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 Update is a bifurcated mess

Windows Update is a bifurcated mess

Windows 10 now has two different Windows Update subsystems, running simultaneously, with different rules, conflicting goals and little documentation. Can’t see this week's Previews? You aren’t alone.

Microsoft releases some 'optional, non-security, C/D Week' Win10 patches. Avoid them.

Microsoft releases some 'optional, non-security, C/D Week' Win10 patches. Avoid them.

In a return to its boorish behavior, Microsoft released several Windows 10 patches, presumably to preview non-security fixes as well as another .NET preview. Microsoft had stopped releasing these confusing middle-of-the-month patches...

Outlook went down for four hours Wednesday. What happened?

Outlook went down for four hours Wednesday. What happened?

The version of Outlook that runs on Windows PCs suddenly stopped working worldwide on Wednesday. The outage wasn’t caused by a bad patch. It wasn’t restored by an update. Microsoft isn’t saying much, but there’s a plausible...

It's Patch Tuesday; make sure you pause Windows Updates

It's Patch Tuesday; make sure you pause Windows Updates

Every month we see the same pattern: Microsoft releases a ton of patches, some of them go kablooey, the Chicken Littles cry that you need patch everything right now -- and there are no immediate security problems. Break the habit....

Most bugs in Microsoft's June patches have been fixed; go ahead and patch

Most bugs in Microsoft's June patches have been fixed; go ahead and patch

June was a cruel patching month, with loads of bugs, lots of initial confusion and a few belated fixes. We now have a pretty good handle on what’s going bump in the night. Here’s how to get your patching caught up.

Microsoft nixes update deferral settings, but gives us a TargetReleaseVersionInfo

Microsoft nixes update deferral settings, but gives us a TargetReleaseVersionInfo

The company intentionally removed the “update deferral” options from the Win10 version 2004 Update Advanced options pane, ostensibly “to prevent confusion.” Riiiiight. But there’s good news: a newly documented Pro, Education and...

Debilitating 'Outlook needs to close' bug linked to a bad Windows cumulative update

Debilitating 'Outlook needs to close' bug linked to a bad Windows cumulative update

Microsoft has acknowledged that a combination of the June 2-or-later version of Microsoft 365 (nee Office 365) and the June Win10 cumulative updates cause Outlook to disavow its PST files. The source of the problem seems to be a bug...

Windows 10 version 2004 slams into a Storage Spaces brick wall

Windows 10 version 2004 slams into a Storage Spaces brick wall

According to official sources, the latest Windows upgrade contains a bug in the Storage Spaces feature. Information, as usual, is sketchy. We have no idea what triggers the bug, or whether rolling back to 1909 will fix it, but … why...

June cumulative updates cause multiple problems with network printers

June cumulative updates cause multiple problems with network printers

There are reports all over of the Windows June cumulative updates – KB 4560960 (Win10 version 1903/1909), KB 4557957 (Win10 2004), KB 4561608 (Win10 1809/Server 2019) and KB 4561612 (Server 2012) – breaking network printers....

Some Win10 PCs are apparently being upgraded to version 2004 without consent

Some Win10 PCs are apparently being upgraded to version 2004 without consent

I’m seeing an increase in the number of people who claim that their Windows 10 version 1903 or 1909 computers were upgraded to version 2004, without warning. The behavior might be due to a bug in the way Win10 handles “Pause...

Microsoft Patch Tuesday is nigh: Pause updates now.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday is nigh: Pause updates now.

Take a minute right now and make sure you have Windows Update paused. Every month we see problems with patches -- some rare and innocuous, others toxic to a specific subset of Windows users. Step out of the line of fire. It’s easy.

It's a bumpy road for the Win10 version 2004 rollout

It's a bumpy road for the Win10 version 2004 rollout

Microsoft’s been testing the “final” version of Win10 May 2020 Update - better known as version 2004 - for almost six months now. The number and nature of extant problems at this late date hits a new low, even by Microsoft’s...

Get your May 2020 Windows and Office patches installed

Get your May 2020 Windows and Office patches installed

It was quite a month, with an undocumented drive-by patch, five (six?) zero-days, and voluminous reports of bugs that, with two exceptions, don’t appear to have any common cause. Now’s a good time to get Windows and Office patched.

It’s time to squirrel away a clean copy of Win10 version 1909

It’s time to squirrel away a clean copy of Win10 version 1909

With Win10 version 2004 locked and loaded and ready to fire at any moment, now would be a very good time to store away an official, clean copy of Win10 version 1909. You never know when it might come in handy.

Check to make sure you have Windows updates paused

Check to make sure you have Windows updates paused

Patch Tuesday is here. While we aren’t expecting any big surprises, it would behoove you to ensure that Windows has been set to wait until the dust clears. Yes, you have to patch eventually. No, you don’t have to patch immediately.

Odd problems remain unresolved, but get the April Windows and Office patches installed

Odd problems remain unresolved, but get the April Windows and Office patches installed

In spite of persistent reports of pesky problems with April’s updates, there doesn’t seem to be a single point of pain. You need to watch out for the long-documented 'missing' data/zapped desktop bug, and it’s possible your printers...

Cumulative Update bugs spur Microsoft to call for help. Where’s the telemetry when we need it?

Cumulative Update bugs spur Microsoft to call for help. Where’s the telemetry when we need it?

The recent round of complaints about bugs in KB 4549951, this month’s Win10 version 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, have prompted a request from Microsoft to sound off. That’s great. But you have to wonder why we’re sending Microsoft...

Many reported problems with this month’s Win10 Cumulative Update, but few patterns

Many reported problems with this month’s Win10 Cumulative Update, but few patterns

The Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 Patch Tuesday patch for this month, KB 4549951, has drawn lots of criticism (and more than a few clickbaity headlines) for bugs and crashes. We’re seeing a reappearance of the old race...

Patch Tuesday alert: Get your system locked down.

Patch Tuesday alert: Get your system locked down.

With all the problems we’re having, the last thing you need is a bum patch throwing your system (or your family's systems) for a loop. Take a couple of minutes right now and make sure you have Windows automatic updating set to pause....

Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic

Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic

Competitive decisions made in the past need to be re-examined in light of the world’s current COVID-fettered state. It’s time for Microsoft to look hard at how its behavior wreaks unnecessary havoc on a billion customers. We need to...

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