Windows 11 is so broken that even Microsoft can’t fix it

Angry businessman destroying his desk and laptop with a baseball bat
(Image credit: Stokkete / Shutterstock)

Microsoft has just made a pretty remarkable admission, essentially conceding that it doesn’t have a solution for some Windows 11 problems.

As Neowin reports, some people using Windows 11 and Windows 10 have found a bug which prevents the Start menu, Windows search bar and some Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps from starting or working correctly.

It appears that the bugs coincide with damaged registry keys and data related to Microsoft Office apps, and apps that are integrated with Office software, as well as Windows and Outlook.

The bugs don’t affect everyone, but those who are encountering them first noticed something wasn’t right back in January of this year. If you were hoping that during that time Microsoft had figured out how to fix the problem, then I have some bad news for you.

Giving up?

On Microsoft’s ‘Health’ webpage regarding the issue, Microsoft notes that the “Windows search, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps might not work as expected or might have issues opening,” and in a recent update it has provided a workaround for the problem.

Not only is the lack of a definitive fix disappointing, but the workaround isn’t great, with Microsoft stating that to “mitigate this issue, you can uninstall apps which integrate with Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Calendar.”

Essentially, it seems like Microsoft is admitting that it’s as baffled as us by the problem, and that the only way to avoid the issue is to start uninstalling apps. That’s pretty poor, especially as Microsoft doesn’t list the apps that are causing the issue, just that they integrate with “Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Calendar,” which doesn’t narrow it down at all.

It’s also not a great solution for people who depend on any of the apps causing the issue, as uninstalling them may not be a viable option.

Microsoft claims that it is working on a resolution, and I hope it's able to roll one out that fixes the issue without making users uninstall certain apps. It's concerning, though, that there seem to be areas where Windows 11 (and Windows 10, which is also suffering from this problem) is so broken that Microsoft simply can’t fix it.

Operating systems like Windows 11 are complicated pieces of software that have to work with myriad combinations of hardware and software, but this still doesn’t make it any less embarrassing for Microsoft. It also doesn’t give me a huge amount of confidence about Windows 12, which the company is rumored to be working on – I’d rather Microsoft concentrated on fixing the current versions of Windows first.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.