Windows 10 May 2020 Update has broken one of its most useful tools

Hard drive
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There are emerging reports of a new Windows 10 May 2020 Update problem that appears to have broken Drive Optimizer, one of the more useful tools that Microsoft ships with its operating system.

As Windows Latest reveals, numerous users are complaining that the built-in Drive Optimizer is not behaving as it should be.

This tool, which used to be known as Disk Defragmenter in previous versions of Windows, contains a number of applications, one of which is called Optimize Drives, which can run maintenance tasks on a PC’s storage to help boost performance. If your PC has traditional hard drives (rather than SSDs), you can also defragment the drives to ensure they are running as well as possible.

You may not have heard about Drive Optimizer, but by default it’s run every week to keep your PC running smoothly, and can even help speed up Windows 10 boot times. For IT admins and businesses with lots of PCs, this is also an important tool to help keep devices performing as well as possible.

So, news that the new update is causing problems with the tool won’t be too welcome.

What’s going on?

According to Windows Latest (which also ran the tool to see if the problems were present, and they were), the Optimize Drive tool is not always reporting the correct status – so it doesn’t always log if a scan has been run, and therefore warns that the drive is unoptimized, when in fact it is.

It seems this is an issue with Drive Optimizer not recording the dates of the last scan correctly.

So, while the tool is still doing its job – your hard drives should still be scanned and optimized – it’s not correctly recording when this has happened, which could cause issues (and undue worry).

Microsoft appears to have been made aware of this bug back when a user reported it back in January, and the company claimed to have fixed it in a blog post on January 23, 2020. However, it seems to a slipped into Windows 10 May 2020 Update, which was recently released.

Hopefully, Microsoft will be able to ship a fix pretty quickly.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.