[Fix] Valorant causes problems on Windows – icons turn black

Issue: Yesterday I did update to Windows version 21H1, and everything seemed to work as normal. The problems start once I launch Valorant: my taskbar looks completely weird and glitchy (like icons overlapping each other or becoming black), and the Nvidia overlay does not work anymore. I am not sure whether the problem is coming from Windows 10 or Valorant itself, but it is really frustrating. Please advise.

Solved Answer

Windows feature and security updates are shipped in regular intervals by Microsoft. These are usually installed automatically, so users rarely pay attention to them. Major version upgrades are also contently delivered by the tech giant – these typically include larger changes within certain aspects of the OS operation, technical improvements, and other new stuff that simply makes everything better and improves overall user experience.

Unfortunately, this does not happen to everybody, and instead, they are left with a system malfunction that previously did not exist. In most cases, such scenarios are common when manufacturers of third-party software do not adhere to the latest changes to the OS done by Microsoft.

Consequently, various performance issues may arise or even prevent users from using a certain third-party app. In this case, we are talking about free-to-play tactical FPS game by Riot, which is well-known after its ultra popular League of Legends game.

Many users complained that, after installing the latest Windows update (21H1), they encountered multiple glitches within Windows as soon as the Valorant app is launched. This weird bug[1] impacts the OS negatively – Valorant icon goes black, and so do other icons within the taskbar or elsewhere.

However, this is just one side-effect of the bug. Many people claimed that they were unable to use certain built-in Windows and faced other issues – here are a few reported ones:

  • Inability to open File Explorer or use Search feature
  • Inability to drag windows
  • Ghosting[2] issues
  • Windows being unresponsive.

Regardless of whether you experience one of several issues, Windows instability when playing Valorant should not be something present at all – and we are here to help you resolve this annoying bug.

[Fix] Valorant causes problems on Windows - icons turn black

It is yet not completely clear whether the issue is related to the game itself or Windows updates. However, since players reported that there are no problems with the device stability before launching Valorant, it is likely to be a fault within the latter. The problem likely lies within Riot's anti-cheat system known as Vanguard – it is installed along with the game as a driver at the kernel level, which is the highest access right possible on any Windows operating system (it is also known for causing people major security and privacy concerns).[3]

Having that said, some might believe that reinstalling the game would solve this problem, however, it is not the case and was tried by many users who experience this issue.

The only true solution for this problem so far is for you to wait until game developers release the patch or uninstall the Windows update, which caused the issue in the first place. Below you will find methods on how to do that step-by-step.

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Method 1. Roll back Windows updates [version 2004 and 20H2]

If your previous Windows version was 2004 or 20H2, you could uninstall the most recent update via the Control Panel. This would remove the enablement package from the system but would not change the initial code of the OS. Hence, proceed with the following steps:

  • Type Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
  • Go to Programs > Uninstall a program

Access Control Panel

  • On the left, select View installed updates
  • Sort the updates by date and find the Feature Update to Windows 10 21H1 via Enablement package
  • Click once on the update and click Uninstall at the top

Uninstall 21H1 enablement package

  • Restart your system.

Method 2. Downgrade from Windows 21H1 to 1909 or older

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If you upgraded from 1909 or older version, you must take a different approach to downgrade the OS:

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings
  • Go to Update & Security
  • Select Recovery on the left
  • Find the Go back to the previous version of Windows 10 section
  • Click Get started

Revert to previous Windows 10 version

  • Choose the reason to begin the process.

Note: this method works only 10 days after you applied the most recent Windows version.

Final thoughts

It is evident that this problem is temporary, and game developers need to figure out what is causing Valorant making icons black and other issues. However, it might take a while before that happens, so be patient. The game should automatically apply the latest patches shipped by Riot, so all you have to do is start the launched to begin this process once that happens. As for now, you should stick to an older version of Windows if you do not wish to experience the mentioned bugs.

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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