Explore the “Known Problems” section in the latest release notes for Windows 11 22H2, and you’ll notice that the most prominent issue is related to third-party UI customization applications potentially causing the Start menu to become non-functional.
These apps might be recognizable to those who’ve turned to external tools to restore certain Windows 10 functionalities that were missing in the smoother, cleaner, yet less practical Windows 11 Start menu and taskbar.
Interestingly, Microsoft seems unenthusiastic about resolving this problem. Their official suggestion for the 22621.30000 builds is a straightforward “uninstall them.”
The documentation states, “We advise removing any third-party UI customization app before installing ‘KB5028254’ to avoid encountering this problem.”
Furthermore, it provides instructions to contact the app developer’s customer support if the Start menu has already disappeared. According to XDA, several users of the well-regarded and widely used ExplorerPatcher program are currently facing this issue. The program, which is free and open-source, reintroduces features from the Windows 10 taskbar and alt-tab interface.
It’s important to acknowledge that Microsoft isn’t necessarily obligated to support users of applications that intentionally modify its designed user interface.
However, in most cases, the company at least attempts to accommodate Windows users when their updates cause difficulties with popular software.
Surprisingly, in this instance, the company appears disinterested and recommends that people simply stop using these tools or contact the developers for assistance.
Without a doubt, the developers of such tools will likely try to resolve the issues on their end, as they have done in the past.
It’s worth considering that perhaps many Windows 11 users wouldn’t seek out these types of interface customization apps if Microsoft had retained more of the basic functionality from the Windows 10 Start menu and taskbar, rather than opting for a more streamlined appearance.
Basic options like always showing text labels or placing the taskbar at the top of the display are still absent in the standard Windows 11 experience, even nearly two years after the operating system’s official release.
As of now, ‘KB5028254’ is only available in preview for Windows Insiders and other early users, but it’s set to be part of the general release in the coming weeks.
If Microsoft’s attitude towards these issues in the support documentation is an indication of their new laissez-faire approach to interface tweaks, it’s reasonable to expect similar problems to arise in the future.