windows explorer.exe / taskbar / start button freeze when i try to open any windows app (settings, security, photos, etc.)

se_marc

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Windows 11
Hey everyone. I recently upgraded to Windows 11 from Windows 10 and have been having an issue where when I try to open up the settings app, or photos app, or movies app, or anything like that, the window will pop up but nothing is displayed and my taskbar will freeze.

in order to get the taskbar working again, i need to open a CMD & then the taskmgr to end the explorer.exe process and then start a new explorer.exe process.

After my initial upgrade, i found a post indicating that this can be fixed by running the following in a CMD.

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

on the first public build, that worked great. i could restart my computer and open any of the apps that were giving me issues, however since installing the first public update, i'm running into the freezing up issue again and deleting the registry key does not fix the issue anymore.

If i run the cmd above, i can briefly access these apps when the PC starts up but after about 1 min, if i try to open those apps, the freezing comes back.

Has anyone run into this issue? Any suggestions on how to fix it permanently?
 
Windows Build/Version
21H2 22000.258

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

Bug locker

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Hi. Update to latest version to see if it fix something.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 17g-100nv
    CPU
    Intel 6200U
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 940M
    Screen Resolution
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se_marc

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
9:01 AM
Posts
8
OS
Windows 11

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

Bug locker

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updated to 22000.282 and the issue persists
Because we are talking about Windows components run the DISM and sfc commands lest they find problems. If they find it, restart and see if anything has changed. If not run the commands again:
1) DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
2) sfc /scannow
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 17g-100nv
    CPU
    Intel 6200U
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 940M
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    WD 3D NAND 500GB
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbs
    Browser
    Vivaldi , Edge
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

se_marc

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
9:01 AM
Posts
8
OS
Windows 11
Because we are talking about Windows components run the DISM and sfc commands lest they find problems. If they find it, restart and see if anything has changed. If not run the commands again:
1) DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
2) sfc /scannow

Below are the results of DISM and sfc /scannow.

The issue still persists after running DISM and sfc commands and then rebooting.

I also notice the following behavior.

when I try to open one of the apps that causes the freeze and leave the window open while restarting explorer.exe, everything is still broken after explorer restarts. the only way i can get explorer to work again is by closing out of the initial app that caused the freeze AND THEN restarting explorer.exe



Code:
C:\WINDOWS\system32> DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.22000.1

Image Version: 10.0.22000.282

[==========================100.0%==========================] The restore operation completed successfully.
The operation completed successfully.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>

Code:
C:\WINDOWS\system32> sfc /scannow

Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

Bug locker

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If someone does not suggest you an easier solution, I would suggest you try a repair install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 17g-100nv
    CPU
    Intel 6200U
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 940M
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    WD 3D NAND 500GB
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbs
    Browser
    Vivaldi , Edge
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

se_marc

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
9:01 AM
Posts
8
OS
Windows 11

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

PurSpyk!!

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Location
Cape Town
OS
Windows 10, hopefully 11 soon
Same issue, but this only happens if I play a game, any game full screen and the start menu will stop working. The restarting explorer.exe in task manager fixes it until the next game i play. One would have thought by now Microsoft would have got a working start menu. Windows 10 never had these issues.

The following is shown in Event Viewer:

The program StartMenuExperienceHost.exe version 0.0.0.0 stopped interacting with Windows and was closed. To see if more information about the problem is available, check the problem history in the Security and Maintenance control panel.
Process ID: eb4
Start Time: 01d7c6bf2f2c22bb
Termination Time: 4294967295
Application Path: C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\StartMenuExperienceHost.exe
Report Id: 53ce6f31-b803-4363-8347-66eee19177d0
Faulting package full name: Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_10.0.22000.37_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy
Faulting package-relative application ID: App
Hang type: Navigation
 
Last edited:

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 10, hopefully 11 soon

se_marc

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Thread Starter
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9:01 AM
Posts
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OS
Windows 11
@Bug locker after doing a repair, the issue is still persisting.

@PurSpyk!! when yours freezes, are you able to access any of windows internal apps (settings, photos, movies & tv, etc.)?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

PurSpyk!!

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Location
Cape Town
OS
Windows 10, hopefully 11 soon
I can open Settings using the Windows shortcut keys to open, the other apps I can't as they have no shortcuts assigned.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10, hopefully 11 soon

se_marc

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Thread Starter
Local time
9:01 AM
Posts
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OS
Windows 11
I can open Settings using the Windows shortcut keys to open, the other apps I can't as they have no shortcuts assigned.
ah got ya, seems like a bit of different issue
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

Bug locker

Member
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4:01 PM
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Location
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Windows 11 Pro
@Bug locker after doing a repair, the issue is still persisting.

@PurSpyk!! when yours freezes, are you able to access any of windows internal apps (settings, photos, movies & tv, etc.)?
Before the problem occurred did you change something eg add/remove program-drivers or settings ? Did you keep an image backup before the problem or restore point occurred ?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 17g-100nv
    CPU
    Intel 6200U
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 940M
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    WD 3D NAND 500GB
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbs
    Browser
    Vivaldi , Edge
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

se_marc

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
9:01 AM
Posts
8
OS
Windows 11
Before the problem occurred did you change something eg add/remove program-drivers or settings ? Did you keep an image backup before the problem or restore point occurred ?
it started happening right after upgrading from 10 to 11. the only thing that fixed it on the first build was running the reg del command i mentioned. after running new updates it went back to not working. no programs were added/removed after updating from 10 o 11.

would it be wise to try and revert back to win 10?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD

Bug locker

Member
Local time
4:01 PM
Posts
64
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro
it started happening right after upgrading from 10 to 11. the only thing that fixed it on the first build was running the reg del command i mentioned. after running new updates it went back to not working. no programs were added/removed after updating from 10 o 11.

would it be wise to try and revert back to win 10?
Try to boot at "Safe mode" , and see if the problem persists.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 17g-100nv
    CPU
    Intel 6200U
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 940M
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    WD 3D NAND 500GB
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbs
    Browser
    Vivaldi , Edge
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

se_marc

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
9:01 AM
Posts
8
OS
Windows 11
Try to boot at "Safe mode" , and see if the problem persists.

So interesting development. I did not have any monitors hooked up to the computer and was only accessing the desktop via RDP. When I hooked up a monitor and booted into safe mode, there was no issue. I booted into normal Windows with the monitor still attached and no issues!

I removed the monitor and i am able to RDP without any issues however I have not rebooted the PC without a monitor attached.

This smells like some type of Display related issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI / MS-7977
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-6700K @4.00GHz, 4008Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logic
    Motherboard
    Z170A Gaming M5 (MS-7977)
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SSD
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