Reports that Windows 11 is broken beyond repair are nonsense — here's why

Surface Pro 9
Surface Pro 9 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows 11 and Windows 10 have a bug that can prevent the Start menu, Windows Search, and UWP apps from opening. The issue can affect apps that use Microsoft Office APIs to integrate with the Office suite, your Outlook calendar, or Windows itself. ClickShare is one app that can run into problems because of the bug, though several other applications could be affected.

The bug is outlined in a document from Microsoft. Issues like this appear occasionally, and we often cover them. People should know what could cause problems on their PC after all. But sometimes, outlets add confusion and conjure fear when covering reports of bugs. That appears to be the case with a recent piece by TechRadar titled "Windows 11 is so broken that even Microsoft can't fix it."

The strapline of that article doubles down on the fear-inducing headline, stating that "Microsoft admits there are Windows 11 problems it just can't fix." For the record, Microsoft has not "admitted" this or even said anything close to that. 

An irritating bug, but no more than that

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen7 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Official Microsoft documentation states, "we are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release," which hardly seems like a statement from a company admitting it can't fix a bug. I'd argue it's the opposite. Microsoft seems reasonably confident it will resolve the issue and ship a future update.

Here's some additional context about the issue, courtesy of the Microsoft doc linked above:

"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."

Microsoft is working on a permanent fix for the issue that will ship with an update. In the meantime, you can mitigate the issue using a workaround outlined in the same doc: 

"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."

This type of bug is no doubt frustrating to those with affected systems, but it is not unique. Microsoft is working on a fix and has outlined a mitigation to help those that may be affected.

Clickbait vs. Clickable

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen7 (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The headline "Windows 11 is so broken that even Microsoft can’t fix it" is false. It also shows a lack of understanding of how software development works and what Microsoft has done in the past. The body of the article isn't much better in that regard. For context, software bugs are spotted all the time.

Normally, once a bug is reported Microsoft works to find an immediate workaround. This is to prevent the bug from affecting PCs while developers work on a permanent solution. While Microsoft is a large company, fixes for issues take time to make. Manpower and money don't magically make it so their teams can fix a bug overnight.

Furthermore, Microsoft needs to test bugs to make sure that they are stable, secure, and don't affect other parts of Windows. On top of all this, the headline suggests that this is a problem limited to Windows 11, likely to piggyback on negative sentiments towards the OS. It's not sexy to say that a general problem with Windows has been discovered.

If you want to get the people going you must make it about Windows 11. New is bad, as you all know (/s). While I am admittedly worked up about the article, I'm not the only one upset by it. Some comments from a Reddit thread about the piece show that not everyone buys into the faux outrage.

Nobody should feel the need to rush to Microsoft’s defense, but this “article” is rubbish.

u/Scaredycrow87, Reddit

"This isn’t journalism. Microsoft has just made a pretty remarkable admission, essentially conceding that it doesn’t have a solution for some Windows 11 problems." Scaredycrow87 continues, quoting Microsoft: “UWP apps might not work as expected .. to mitigate this issue, you can uninstall apps which integrate with Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Calendar.”

AngieTheQueen adds: "Took the words right out of my mouth, this is garbage clickbait and the reason I use adblockers." I_Rarely_Replay echoed similar thoughts: "Total BS clickbait. MS NEVER said they can't fix it. None of those links show microsoft saying that. What they DID say is that they're working on it, with immediate work-arounds. They haven't fixed it yet. That's a far cry from the BS title posted here."

Are bugs frustrating? Sure. Do I wish Microsoft would fix some of them faster? Of course. Has Windows 11 run into a horrible issue that Microsoft developers are crying in a corner because they can't fix it? No. And nobody believes that.

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

  • SouthernBear
    I don't know about anyone else, but I will speak to the horror show I had to deal with after installing Windows 11 Pro over the past two days. It was installed on a new Samsung 970 EVO Plus (2 terabytes) from scratch. All apps from brand-new installers, no backups used. All the drivers updated by ASUS, NVIDIA, and INTEL. Again, no backups used at any point, period. After installing the drivers, I had Windows run its internal check, and they all verified.
    Immediately, my Monitor started flickering This is happening with only Microsoft approved apps, most installed from the Microsoft Store directly. No games, nothing unusual. Then my VPN bombed and had to be removed, both Mullvad, and Proton VPN were tried, which were utterly dependable in Windows 10 PRO.

    The situation was bad, and tech support from Microsoft was a total waste of time.

    I am running an ASUS Tower with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core Processor, ASUSTeK Computer Inc. PRIME X570 Pro Motherboard and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. 64 GIGS of RAM.

    In the case of the AMD Platform, Microsoft has a long history of issues that are well documented.
    From where I sit, this is a continuation.
    I once again, reformatted my drive and went back to Windows 10 Pro. All the same software, using exactly the same procedure as above, now my PC runs just fine.

    Yeah, from where I am Microsoft has a huge problem with Windows 11 Pro on my platform, and if you look elsewhere online I'm not the only one. There are a lot of upset users who agree this OS is not anywhere near ready for prime time for a lot of us.

    This is no whining and complaining, just a cold hard observation of a real time, documented occurrence.
  • SouthernBear
    Windows Central said:
    An erroneous recent report claimed that Microsoft had found a bug in Windows 11 that it cannot fix, showing how clickbait Reports that Windows 11 is so broken beyond repair are nonsense — here's whys can spread false information.

    Reports that Windows 11 is so broken beyond repair are nonsense — here's why : Read more
    Nonsense? I hope that your note is not addressing my note. I won't move one step back from my statement regarding the trashing of my PC by the latest version of Windows 11 Pro. I have tried 5 total fresh installations on a newly formatted SSD with no backups used and have gotten the same result, total chaos. I have even hired professional IT people to try. It's impossible to run this system on my PC without the flickering monitor, non-functioning VPN and more. Will others have this problem? Who knows, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are others running the same platform who are having exactly the issues with Windows 11 Pro, and are being dismissed as having defective PCs, or they are brain-dead and incompetent.

    All I can say is that when the SSD is reformatted and exactly the same software is installed running Windows 10 Pro, there are zero problems, period.

    Maybe, just maybe, someone should look beyond what Microsoft does or doesn't say, or one opinion editor says or doesn't say, and turn to the users who have real, provable issues, and look for fixes.