Microsoft to Fix Windows 10 Version 1803 Freezing Issue

Posted on May 3, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 100 Comments

Microsoft to Fix Windows 10 Version 1803 Freezing Issue

Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows 10 version 1803 can “hang or freeze” while running certain applications and will fix the issue.

“Microsoft is aware that some devices running the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) may hang or freeze when using certain apps, such as ‘Hey Cortana’ or Chrome,” a Microsoft support document explains. “Microsoft is working on a solution with the goal of including it in the next regular monthly update, currently targeted for a release date of May 8, 2018.”

I’m guessing a lot more people noticed this while using Chrome than “Hey Cortana,” but whatever. That Windows 10 version 1803 shipped with this kind of obvious bug in the wake of a serious reliability problem that caused Microsoft to delay this release by weeks says a lot about how things are going in Redmond these days. And it’s not positive.

In the meantime, Microsoft offers the following workaround if you are experiencing freezes or hangs:

  • Try the Windows keyboard shortcut WINKEY + CTRL + SHIFT + B, which wakes the screen. If you’re on a tablet, you can press and hold the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons simultaneously three times, and do so within 2 seconds.
  • If you’re using a laptop, close and open the laptop lid.

This is alarming.


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Comments (100)

100 responses to “Microsoft to Fix Windows 10 Version 1803 Freezing Issue”

  1. jwpear

    Geez! How does this happen? And why isn't the Insiders program helping to uncover this early enough to correct before the release?

    To pause updates or not? Should we trust this makes it into May 8 and is solid?

  2. harmjr

    So I just decided to hold off on Windows 10 1803 April update.

    Changed my settings for Choose when updates are installed

    "A Feature update includes new capabilities and improvements. It can be deferred for this many day:"

    I have set it to 30.

    Did I do that correct?

  3. davidblouin

    How many insider really use each build ?

    How many do real work on them, for more than five minute ?

    How many plays their favorite games for hours and not just bench the build ?

    How many really browse the internet on them, for hours, with their prefer browser ?

    How many plug their e-reader, tablet, smartphone, camera and sync them ?

    Sure Microsoft doesn't seem to care about feedback anymore, the division with the biggest gun won the mexican standoff and it's not the Windows one, but do insiders do their part ?

    • wright_is

      In reply to davidblouin:

      And how many actually report problems in detail, when they crop up...

    • Tolwyn

      In reply to davidblouin:

      I am on the Fast Ring with my Surface Book and I use it as my daily driver. Thus far I had one RS4 Insider build that caused repeated GSODs, but other than that the user experience had been pretty consistent.

    • fbman

      In reply to davidblouin:

      I am an insider, and I dont run my insider builds on my main pc, I only run "stable" versions there. My insider builds are run on a virtual machine.

      I will admit, I play with the build for maybe 20 minutes after installation (Mostly to play with new features) and then I will only boot the vm again when a new build comes out, so I can update. (repeat cycle) My insider enviroment does not have all the software installed that my "production" environment has, mostly due to space and the VM does not have the same performance as my "production" environment. My insider VM is basically just the Operating system, with nothing else. If I happen to have beta software, that I am playing with, it will be installed in this environment as well.

  4. Jim Lewis

    I wonder if it depends on how you get to 1803?! After being an Insider for years, I got tired of buggy previews and all the hassle of dealing with that, resetting PC's, etc. So with 1709, I stayed in the production ring all the way. I've upgraded 5 PC's to 1803 and none of them are exhibiting any serious problems (I don't do "Hey, Cortana" but have always just used the Cortana Search bar microphone - I have 3 Invokes scattered around the house and usually use one of those if I want to talk to Cortana). Have used Chrome a bit and no freezes with that so far.

    On all 5 of the PC's (3 Win10 Pro, 1 Win10 Home 64-bit, 1 Win10 Home 32-bit), 1803 seems snappier than 1709 and a number of irritating issues, especially with Edge, that I faced in 1709 have gone away, e.g., my Edge password manager extension actually seems to work reliably now! - Imagine that!

    So, YMMV, but for me the upgrade to 1803 has been very worthwhile.....

  5. jchampeau

    The hero image for this article is in the top ten best hero images to date on Nicely done. :)

    • MacLiam

      Taught me a new term. Thank you. Guess I need to hang out more with website designers.

  6. ajwr

    I think this came even before 1803. I have been having problems with browsers, Chrome freezing and IE crashing, since the second April 2018 update that was installed for 1709. It has seemed a little better since I installed 1803 this week, though still not perfect. I look forward to the May update which will hopefully take care of this.

  7. Kevin

    When Apple has a problem, I swear Microsoft does the, "hold my beer" response to it's users.

  8. wright_is

    Interestingly, this roll-out seems to be going faster than the Autumn roll out last year of Fall Creators Update.

    My December 2017 Ryzen desktop was update automatically, as was my 2016 HP Spectre x360. At work, I put it on my Lenovo (WSUS), so that doesn't exactly count as an automatic upgrade, but then I had 2 Yoga 920s (2018 models) and they both automatically started the update yesterday.

    Just now, I was filling in my wife's timesheet and her 2010 Sony Vaio laptop started to install the update. Last time, it took over a month for that laptop to get the updates, I assumed because it was so old.

    Edit: And the freezing seems to be linked to Kaby Lake processors, although none of ours are showing any signs, but we are using Firefox, not Chrome. It also sounds like it could be an interaction with the Google graphical rendering engine, according to one Intel engineer working on the Chromium project.

  9. mattbg

    I’ve had the issue with Chrome on my Thinkpad X1. But not on my custom desktop. Intel vs Nvidia graphics - not sure if that is relevant.

    Going in and out of standby restored the screen. It looks as if the screen stops updating even though the system is still running when the freeze happens.

    • mattbg

      In reply to mattbg:

      I am noticing more issues the more that I use it. Server backup restores don't work due a driver load issue, and VPN doesn't work despite the configuration being exactly the same as before (and after re-keying everything).

      On top of that, a persistent "Shared Experiences" account issue notification which pre-existed the upgrade is still present and can't be fixed. I don't use Shared Experiences and it's turned off, but apparently I still need to be notified every day that it's not working.

      I think it might be time for a clean reinstall, which I haven't done since the original Windows 10.

      I hope there were some great architectural improvements to make this worthwhile because I don't see a whole lot of new features to compensate for this :)

      • mattbg

        In reply to mattbg:

        Clean install fixed all of these issues.

        I do, however, have strange visual glitches occasionally. My taskbar and alt-tab switcher are currently fully transparent, for example.

  10. Waethorn

    Add this to the list of problems in Windows 1803:

    Microsoft says your PC isn't as secure if it doesn't have a Microsoft Account.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Waethorn:

      Semantics: you may have to interpret that as 'as secure for MSFT'. No doubt MSFT would feel much more secure if everyone had to use a MSFT account to use PCs.

  11. secuga

    I upgraded to 1803 and have only found one issue (so far) that needs addressing. When I go to Settings-Apps-Default Apps and choose the link to "Set defaults by app" at the bottom, the page just closes (disappears).

  12. jlmerrill

    I think 1803 hosed my wifi. When I reboot I manually have to connect. And also sometimes my PC doesn't shut down properly. All this since upgrading to 1803.

  13. plettza

    And the bastards at Microsoft ditched HomeGroup. It made setting up sharing on PCs much easier (when it worked). They've been stupefying all the other apps but rather than improve and fix HomeGroup, they turf it.

    I'm over the shit these arseholes are pulling.

    • peterh_oz

      In reply to plettza:

      Tell us what you really think mate! :)

      (you spelt arseholes properly, you must be an Aussie or a Kiwi :) )

      • plettza

        In reply to peterh_oz:

        Not a Kiwi but I love their South Island. I'm from NSW.

        But yeah, Microsoft have cancelled so many products and services I've been invested in that this HomeGroup removal is the last straw. I'm now just trying to work out how to ditch OneDrive and Office 365, then Outlook Premium (which they canned as well but have grandfathered for existing users) and finally Windows 10. I'm only into PC gaming and have to work out what to do there as I don't think Far Cry 5 works in Linux.

  14. IanYates82

    That's the least discoverable keyboard shortcut ever. Is it seriously something a power user would know? Doesn't just hitting any key wake up the screen usually?

    Also, lots of tablets use a rocker switch for volume up and down. Trying to do both simultaneously is a great way to break that rocker switch ?

    • peterh_oz

      Also, lots of tablets use a rocker switch for volume up and down. Trying to do both simultaneously is a great way to break that rocker switch ?

      Yeah like the MIICROSOFT Surface 3, which I use all the time. And whose onscreen keyboard seems unreliable (usually over extroverted, sometimes shy, always annoying) since 1803.

  15. dkb1898

    This is nothing new, it's been happening on my SP4 for years! I doubt this May 8th bug fix will fix my issue

  16. Angusmatheson

    I think is is an example of how names matter. If it had been the Spring update II or Bobcat, or Silly skink or whatever, it would have been held until it was ready. But it was called the April Update. This, I suspect, made them really want to release it in April. So on April 30th they did...even though they knew it wasn’t quite ready. Names matter, and I think this name backed them into a corner.

  17. Waethorn

    I think the more appropriate picture is this:

    I could label this pic with all kinds of memes, like the window being 1803, and Satya in the engineers seat, but I'm too busy putting out fires with clients, caused by this upgrade.

  18. Waethorn

    This is Windows 1803

  19. Waethorn

    People said I was crazy when I criticized the quality of this build on day one, and yet here we are, and my statement is vindicated. This is a trainwreck. This is what happens when to gut your professionally trained in-house QA team for a public beta test with automated analytics and unqualified individuals writing bad bug reports as just "this is broke - Windows sucks", all just to save on labour costs.

  20. John Craig

    Oh God, Paul, you're a real pessimistic complainer these days. I've been reading your books and visiting your site for the better part of a decade, but honestly, over the past 3 years you've really gone full tilt grumpy old man. Have you had a falling out with the lads at Microsoft or something?

  21. Alexander Rothacker

    I'm getting GSODs (when did they change from blue to green anyway?) a lot lately when using Skype. This should have been caught with Insider builds and not released to the public as is. They sure got a lot of crash telemetry from me.

  22. Elindalyne

    Yep... Was definitely getting this issue. Build 17134.5 fixed it for me. Good to know my feedback on the insiders hub was sitting at 1 upvote.

  23. Bdsrev

    Ya but Paul, several times over the years I've updated Chrome and had some crazy issues that I can't believe made it to the Stable build, so this is just the way software is these days. Go on /r/Chrome and look at the endless issues

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Bdsrev:

      Not sure what to say to this. But assuming Chrome is an unreliable, barely tested disaster, which I don't believe, whatever. That in no way excuses this.

      • Bdsrev

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        I've just accepted that's the way software is these days. Often, Chrome Beta has less issues than stable! Which really makes no sense but there ya go. I wish the whole industry would come up with better ways of testing their software but I'm not gonna hold my breath. It's like we live in a perpetual state of Beta testing.

        • fbman

          In reply to Bdsrev:

          We can blame the internet for this as it now very easy to get updates to users. I remember when I was a lot younger (you know in the Windows 3.1 and Dos 6. days), you rarely had software issues, as software was properly tested, properly because getting patches to users was a very difficult thing. (maybe there was also less to go wrong) . The term day zero patches was unheard of,

          Even games, these days have massive patches released a day or two after they are released.

          • illuminated

            In reply to fbman:

            Software was much simpler then but bugs existed and hardware was not that reliable. At that time it was not acceptable to have a public meltdown due to some software bug. Blue screens were quite frequent and rebooting dos or windows machine due to some weird failure was quite usual. Now even president can behave like 5 year old so this behavior is quite acceptable. Find a bug, have a tantrum, feel great for 5 minutes because all others are idiots.

          • skane2600

            In reply to fbman:

            Yes, the ease and low cost of updates has made companies lazy and complacent. In earlier times a software bug would require new floppies be sent to the customer or in the case of an embedded product, a product return or service call. Doing it right the first time was taken seriously in those days.

            I don't buy the increased complexity excuse either. The hardware resources and development tools are far superior to what we used to have. Of course when you mix and match a bunch of different Open Source libraries you haven't tested, you going to encounter some surprises.

  24. Nyghtfall

    Ah... ha. So I'm not alone, though I use Firefox. That's just perfect. >:(

  25. jumpingjackflash5

    Windows should really focus on stability, reliability and preserving users' settings including configuration of drivers during updates. Make just one annual feature update with voluntary install. Provide security updates that do not change the compatibility. What happens after every major update mustn't happen with dependable and mature operating system. Which Windows is supposed to be. Operating system. Not a service.

  26. JerryH

    Depending on your use case you can also undock your notebook (assuming you are docked and using an external screen). It is fixed in the .5 update that went to Fast Ring BTW, but that isn't the version of the CU that will go to production. It also reproduced with Microsoft Teams - which likely has more use that Cortana.

  27. Brazbit

    Ignoring the obvious in this post, the part that had me scratching my head was them making a shortcut that requires simultaneous presses of volume up and volume down. Considering that most devices use rocker switches and not individual buttons for these two mutually exclusive functions I wonder how many tablets can even physically do that. Or is there a specification for Windows tablets that mandates seperate buttons?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Brazbit:

      I have to wonder how many Windows tablets aren't used with detachable keyboards. If there's a detachable keyboard, wouldn't the keystroke combinations work?

    • Jeff Jones

      In reply to Brazbit:

      The one I saw with a rocker switch wasn't a true rocker, but just a joined cover over two buttons that could still be double pressed. Maybe they are all like that?

  28. F4IL

    The Chrome issue is serious. Chrome is arguably one of the most used applications on Windows. Cortana is one thing, but Chrome is just bad PR since it is a competing product. They shouldn't have fired the testing teams.

  29. emannxx

    Alarming is an understatement, considering that me (and many other insiders) were reporting this issue WEEKS before the roll-out, when 17133 first went to the fast ring. There were tons of reports on FBHub and tweets to every MSFT engineer on Twitter - not a single answer. I managed to get a reply from Brandon LeBlanc when 17134 was released... "it was hard for him to say if it was fixed"... and also didn't care to investigate. I can't possibly conceive how something like this went unnoticed into production.

    What's the point of having the Windows Insider Program?!

  30. PsychoSuperman

    I had the upgrade bluescreen and fail 4 times on my docked SurfaceBook. For the hell of it, I detached the screen, and plugged the "tablet" directly into the plain power plug (not the dock) and it updated. Kind of scary that this is the "fixed" version.

  31. RobCannon

    This is only alarming if it is happening for the majority of people with the new update. So how pervasive is it? I haven't had any issues.

  32. rameshthanikodi

    1709 was in such a much more solid at this stage than 1803. what the hell happened?

    • Waethorn

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      1703 only has odd numbers in it. 1803 has an 8 in it. See how that works?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      Wouldn't you think the recent Windows reorg within MSFT and Windows developers just perhaps beginning to wonder which of them will be laid off this summer might have had an adverse impact on morale in the last month or so?

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Rolling layoffs are the worst for morale and indicate that management doesn't have their s**t together. Figure out your plan for the next few years and execute it. A company like MS could keep their current employee count for years and still remain profitable anyway.

      • rameshthanikodi

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        You might be right. People are definitely sniffing a round of layoffs coming. That really sucks.

        The re-org might have hampered the quality of this release because the team has the rug pulled from under them. It's sad, each time I feel like the Windows team find their rhythm, Microsoft's priorities get shifted, and the team gets tossed around.

  33. hrlngrv

    Windows ain't done till Chrome won't run.

    Ah, the good old days when MSFT knew how to compete

    OK, more charitable to deem this negligence. However, difficult to believe this wouldn't have cropped up with Insider Builds, or do nearly all Insiders use Edge? Were there any differences between the latest Fast/Slow Insider build and the build released as 1803? I figure there has to be, or the Insider program may not be worthwhile if it can't spot problems with Windows and the most used web browser under Windows.

    ADDED: Next time I'll read the other comments first. Perhaps the 1st sentence is the best explanation after all.

  34. Stooks

    This and all version in the past remove the RSAT tools. You then have to go find the latest version and install them, reset your preferences etc.

    The sheer amount of things I need to remove after a clean install is almost as bad as the sheer amount of updates there are for a fresh install of Windows 7. I used to powershell remove all of this stuff, but I would constantly be updating the powershell scripts to get it done. Now I just download cleaner, go to the tools section, click uninstall 20 or more times to get Windows 10 back to the point I want.

    Windows 10 is such a mess. LTSB...oh wait they changed the name for the heck of it...LTSC is the very best way to use Windows 10. To bad consumers can't get access too it.

    • remco8264

      In reply to Stooks:

      That's because they are releasing the RSAT as an update (.msu file), which is only applicable to a specific version of Windows and gets removed like all other patches. They should release it as a normal program.

  35. chrisrut

    Nice picture Paul. Is that your new place? Oh wait. Windows. I get it... Your old place.

  36. bluvg

    Bring back QA teams. Yes, devs should test and fix bugs. But that is irrelevant to the need for the specialized, independent, solely testing-focused work that a QA group does.

    • skane2600

      In reply to bluvg:

      I think it's just evidence that unit testing alone is an inadequate QA methodology. Of course developers were testing their code long before unit testing became a religion.

      • Waethorn

        In reply to skane2600:

        Testing your own code doesn't give you an objective result.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Waethorn:

          Sometimes it can, but yes, not always. IMO, it's less about objectivity and more about the inability of unit tests alone to determine whether the requirements are met.

          • Waethorn

            In reply to skane2600:

            You can never have an objective review if you review it yourself. The whole point of objectivity is to have a third-person view.

            • skane2600

              In reply to Waethorn:

              The important question is whether a developer can EVER determine that their own code is correct at the same level of competence as a third party and of course the answer is "yes". Whether that scenario meets any particular definition of an "objective review" is a different question. Is it a good idea to avoid a third party review, no, but that doesn't mean that a developer's own testing can't be valid.

  37. wright_is

    I've been lucky so far. No freezes on 3 different machines.

    But there again, I don't use Cortana or Chrome...

  38. DaddyBrownJr

    "You're not holding it right."

  39. stevegauss

    It doesn’t look like they have. Brand new machine,not even 1 mo old. Use Chrome or Firefox locks up or BSOD. Try to play a BluRay and it locks up. My 7 system NEVER did this garbage. I am already planning to scrap this damn thing and Microsoft and go to Apple. There needs to be a Special Counsel after Microsoft