Microsoft releases KB5020044 update for Windows 11 -- before revealing that it breaks Task Manager

Windows 11 2022 Update

It is the time of the month when Microsoft release preview versions of Windows updates. True to form, the company has released the KB5020044 update for Windows 11 22H2.

As well as fixing various issues, this update also brings new features such as combining Windows Spotlight with Themes on the Personalization page, and helpful information for OneDrive users. It also fixes game performance issues which caused Microsoft to block upgrades to Windows 11 2022 Update for some users. And true to form, the update also breaks some things as well as fixing others; in this case, Task Manager.

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Microsoft draws attention to three highlights in this particular update, two of them relating to OneDrive. The System page of Settings is now used to show information about storage limits, including a warning when nearing capacity. Anyone with more than one OneDrive subscription will now find details of total storage on the Accounts page of Settings. And ther is also a tweak that makes it easier to enable Windows Spotlight.

Details of what included in the update appear below, but information about the problems it caused can be found at the end of the article.

The full changelog for the KB5020044 update preview is as follows:

  • New! It gives Microsoft OneDrive subscribers storage alerts on the Systems page in the Settings app. The alerts appear when you are close to your storage limit. You can also manage your storage and purchase additional storage, if needed.
  • New! It provides the full amount of the storage capacity of all your OneDrive subscriptions. It also displays the total storage on the Accounts page in the Settings app.
  • New! It combines Windows Spotlight with Themes on the Personalization page. This makes it easier for you to discover and turn on the Windows Spotlight feature.
  • New! It adds a new mobile device management (MDM) policy for organizational messages. It gives your company the option to enroll tenant devices so that they receive custom messages from you. For example, you can use Intune to write the messages. They will render within Windows.
  • It addresses an issue that affects some modern applications. It stops them from opening.
  • It addresses an issue that affects some devices that are managed by an enterprise. We improve the reliability of app installations for them.
  • It addresses the suspension of daylight saving time (DST) in the Republic of Fiji for this year.
  • It addresses an issue that affects Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) authentication hardening. We will automatically raise the authentication level for all non-anonymous activation requests from DCOM clients to RPC_C_AUTHN_LEVEL_PKT_INTEGRITY. This occurs if the authentication level is below Packet Integrity.
  • It addresses an issue that affects Unified Update Platform (UUP) on-premises customers. It removes the block that stops them from getting offline language packs.
  • It addresses an issue that affects process creation. It fails to create security audits for it and other related audit events.
  • It addresses an issue that affects cluster name objects (CNO) or virtual computer objects (VCO). Password reset fails. The error message is, " There was an error resetting the AD password... // 0x80070005”.
  • It addresses an issue that affects transparency in layered windows. This occurs when you are in High Definition remote applications integrated locally (RAIL) mode.
  • It addresses a known issue that affects the Input Method Editor (IME). Certain applications might stop responding. This occurs when you use keyboard shortcuts to change the input mode of the IME.
  • It addresses an issue that affects microphone streams that use the Listen To feature to route to the speaker endpoint. The microphone stops working after you restart the device.
  • It addresses an issue that might affect applications that run on the Windows Lock Down Policy (WLDP). They might stop working.
  • It addresses an issue that affects Microsoft Defender when it is not the primary antivirus. Microsoft Defender fails to turn off passive mode. This issue occurs when you turn off Smart App Control (SAC).
  • It adds .wcx to the list of Dangerous Extensions that some app control policies do not allow.
  • It addresses an issue that affects Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Automated investigation blocks live response investigations.
  • It addresses an issue that affects printing in landscape mode in Microsoft Edge. The print output is incorrect. This issue occurs when you use Microsoft Defender Application Guard.
  • It addresses an issue that causes File Explorer to stop working. This occurs when you close context menus and menu items.
  • It addresses an issue that might cause certain apps to stop responding. This occurs when you use the Open File dialog.
  • It addresses an issue that sometimes affects File Explorer when you open a file. Because of this issue, there is high CPU usage.
  • It addresses an issue that affects protocol activation of the Settings app. The app fails to open a page under the Accounts category.
  • It addresses an issue that affects a computer account. Use of non-standard characters can stop the cleanup of the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) accounts.
  • It addresses an issue that affects the CopyFile function. It might sometimes return error 317: ERROR_MR_MID_NOT_FOUND.
  • It addresses an issue that affects the Windows Firewall service. It does not start when you turn on the Override block rules option.
  • It addresses an issue that affects the performance of some games and applications. This issue is related to GPU performance debugging features.
  • It addresses an issue that affects cumulative update installations. They fail, and the error code is 0x800f0806.

You can grab the update from the Microsoft Update Catalog , or by checking for optional updates.

Now on to the problems.

A problem with slow file copying persists but there is also a new issue affecting Task Manager. In an entry on Windows Health, Microsoft explains:

After installing KB5020044, Task Manager might display certain elements in the user interface (UI) in unexpected colors. On affected devices, Task Manager should function as expected but some parts of the UI might not be readable. You might be affected by this issue if you have "Choose your mode" set to "Custom", in the Personalization -> colors section of Settings. If you are using Dark or Light for the "Choose your mode" setting, you should not be affected by this issue.

The company also provides details of a workaround that should tide users over until a proper fix is available:

To mitigate this issue, you can set the "Choose your mode" setting to either Dark or Light until this issue is resolved. To do this, right click or long press on the desktop, select "Personalize", select "Colors", and then select either "Dark" or "Light" for "Choose your mode".

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