Windows 10 has received a new update in preview which fixes a host of bugs, including one which has been a serious annoyance to some PC gamers.
KB5003690 is an optional preview update as mentioned, so that means it’s still in testing and may have unpredictable consequences as a result. The patch is being rolled out for the most recent versions of Windows 10, namely the May 2021 Update, along with October 2020 Update and May 2020 Update (which are all essentially the same version, but for minor tweaks).
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It contains the cure for a problem affecting what Microsoft describes as a small number of users who have been experiencing “lower than expected performance in games after installing KB5000842 [the preview of the April cumulative update] or later”.
These gamers are getting hit with the likes of stuttering issues, or slower frame rates, all of which are doubtless pretty aggravating.
Patch KB5003690 also fixes another well-documented problem in recent times, namely that of the ‘News and interests’ icon on the taskbar being blurry for some, and further provides the cure for the Search box disappearing off the taskbar if ‘News and interests’ is disabled. (Note that some other users have complained of weird taskbar problems like vanishing system tray icons).
If the gaming issues, or indeed those other bugs, aren’t bothering you, then it’s best to leave these optional updates alone, because as mentioned, with them being preview pieces of code, unintended side-effects may happen – so why risk that if you don’t need to?
These fixes will be delivered in a finalized form in the full round of patching for July fairly soon anyway, but if you’re desperate to cure your gaming blues right now, head to Windows Update and check for new updates (look under ‘View optional updates’ and hopefully you’ll see KB5003690, or it’ll pop up very soon if not).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).