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Gonna run System Restore in Windows 11? Microsoft says some of its apps won't

Want to access Office tools? Don’t try to go back in time

Users running the latest versions of Windows 11 are losing some Microsoft apps after running System Restore.

The bug affects Windows applications that use the MSIX app package format running on Windows 11 version 22H2, according to a Redmond advisory. The MSIX packaging format was introduced in 2018 in Windows 10 as a way to make it easier to update systems like MSI and ClickOnce, but not in this case.

Users are seeing problems trying to run Office apps post-restoration, as well as Notepad, Paint, Cortana, and Terminal, a terminal emulator for those who use command-line tools and such shells as Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Windows applications that use the MSIX Windows app package format may experience this issue

"This list of apps is not a complete list," Microsoft said. "Any Windows applications that use the MSIX Windows app package format may experience this issue."

Problems after a system restore include the "this app can't open" message, seeing multiple entries of an app in the Start menu or getting no response at all when trying to start an app.

In addition, there might be an I/O error, after which the app doesn't respond and then crashes. The software maker also noted that other problems might occur.

The affected operating systems are all Windows 11 versions 22H2: Windows 11 SE, Windows 11 Home and Pro, Windows 11 Enterprise Multi-Session, Windows 11 Enterprise and Education, and Windows 11 IoT Enterprise.

Microsoft is proposing a number of possible workarounds, including trying to restart the app and reinstalling software from the Windows Store.

The IT giant – which just laid off thousands of workers – did not say whether it was working on a formal fix for the problem.

The issue with the Windows apps comes less than a week after updates to Microsoft's Defender for Endpoint security tool dumped icons and application shortcuts from the desktop, Taskbar, and Start Menu from Windows 10 and 11 systems.

The removal of the icons and shortcuts was caused by false positive detections in the Attack Surface Resolution (ASR) rules that followed the updates. It impacted users who had the "Block Win32 API calls macro" rule turned on. ASR rules are designed to harden commonly abused attack surfaces.

Microsoft a day later responded by releasing Advanced Hunting Queries and a PowerShell script to enable users to recreate and recover shortcuts for some of the affected applications. ®

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