/ Technology

Microsoft must act over Windows 10 woes

Windows 10 update

Software updates can be our heroes – fixing bugs, improving performance or adding new features to our gadgets. But they can be villains, too, as with the many Windows 10 problems.

We’ve received well over 1,000 complaints about Windows 10, as well as plenty of comments on Which? Conversation, with PC users telling us that this software update has brought them nothing but problems. We’re calling on Microsoft to do better.

Broken window

As reported in the October issue of Which?, consumers have told us about being ‘nagged’ by Microsoft to install the update and, despite declining its advances – sometimes on several occasions – they said that Windows 10 installed itself anyway.

Once installed, it caused various problems, including printers, wi-fi cards and speakers no longer working with their PC; or instances of lost files and email accounts no longer syncing.

In some cases, members’ computers were so badly affected that they had to pay someone to repair it.

Microsoft must do better

Microsoft is offering free support to anyone affected by Windows 10 woes (call 0344 800 2400 or visit support.microsoft.com/en-gb). However, many people have struggled to find a way to contact the company. Either that or they thought that the problems were with their PC, so contacted the manufacturer or took their own action.

But would they know if they were actually speaking to Microsoft anyway? Before going to press on the October issue, one of the Windows 10 cases we took up for our article was contacted by a scam caller pretending to be Microsoft.

Sadly, this is a common ruse we’ve seen many times before, and we’re worried that the Windows 10 problems will only give scammers more ammunition.

Have you been affected by Windows 10 problems?

Which? is calling on Microsoft to honour the rights of consumers adversely affected by the Windows 10 update. This includes paying compensation where it’s due under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

If you’ve been negatively affected by the Windows 10 update, we want to hear from you on Which? Conversation. Alternatively, send us an email at techresearch@which.co.uk.

John Leslie Sellers (me) says:
5 September 2017

I have built a custom built desktop PC. I upgraded to windows 10 because I thought it would run better than windows 8.1, but after multiple updates my pc keeps crashing, I now regret updating and can’t go back to windows 8. I wouldn’t care I spent just over £500 in December 2015 and the Microsoft had the cheek to tell me I needed a new computer!


John-They have probably found fault with your motherboard and drivers . MS scrutinizes your whole system once you have Windows its not your computer its MS,s -I personally hate MS/Redmond . They take a note of your motherboard and stop you using a previous system after a short time of installation . But life must go on, I can try to help you if you will give me all your specs mother board/video card/ audio card / all external connected devices and installed programs as even Chrome can make it crash (intentionally ) OR blast the hell out of MS Windows and install the easiest to use LINUX – Linux Mint 18.2 its FREE and the easiest system for somebody changing from Windows I have every detail and can help you all along the way but first removing Windows from your SSD is the first action . Linux Mint can do this for you and you can even get a disc for it or you can get a disc to remove it as you cant run your system as it stands to connect to the internet . Get a friend to download the ISO from the website make sure its the OFFICIAL website ONLY NOT any download company and burn to a blank disc then install it. Either way I will help you never fear -get back please ! To help you here is the official download website : https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php remember I have every detail on how to install this from scratch its no big deal and it will save all that money you spent .


JLS – I’d also be tempted to carefully check over all your the hardware and/or try a fresh complete download and re-installation of W10, using the install discs available from the Microsoft website. (If you have a h/w fault, no OS is going to run without crashing…)

Windows 10 has cribbed the Unix/Linux model, in which drivers are automatically spliced into the OS kernel. This doesn’t always work unaided, not least for wifi card drivers 🙁 because , if you depend on wifi, you cannot download a working wifi driver once you have a broken one.

Failing those options, you should at least be able to get some version of Linux running on your PC. As Duncan suggests, if you have newish mainstream h/w, Linux Mint is a good choice, especially if you liked the “look & feel” of Windows 7. On older or less mainstream (e.g. AMD or Apple) machines, I find that Mint does not always come with all the required device drives, in which cases the LXLE distro usually “just works”.

If your now broken PC is your only PC, you may not then be able to download anything. When faced with this dilemma a few years ago, I was able to use a bootable cover disc from Linux Format magazine (as sold in all good hypermarkets) to rescue my PC.


Yes I back Derek,s suggestion on buying Linux Format it using comes with an installation disc for some flavour of Linux/Ubuntu/Fedora etc etc but they come with installable apps as well including resculux which will boot just about any system its one of the simpler kind to use and will boot Windows . Your problem with Windows 10 is usually 60 %/70 % drivers .Remove your video card and use the inbuilt one on the motherboard thats a big issue in this situation remove all ancillaries except your keyboard+mouse+ router/modem +screen and try again.

bishbut says:
6 September 2017

I said when windows10 first came out it was made just for computer experts and geeks not for the average computer user I still think the same now But it seems experts are having problems now


I think it would be fair to say that Windows 10 was designed mostly for Microsoft’s benefit – i.e. to try an re-unify their customer base from the groups of folk who either did or did not like Windows 8.

An obvious additional objective was to strengthen the use of the Microsoft online equivalent of the Google Play Store (and, of course, also whatever the Apple equivalent is called). Ideally, I think Microsoft (and Google and Apple) would love to be monopoly software suppliers for their respective OSes, so they can take a nice percentage cut of all software purchases.

As far as that goes, I think W10, W8, W7, Vista and XP all pretty much do the same job. But with Microsoft (and other) software suppliers phasing out support for the likes of XP and Vista (etc…) sooner or later users of those systems may choose to move on to new, still supported OSes – but not necessarily ones from the Microsoft stable.

At least where I’ve worked, the rise of Microsoft Windows was largely driven by the demands of folk who wanted (or needed) Microsoft Excel. But, for home use, I doubt that that can still be regarded as a compelling reason for wanting to use Windows. This is especially so if continuing Windows usage comes with the penalty of a learning curve for the transition to W10 and/or the need to replace older, no longer supported hardware.


Derek , its funny when we start talking about Windows 10 all of sudden I get emails from US tech websites of which I am a ,member, on MS,s latest “adventures ” . The “good ” news is that Win 10,s latest inbuilt protection has gone “AI” . As you know they gather every bit of intelligence from you but their new partnership with a third party AI company enhances their protection —the bad news although denying it this private company collects ALL your data its called Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) . Although it works (so far ) its not free , the company is FireEye -Ken Gonzalez VP thinks a lot of it but maybe users wont as the Telemetry collects- installed apps-crash dumps- and a complete rundown of your system and use ( all done in the best possible taste of coarse ) MS have NOT announced that that FireFly collects all your data. As for Google I have all the latest data on their data bit mining and much more, highly enlightening.

DerekP says:
6 September 2017

Duncan, as I see it, when going onto the internet one is entering a public space, just as if one takes a walk down the local high street. In either case, we can be spied upon, either by tracking software or by the likes of CCTV.

Online, we might resort to encryption software to give ourselves the illusion of privacy, but quite likely some latter-day Alan Turing will come along and crack the encryption.

If I had any computer data that I really needed to keep private and secure from prying eyes, I’d start by keeping it only on computers that were never allowed to access the internet.