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Why downloading this Windows 10 update could be a serious mistake

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At the tail end of last month Microsoft released the KB4535996 cumulative update for Windows 10. The new software is designed to fix a number of issues related to PC battery life, Windows Search, printer settings and more.

However, it seems KB4535996 is inadvertently causing a number of problems on some PCs that install it. As noted by Windows Latest, these range from frame drops when playing games to being greeted with Windows 10’s Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

Discussing the latest cumulative update on Reddit, one user said: “It’s not extreme, but I say my frame rate in games has gone down 10 frames or so and stuttering occurs once in a while. After uninstalling the cumulative update, everything was fine. Weird.”

A different user, posting on Microsoft’s Community forum, posted: “Newest update KB4535996 is crashing machines. Makes the machines lock up and blue screen at log in screens. Not able to get into any safe mode and uninstall this update. Forcing rebuild and GPO’s to block this particular update. Microsoft says they haven’t heard of any problems. However when you search the web there is a slew of issues just from this optional update.”

Of course, the posts on Reddit and Microsoft’s Community forum have been met with a swathe of comments from other users plagued by similar issues.

By far the most worrying of all was a Windows 10 user who said they had been greeted by the BSOD on “about 200 machines” within their organisation.

In addition to crashing machines and dipping game frame rates, others have reported the KB4535996 update has also messed with their CPU usage and has caused File Explorer and Task Manager to crash.

One Windows 10 fan explained: “After installing KB4535996 and after one day’s use, I encountered 100 percent CPU usage (not continuous), File Explorer crash (after closing its window, unable to open it anymore), Task Manager crash (+ without its icon display on taskbar), + File Explorer -related software (e.g. Mendeley) crash on opening.

“Unable to kill File Explorer and restart it because the Task Manager also always crashes.”

At the time of writing, Microsoft’s Support page discussing the KB4535996 update says the firm is “not currently aware of any issues” with it.

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