Common Windows 11 Problems And How To Fix Them – An Expert Guide

Last Updated on 22 January, 2023 by Sourav Roy

So, you’ve just installed Windows 11 and are eager to use it on your desktop or laptop. But as soon as you start, bugs start popping up all over. I understand how you feel. Things were bound to be that way since the OS just got released. I’ve got you covered, though. In this article, I’ll tell you how to fix common Windows 11 problems. Most of these fixes don’t take a lot of effort, either. I won’t hold you back any longer now. Let’s get started.

Common Windows 11 Problems

Internet Speed Goes Down After Upgrade

As of now, there have been several reports about people having their internet speed slowed down after moving to Windows 11. This reduced speed is caused by conflicts between the OS and Intel’s older networking software- specifically their “Killer” and “SmartByte” software. Microsoft is already working on some fixes. Until they completely fix the issue, there are a few things you could try.

For a start, I’d suggest updating your network driver. If you haven’t already, run Driver Booster to do so. It’ll update your adapter and all your other important drivers as well. With newer versions of all the drivers, you’ll experience fewer problems.

You can also try running Windows’ troubleshooter. If nothing works, you can try getting a USB dongle instead.


Windows 11 Start Menu Doesn’t Appear

Some people I know have said that their Windows 11 still had the start menu of its predecessor. This problem is somewhat rare but can still happen. Worry not, though. I know the fix, so you can enjoy the brand new start menu to its full glory.

You only need to uninstall and reinstall a specific Windows update. Here’s how to do so;

Windows 11 Start Menu Doesn't Appear

  • Go to your Control Panel.
  • Select Programs.
  • Open Programs and Features.
  • Once there, look for an option named Installed Updates. You can find and uninstall the update there- look for one named KB5004300.

After you’ve found and uninstalled it, reboot your device, and you should have the new Start Menu enabled. I’d advise reinstalling the update again through Windows Update. The issue won’t pop up again. After the update is complete, Windows 11 will work perfectly for you.


Start Menu Doesn’t Register Input

If your Start Menu doesn’t pop up when pressing its button, then that’s likely due to a bug in Windows. This will be an especially irritating problem for anyone whose workflow includes using Windows’ integrated Search feature. The solution to this issue is easy.

Just open up the Run window using Windows + R. You don’t actually have to use it. Closing it after it opens will fix the Start Menu, and you can type on it again. I know it sounds weird, but it works. Microsoft is planning to patch this particular issue soon since the Start Menu is one of the highlights of Windows 11. Until then, you might have to keep using this fix over and over if the problem keeps repeating itself.


File Explorer Doesn’t Look Like Windows 11’s

File Explorer Doesn't Look Like Windows 11's

There have been user reports of the new File Explorer interface not working and being replaced by the older Windows 10 one instead. This is simply a skin, and some users have it set to default due to a bug. The fix is pretty easy. Just follow what I say.

  • Open up File Explorer.
  • Press “View” on the Explorer taskbar.
  • Click on “Options” and click on another “View” button.
  • A list should pop up. Once it does, try to find the “Launch folder windows in a separate process” option. Uncheck it, and then press Apply.

File Explorer should then restart, and you should be able to see the new Windows 11 layout afterwards.

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Widgets Not Working Correctly

Widgets Not Working Correctly

The Widgets window (brought up by pressing Windows + W) is supposed to give the user quick information on news, weather and calendar events by default. It’s not meant to appear empty, and if yours does, you can fix it in two steps. There should be a Sign Out option on the top right corner. Just sign out from the app and sign back in again. The window should have the actual widgets in it again.


File Explorer Memory Bug

File Explorer Memory Bug

Some users have noted that their File Explorer remains open even after they close it. After staying open for a bit, it starts causing memory issues that impact performance. There hasn’t been any announcement about a fix for this yet, but there’s still something you can do.

  • Open up Task Manager.
  • Look at the process list and find Windows Explorer.
  • Click on it to make a “Restart” button appear at the bottom of the window. Go on and press it.

That should fix the problem. You can also reboot your PC, but the Task Manager method is enough to fix the issue.

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Start Menu Not Working

Unlike the earlier start menu issue I described, this one makes the menu completely unresponsive. Fixing it is a somewhat lengthy process, but you won’t have to deal with it afterwards. Before trying the main fix, you can simply try restarting your PC if it works normally and you’re having problems for the first time.

You won’t be able to restart using the Start Menu, so you’ll have to use keyboard shortcuts instead. Press Windows + D to go to your desktop and then press Alt + F4. You can restart from the window that comes up.

Now, if that doesn’t work, you can try the other fix. You need to run DISM and SFC, which are some of Windows’ most powerful troubleshooting tools. I’ll tell you how to do that. We’ll start with DISM first.

  • Bring up the Run window using Windows + R.
  • Type CMD and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (So that the Command Prompt opens with Admin privileges).
  • Copy-paste DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth into the CMD window and press Enter.

That will run the DISM tool. The whole process might take a while to complete as Windows replaces any corrupt system files it finds. Once the process is complete, you simply need to copy-paste sfc /scannow in the same window. The SFC tool will check the changed files to ensure that they’re correct. Your Start Menu should run smoothly again after all of that is done.

If you’re still facing issues despite taking these steps, there’s one last thing you can try. I’ve read posts of some users who have managed to fix the issue by creating a new user account. You can try that as well.


Slow General Performance

If everything in your Windows runs slowly from the start, then I’d reckon that your previous Windows 10 files are interfering with the system. If your system drive has run out of space, then that can cause issues too.

An easy way to take care of both these issues at once is to reset your PC. Doing so will leave your personal files, but everything else will be like a fresh installation of Windows 11. Although, there is a catch. You’ll have to reinstall all the Windows apps again.

Here’s the exact way to reset Windows using this method;

  • Go to Windows Update in your Control Panel.
  • Open up Advanced Options.
  • Look for the Recovery Menu.
  • Press the “Reset Your PC” button.

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Windows Can’t Detect Printers

If your Windows can’t detect and install drivers when you connect your printer, then you’ll have to install them manually. The issue happens due to a bug. There are two ways to fix it;

The first is what I always recommend for driver issues. Plug in your printer and try to use Driver Booster. It should provide you with the latest drivers for your printer model.

However, if that doesn’t work, you can try the second method, which is installing drivers from the printer manufacturer’s website. Just search up your manufacturer on Google and look for a download tab on their website. Although, if you’ve got a really old printer from a brand that doesn’t make products anymore, then you’ll likely just have to buy a new printer instead.


Windows Search Doesn’t Work Correctly

There are cases where users can’t find their file when using the new Windows Search, even if it is present on the PC. Now, there are two ways to go about fixing this.

The first applies if you’ve just installed Windows 11. In that case, it would be best if you didn’t do anything. Windows takes a significant amount of time to build its search index, especially if many user files are stored on a hard drive. You can keep using your PC normally while Windows does the task on its own in the background.

However, if you’ve run Windows 11 for more than two days and it’s still not finding the files you’re looking for, you can rebuild its search index. Doing so will make it scan all the contents of your disks again. Here’s how to initiate the rebuilding process;

Windows Search Doesn't Work Correctly

  • Go to Windows Search and type “Index”.
  • Look for “Indexing Options” and click it.
  • Press “Advanced” in the next Window.
  • Look for a Rebuild button afterwards. Once you find it and press it, Windows will begin the process.

When the rebuilding process starts, you can see its progress on a separate Window. At this point, you can do other things and let the rebuilding work in the background.


Low Gaming Performance

If you’ve upgraded your AMD system to the new OS and are experiencing performance issues, especially while gaming, then you might have a problem that’s exclusive to your processor. This issue has been talked about quite a lot. Unlike Intel users, AMD users have noticed a large drop in gaming performance. The problem is primarily caused by bad CPU thread scheduling, which leads to the CPU not using its fastest core. Another reason for the drop is an L3 cache latency bug.

AMD, working with Microsoft, has already bought out fixes for both of these issues and is working on further improvement. You can find information on the fixes here, along with the names and links to necessary drivers and Windows Updates.

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Final words

That’s all I can tell you about how to fix common Windows 11 problems for now. I’ve tested all these fixes and have used them to make my Windows 11 more stable.

Note that these aren’t all the problems- some don’t have any viable fixes that can be done from the user side. If you don’t see your problem listed here, the best you can do is just sit and wait for Microsoft to start rolling out more updates. I’ll update the post if I find out about more patches and fixes. You can still fix a lot of your problems from what I’ve shared here, though.

Have fun trying out the awesome new features of the new Windows. I’ll see you in the next article.

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