Windows 10 May update is officially a disaster

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Windows 10's May 2020 update is causing a host of problems yet again, with several major issues being reported over the last few days.

Five separate but significant problems with Windows 10 have recently been identified by users, all stemming from the operating system's big May update (version 2004) and the smaller security updates KB4560960 and KB4557957. We've already seen these updates cause problems for the Disk Optimizer, but as people use the latest versions of the OS more and more, new issues have been discovered.

Printing problems

First off, users reported difficulties printing off documents after installing the new security updates (via Engadget). Users on Reddit and Microsoft's own forums have reported printers made by HP, Canon, Panasonic, Brother and Ricoh are affected. 

In addition, there are accounts of people having difficulty saving files by 'printing' them as PDFs, seemingly showing that the problem's definitely on Microsoft's end rather than the printer makers. Microsoft's response to these issues acknowledges these problems, and states it's working on fixing this. But this isn't the only issue these latest updates have caused.

Tablet mode trouble

These security updates have also been causing some devices to switch to tablet mode even if they don't have touch displays that can be used with it, as reported by TechRadar. This isn't a serious problem, but it hurts usability for mouse-and-keyboard users who have to make do with wider-spaced layouts designed for navigation with fingers and styluses.

Serious storage issues

MSPoweruser writes that the May update has introduced problems with Storage Spaces - Windows 10's hard drive management system that allows users to combine HDDs or SSDs together to make one large volume for improved speed or redundancy (known as RAID). Users report being unable to create new spaces and difficulty in managing existing ones due to problems with the interface. Some even report data loss and file corruption, some of the worst-case scenarios for a Windows update.

Chrome authentication problems

Additionally, Windows Latest has discovered that the update is causing issues with Google Chrome. Specifically, users are finding that Windows 10 is logging them out of their Google accounts every time they restart their computer, forcing them to re-enter their credentials every time they boot up their machine and fire up their web browsers.

Fresh start fail

Finally, Forbes has reported on another set of problems were found in Fresh Start, the operating system's function that allows users to reinstall Windows 10 without losing existing data. Some users report that the button to start the process has disappeared, meaning there's no way to use the feature. This can be a big deal since a fresh installation of Windows 10 can sometimes be the only way to escape other problems, including those we've already outlined here. What's worse is that Microsoft seemed to know about the problem, since its Windows Insider beta testers had reported the same problem in the pre-release version of the update.

Hopefully you aren't affected by any of these problems on your own Windows 10 device. However, given the alarming frequency with which bugs like these have been appearing recently, it's understandable if you're feeling worried. If you've yet to manually update to the Windows 10 May 2020 update, we recommend holding off until things stabilize. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.