How to fix common issues with Windows 11?

If you’re experiencing Windows 11 problems after installing the new operating system, this page should help you get your PC running again. Windows 11 is now available to download (we show you how to download and install Windows 11 if you’ve not yet done it), and like with any major operating system release, some issues are emerging.

If you find your PC is encountering problems with Windows 11, try the solutions on this page. As Windows 11 has only just launched, we’ll be monitoring the rollout, and if any big issues emerge, we’ll try to find the solution and update this guide.

how to fix common problems in windows 11

However, if you’re suffering from a Windows 11 problem that we haven’t covered, follow us on Twitter and let us know and we’ll do what we can to find a solution. We’ll also continue to update this article with all the latest problems and fixes when we hear about them.

How to fix general problems with Windows 11?

How to fix Windows 11 installation problems

If you’re encountering problems installing Windows 11 via Windows 10’s update tool, don’t panic. Windows 10 has a built-in troubleshooter that can help identify any problems. This can also reset the Windows Update app, which can help kickstart the installation.

To do this, click the Start menu, then click the cog icon on the left, which will open up the Settings window. Click ‘Update & Security then ‘Troubleshoot’. Click on ‘Windows Update’ then ‘Run the troubleshooter’ and follow the instructions, and click ‘Apply this fix if the troubleshooter finds a solution.

Check the Windows 11 system requirements

To install Windows 11, or to ensure that it runs correctly, you’ll need to make sure that your PC matches the following Windows 11 minimum system requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or SoC
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • System Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module 2.0
  • Graphics Card: DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: 720p, 8-bit per color channel, at least 9-inch diagonal
  • Internet Connection and Microsoft Account: Windows 11 Home requires an active internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete the initial, first-use setup of the operating system, or when switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S-mode.

These are the minimum specs required for running Windows 11, but for the best Windows 11 experience, we recommend you install it on a more powerful device. The 4GB RAM requirement is especially low – we wouldn’t recommend trying to run Windows 11 on anything with less than 8GB of RAM.

Windows 11 compatibility check

In case your system meets the above-mentioned criteria, you need to run a health check to keep your system ready to install Windows 11.

To run the health check you need to first download and install Microsoft’s PC Health Check app
Once installed, run the program
Click on the blue-colored “Check Now” button on the Windows 11 banner
If your system is compatible, you’ll get a pop-up stating “This PC will run Windows 11″
Windows 11 won’t run due to TPM
In case Microsoft’s Windows 11 upgrade checker tells you that your PC isn’t supported but it meets all the other requirements then you need to check your BIOS to enable TPM.

Almost every modern CPU comes with TPM support. In case you have an Intel CPU then you need to switch to TPM and for AMD you need to check PSP TPM in the BIOS. Once done, you can run Microsoft’s health checker app to confirm the status. This should allow Windows 11 to install.

You can check the status of TPM support in your PC by doing the following:

Press Windows key + R
When the box appears, type “TPM”. MSC to open the Trusted Platform Module Management window
Look for a sub-window titled TPM Manufacturer Information and check under Specification Version to see what TPM version your device has

Free up disk space

As with previous operating systems, Windows 11 requires a certain amount of hard drive space to successfully download and install. If your main hard drive (where Windows 10 is installed, usually the C: drive), is almost full, then you’ll encounter problems when trying to install Windows 11.

Windows 11 requires 64GB of storage.

So, the first thing you should do if Windows 11 install fails is to check your drive space in Windows Explorer. If it is running out of space, try typing in “Disk Clean-up” in the search box on the taskbar and select the system disk (usually the C: drive).

Free up space to fix Windows 11 problems

Click ‘OK’ then select the tick boxes of the files you want to delete. These should be safe to remove but remember you can’t retrieve them once they’re gone. You’ll be told how much space you’ll save. Click ‘OK’ then ‘Delete files’ to remove the files. If you want to create more space, click ‘Clean up system files.

Once that’s done, try downloading and installing Windows 11 again.

Antivirus software on a laptop

Disable anti-virus software

Antivirus software is certainly helpful to have, but it can sometimes cause problems when trying to install Windows 11.

If you have antivirus software installed, try disabling that before trying to install Windows 11, as that may fix the problem. You should then enable it and use it normally once the installation has been completed.

You may even need to uninstall the software temporarily. Just make sure that you reinstall it once the update installs successfully.

How to fix common problems in Windows 11

Unable to search in Windows 11 Start Menu

There’s currently an issue with the new Start Menu search bar that prevents it from being typed into. There are other ways to perform a search on Windows 11, but for anyone bringing this habit with them over from a previous OS, it’s a nuisance to change.

Microsoft has also acknowledged the problem, stating that opening the Run window will enable you to type into the search bar again. You can do this by hitting Win+R on your keyboard, and when it appears you can close it as you don’t need to type or run anything. Simply opening and closing the program seems to resolve the search box issue.

It isn’t clear when we can expect a patch to officially correct the bug, but given this is a rather funky workaround it’s likely something more permanent is currently being worked on.

File Explorer still looks like Windows 10

Some people have been complaining that since upgrading to Windows 11, the File Explorer still looks the same as Windows 10.

This is a skin that replicated the older Windows 10 layout, but it’s unclear why some users are getting this as a default. Thankfully, there is a simple fix:

  1. On the top of the File Explorer taskbar, select ‘View’
  2. Select ‘Options on the far right, and head into the next ‘View’
  3. You should now see a list. Look for the option that reads ‘Launch folder windows in a separate process. Ensure the box next to it is unchecked
  4. Apply the changes. File Explorer should now initiate a restart
  5. After File Explorer has restarted you should now see the redesigned layout for Windows 11.

Windows 11 screenshot

The Widgets board is a new part of Windows 11 that holds small apps, known as ‘Widgets’ that give you quick access to information, such as news and events in your calendar.

However, some people have found that the Widget board appears empty. To fix this, click the icon in the top right-hand corner of the Widgets board, then click ‘Sign out’. Next, sign in again and the Widgets should appear.

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