Windows 10 update is reportedly causing system lag and serious crashes

Frustrated User
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 10’s latest cumulative update for December is causing some serious issues for those who’ve installed the patch, according to reports.

Windows Latest flagged up the problems with update KB4592438, which was pushed out to those running the October 2020 Update and May 2020 Update on December 8.

One stumbling block is that some folks are reporting installation failures, and this has been a running theme for some Microsoft patches throughout 2020, complete with the usual unhelpful and uninformative error messages (for example – ‘Error code 0x8007000d’ – yes, that old chestnut).

Arguably, the installation fails may not be such a bad thing, as some of those who have successfully installed KB4592438 are posting about serious performance issues cropping up on their PC, such as spikes in CPU usage when not much is running on the system.

A denizen of Reddit commented: “I am getting some weird spiking CPU usage after my update. Like shooting up to 100% up and down with just a browser open.”

To which someone replied: “After the Dec 8 update, my laptop started having lag spikes, while in game or on YouTube. It was working fine before the update, so I suspected it could’ve been this. I uninstalled the update and everything went back to normal.”

Serious crashes

There are also reports of the update breaking compatibility with old games, of folders getting stuck as read-only, and of Blue Screens of Death in that Reddit thread and on Super User, along with Microsoft’s help forum where there are also further reports of system lag and general technical hitches (and even the odd tale of laptops being bricked, worryingly).

KB4592438 comes with a bunch of largely unspecified refinements, including measures to improve security with Microsoft Office products, and a whole bunch of other security fixes – but it seems to have some fairly nasty unintended consequences in some cases (and of course it’s far from the first time this has happened).

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).