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.

For Patch Tuesday, verify you have 'Pause Updates' enabled

For Patch Tuesday, verify you have 'Pause Updates' enabled

If you like to install Microsoft’s patches as soon as they roll out the chute, hey, have at it. But if you’re even a little bit skeptical, here’s how to make sure your machine isn’t in the first cohort of cannon fodder.

Win10 Search blackout due to 'fiber provider' glitch? Pull the other one, Microsoft.

Win10 Search blackout due to 'fiber provider' glitch? Pull the other one, Microsoft.

Microsoft blamed the widespread Win10 Search blackout we experienced yesterday on a 'third-party networking fiber provider that experienced a network interruption.' Hogwash. Somebody at Microsoft is beta-testing buggy software on our...

Has your Win10 Search box gone black? Does Search even work?

Has your Win10 Search box gone black? Does Search even work?

The Windows 10 Search debacle continues, with many people reporting this morning that their Search box has turned black and that Search itself doesn’t work. The cause seems to be related to Microsoft moving Search from old-fashioned...

It’s not too late to get an Extended Security Update license for Windows 7

It’s not too late to get an Extended Security Update license for Windows 7

Every business — even a business of one — qualifies to put Extended Security Update patches on a “genuine” Win7 Pro or Ultimate machine. It costs less than $70 and, thanks to a benevolent official Microsoft CSP, it’s not incredibly...

The 'optional, non-security' update for Win10 version 1909, KB 4532695, runs zero for two

The 'optional, non-security' update for Win10 version 1909, KB 4532695, runs zero for two

We had two high hopes for the next patch to Win10 — that Microsoft would finally fix the Win10 version 1909 File Explorer Search bugs, and that the IE JScript Security Advisory ADV200001/CVE-2020-0674 hole would get plugged. Nope and...

Is Microsoft messing with your Win10 Search box builds?

Is Microsoft messing with your Win10 Search box builds?

Following up on a report that the Win10 Search bar on some machines is suddenly showing “Start a web search” instead of the usual “Type here to search” text, it appears as if Microsoft is updating the Search box without your advice or...

The perils of shouting 'fire' in a crowd of PC patchers

The perils of shouting 'fire' in a crowd of PC patchers

It happens over and over again. Microsoft releases a patch and the world panics. Dire predictions of doom stampede Windows customers into installing patches, then – poof! – the threat disappears. Who gets hurt when the industry cries...

Microsoft blinks again, promises to clean up after its Win7 'Stretch' black screen mess

Microsoft blinks again, promises to clean up after its Win7 'Stretch' black screen mess

Microsoft introduced a new 'Stretch' wallpaper bug in its last-ever Win7 patch, then claimed it would only fix the problem for paying customers. Now, it looks like everyone will get it — but how?

Get the January 2020 Patch Tuesday patches installed

Get the January 2020 Patch Tuesday patches installed

Usually it’s smart to wait until the end of the month before installing the Patch Tuesday patches. This month, though, patches seem to be behaving themselves, and the Crypto API CurveBall CVE-2020-0601 security hole looms. Admins take...

Don’t worry about CurveBall just yet — get your Citrix systems patched

Don’t worry about CurveBall just yet — get your Citrix systems patched

All eyes are focused on the NSA-promoted CVE-2020-0601 Crypt32.dll vulnerability, for which there are no active attacks. Meh. There’s a much bigger problem with Citrix Application Delivery Controller and Citrix Gateway. If you have...

Worried about an NSA ChainOfFools/CurveBall attack? There are lots of moving parts. Test your system.

Worried about an NSA ChainOfFools/CurveBall attack? There are lots of moving parts. Test your system.

While many researchers recommend that you install Microsoft’s January Patch Tuesday updates to fend off a not-yet-imminent attack from the CVE-2020-0601 security hole, skeptics who are concerned about buggy Windows updates can now...

Windows 7 end of support: Separating the bull from the horns

Windows 7 end of support: Separating the bull from the horns

There’s a lot of misinformation about Win7 end-of-life bouncing around the blogosphere. While the last free official Win7/Server 2008 R2 patch appeared yesterday, there’s more to the story. No need to go running to the nearest...

Patch Tuesday aftermath: The NSA Crypt32 threat is real, but not yet imminent

Patch Tuesday aftermath: The NSA Crypt32 threat is real, but not yet imminent

In one of the most-watched Patch Tuesdays ever, Microsoft yesterday unveiled its security patches for all recent versions of Windows. Star of the show: a security hole contributed by the NSA. As of Wednesday morning, there’s at least...

Today's Patch Tuesday brings fireworks and — a magic bullet?

Today's Patch Tuesday brings fireworks and — a magic bullet?

The world is expecting a Thor’s thunder clap of a Windows patch later today. Given Microsoft’s track record with flashy hyper-hyped patches, a bit of skepticism is in order. Here’s a bit of history, and an invitation to a ringside...

With Patch Tuesday arriving, get Windows Automatic Update under control

With Patch Tuesday arriving, get Windows Automatic Update under control

If you’re running Win7, 8.1, or Win10 1903 or 1909, putting on a temporary patching pause is quick and easy. Other versions, not so much. Here’s how to run to the sidelines, so you can watch while the pioneers engage in unpaid Windows...

The December 2019 Microsoft patches get the all-clear

The December 2019 Microsoft patches get the all-clear

There was – and is – no pressing reason to install the December 2019 patches, other than the imminent arrival of January’s Patch Tuesday on Jan. 14. The only major hiccup lies in wait for those who install Win7 patches (or .NET...

Why — and how — I’m moving Win10 production machines to version 1903

Why — and how — I’m moving Win10 production machines to version 1903

As a card-carrying member of the Ain’t-Broke-Don’t-Fix Society, I’ve been keeping my production machines on Win10 1809. It’s now time to move on — but not all the way to Win10 version 1909, which continues to have a major Search bug.

Bugs continue to haunt Win10 version 1909

Bugs continue to haunt Win10 version 1909

Billed as the kinder, gentler update to Windows, the latest version 1909 is still plagued by persistent wake-up and botched search.

Microsoft blinks: Security Essentials will continue to receive updates after Jan. 14

Microsoft blinks: Security Essentials will continue to receive updates after Jan. 14

According to an official post, the company will continue to ship updates to Microsoft Security Essentials after Win7’s demise on Jan. 7. At least, that's what we've been promised. The FAQ hasn't been fixed yet.

Will Microsoft stop updating its Security Essentials on Jan. 14? Are you sure?

Will Microsoft stop updating its Security Essentials on Jan. 14? Are you sure?

A very poorly worded support document and a glimpse at the past have me wondering if Microsoft will, in fact, continue supporting its premier Win7 antivirus product after Win7 hits the skids next month.

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