Microsoft warns Windows users that a recent update has broken XPS viewing

Microsoft headquarters

Craving another problem caused by an update to Windows? Microsoft is happy to oblige! The company has issued a warning that users who install the KB5014666 update -- yes, the same update that caused printing problems and issues with the language bar -- may experience difficulties with XPS files.

The problem means that XPS documents with non-English language characters might not open, and it is not limited to those who have installed the KB5014666 update.

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More than just being caused by a single update, Microsoft says that the KB5014666 update and subsequent updates can also be to blame. The issue affects Windows 11 version 21H2, Windows 10 versions 21H2, 21H1, and 20H2, as well as Windows Server version 20H2.

In a status update on the Windows release health pages entitled "XPS documents with non-English language characters might not open", Microsoft says:

After installing KB5014666 or later updates, XPS Viewer might be unable to open XML Paper Specification (XPS) documents in some non-English languages, including some Japanese and Chinese character encodings. This issue affects both XML Paper Specification (XPS) and Open XML Paper Specification (OXPS) files. When encountering this issue, you may receive an error, "This page cannot be displayed" within XPS Viewer or it might stop responding and have high CPU usage with continually increasing memory usage. When the error is encountered, if XPS Viewer is not closed it might reach up to 2.5GB of memory usage before closing unexpectedly.

The bad news is that there is currently no fix available. Microsoft says simply: "We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release".

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