This Windows 11 bug is breaking critical apps for some users — what to do

Windows 11 on a laptop
(Image credit: Getty Images / Beata Zawrzel)

Windows 11 users are currently facing a new bug on the latest 22H2 update that is bringing a number of apps to a screeching halt.

First discovered by Bleeping Computer, the bug in question impacts apps using the MSIX Windows app package, including Microsoft's own apps. Affected users are encountering a variety of errors, such as a message that "This app can't open" or apps becoming unresponsive and crashing when launched. While Microsoft has acknowledged the issue, it hasn't given a timeline or suggested that an update to address the problem is coming (via TechRadar).

However, there are some tips on what to do if you run into this problem.

What to do if you encounter this Windows 22H2 bug

Microsoft doesn't have a fix for this problem yet, but for now, here's what you can do if your Microsoft apps are crashing.

The first is to try starting the app again, it seems to be a flaw in the app launch as there is no report of apps crashing after they are up and running.

If that doesn't work, you can try re-installing the app either from the Windows Store or wherever you originally downloaded the app.

Finally, you can try running Windows Update.

Microsoft Office

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Which apps are affected?

Microsoft highlights its own apps that are affected, which include most notably Microsoft Office along with Notepad, Terminal, Paint, and Cortana. However, the bug in question can affect any Windows app that uses the MSIX Windows app package format. 

This universal package format was released by Microsoft in 2018 and has seen considerable uptake as it allows for native auto-updates to apps, particularly compelling for enterprise developers. So if you are encountering any of the issues listed above on a non-Microsoft app you are likely dealing with an MSIX app suffering from the same bug.

We'll update this article when Microsoft provides any further guidance on a fix.

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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.