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Security & privacy

Windows 10 update: Is this one safe to install?

Windows 10 updates tend to come in cycles. First, a new security flaw is found and an update is released to fix it. Then, that same update is found to cause significant glitches, prompting a second update to fix the bugs. Then, that update is found to cause more glitches and security flaws, rinse and repeat.

It’s no exaggeration to say Microsoft hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to updates. It’s definitely good that it regularly patches security issues, but we can’t help but wish the company’s solutions weren’t so half-baked. Tap or click here to see what the last update broke.

And just in time, Microsoft is releasing yet another new update — but this one doesn’t address any security issues. Instead, this update is meant to fix the myriad of bugs and glitches caused by Microsoft’s previous updates. This sounds good in theory, but will it actually work in practice?

Microsoft releases update KB4535996 (for the bugs, of course)

Microsoft has released a new cumulative update that addresses several bugs found in previous versions of Windows 10. This update, dubbed KB4535996, includes several patches for glitches like the start menu failing to open, networking issues and problems with printing.

RELATED: Tap or click to see how a recent Windows 10 update broke printing for thousands of users

If you’ve been suffering under these glitches, it’s a great time to update your Windows PC. All you need to do is click on the Start Menu, open Settings and click Security and Update. If an update is available, click Download to install it. Make sure you’ve backed up your data before you begin.

I don’t want to get burned again. Is this update worth it?

This update is undoubtedly important for users who’ve been dealing with glitches for the past several months. But is this update as critical as, say, a cumulative security update? No, absolutely not.

In fact, Microsoft explicitly states this update is intended to act as a patch for bugs and glitches and is not a security fix. This means installing it is ultimately less important than installing a security patch.

Skipping this one won’t negatively impact your system unless you’re dealing with some of the glitches it fixes.

Many users understandably feel jaded downloading so many Microsoft updates and getting burned by software glitches. We still recommend staying up to date for security reasons, but the fact that this update doesn’t contain any security improvements makes it less of a priority in our minds.

So, should you install? Ultimately, we’d say to take a wait and see approach. If a week or two goes by and nobody reports any major problems with this update, it should be safe to install. Otherwise, you’re probably fine holding off.

But if you’re experiencing any of the glitches fixed by the patch, you should consider installing for that reason alone. Odds are, it won’t make the bugs any worse. Plus, you can always roll back any updates that go south. Tap or click here and scroll to the bottom to find out how to uninstall a Windows update.

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