Woody Leonhard

Columnist

Woody Leonhard is a columnist at Computerworld and author of dozens of Windows books, including "Windows 10 All-in-One for Dummies." Get the latest on and vent your spleen about Windows at AskWoody.com.

Windows 10 version 1803 customers: Brace for impact

Windows 10 version 1803 customers: Brace for impact

Microsoft just officially announced that it’s revving up its algorithms, with an eye toward pushing Win10 version 1903 on machines running Win10 1803 or earlier. One little problem: It didn’t say how it's going to push. Possibilities...

The case against knee-jerk installation of Windows patches

The case against knee-jerk installation of Windows patches

You have to install Windows and Office patches sooner or later. But there’s little reason to install them as soon as they’re rolled out the automatic update chute — and all the reason in the world to wait a couple of weeks. Unless you...

Microsoft is better at documenting patch problems, but issues abound

Microsoft is better at documenting patch problems, but issues abound

For years we’ve been flailing around in the dark after bad patches wreaked havoc on Windows PCs. It often took days, or weeks, to identify bugs based on sporadic reports. The last two months have seen improvement, but there's still a...

Save yourself a headache: Make sure Windows automatic update is off

Save yourself a headache: Make sure Windows automatic update is off

If you’re running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, and you haven’t yet installed the latest patches, drop everything and get patched now. For everybody else, it's Patch Tuesday week; you’d be well advised to remove the claws from...

It’s time to install the May Windows and Office patches

It’s time to install the May Windows and Office patches

If you haven’t yet installed the Windows XP/Vista/Win7 patches to guard against the “wormable” BlueKeep Remote Desktop hole, do so now.

How to block the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, from installing

How to block the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, from installing

With the May 2019 feature update to Windows 10 (version 1903) almost ready to hit the fan, here are the best ways to ensure you install it when you’re ready — even in the face of recent forced updates from Microsoft.

Over the weekend Microsoft unleashed a flurry of Windows updates to fix the 'gov.uk' bug

Over the weekend Microsoft unleashed a flurry of Windows updates to fix the 'gov.uk' bug

This month’s Patch Tuesday brought howls of pain to many Internet Explorer and Edge users who tried to get to certain websites that end with gov.uk. On Saturday and Sunday, Microsoft released new patches for all versions of Windows,...

If you’re running Windows XP, 7 or associated Servers, patch them

If you’re running Windows XP, 7 or associated Servers, patch them

The much-publicized “wormable” security hole in Windows XP and Windows 7, and similar-era Windows Servers needs to be patched now. The benefits of patching those older machines outweigh the risks.

Patches are coming Tuesday. Make sure Windows Update gets locked down.

Patches are coming Tuesday. Make sure Windows Update gets locked down.

With Patch Tuesday arriving, this is the time to make sure that you have your patching mechanism thoroughly clogged. You’ll have to apply the May patches sooner or later but, as has been amply demonstrated many times recently, you’re...

New Win10 1903 'Download and install now' — for cumulative updates, too?

New Win10 1903 'Download and install now' — for cumulative updates, too?

Win10 version 1903, due any day now, will include an update-delaying mechanism called “Download and install now.” We’ve only seen it in action once — and in a confusing way. Will it only delay version changes, as promised, or will it...

Now’s the time to install the April Windows and Office patches

Now’s the time to install the April Windows and Office patches

With one final April patch delivered in May, the time looks ripe to install last month’s patches. One antivirus manufacturer has a significant disagreement with Microsoft about the April patches, but you can easily bypass the problem...

Win10 version 1809 gets its laggard second 'April' cumulative update, KB 4501835

Win10 version 1809 gets its laggard second 'April' cumulative update, KB 4501835

But with a release on the first Wednesday in May, is the long-anticipated 'optional non-security' cumulative update an 'E Week' patch, an early 'A Week' or something else altogether? Inquiring minds, etc., etc.

About that Windows 7 End-of-Life nag screen: It ain’t working

About that Windows 7 End-of-Life nag screen: It ain’t working

Microsoft's end-of-life screen telling Windows 7 users to back up their files and prepare for what's next has had zero effect on Windows 7 usage statistics.

Second-wave April Windows patches arrive, not with a bang, but a Japanese whimper

Second-wave April Windows patches arrive, not with a bang, but a Japanese whimper

We waited an extra 10 days for this? Microsoft has released its second monthly patches for Windows. Oddities abound, but there’s no fix for the mammoth bluescreen antivirus conflict in Win7 or 8.1, and precious little improvement...

Where are the April Windows patches?

Where are the April Windows patches?

The April second cumulative updates and Monthly Rollup Previews have gone missing. Usually we get them on the third Tuesday. Now the fourth Tuesday has passed, and we still have nothing. Patching predictability? Pshaw.

Here's an easier way to block the IE XXE zero day security hole

Here's an easier way to block the IE XXE zero day security hole

Many well-intentioned people recommend you disable/uninstall Internet Explorer right now to guard against a newly published zero day. It turns out there’s a much simpler way to fix the problem, as long as you don’t rely on MHT files....

Win7/8.1/Server patch conflicts abated, somewhat, but it’s still too early to install the April crop

Win7/8.1/Server patch conflicts abated, somewhat, but it’s still too early to install the April crop

The blue-screen-inducing behavior in Sophos and Avast antivirus products has been addressed by emergency new versions. Avira, oddly, has yanked its advisories, but there’s no announced all-clear. In all cases, it’s still much too...

This month’s Windows patching debacle gradually comes into focus

This month’s Windows patching debacle gradually comes into focus

April 2019 Windows patches wreaked havoc on many PCs, with crashes linked to Sophos, Avast and Avira products and debilitating slowdown reports on Win10 1809 machines. Who’s testing this stuff? Ends up the answer isn’t all that...

Widespread reports of freezing with yesterday’s Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups, KB 4493472 and  KB 4493446

Widespread reports of freezing with yesterday’s Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups, KB 4493472 and KB 4493446

While most of Patch Tuesday seems to be going relatively smoothly, Win7, Win8.1, Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 machines are seeing multiple problems with this month’s patches, both Security-only updates and Monthly Rollups. Sophos has...

Patch Tuesday’s coming, so lock down automatic updates

Patch Tuesday’s coming, so lock down automatic updates

Some day we may have decent Windows update-blocking settings, although I remain skeptical. For now, with Patch Tuesday nigh, it’s prudent to check and make sure you have automatic updating turned off.

Load More