January 27, 2023

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Here’s how to restore (some) Start Menu shortcuts Microsoft Defender deleted

Around the world, many Windows users noticed on Friday morning last week that they no longer had shortcuts to, among other things, Office applications in the start menu or on the Windows taskbar. Shortcuts have been removed by some overzealous rules in Windows Security and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint – rules that came with an update just sent out.

This bug mostly only affected computers in large organizations and was due to a series of false positive detections of the “Block Win32 API calls from Office macro” attack surface reduction rule.

A script is available, but it doesn’t solve everything

Microsoft confirmed the error and Came on the weekend With a solution to recover at least some lost shortcuts. the solution Powershell script Which must be run with high privileges, either as administrator or system.

The script should anyway be able to restore shortcuts to Microsoft applications such as Office applications (Office 365), Edge and Visual Studio. But the user commented on Microsoft information page Indicates that other shortcuts are being created.

Some Microsoft applications have a built-in repair function that is launched from the Installed applications section of Windows 10 and 11 settings. It is possible to do this instead of using the script mentioned above.

For applications that do not have this functionality, administrators or users will likely have a more comprehensive task if the shortcuts are deleted. In some cases, it may be easier to reinstall affected apps.



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