Windows 11 users on the latest 22H2 version of the operating system should beware of a bug that breaks some important applications after performing a system restore.
Beeping computer (opens in a new tab) drew attention to this development, which is discussed in v Microsoft Support Post (opens in a new tab) about an issue where affected users are experiencing “This application cannot be opened” error message in some core Windows applications.
The error occurs after restoring the computer to a previous system restore point and hits some applications that use the Windows MSIX package format.
This includes Notepad, Paint, Microsoft Office, Cortana, Terminal, and possibly other Windows apps, Microsoft notes. However, note that some applications that use the MSIX format are fine.
In addition to the aforementioned error message, users may also encounter other glitches, including an I/O error followed by the application freezes and then crashes. Also, the affected program may simply not run when double-clicked to run it, and the application may show multiple entries in the Start menu.
Analysis: Will Microsoft investigate a curious case of mysterious bugs?
Microsoft gives no indication that it is working on a fix or is investigating the issue further. We assume this is the case, but there is no mention of it (and usually with bugs like this, it would). Instead, Microsoft offers a number of possible workarounds for those experiencing issues.
The first one is basically that old “turn off then on again” favourite; just restart the app and it may work fine, second time lucky. Alternatively, reinstalling the app may resolve the errors (which is basically an extended form of “disable, enable” of course).
Or the final solution is to run Windows Update, although we are not told why this might help. Presumably if there is an update for a particular app or a cumulative update for Windows in progress, it may loosen something in the system which helps (if the wind is blowing in the right direction and so on).
We hope that Microsoft is actively investigating this bug as it seems quite irritating to some of the users who may be affected. System Restore is a rare action that needs to be taken, but in cases where it is necessary, it cannot be avoided – and there will certainly be quite a bit of restore on a relatively large user base such as Windows 11 22H2. And since Office is potentially affected, it can be quite frustrating for people trying to get the job done.