On a recent clean install of Windows 11 on a brand-new machine, I ran into an issue with two core parts of the Windows 11 experience:
- Widgets did not open when I clicked on the button: the icon would animate and then restore itself
- Chat [from the Taskbar] would sometimes open with a “We ran into an issue” or just ignore the click entirely
There was never an error message or anything in the Event Log calling out the issue – it just didn’t work. Most of the reports online were calling out issues from the pre-release versions but most of it didn’t apply to the released builds of Windows. Additionally, I’ve been running on Windows 11 for a long, long time and have never seen this issue before (and we’re talking ~300 clean installs over a period of 18 months) which left me perplexed. Given how I planned to use this machine, I shrugged and turned off the Widgets and Chat buttons on the taskbar and continued the rest of my installs.
Shortly after I put the PC into its new home, I remoted into the box and said “ah, lemme try Widgets now” and lo! I get an error message:
You need Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime
Oh ko! An error string that is searchable? I can work with that. What’s odd is that I know I had WebView2 installed at some point already because it had like nine instances running while Edge was off. I don’t think I disabled it in anyway, so that tells me some other new install must have knocked it off the box.
That said, I found an install point for the WebView2 Runtime here: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/webview2/ – after installing the x64 runtime, Widgets and Chat both began to work without issue.
Leaving this as a note to myself as much as sharing it with others.