Barely two weeks ago, Microsoft pledged to put optional updates to Windows 10 on hold. The reason, it explains, is to ensure that users will be left with stable and functional computers during this time of increased dependence on such devices and on the Internet. Unfortunately, it has strangely decided to do so starting only next month. Even worse, one such optional update is already causing chaos by rendering Windows 10 computers practically useless.
Microsoft has been very aggressive in pushing its updates as part of its “Windows as a Service”. It is a reaction to criticism about how slow it was to respond to the security exploits and bugs in the past, waiting for a service pack or similar update. Unfortunately, it seems to have swung to the other extreme, leaving a trail of broken Windows 10 systems in its wake.
The latest culprit is the KB4541335 “quality” update, an optional update that, as usual, seems innocent and helpful. Microsoft naturally lists the good things it fixes and leaves out showstopping bugs. To be fair, maybe it didn’t know they existed, which probably only makes matters worse.
That’s mostly because the bugs users are reporting range from boot problems to the dreaded Blue Screen of Death or BSOD. These two scenarios effectively lock users out who can only hope that a system restore will get things back up. There are luckier users who are still able to use their computers but, due to significant performance impact, can also barely do so.
The slightly good news is that KB4541335 is an optional update so you can safely skip it, at least for now. Sooner or later, though, Microsoft will make the update inescapable but hopefully not before actually fixing the new bugs it introduced.