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  • AskWoody FREE Newsletter is out

    Posted on April 22nd, 2020 at 09:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The second edition of the AskWoody FREE Newsletter went out yesterday, to more than 200,000 subscribers.

    I’ve had lots of good questions. Here’s a handful:

    I have somehow managed to acquire two accounts on AskWoody: one a paid-up Plus account, the other an old one just receiving the free newsletter, which is superfluous. They are tied to different email addresses. I tried to log in using the old, free-only account but nowhere can I find ‘Delete account’, ‘Cancel’, ‘Unsubscribe’ or anything. Not one — compared to approx half a million saying how I can sign up. What, again? It ain’t in the FAQs and neither can I find a search feature. It’s like Hotel California in there.

    There’s a reason why. The AskWoody FREE Newsletter operates quite independently of this site, and the Plus Newsletter. If you were a subscriber to the old Windows Secrets Free Newsletter, you’re now on the AskWoody FREE Newsletter mailing list.

    Several of you have suggested that I create an account for everyone who’s getting the FREE Newsletter, but I’d rather not. Those who receive the FREE Newsletter and are interested in getting involved on this site only need to click Register in the upper right corner of this (or any other) page, and set up an AskWoody account.

    Why can’t I change my FREE Newsletter email delivery address?

    Short answer: We haven’t figured out how to put a link in the FREE Newsletters to make that possible. I’m also painfully aware of the fact that the Unsubscribe link in the FREE Newsletters doesn’t always work. No idea why. For now, if you want to change email addresses for the FREE Newsletter, send me a message ( and I’ll delete the old address. You can sign up your new address on our usual FREE Newsletter signup page at any point.

    What’s the hook – how can you afford to send out a FREE Newsletter, especially if you don’t sell or rent the mailing list? After all, putting together a free weekly mailing for 200,000 subscribers can get a bit, uh, pricey.

    The answer’s simple — and it’s the same motivation that led to the Windows Secrets Free Newsletter decades ago. We’ve found that a substantial percentage of the people who get the FREE Newsletter are interested in reading the whole Plus Newsletter. They discover that they can become Plus Members for a price that they think is fair (not $39 or $59, as was the case 18 months ago), scratch their heads, and sign up.

    If you’re getting the FREE Newsletter and want to move on up to the Plus Newsletter (and get emailed Alerts, and access to Susan Bradley’s Master Patch List), there’s a simple three-step process:

    1. Get an account on Click Register in the upper right corner, and connect the dots. It’s free.
    2. Sign on with your new account.
    3. On the right, under Plus Membership, click the link to sign up for Plus Membership. You can make a donation that you think is fair, with a credit card or with PayPal.

    We don’t store any of your payment information. (PayPal prompts for theirs; Stripe handles our credit card payments.)

    No, we aren’t like all the other sites. We don’t have a corporate overlord — we’re 100% donation based. Everything you donate goes straight to paying the bills. If that seems weird, well, OK, I guess it is. But that’s how AskWoody works, how we sink or swim, for better or worse.

    Tell your friends.

  • Running down bugs in our renewal notice system

    Posted on January 4th, 2020 at 10:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We just hit one year of AskWoody Plus memberships, and newsletters. And the bugs are crawling out of the woodwork.

    For some reason I have yet to discern, many of you are getting renewal notices, even though you’ve already renewed. Rest assured that the membership expiration date that you can see in the upper right corner of this site (after you’ve logged in) is the one we have on file.

    If you got an erroneous renewal notice, could you forward it to me?

    Oh boy.

  • A big year for AskWoody — and a bigger one to come

    Posted on December 23rd, 2019 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    Wow! I’m amazed by how far we’ve come in just a year.

    Back in January, we began the daunting task of merging Windows Secrets with AskWoody, starting with a re-launch of the weekly newsletter.

    Then, over the following months, we brought over almost all Windows Secrets Lounge posts (more than a million questions and answers) and converted all Windows Secrets Loungers to AskWoody members — now numbering almost 140,000. Although it took longer than expected, we also imported and reposted the entire back catalog of Windows Secrets Newsletters (17 years of them).

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.47.0 (2019-12-23).

  • Become an AskWoody Insider! Sign up to beta test the AskWoody FREE Newsletter.

    Posted on December 18th, 2019 at 09:51 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist the tease. What, 16 million Windows Insiders? Crimony, even Coca Cola has an Insider program now. Ahem.

    Although it isn’t Inside much of anything, we’re currently scurrying behind the scenes to revive the old Windows Secrets Free Newsletter.

    Rechristened the AskWoody FREE Newsletter, we’ll largely borrow from the old format. Each issue will appear shortly after the Plus Newsletter, and each will lead with the first article from the Plus Newsletter. We’ll also have thumbnails of the other articles, pointers to what’s happening on the AskWoody site, and instructions for signing up — both for the AskWoody Lounge web site, and for the AskWoody PLUS Newsletter.

    Our goal is to give people a reason to become Plus Members, make it easy for people to check out the Newsletters and point their friends to the source, and (if history is any indication) get the word out to many more people. Free.

    Nothing else will change. Everybody will have access to all of the old Newsletters except the most recent ones (which are Plus Member only). Plus Memberships will continue to be based on the donation model — you don’t have to pay $39 or $59 to join Plus.

    The databases will be maintained separately. You can be both a Plus Member (and thus an AskWoody Plus Newsletter subscriber) and a FREE Newsletter subscriber at the same time. You don’t have to sign up for an AskWoody account in order to get the FREE newsletter. The databases all operate independently.

    Timing is up in the air at this point, but I hope to get a couple of test mailings out later this year, with an eye to (hopefully!) going live on January 6. That’s the one-year anniversary of the AskWoody Plus Newsletter.

    If you’d like to help us test the FREE Newsletter, we have a simple sign-up form.

  • Switching to the new Newsletter page

    Posted on September 19th, 2019 at 13:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As promised in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter, we’re moving over to the new Newsletter subsystem.

    If you drop by, you’ll see a list of all of the Newsletters going back to 2003.

    Those who are Plus Members will be able to see the last two months’ set of Newsletters. Other folks will see links, but they won’t be active. Everybody can get to older Newsletters.

    Please kick the tires. We know the figures are missing from 2018 and earlier newsletters, and we’re working on restoring them. If you’d like to volunteer to help, let me know!

    As usual, if you have questions, problems, suggestions, you’re always welcome to write to me at

  • Coming soon: Windows Secrets Newsletter archives!

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    One more big piece of the Windows Secrets legacy is about to drop into place.

    If all goes as planned, in the next few days we’ll have the full catalog of past Windows Secrets newsletters available, right here on AskWoody. You’ll need an AskWoody Plus membership to see the most recent two months of newsletters, but all the rest will be free to one and all.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.33.0 (2019-09-16).

    Thanks to @TBCapen-AW and @joep157 for pulling this all together.

  • Where we’re headed with AskWoody Plus — an update

    Posted on September 9th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    At the beginning of the year, we took over the then soon-to-be-closed Windows Secrets and made it part of AskWoody. It wasn’t an easy transition — and it’s still a work in progress.

    As planned from the beginning, we’ve been working to keep parts of the AskWoody site free to all, while making other parts available only to AskWoody Plus members — those who have supported the site and newsletter through financial contributions.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.32.0 (2019-09-09).

    Special note: If you’re a Plus Member and you didn’t get this newsletter in the past few hours, please drop a line to We’ll get you sorted out.