Windows 11 22H2 Taskbar (top)

Windows 11 may not boot due to bug with third-party customization apps

Microsoft warns that customization apps to change the behavior of the Start menu or Taskbar can prevent Windows 11 from starting.

  • Windows 11 may not start correctly because of third-party customization apps.
  • This problem occurs with the update KB5022913 or higher releases.
  • The company notes apps like ExplorerPatcher and StartAllBack are affected.
  • The workaround is to remove the app before installing the KB5022913 update.

Microsoft reveals that installing third-party customization apps can cause compatibility problems on Windows 11 after installing the update KB5022913 or higher releases. In a new announcement on the official health dashboard page, the company notes that using applications to modify the system interface behavior may prevent Windows 11 from starting correctly due to compatibility errors with the “explorer.exe” process that might repeat multiple times in a loop.

This issue affects third-party customization tools, such as ExplorerPatcher and StartAllBack, that were designed to change the behavior of visual elements like the Start menu, Taskbar, and others.

The company notes that these types of apps “often use unsupported methods to achieve their customization and, as a result, can have unintended results.”

If you plan to update to the KB5022913 update, it’s recommended to uninstall any third-party application that you use to modify the interface of Windows 11 to avoid problems before proceeding with the installation.

In the case that you are already dealing with a compatibility issue, you should contact the developer of the app to fix the problem. According to Microsoft, if you have the StartAllBack app, you can “prevent this issue by updating to the latest version (v3.5.6 or later).

It’s important to note that the company isn’t saying you shouldn’t use these third-party applications. Instead, the company is investigating to resolve the problem. However, usually, it’s never recommended to use tools to change the behavior of Windows 11 because they are not supported and can cause unexpected issues at any moment.

Update March 2, 2023: The developer of ExplorerPatcher has released an updated version of the tool that fixes the problem and works with the new update of Windows 11.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].