Microsoft confirms Windows 11 Start menu fails to start, issues workaround

The Start menu in Windows 11 22H2

Earlier today, Microsoft issued an advisory regarding a problem that is causing the Start menu on certain Windows 11 PCs to not open. The company has determined that the KB5014668 update (Build 22000.778) and newer releases are affected. It writes:

After installing KB5014668 or later updates, we have received reports that a small number of devices might be unable to open the Start menu. On affected devices, clicking or selecting the Start button, or using the Windows key on your keyboard might have no effect.

The company has issued the following workaround as it has advised individuals and organizations to perform a Known Issue Rollback (KIR).

Resolution: This issue is resolved using Known Issue Rollback (KIR). Please note that it might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices. Restarting your Windows device might help the resolution apply to your device faster. For enterprise-managed devices that have installed an affected update and encountered this issue can resolve it by installing and configuring a special Group Policy. The special Group Policy can be found in Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> KB5014668 220721_04201 Known Issue Rollback -> Windows 11 (original release). For information on deploying and configuring these special Group Policy, please see How to use Group Policy to deploy a Known Issue Rollback.

Group Policy downloads with Group Policy name:

Download for Windows 11, version 21H2 - KB5014668 220721_04201 Known Issue Rollback

The KB5014668 update has been plagued with issues. For example, it was meant to fix an OS upgrade fail bug but ironically itself started causing installation fails.

Microsoft has also been having Start menu related issues for a while.This month's Patch Tuesday update broke Start menu access; and a few days ago, the firm released Beta channel build 22622.436 which resolved a Start crash on Insider builds.

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