Microsoft has just broken Windows 11! Here is how to FIX it; code inside

Microsoft Windows 11 just served you something bad, but you can do this to get big relief from your Start Menu and Taskbar crashing.
| Updated on Sep 04 2021, 10:43 AM IST
Microsoft has been pushing ads on its OS since Windows 10, and Windows 11 is no different.
Microsoft has been pushing ads on its OS since Windows 10, and Windows 11 is no different. (Microsoft )

Microsoft has been pushing ads on its operating system ever since Windows 10 was introduced, and that’s clearly not going to change with Windows 11. The spate of ads Microsoft started pushing began with the Get Windows 10 app that would incessantly pop up for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users and often present misleading options that would trick them into upgrading. But to be fair, that was a long time ago and the ads Microsoft is pushing now are not as nefarious, as XDA Developers points out.

They aren’t at least unless they break things. According to reports, after the new Windows 11 builds for the Dev and Beta channels were released on September 2, Insiders started reporting that their Start Menu and taskbar were crashing. As Daniel Aleksandersen found out, this was happening because Windows 11 was delivering ads. However, Microsoft did publish a fix for this. If your PC is unusable post the latest Windows 11 build updates, here’s what you need to do:

1. Use CTRL-ALT-DEL and choose to open Task Manager.

2. Choose “More details” at the bottom of Task Manager and expand Task Manager.

3. Go to “File” and choose “Run new task”.

4. Type “cmd” in the “Open” field.

5. Paste the following, make sure it is in bold:

reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0

6. Hit enter, and then your PC should reboot. Once it reboots, everything should be back to normal.

So, essentially, to bring your PC back from this “crippling issue” that was caused by Microsoft pushing ads, you need to make a change to the registry.

Now, the ad that Microsoft is pushing is for Microsoft Teams and how it is integrated into Windows 11. As it is with most ads that are pushed on Windows, this one too is going to pop up as a notification even if you have your notifications turned off.

We know what’s causing it and we know how to fix it, but the bigger question here, as Aleksandersen points out is how the Windows 11 shell is so fragile that ads can crash it. Windows in 2021 has a bunch of components that grab content from the cloud at any given point in time, including the Bing lock screen wallpaper and the Windows Update to advertisements that come from Microsoft. And if one of them is not functioning properly, it clearly can break the system.

While you might be tempted to write this off since it’s a part of the instability you sign up for as a part and package of the Windows Insider Program, it’s a matter of concern since the issue is happening in the Beta channel as well as on the Dev channel. As XDA Developers notes, “Windows 11 build 22000.176 is a post-RTM build, meaning that if you go and buy a new laptop after October 5 when Windows 11 comes out, you should get an earlier build of the OS”. So, what’s being offered in the Beta channel “can hardly be considered a preview anymore”.

There are two issues here. One is that a cloud service can break Windows 11 and the second is that Microsoft is injecting ads into the OS, which is annoying. What is certain is that Microsoft is not going to scale back on ads on Windows any time soon, it’s just going to fix issues these ads cause.

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First Published Date: 04 Sep, 10:41 AM IST
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