Windows 11 problems are now causing Microsoft's own apps to fail – what’s going on?

angry businesswoman working with a laptop at office
(Image credit: xavier gallego morell / Shutterstock)

It looks like Windows 11 is being hit by a very embarrassing problem, with pre-installed apps such as the Snipping Tool, Touch Keyboard and Voice Typing failing to load for some users.

With Windows 11 S mode, which is a version of the operating system that limits where you can download apps from, the Start menu is also not working for some users.

The fact that Microsoft-made apps aren’t able to run on a Microsoft-made operating system isn’t a great look, which is why the company has rushed out a fix for some of the issues.

Known as KB4006746, this looks like it fixes several of the issues, but Snipping Tool, one of the most popular apps, remains broken for some.

Snipping Tool allows users to capture screenshots in Windows 11 with a variety of options, such as taking screenshots of only parts of the screen, so it can be a genuinely useful tool.

As The Verge reports, Microsoft hasn’t mentioned when a fix for the snipping tool will arrive, but it has suggested a workaround, where users should “use the Print Screen key on your keyboard and paste the screenshot into your document. You can also paste it into Paint to select and copy the section you want.”

It’s certainly not ideal, so hopefully Microsoft fixes the Snipping Tool issues soon as well. Until then, check out our guide on how to take screenshots in Windows 11 for more options.

What’s going on?

Having pre-installed apps fail to load in Windows 11 is a pretty troubling issue, and doesn’t make for a good first impression for people who have just upgraded to the new operating system, so what’s going on?

According to Microsoft, this has been caused by “an issue with a Microsoft digital certificate, which expired October 31, 2021.”

The company doesn’t go into any more details about the problem, which is also causing issues with the Accounts section of the Settings app in Windows 11 S mode, but the fact that Microsoft has allowed one of its own certificated to expire, causing problems in Windows 11, is certainly embarrassing. At least many of the issues have been quickly fixed, though we’re not sure why the Snipping Tool issue remains.

If you're encountering any issues, make sure you check out our guide on how to fix common Windows 11 problems for more advice.

stressed businessman destroying his desk and laptop with a baseball bat

(Image credit: Stokkete / Shutterstock)

Analysis: Come on, Microsoft

This whole mess seems like it could have been easily avoided if Microsoft hadn’t allowed the certificate to expire. The fact that it’s a Microsoft certificate causing problems for Microsoft apps in a Microsoft operating system means the blame for all of this lies squarely with… Microsoft.

Embarrassing problems like this are the last thing a new operating system needs. Microsoft wants as many people as possible to upgrade to Windows 11, but issues like this will put people off.

What’s especially worrying is that Windows 10 started off strong, but in recent years its reputation was tarnished by botched updates that introduced more problems than they seemed to fix.

One of Windows 11’s main selling points was that it could be a clean break from Windows 10, and a chance to reset Microsoft’s reputation when it came to operating systems. As our Windows 11 review points out, this latest release has a whole load of potential, but mistakes like this could mean it ends up like Windows 10 – and no one wants that.

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.