windows Server 1903 are all affected.

Users experiencing issues can either wait for the automatic update or download this installation package to fix the issue themselves.

Via BleepingComputer

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.