Windows 10 update makes Cortana hungry

September 2, 2019 | 12:11

Tags: #bug #cortana #excessive-cpu #flaw #windows-10 #windows-update

Windows 10 users have begun complaining of an apparent bug in the company's latest general-audience update to the operating system, causing the Cortana search system to chew up unreasonable amounts of CPU time.

Released late last month as a security and bug fix roll-up, Windows 10 KB4512941 - which brings Windows 10 to Build 18362.329 - seems to have brought with it an unwanted issue: The SearchUI.exe process, which drives both the general-purpose search and Microsoft's Cortana voice-activated virtual assistant platform, constantly chews up anything up to 30-40 percent of a system's CPU - and it appears that the problem was notified to Microsoft through the Windows Insider beta-testing programme, but ignored.

User reports detailing the issue have been gathered by Windows Latest from various social media outlets, but it's the site's discovery that the issue was reported to Microsoft via the Windows Insider Feedback Hub system that is of the most interest: These reports, it would appear, were ignored, allowing the apparently-faulty update to be shipped to the general Windows public without being fixed.

It's not the first time Microsoft has been accused of ignoring feedback from its own beta testing programme: Windows 10 users were hit with a serious data-loss bug in October last year, prompting the company to pull the update and eventually re-release it for most users in November - but not without remaining issues.

While Microsoft's notes for the patch claim that there are no known issues, those who are experiencing the problem - easily detected by opening Task Manager and seeing if SearchUI.exe is using excessive CPU - can uninstall the update from the View Update History options screen, or can set the Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\BingSearchEnabled Registry key to "0" to work around the issue.

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