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.

Disappearing Windows Update deferral pane suddenly reappears

Disappearing Windows Update deferral pane suddenly reappears

An unexplained and unacknowledged bug in Win10 version 1903 Pro Windows Update advanced options made deferral settings vanish. Without any forewarning, it appears as if the bug has been fixed in October’s 'optional, non-security'...

With a few exceptions, all’s clear to install Microsoft’s October patches

With a few exceptions, all’s clear to install Microsoft’s October patches

October started in the cellar, with a third-time attempt at patching the CVE-2019-1367 Internet Explorer zero-day that nobody needed, but the situation has gradually improved. Get the October patches installed, but watch out for a...

How to block the Windows 10 November 2019 Update, version 1909, from installing

How to block the Windows 10 November 2019 Update, version 1909, from installing

True to its trend toward simpler, less in-your-face updates, Windows 10 version 1909 presents a very genteel face — an invitation to install, rather than a “gotcha” grab for your PC. If you want to take control of your computer and...

Microsoft pushes, then yanks, rogue kinda-security patch KB 4523786, ostensibly for Autopilot

Microsoft pushes, then yanks, rogue kinda-security patch KB 4523786, ostensibly for Autopilot

Did you see a security patch for 'Autopilot on Win10 version 1903”'yesterday? Gotcha. Microsoft pushed it to many 1903 seekers — those who clicked 'Check for updates' — then pulled it overnight. It was supposed to go on...

The difference between Defer updates, Pause updates and Delay updates — and what happens with Win10 1909

The difference between Defer updates, Pause updates and Delay updates — and what happens with Win10 1909

Terminology surrounding Windows patches frequently goes through gut-wrenching, inexplicable changes — think Current Branch for Business, Semi-Annual Channel, and all the (Targeted) bafflegab. There’s another change afoot, though, with...

Getting pushed off Win10 1803? Don’t let Microsoft make you move to 1903.

Getting pushed off Win10 1803? Don’t let Microsoft make you move to 1903.

Windows 10 version 1803 hits end of support on Nov. 12 — which means the last security patches will appear next Patch Tuesday. Some customers report that Microsoft is getting very aggressive pushing their 1803 machines to 1903. You...

Windows 7 Pro gets nag patch KB 4524752 with a couple of eerily familiar registry keys

Windows 7 Pro gets nag patch KB 4524752 with a couple of eerily familiar registry keys

Last night, as promised, Microsoft started rolling out the patch to Windows 7 Pro that implements 'Support for Windows 7 is coming to an end' nag screens. While all indications at this point say that the nagging is tame, there’s an...

This month’s Win10 1903 patch throws 'unexpected error; quitting' and doesn’t play well with an Intel video driver

This month’s Win10 1903 patch throws 'unexpected error; quitting' and doesn’t play well with an Intel video driver

The first October cumulative update for Win10 version 1903, KB 4517389, triggers many complaints about rogue 'X' marks, black screens in Chrome, and an unnerving 'unexpected error; quitting' message on older programs. Microsoft hasn’t...

The second round of October patches arrives — with a few twists and a new nag

The second round of October patches arrives — with a few twists and a new nag

As usual for a third Tuesday, yesterday Microsoft released a round of “optional, non-security” cumulative updates for most Win10 versions. We also saw Monthly Rollup Previews for Win7 and 8.1, with an undocumented “compatibility...

Patch Tuesday problems persist: Start stops, Edge crumbles, Outlook and VMware shake

Patch Tuesday problems persist: Start stops, Edge crumbles, Outlook and VMware shake

It looks as if we’ve escaped the major inherited bug in Microsoft’s rapid-fire series of Windows patches — the printing problems have subsided. Now we’re seeing reports of a second wave of bugs: Start menu has critical errors, Edge...

Patch Tuesday preliminary report: Looks like the fourth time’s a charm

Patch Tuesday preliminary report: Looks like the fourth time’s a charm

It’s still much too early to give yesterday’s Windows patches a clean bill of health, but initial reports are most encouraging. In particular, the printer spooling problems introduced by the emergency manual IE zero-day patches on...

As Patch Tuesday approaches, turn off Automatic Update temporarily and — especially — disengage IE

As Patch Tuesday approaches, turn off Automatic Update temporarily and — especially — disengage IE

Tomorrow’s Patch Tuesday and, given all the havoc we’ve seen with the latest Windows patches, you need to get Automatic Update turned off for now. Based on a security report hidden behind a $690 Microsoft paywall, I also recommend...

Microsoft releases even more patches for the CVE-2019-1367 IE zero-day, and the bugs are having a field day

Microsoft releases even more patches for the CVE-2019-1367 IE zero-day, and the bugs are having a field day

Ten days ago, Microsoft released a half-fast set of manual patches aimed at fending off a newly described and “Exploited” Internet Explorer zero-day. Bugs crawled out of the woodwork. Yesterday, Microsoft finally released a true...

Time to install Microsoft's mainstream September patches – and avoid the dregs

Time to install Microsoft's mainstream September patches – and avoid the dregs

This month’s lightning rod patch — the fix for the peek-a-boo Internet Explorer zero-day CVE-2019-1367 — still isn’t in any of the pushed updates. Unless you’re a Chicken Little acolyte, avoid it, but get the rest of the September...

Surprise! Windows 10 version 1903 declared 'ready for broad deployment'

Surprise! Windows 10 version 1903 declared 'ready for broad deployment'

With several known and well-documented bugs still cluttering things up, Microsoft late Thursday declared Win10 version 1903 as ready for business deployment. Hard to tell if it’s a declaration of stability, or a pre-1909-release...

It's time to squirrel away a clean copy of Win10 version 1903

It's time to squirrel away a clean copy of Win10 version 1903

If you’re running any version of Windows other than version 1903, now’s an excellent time to store away a clean copy. It’s easy, free, and (depending on your internet speed) won’t take long. You never know when it’ll be useful.

What do we know about the big, scary, exploited, emergency-patched IE security hole CVE-2019-1367?

What do we know about the big, scary, exploited, emergency-patched IE security hole CVE-2019-1367?

Short answer: nothing. Long answer: almost nothing. But we sure have a convoluted mess of a cleanup.

Microsoft releases emergency IE patches inside 'optional, non-security' cumulative updates

Microsoft releases emergency IE patches inside 'optional, non-security' cumulative updates

After posting patches yesterday that are directed at an Internet Explorer security hole claimed to be under active attack, Microsoft took the next step and released “optional, non-security” Win10 patches through Windows Update and...

Surface support shrivels as battery, driver, update problems persist

Surface support shrivels as battery, driver, update problems persist

A wide range of problems, from hardware to drivers to software, continue to dog Microsoft Surface owners. Is Microsoft doing enough to help?

Heads up: Microsoft is back to snooping with this month’s Win7 and 8.1 'security-only' patches

Heads up: Microsoft is back to snooping with this month’s Win7 and 8.1 'security-only' patches

If you thought you could install Microsoft’s 'security-only' patches and just, you know, get security fixes, think again. This month’s KB 4516033 (Win7) and KB 4516064 (Win8.1) install and activate full telemetry.

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