Is your Windows 11 Task Manager the wrong color? You're not alone.

Windows 11 2022 new Task Manager
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • A preview update for Windows 11 includes a bug that can cause the Task Manager to appear the wrong color, which makes text unreadable.
  • The issue shows up after installing the KB5020044 update that rolled out in preview on November 29, 2022.
  • Microsoft shared steps to mitigate the problem and is working on a permanent fix.

Some Windows 11 users may run into an issue that causes the Task Manager to appear the wrong color, making text unreadable. The problem occurs after installing the KB5020044 update (opens in new tab) that was released in preview on November 29, 2022. 

Earlier this week, Microsoft added a section to Windows 11, version 22H2 known issues and notifications page (opens in new tab) about the Task Manager issue. While the bug makes it impossible to read text, the Task Manager itself is functioning fine in the background.

"After installing KB5020044, Task Manager might display certain elements in the user interface (UI) in unexpected colors. On affected devices, Task Manager should function as expected but some parts of the UI might not be readable," reads the doc.

"You might be affected by this issue if you have "Choose your mode" set to "Custom", in the Personalization -> colors section of Settings. If you are using Dark or Light for the "Choose your mode" setting, you should not be affected by this issue."

Microsoft is working on a permanent fix for the problem. In the meantime, there is a workaround that's outlined on the same page:

"To mitigate this issue, you can set the "Choose your mode" setting to either Dark or Light until this issue is resolved. To do this, right click or long press on the desktop, select "Personalize", select "Colors", and then select either "Dark" or "Light" for "Choose your mode"."

Since the issue only appears in a preview update of Windows 11, the number of affected users is likely rather small. Microsoft will presumably find a permanent fix before shipping December's Patch Tuesday update.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).