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Microsoft confirms System Restore points break apps on Windows 11 22H2

A modified red Windows 11 logo indicating a known issue

Windows System Restore is a maintenance tool that can save users a lot of time when their computers misbehave. Restore points backup mission-critical software bits and pieces that allow restoring the operating system to the working state without clean-installing it and losing data. Unfortunately for Windows 1 1 22H2 users, an ally turned into an enemy—Microsoft has confirmed that using System Restore points on its latest OS might break some apps and cause the "This app can't open" error message.

Fortunately, not all apps are affected by the problem. According to an official post on the Microsoft Support website, the bug breaks first and third-party applications that use the MSIX Windows app
package format (Notepad, Paint, Office, Cortana, Terminal, etc), resulting in one or several 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.

Microsoft says affected customers should try the following to mend the broken apps:

  • Open the app again
  • Reinstall the app from the Microsoft Store or the original source
  • Install available Windows updates

Users can also resort to other methods mentioned in the official documentation that describes how to repair broken apps on Windows.

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