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Windows 10 April 2018 Update (1803) Brings Hangs, Freezes, and Overall Frustration

by Patrick M. Kapp
Desktop & Applications Architect

On April 30th, Microsoft released its April 2018 Update to Windows 10. Dubbed 1803, this update comes with a number of new features aimed towards improving user experience, streamlining features across devices, and strengthening security measures. As is expected with a major Windows version update, the full list of changes is quite large.

As is often the case with large changes, the new release has also brought a number of reported issues. One particularly thorny issue that Microsoft has acknowledged and is reviewing relates to certain apps hanging, freezing, or becoming altogether unresponsive. Many have come across the issue in Google Chrome, but the issue seems to go beyond just being an issue with one browser.

Developers from Microsoft, Google, and Intel are reviewing the reported issue; beyond that, the community at-large is doing its due-diligence to try to find a remedy. While no definitive fix is in place (Microsoft says it hopes to have a fix ready for its next scheduled update on May 8th), there are several suggested troubleshooting steps that have helped some:

  • The keyboard shortcut WinKey + Ctrl + Shift + B is Microsoft’s “Blank Screen” (hence the B) fix, which has the result of resetting the graphics driver. This has helped clear the issue for some. Laptop users can also try closing and reopening the device lid to attempt to resolve the issue.
  • Some have observed that the issue no longer occurs when Chrome is launched with the ––direct-composition.
  • Disabling hardware acceleration in Chrome has also resolved the issue for some.

As of now, the source of the bug is not clear. In addition to issues in Chrome, issues have been reported in Electron Apps – which rely on an embedded version of Chromium, the open source project behind Chrome – including Slack, Discord, and MS Visual Studio.  Reports are also coming in that Firefox performance is impacted. This has led to some speculation that the bug has to do with how Windows interacts with ANGLE following the update.

We will continue to monitor for updates on this troublesome bug. If you have any additional questions or need extra assistance, please contact service@helient.com.

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