Microsoft has confirmed that third-party applications that let users customize the user interface (UI) are once again breaking the Start menu. The issue returned today with the latest Windows 11 update KB5028254 which was released earlier today for version 22H2. Microsoft says ExplorerPatcher is problematic at the moment, but others (
like Start11, etc.,) may be affected too. Interestingly, the software fixes Windows 10 Start menu issues with its latest update.
Microsoft notes the issue on its Windows health dashboard stating:
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.
Workaround: 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.
Next steps: If you are using any third-party UI customization app and encounter any issues, you will need to contact customer support for the developer of the app you are using.
Client: Windows 11, version 22H2
As mentioned up top, this problem is not new and was affecting Windows 11 22H2 previously as well. Towards the end of February, earlier this year, when the Moment 2 update went live, the issue was first seen. This time though, it is Moment 3 which is affected. In related news, the tech giant was able to resolve another Start menu issue in late June, something it had been struggling with for a while.
Another issue affecting Windows 11, as well as Windows 10, at the moment, is a video codec problem, which you can find details about here.
Edit: Brad Sams, VP and General Manager, Stardock Software, informed Neowin that Start11 is not impacted by this issue. They stated in a mail: "We are not impacted by the KB that broke explorer patcher - we use a different method for implementation."
Neowin reader fishnet37222, who is probably a Start11 customer, confirmed a similar experience.