Microsoft admits Windows 11 update bug accidentally flashes on safe mode screen

Windows 11 safe mode issues

Safe mode is apparently the most preferred tool for fixing potential hardware and driver issues, but a Windows 11 cumulative update accidentally rendered the feature unusable and Microsoft finally acknowledged the reports doing the rounds in the media social media as well as the Feedback Hub.

For those who don't know, Windows Safe Mode disables a number of drivers and files, and it's basically a cracked version of Windows to help you troubleshoot the operating system easily. Safe Mode still comes with a working File Explorer, Start menu, and Taskbar.

However, Windows 11 KB5012643 (an optional update with notable improvements and fixes) broke Safe Mode and introduced a bug that causes the screen to flicker when you boot into Safe Mode, thus making it unstable. According to reports, Windows 11 Safe Mode flickered when users opened File Explorer, Start Menu, Taskbar, and other screens.

The issue was spotted immediately after the cumulative update was released and users reported it in the Feedback Hub. Twitter users have also noted the issue, and Microsoft is rolling out an emergency update to fix the faulty safe mode.

If you're concerned, you'll also see a log in the Windows Event Log. The error "The shell terminated unexpectedly and explorer.exe was restarted" will appear in the "Winlogon" section.

In a support document, Microsoft states that Safe Mode does not work when started using the "Safe Mode Without Networking" option. Although the company released an emergency server-side update, if safe mode still doesn't work, you should try running it with networking enabled.

In theory, it can take up to 24 hours to clear the error code and automatically push the fix to consumer devices. If Windows Update is managed using the enterprise-ready Group Policy Editor, you can configure the following special policies:

  • Open Group Policy Editor > Local Computer Policy or Domain Policy.
  • Go to Administrative Templates and locate KIR Group Policy, then select the Windows version you want to use.
  • Set it to "Disabled".
  • Restart the affected device.

    Microsoft screenshot tool crashes on Windows 10

    In addition to Windows 11, Microsoft has also confirmed an issue in Windows 10.

    Earlier this month, Microsoft quietly updated its support docs to acknowledge a critical bug preventing the "Snip & Sketch" screen capture tool from launching on Windows 10.

    Microsoft says it has received reports that the Snip & Sketch app may fail to capture a screenshot. In fact, it won't even open when using the keyboard shortcut (Windows key + Shift + S).

    Microsoft is investigating the reports and more details will be provided in the future, but the company is not aware of any workarounds at this time.

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