Windows 10 April 2018 Update problems: Users struggle with mystery 'black screen'

Is third-party antivirus to blame for the latest Windows 10 update issues?
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Here's what you can expect.

Update, May 31: Microsoft says it has identified an element of the Avast Behavior Shield that conflicts with the April 2018 Update and may be causing the problems. Avast has released an update to prevent this issue from occurring.

Windows 10 users over the past two days have begun reporting serious glitches after updating to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

As per an account on Reddit, after installing the update the computer appears to boot but then gets stuck with a black screen and no icons. There's also an error message that the Desktop file could not be accessed.

Users on Microsoft's forums have been reporting similar black-screen problems since May 14 after updating to the latest version of Windows 10. However, more reports have flowed in over the past two days.

"Tried the update on my Dell and all I got was a black screen with a mouse, then on my Asus I get the black desktop screen with only the recycle bin icon," wrote a user on May 22 on another thread.

"On my Dell it just kept restarting, trying to reinstall the software. On the Asus after every restart, it goes back to the setup screen telling me these 'updates help protect you from an online world'."

As per The Register, a US computer-repair firm Computer Cellar has written a post on Reddit blaming the issue on Avast antivirus because a number of users who also run that AV have had the same problems.

Indeed, some Reddit users do claim they were running Avast when they struck problems after updating to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, while others claim to be using AVG, which is owned by Avast.

However, there are also multiple Reddit users who claim not to be running either antivirus and yet are experiencing the same problem.

Avast told the publication it has tested the issue and "don't see any indications this is caused by Avast".

Either way, it's sparked a debate about whether Windows 10's built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, is sufficient protection, or whether consumers need third-party antivirus.

See: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

Once upon a time, Microsoft consistently trailed third-party antivirus firms in malware detection tests run by AV-Comparatives and AV-Test. Nowadays Windows Defender scores as high if not higher than Kaspersky and Symantec.

And as Microsoft recently boasted, these machine learning-led improvements to its antivirus are paying off in the enterprise, where Windows Defender has a 50 percent share of Windows 10 devices.

But this supposed third-party antivirus isn't the only teething issue Windows 10 users have had since Microsoft released the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said it was aware of some devices hanging or freezing when using apps such as 'Hey Cortana' or Chrome, after installing the Windows 10 April 2018 Update and was working on a fix.

Microsoft has also told users with Intel SSD 600p Series or Intel SSD Pro 6000p Series to roll back to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update because the latest update was causing crashes.

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