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It took Microsoft more than a year to fix one of the most infuriating Windows 11 bugs

A rage face with a Windows 11 background

Most Windows users pay attention to updates only when they wreck something, like the latest story about universities suggesting uninstalling December 2023 updates to fix broken Wi-Fi connections in Windows 11. Still, not every update is the end of the world. Quite the opposite—they often fix bugs, some of which can make one's blood boil. The latest cumulative update for Windows 11 is one such release.

Quality updates released for Windows 11 this month FINALLY (yes, all caps) fixed one of the most infuriating File Explorer bugs in the operating system: coming to the foreground and stealing focus when doing completely unrelated things. Changing something in Settings, opening a notification, browsing the internet, and even playing games could cause File Explorer to appear on the screen for no reason. It seemed random, and it was nearly impossible to predict or replicate.

File Explorer by itself is kind of a trainwreck with its slow performance and other issues (luckily, almost every update brings File Explorer-related fixes), but this bug had me on the verge of going back to Windows 10 for quite a while. And I am not the only one—a quick search on Feedback Hub will show you dozens of frustrated users complaining about the same issue.

Microsoft resolved the bug in Windows 11 preview builds long ago, and it is finally available for all users in the Stable Channel. It took Microsoft more than a year to release the bugfix to all users, but it is better late than never. From the changelog for KB5032288 released as an optional non-security update on December 4:

This update addresses an issue that affects File Explorer windows. When you do not expect them, they appear in the foreground.

So here is a valid reason to install available Windows 11 updates as soon as possible. Users can finally work and play in peace with File Explorer in the background.

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