Microsoft is actively blocking Windows 11 tweaking tools

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Microsoft has a vision for the look of Windows 11, and it does not want users to deviate from it. This is shown by the fact that the latest version of Windows is by far the least customizable out of the box.

With many people keen to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10, there has been an explosion in the number of third-party tweaking and customization tools; this is something Microsoft is not happy about. With the release of Windows 11 version 24H2 the company is blocking a number of utilities including the popular StartAllBack and ExplorerPatcher.

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This is far from the first time that Microsoft has made such a move, and the company has previously suggested that blocks are only put in place in the name of system stability. On the face of things, this seems reasonable, but questions have been raised about whether "hardblocks" exist simply to stop users from stamping their mark on Windows 11.

This time around, Microsoft has again pointed to security and stability concerns, but software developers feel that something else is afoot. In the RTM build of Windows 11 24H2, a block has been placed on not only ExplorerPatcher, but also StartAllBack.

The team behind the latter took to X to share the news:

While the blocks are undeniably annoying for both software developers and app users, they are -- for the time being, at least -- easily circumvented. Getting around the obstacles Microsoft has put in place is a simple matter of renaming executable files, but this may not always be the case.

With support for Windows 10 gradually drawing to a close, there will soon be little choice but to make the move to Windows 11. Many people who find themselves "forced" into upgrading to Windows 11 will be disappointed to find that the tools that might have helped to ease the transition have been hobbled.

In making moves like this, Microsoft is not winning itself any fans.

Image credit: Skorzewiak / depositphotos

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