Windows 10 update causing blue screen of death — just by printing

blue screen of death
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Watch out, Windows 10 users — there's yet another way you can trigger a blue screen of death.

As of the most recent update, simply printing something can cause your device to crash. Fortunately, there are ways around it, and Microsoft looks to be working on a fix.

The newest automatic security update, titled KB5000802 (OS Builds 19041.867 and 19042.867), went live on March 9. Since it's an automatic update, it's appeared on users' devices without their full knowledge, and surprised some by making their devices keel over when trying to print documents.

The specific app used for printing doesn't seem to matter: there have been reports of the BSOD being brought on by Notepad, Microsoft Office and others.

One account, written by user CaffeinePizza (opens in new tab) on Reddit's r/sysadmin page, described having the issue caused by the Kyocera Universal Print driver. Several commenters said they had experienced the same problem, as well as with printer drivers from Zebra and Ricoh.

Swapping to Microsoft's basic PCL6 driver seems to be an effective solution, according to CaffeinePizza, but that means forgoing the better feature set of printer-specific drivers. 

User SkillfulExpert, a commenter on the thread who says they work for Microsoft, has a more involved fix (opens in new tab) if you are comfortable using the Command Prompt window.

Microsoft has acknowledged the problem, and has seemingly stopped the rollout of KB5000802 to more devices according to Reddit user observations (opens in new tab). On the support page (opens in new tab) for the update, it writes: "After installing this update, you might receive an APC_INDEX_MISMATCH error with a blue screen when attempting to print to certain printers in some apps.

"We are presently investigating and will provide an update when more information is available."

The obvious solution right now is to just uninstall the newest build from your PC. However we don't recommend doing this. Removing the update means removing important security updates too, which would put you at unnecessary risk. It's probably better to ride this one out until Microsoft releases a fix, if you can afford to do so.

As an aside, if you're on Windows 11, you may have noticed the blue screen of death has been replaced by a black one, but now Microsoft is bringing the BSOD back to Windows 11.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer 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.