Windows 11 System Restore is breaking apps — what you need to know

Windows 11 logo on a laptop screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Head's up: Windows 11 users could potentially run into a nasty bug when performing a System Restore.

In a support post (opens in new tab), Microsoft says that after running a System Restore to a previous restore point on a device running Windows 11 version 22H2, some Windows 11 apps which use the MSIX Windows app package could experience problems like freezing, failing to launch or crashing entirely. Affected apps include, but are not limited to, Terminal, Microsoft Office, Notepad, Cortana and Paint. Other apps using the MSIX format may not be affected.

It’s unclear if Microsoft is preparing a patch to fix this issue. However, the company recommends some possible workarounds, including restarting the affected application, reinstalling the app from the source it was originally installed or simply restarting the application.

A Windows 11 laptop, demonstrating how to run Android apps on Windows 11

There is no word yet on when Microsoft could issue a possible fix for the System Restore bug. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft also suggests running Windows Update. As sibling site TechRadar (opens in new tab) notes, we’re not told why this might work, but perhaps an update could somehow fix the problem. We figure it can’t hurt to see if there’s an update for an affected application and hope for the best.

The irony here is that System Restore is meant to fix malfunctioning PCs by rolling back to a point in time when it was functioning properly, and users are encouraged to rely on it as a sort of system-wide Undo button. As such, having key Microsoft apps malfunction on you after a System Restore could be a bigger and more frustrating problem than the one you were trying to originally address. For now, it seems the best course of action is to avoid performing a System Restore altogether.

The latest version of Windows has improved significantly since it was originally launched in October of 2021. But though Microsoft’s operating system has generally been stable for most users, Windows 11 problems like the one outlined above have cropped up on a regular basis. Microsoft is usually quick to issue fixes so hopefully, it won’t be long until it addresses this problem. 

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.