A recent Windows 11 update is breaking the Start menu -- but Microsoft is shifting the blame
Earlier this week, Microsoft released a preview of next month's KB5028254 update for Windows 11 22H2. While this cumulative update fixes a lot of bugs, a large number of people who have installed it are complaining of Start menu issues.
Although Microsoft concedes that there is a problem, acknowledging that some users may find that the Start menu simply does not open, the company insists that it is not at fault, instead pointing the finger of blame at third parties.
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In an advisory notice posted on the Windows Release Health page, Microsoft says that third-party customization software that uses "unsupported methods" are causing the Start menu to break. The company singles out the tweaking tool ExplorerPatcher for a mention but says that other apps may also be problematic.
The warning says:
After installing KB5028254 or later updates, the Start menu might not open on Windows devices with some third-party UI customization apps installed. The known affected third-party UI customization app is ExplorerPatcher but others might also be affected. These types of apps often use unsupported methods to achieve their customization and as a result can have unintended results on your Windows device.
Microsoft is leaving it to the developers of customization apps like ExplorerPatcher to fix things, and suggests the users contact them to see what solutions are available. In the meantime, the company suggests avoiding the use of such tools, saying:
We recommend uninstalling any third-party UI customization app before installing KB5028254 to prevent this issue. If your Windows device is already experiencing this issue, you might need to contact customer support for the developer of the app you are using.
You can monitor Microsoft's response to the issues here.