Microsoft acknowledges Windows 11 22H2 bug that stops apps working after a system restore

Laptop with Windows 11 and Microsoft logos

Microsoft has issued a warning about yet another known issue with Windows 11. Affecting version 22H2 of the operating system, the problem means that users may experience problems launching certain apps after performing a system restore.

The company says that the bug caused problems with any application that uses the MSIX Windows app package format, and concedes that various titles of its own -- including Office and Terminal -- are affected.

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Microsoft says that apps including Notepad, Paint, Office, Cortana and Terminal may experience problems, but warns that this list is not complete.

In a newly posted support document entitled KB5023152: "This app can't open" error message when starting a Windows app in Windows 11, version 22H2, the company says:

After running a System Restore to a previous restore point on a device that is running Windows 11, version 22H2, some Windows applications that use the MSIX Windows app package format may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • An error message "This app can't open" is displayed instead of the app starting.
  • The app might have multiple entries on the Start menu.
  • An app may not respond when you try to start the app.
  • An I/O error may occur, followed by the app not responding, and then the app crashes.
  • If you try to start the app again, the app now runs.

The company warns that there may also be other symptoms besides those on the list.

Microsoft shares details of a number of potential workarounds:

  • Try starting the app again.
  • Try re-installing the app from the Windows Store.
  • Try re-installing the app from the original source from which it was first installed.
  • Try running Windows Update.

Interestingly, the company does not say -- as would normally be the case -- that it is investigating the issues, and fails to indicate whether a fix is being worked on.

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