Microsoft announced that it managed to mitigate a major issue that affects the Windows Shell on all versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11. The bug, confirmed back in January, is related to the Windows Shell and Office APIs.
On the Windows health website, Microsoft notes that the Start menu, Windows search bar, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps may fail to open or have issues. Essentially it becomes un-clickable or non-interactive.
The tech giant further notes that affected PCs can exhibit damaged registry keys or data that can affect applications based on the Microsoft Office APIs, that are integrated with Windows, Office, Outlook or Outlook Calendar.
The workaround is to uninstall such apps, which is hardly awe-inspiring considering it has been four months since the issue was first opened. It writes:
The Start menu, Windows search, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps might not work as expected or might have issues opening. Affected Windows devices might have damaged registry keys or data which might affect apps using Microsoft Office APIs to integrate with Windows, Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Calendar. An example of an app affected by this issue is ClickShare. The underlying Issue is not caused by the installation of an update to Windows and might be exposed by an update to an affected app.
Workaround: To mitigate this issue, you can uninstall apps which integrate with Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Calendar. Updates to affected apps or guidance from the developer of the app might also be available. If you are using ClickShare by Barco, please see Symptom: Start Menu and other shell components fail when Apps including Barco's ClickShare access Office APIs and Unresponsive Windows taskbar or user shell folder permissions issues with ClickShare App Calendar integration.
You may find more details on Microsoft's Windows health website here.
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