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Microsoft Recommends People Uninstall Optional Windows 11 Update

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In what can only be described in technical terms as a “whoopsie,” Microsoft is advising Windows 11 users to uninstall a recent update. Reports indicated the update, which is optional, is causing various apps to crash. The problem involves an interaction between the update and the .Net Framework that’s part of Windows. At this time it’s unclear which apps are affected by the issue, leaving uninstallation as the only viable solution.

The update in question is KB5012643, which was released on April 25th. It’s a cumulative update to the operating system with a lot of small changes. Notably, the update’s notes has a section labeled “Known issues with this update.” In that section it says it may cause some .Net Framework 3.5 apps to stop working. Microsoft says, “Affected apps are using certain optional components in .NET Framework 3.5, such as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow (WWF) components.” The .Net Framework is ubiquitous in Windows, and used by various app developers as a base of code it can use. Some of those apps will now either crash or fail to open with this update installed. As Windows Latest notes, this update is only available for users with Windows 11 21H2.

The uninstall update window in Windows 11 calls up a vestige of former versions of the OS.

To uninstall this update, follow these steps:

  1. From the start menu find Windows Update Settings.
  2. From that window click View Update History.
  3. Click Uninstall Update.
  4. Find KB5012643 and click uninstall.

If that fails, you can also try to Enable the .NET Framework 3.5 in Control Panel. If you’re an IT admin or advanced user, you can also enable it via an elevated command prompt. Here’s the commands:

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:netfx3 /all
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:WCF-HTTP-Activation
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:WCF-NonHTTP-Activation

In addition to the above mess, this update also broke Safe Mode. Microsoft says when users booted into Safe Mode without networking users might see the screen flicker. Per Microsoft, “Components that rely on explorer.exe, such as File Explorer, the Start menu, and the taskbar, can be affected and appear unstable.” Microsoft issued a Known Issue Rollback (KiR) for this already so it should be fixed. If you encounter it, you should be able to resolve it by enabling network support in Safe Mode.

This is just another journal entry in the Windows 11 update experience, which has been en emotional roller coaster thus far. Though the company has pushed out a lot of positive changes, like enabling one-click browser default settings, most users begin to sweat a bit when they see a “Windows is updating” notification. It’s sadly reminiscent of smattering of Windows 10 updates that came out as recent as last year. Back then, Windows 10 famously joined forces with printer drivers to cause BSODs. It also wrecked gaming performance with an update in April of last year as well. Be careful when downloading optional updates, including both cumulative updates and driver updates. Security updates, on the other hand, should still be installed.

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