KB5004296 is an optional update for Windows 10 with lots of fixes
Microsoft released optional updates KB5004296 and KB5004293 for Windows 10 versions 1909, 2004, 20H2 and 21H1 today that address gaming issues and other issues in those versions of Windows 10.
KB5004296, released for Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2 and 21H1, and KB5004293, released for Windows 10 version 1900, are optional updates. Generally speaking, it is not advised to install these unless they do fix a critical issue on a device you are using.
You need to seek for the updates manually if you are using Windows Updates, or download the updates from the Microsoft Update Catalog website to install them manually. You find the update listed under optional quality updates in Windows Update.
Here are the update catalog links:
The updates will be part of the coming August 2021 Patch Tuesday, which happens on August 10, 2021.
KB5004296 is released for Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2 and 21H1; the changes that the update makes are identical for all versions.
Microsoft changes the Timeline functionality in this release. Windows Timeline was introduced in December 2017 by Microsoft as an option to launch past activities. The change limits Timeline activity to the local device if Microsoft Accounts are used. The change does not affect Azure Active Directory accounts.
The update fixes several gaming related issues that gamers may have experienced in previous versions of these versions of Windows 10. The following issues are addressed:
- Fixes an issue that prevented unnamed gaming services from opening games in desktop environments.
- Fixes an issue that caused Game Mode and power plans to work incorrectly; this resulted in reduced performance while gaming.
- Fixes an issue that played sound too loudly when selecting "something" and using trigger buttons on a game controller.
The update addresses several other issues, all non-security related:
- Fixes a searchindexer issue that caused it to stop working and create duplicate profile names.
- Fixes an issue that prevented you from entering text using IME (Input Method Editor).
- Fixes a file deletion issue on network drives that stopped the process after reaching 99%.
- Fixes an issue that caused Group Policy extension processing to fail in the Group Policy Registry Telemetry.
- Fixes an issue that rebuild Windows Filtering Platform filters repeatedly.
- Fixes an MDM service issue that failed to apply certain junk mail rules correctly.
- Fixes an issue that caused the enrollment of the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) certificate to fail with the error, “0x80090027 NTE_INVALID_PARAMETER”. This issue occurs when the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) provider (the Microsoft Software Key Storage Provider) stores the key.
- Fixes a System Integrity memory leak issue.
- Fixes a wrong event template issue when auditing events 4624 and 5142 in Dutch.
- Fixes an issue that made "Network Internal Access" appear on the taskbar network icon when the Internet is accessed from certain domains.
- Fixes an Internet connectivity detection issue after connecting to virtual private networks.
- Fixes a printing issue that caused jobs to stop or print the wrong output.
- Fixes a "rare" performance issue in applications that call "Gdiplus.dll!GdipMeasureString in a tight loop with a new font on each call".
- Fixes an audio channel streaming issue.
- Fixes a display issue that displayed RemoteFX USB devices as Remote Desktop Generic USB Device instead of the actual name.
- Fixes an issue in which Set-RDSessionCollectionConfiguration did not set the camerastoredirect:s:value custom property.
- Fixes a memory leak in Local Security Authority Subsystem Service domain controller.
- Fixes a network drive hat maps to a Distributed File System (DFS) root after you sign out access issue.
- Fixes a reconnection issue to mapped network drives after signing in.
- Addresses an issue that prevented access to files on a Server Message Block (SMB) share when you enabled Access Enabled Enumeration (ABE).
- Fixes a Windows Server service starting issue when SrvComment was greater than 128 characters.
- Fixes an issue in Windows Network File System that could prevent the renaming of a file after mounting an NFS share.
- Fixes an issue with an unhandled Open File dialog critical exception.
- Adds a new policy that creates generic strings and removes branding-specific terms, such as “Windows” or “PC”, for IoT Enterprise editions.
- Fixes an issue which caused the Storage Sense page in Settings to report the size of some devices incorrectly.
KB5004293 shares many of the fixes, but not all of them.
Now You: do you install optional Windows updates?