"News and interests" feed is enabled on Windows v1909, causing UI automation to stop

Audience

Any user running unattended UIAutomation (any version) on Windows 10.

The problem

Microsoft has announced that ‘News and Interests’ feature will be available/enabled by default on the Windows taskbar in a gradual rollout to PC users.

We have observed more and more UI automation failures on Windows 10 v1909, apparently induced by the 10.0.18363 N/A Build 18363 Windows patch but it might not be the only patch causing the issue.

Specifically, the Windows patch enables by default the “News and interests“ feed. This small window steals the focus, preventing the automation bring the target elements into the foreground, for execution.

The following error can be seen in the execution logs:

“Cannot bring the target application in the foreground. The action was blocked by the current foreground window ‘Feeds’ from the process ‘searchui.exe’.
image

The solution

The error is avoided if the “News and interests“ feed is disabled.

This can be done by editing the Group Policy. Go to ‘Local Group Policy Editor’

navigate to

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and interests > Enable news and interests on the taskbar

and disable the option:

Hope this helps!
Gheorghe

49 Likes

Thank you @gheorghestan . Very useful information.

Yes, It is Useful…thnx for sharing

Thanks for sharing this with the community @gheorghestan .

This action can be categorized under ‘VM stabilization’ for unattended robot, the set of tasks to be done before starting the robot go unattended in a machine and as a prerequisite for attended robot users.

1 Like

Thank you :blush:

@gheorghestan

Hello Gheorghe,

thank you very much for sharing this information. :+1:

Best regards
Stefan

This is very useful. Thank you!

Hannah

Thanks.

Hi!
Do you know which KB ID refers to this patch (for example KB5001391)?
Thanks in advance!
Best regards

Thanks For sharing , Its Very Useful Information.

:+1:

Just in case it helps others- we found this problem without any error message at all. On a click trigger, nothing was happen. no error messages, no logs at all nothing. When we did this fix, it fixed that problem. So it may be happening even without that error message

Thanks @Samantha_M for replying. We will look into it.

@Samantha_M could you please provide details about the exact use case? the Click trigger configuration, what is the expected behaviour and what’s not executing properly? Thanks

There is a web form with multiple buttons, each doing something different. When the user clicks any of the buttons, it is supposed to do different things- one runs some jquery execution (marketplace package), one goes back to studio to do a search in data service, etc. When any of those buttons inside the click trigger were clicked by this user using an attended bot, nothing happened. Basically the logs looked like the user just never clicked anything, it seemed like as far as the bot knew it was still waiting for the user to click, even though they already had. We have logs right after the click but before the next step, and those were not displaying

Nice Info :slight_smile: .

We were also investigating since last days, as @Samantha_M said, no errors aparently, even looking into Event Viewer Logs, wherever. With this fix, some automations are now working Unattended again, just some Sharepoints lost connection but it was easily reconnected later. @gheorghestan

It was annoying because we had 2 thousand questions asking why it ran Attended and not Unattended.

@gheorghestan I would suggest Uipath send to the Community weekly, potential dangerous Windows Updates or Patchs, in order to help the Community avoid issues in advance.