Microsoft Confirms Windows 11 Start Menu Won’t Start and Offers a Workaround

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Earlier today, Microsoft issued an advisory regarding an issue that prevents the Start menu on some Windows 11 PCs from opening. The company has determined that update KB5014668 (Build 22000.778) and newer versions are affected. He writes :

After installing KB5014668 or later updates, we have received reports that a small number of devices may not be able to open the Start menu. On affected devices, clicking or selecting the Start button, or using the Windows key on your keyboard may have no effect.

The company released the following Workaround as it advised individuals and organizations to perform a Known Issues Restore (KIR).

Resolution: This issue is resolved using Known Issues Rollback (KIR). Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for the resolution to automatically propagate to consumer devices and unmanaged business devices. Restarting your Windows device may help the resolution apply to your device faster. For company-managed devices that have installed an affected update and experienced this issue, you can resolve it by installing and configuring a special Group Policy. Special Group Policy can be found in Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> KB5014668 220721_04201 Known Rollback Issue -> Windows 11 (original release). For more information on deploying and configuring these special Group Policies, see How to Use Group Policy to Deploy a Known Issue Restore.

Group Policy Downloads with Group Policy Name:

Download for Windows 11, version 21H2KB5014668 220721_04201 Restoring a known issue

The KB5014668 update was plagued with issues. For example, it was intended to fix an OS upgrade failure bug, but ironically it itself started causing installation failures.

Microsoft has also been having issues with the Start menu for some time. This month’s Patch Tuesday update broke access to the Start menu; and a few days ago the company released beta channel build 22622.436 which fixed a boot crash on Insider builds.

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