Microsoft has mucked something up again. The latest patch update (KB 4493470) released on Patch Tuesday, April 9, appears to have caused significant performance problems for multiple groups of users.
Windows Latest has published an article detailing problems with the update, Some users are reporting freezes upon login, while others claim lengthy times to boot to desktop. It sounds as if either the same issue is causing both, or that some individuals may be rebooting before the desktop has loaded, thinking the machine is permanently frozen.
The issues seem linked to the use of antivirus products from specific manufacturers, including Avast, AVG, and Sophos, with Sophos coming in for particular problems. Microsoft has apparently blocked update distribution to individuals with Sophos installed as a result. Sophos has published its own blog post on this topic, walking individuals through how to uninstall the Microsoft updates if they also use Sophos Endpoint. Sophos claims that specific updates KB4493467, KB4493446, KB4493448, KB4493472, KB4493450 and KB4493451 are responsible for these problems.
Beta News reports that these problems may also hit Avast owners running Windows 7 who also use Avast for Business and CloudCare. Avira has warned that Windows 10 may run slower following KB4493509 (Windows 10) or KB4493472 and KB4493448 (Windows 7).
Patches for these problems will presumably tip up soon, but if you recall, one of the major goals for Windows 10 was that it was supposed to fix the issue of people delaying updates to wait for service packs. If that problem is better now, it’s only because Microsoft changed its update system to force it to improve by mandating updates in the first place. I don’t feel less nervous than I used to when updating Windows the old-fashioned way, mostly because so many major updates deliver problems to one set of machines or another.
It’s possible that these issues are being caused by improper behavior by the AV scanners that now conflicts with the way Windows is handling certain tasks, which may mean that the AV developers would be the ones in the wrong. But even if this is true, these software packages worked perfectly before Windows was updated and do not work properly thereafter. End users are going to sensibly pin such issues on MS, and given that Microsoft is the company that appears to have broken things, that’s not a crazy conclusion.
It’s not impossible that some low-level Windows change has exposed something that’s always been improperly broken and now needs to be fixed, in other words — but these are still problems that ought to be sorted out and patched up between Microsoft and the AV vendors in question before end users ever see these updates.
As a reminder, if you use a third-party antivirus solution, Microsoft does include its own software to handle this task by default. While we understand that some people may not wish to use it, you will not be leaving your PC unprotected if you uninstall the AV solution causing this problem rather than reverting the Windows Update.