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A bug prevents XPS and OXPS files from opening in Windows 11 and 10

A new issue affects Microsoft's actual operating systems. When you try to open an XPS or OXPS file on Windows 11 or 10, the built-in viewer hangs and creates heavy CPU load. This happens to documents in some non-English languages.

XPS Viewer Icon

The Windows Health Dashboard documentation includes some details on this new issue. According to it, XPS Viewer may consume up to 2.5GB of RAM and then crash.

The bug was introduced in patches KB5014666 and KB5014668. The first one adds new printing capabilities to Windows 10, and the latter adds Spotlight on Desktop in Windows 11. Microsoft is currently working to resolve it, or provide some workaround.

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 XPS component has been created by Microsoft to compete with Adobe PDF format. However, it didn't get notable market share. Due to its low popularity, Microsoft doesn't enable it by default in recent releases of Windows 10, and in Windows 11.

So, the bug should not affect a huge number of users. Only those who have enabled it in optional features and work with documents in non-latin languages may run into trouble.

Interested users can track the issue status here.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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