A Windows 10 bug can corrupt some FLAC music files, but there’s a fix

Windows 10 FLAC music files

If you’re maintaining your own collection of FLAC (Free
Lossless Audio Codec) downloads from an online store, makes
sure that you don’t edit the metadata using Windows 10’s File
Explorer. This is according to a new support document issued by

In Windows 10 version 2004 and newer, there is a bug that will
corrupt the FLAC music files if you modify its metadata using
File Explorer. This bug affects Windows 10 Pro, Home,
Enterprise, Workstation and other editions of the operating

As per a support document published earlier this
month, Windows 10’s File Explorer bug will corrupt certain FLAC
files that contain an ID3 frame before the FLAC header. ID3 is
a frame and it’s responsible for storing information such as
the music title, artist, album, track number, etc.

On Windows 10, the FLAC hander ignored the ID3 frame because it
assumed that FLAC files use the 4-byte fLaC at the beginning.
When the music file was edited by users, the ID3 frame was
overwritten without the start code. As a result, music players
couldn’t identify the modified file.

The music files wouldn’t play or load if their title, artist,
or other metadata is changed in File Explorer.

Fortunately, Microsoft has identified the root cause and a fix
is now available via Windows Update.

In the KB5003214 update changelog, Microsoft confirmed that the
bug has been fixed and Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
music files will no longer become unplayable if you change
their title, artist, or other metadata.

For those with corrupted music files, Microsoft has released a
new PowerShell script that you can run to make the file
playable again. However, it cannot restore the lost metadata
that was stored in the ID3 frame.

To avoid issues with FLAC music files in future, Microsoft
recommends applying this month’s optional cumulative update.

However, to be on the safe side, it’s generally a good idea to
wait and see how other users are finding the latest updates
before you decide to upgrade. For example, reports have
suggested that
KB5003214 is causing issues with taskbar and system tray
icons, especially when News and Interests feature is

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