Microsoft’s Default Apps Lead to Windows 11 Unresponsiveness

Microsoft Default Apps Featured

New software is always fun – until issues are found. This is what happened with Windows 11, the new OS that isn’t available yet other than through the Windows Insider program. A recent build of Windows 11 became unresponsive for users, and it was discovered that ads for Microsoft’s default apps were the problem.

Microsoft’s Default Apps Blamed for Windows 11 Unresponsiveness

Last week Microsoft released its latest Windows 11 build with an eye toward the full public release on October 5. Testers then started reporting issues with the taskbar, desktop, settings, etc., not loading.

Microsoft Default Apps Desktop

Developer Daniel Alexsandersen published a blog post detailing the problem and pointed the blame at Microsoft’s ads for its default apps.

He noted that machines loaded with the recent Windows 11 build were rendered unable to communicate with Microsoft’s servers. That showed him that the unresponsiveness was caused by the built-in Windows cloud services.

Aleksandersen narrowed the issue down to a file called IrisService that was downloaded by a Windows component.

Microsoft Default Apps Teams

“Based on the Microsoft-provided workaround, I narrowed the problem down to a registry key that contained a serialized JSON blob. The blob contained an advertisement for Microsoft Teams. The messaging and imagery in the promotion were identical to the panel you get when you press Windows + C on a Windows account not already set up with Teams,” he wrote.

The developer surprisingly believes that Microsoft needs to scrap Windows 11 and start all over. He doesn’t believe it should be tied to the cloud to avoid further problems.

Microsoft Issues Fix for Windows 11 Build

As Aleksandersen alluded to, Microsoft responded to the issues with the default apps rendering Windows 11 features unresponsive by issuing a solution. It suggests Insiders take the following steps to get their PCs working once again.

1. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL and open Task Manager.
2. Expand Task manager by choosing “More details” at the bottom.
3. Go to “File” and choose “Run new task.”
4. Copy and paste “reg delete HKCUSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionIrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0” and hit Enter.
5. Your machine should reboot and be back to the previous state before the new Windows 11 build.

It’s great that you can fix the unresponsiveness and make Windows 11 work again on your PC. However, the reason it happened still exists. Ads for Microsoft’s default apps still exist in the system, and the OS is still linked to the cloud.

Read on to learn how to change the Windows 11 default apps and browser, and if you want to get started with Windows 11 before October 5, learn how to download and install Windows 11 on your PC.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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