Fix Settings or Start menu not working correctly in Windows 11 on Mac computers with Apple M1 chips

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After updating to a recent Windows 11 ARM Insider Preview build, you may encounter an issue with Windows Settings menu not opening and/or Start menu and Search not working as expected. It is a known issue associated with those recent builds since it persists on native ARM-based computers too, and there are a number of steps that may help you improve the situation.

Update Windows

As the very first step, please try running Windows update, as installing a more recent Windows build may fix this:

1. In Windows, press CMD+R to open Windows Run menu, and paste the following command:

ms-settings:windowsupdate

2. Hit Enter.

3. Restart Windows.

If the issue still remains, proceed to the next step.

Create a new Windows user

In some cases, creating a new Windows user may fix this issue:

1. Run the Virtual Machine.

2. Press Command + R to bring up the Run dialog box and type cmd

Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter on your keyboard to execute the Command Prompt as administrator.

3. In Command Prompt, execute the following command, replacing "USER" with the username for the new user and "PASSWORD"  with the password for that user:

net user /add USER PASSWORD

4. Execute the following command as well and use the same username as above:

net localgroup administrators USER /add

5. The user will now be added to your Windows. Simply restart and log into the new account when Windows restarts. The Start menu and Settings should work now in the new user account.

Workaround: create a new virtual machine using a less recent Windows 11 installation image

If the steps above haven't helped, a workaround is to create a brand new virtual machine using a Windows 11 22000 installation image. It is a less recent, but a more stable version of Windows ARM compared to "Insider Preview".

The steps are as follows:

1. Download Windows 11 22000 installation image using this link.

2. Create a new virtual machine using this image, as described in KB 125375 (start with step 3).

As a result, the issue should not occur. 

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