Another Update, Another Windows 10 Bug – Latest Update Causes Huge CPU Spikes

Sep 2, 2019
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Windows 10 May 2019 Update aka version 1903 received an update last week, bringing fixes to a number of known issues. Build 18362.329 (KB4512941) finally brought fixes to Windows Sandbox and the Visual Basic problems. It now appears that the update may have brought at least one problem too.

Users have been experiencing CPU usage spikes after installing this optional cumulative. The problem seems to be associated with Cortana and its SearchUI.exe process that is reportedly using 30-40% of the CPU and 150-200MB of memory.

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Potential workarounds to Windows 10 bug that causes CPU spikes

Until Microsoft officially acknowledges the problem and hopefully releases a fix without any added issues, there are some workarounds to address this issue.

The easier one is to simply uninstall this optional update. But since it does bring quite a few fixes, you can also edit the Bing Search registry, which some have reported helps address the problem (we wouldn't recommend this since we haven't tested it ourselves). To do that:

  1. Press Windows + R on your keyboard and type in 'regedit' to go to the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Search.
  3. Find the DWORD value BingSearchEnabled and set its value to 1.

Apparently, the problem was already reported by Insiders

It isn't clear what went wrong with Cortana this time, but it appears Windows Insiders had already reported this issue. The problem failed to get Microsoft's attention.

Microsoft keeps saying it is going to better use its Insider community and have better quality control, but we are yet to see updates that don't bring new issues. The Windows maker also refreshed its Feedback Hub to avoid the upvoting issue where problems go unnoticed because they don't get enough votes. However, this latest bug may have instead suffered from the latest update's short time in the preview testing phase.

We have been writing about these updates-related issues for so long that they almost feel redundant now. It has to be said that Windows 10 now has over 50% of the entire OS market share, which does result in at least some users experiencing a few issues. However, these problems shouldn't be so frequent with every single update bringing at least one such issue.

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