News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

Blog Archives

  • October 2020 Office non-Security Updates have been released

    Posted on October 6th, 2020 at 12:54 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The October 2020 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, October 6, 2020. They are not included in the DEFCON-4 approval for the September 2020 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and  recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4475584)
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB4484502)
    Update for Microsoft Visio 2016 (KB4484333)
    Update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB4486669)

    There were no non-security listings for Office 2007 (which is out of support), for Office 2010 which will reach End of Support 10/13/2020, or for Office 2013 .

    Updates are for the .msi version (persistent). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • Can you quantify the damage done by bad patches?

    Posted on September 27th, 2020 at 17:02 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve long concentrated on explaining patches’ bugs and how to work around them. I’ve never really tried to quantify how many PCs got hit, or what financial damage the bad patches have caused.

    Some people think that patches in the last 20 years don’t break stuff. Per Daniel Cuthbert:

    In the late 90s and early 2000s, patches used to break stuff so people never did auto-updates. 20 years later, those still think patches break the world (they do, it’s super damn rare) and yet the pro’s outweigh the cons but an entire IT industry still thinks otherwise

    Here’s a request from Mitja Kolsek that asks about damage:

    Twitter friends! I’m looking for recent (past 5 years) real-world cases where an official vendor update broke stuff AND caused considerable damage. Personal experiences as well as proofs of my poor googling skills welcome.

    So, what do you say? Have any patches in the past five years caused you or your company “considerable damage”?

  • Outlook 365 update bug with iCloud: Changing a contact throws “Your changes cannot be saved” error

    Posted on September 18th, 2020 at 04:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I first heard about this from WSsabfish:

    Both my wife and I are having the identical problem on our PC’s running Office 2016 (I have Windows 8.1; she has Windows 10). I believe this problem was caused by an Office update. Both computers have an iCloud account tied to them. When we attempt to change a contact in Outlook, we are greeted with a message stating “Your changes cannot be saved because you do not have permission to modify some or all of the items in this folder. Do you want to save a copy of this item in the default folder for this item?

    Microsoft has acknowledged the bug – in a one-line post to the Microsoft Answers forum:

    A fix is being worked on and ETA by end of week ~9/18.

    I’ve seen the bug reported for Office 2010, Office 2016, and Microsoft (nee Office) 365.

    We’ll see if the fix actually fixes the problem, and how it gets distributed.

  • Patch Lady – Office retail flipping to 365?

    Posted on September 17th, 2020 at 20:56 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Got this in the mail the other day

    Susan –

    Since you are the undisputed Queen of Microsoft update patches, so I wanted to share my story with you. I haven’t ever run into an update like this.

    My office computer – a Dell XPS desktop running Win10 has Microsoft Office 2016 installed. This is a stand alone set up in my home office. No network, no Exchange server. Just about the simplest set up possible.

    In August, I ran the update to Office. Afterward, I opened Outlook and was amazed at the extensive design changes. New icons, fonts, spacing, and features like the search bar had been moved. Most curious was that when starting Outlook, the splash screen said Outlook 365. I noticed similar cosmetic changes in Excel and Word.

    I thought it curious but I was very busy with some projects so I adapted and moved on. This week, I was surprised to see that all the changes disappeared! My icons, fonts etc reverted to the pre-update appearance. All the prior mentions of “365” are gone.

    I did a quick google for problems related to the update and nothing I saw mentioned temporary conversion to 365 as a feature or flaw. My computer seems to run fine and I am happier with the older design but that was just a weird sequence of events. I guess Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away!

    Then also received this email

    Also, just now when I went to open a Word document I noticed it says “Office 365”.  I don’t ever remember seeing that before and I definitely don’t have the online subscription.  I bought both Word and Excel as stand alone programs two years ago and now I also notice that the screens for Word and Excel look different including the appearance of the icons.  Microsoft couldn’t have just changed my programs to subscription only programs with the Win 10 update could they?  I am so annoyed because the icons look different and I have to be sure what each on is now to avoid making a mistake.

    These are two credible reports I received that retail versions of Office got an update that caused them to get 365 “branding” as well as design changes… and then in September they got their original branding back.  Okay Microsoft… what were you up to?

  • September 2020 Office non-Security Updates are now available

    Posted on September 1st, 2020 at 12:38 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The September 2020 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, September 1, 2020. They will not be included in the DEFCON approval for the August 2020 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and  recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4484251)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4484395)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4484500)
    Update for Microsoft Outlook 2016 (KB4484511)
    Update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB4484501)

    Office 2013
    Update for Microsoft Visio 2013 (KB4484355)

    There were no non-security listings for Office 2007 (which is out of support) nor for Office 2010.

    Updates are for the .msi version (persistent). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • Outlook 2019 – recent update makes it impossible for an admin to uncheck “Always ask before opening this type of file”

    Posted on August 26th, 2020 at 11:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This in from BW:

    Until the June Outlook 2019 updates, I’ve always been able to uncheck “Always ask before opening this type of file” for various extensions by starting Outlook as administrator. It’s always been necessary after MS Office updates but at least it worked. Now it doesn’t. Remains greyed out even when running as admin. Really annoying since I know what I’m doing and don’t need the extra warning. Plus I open attachments all the time. It’s especially annoying when it’s an attachment in an email that I’ve saved and need to go back to often. Note that it also doesn’t work if you’ve, say, saved an Excel spreadsheet or Word document directly in an outlook folder, not as an attachment.

    I know there used to be registry settings for this. I no longer have those and could look them up online but given this latest change not sure even that would work.

    Anybody out there seeing the same problem? Got a solution?

  • August 2020 Office non-Security Updates have been released

    Posted on August 4th, 2020 at 12:43 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The August 2020 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, August 4, 2020. They are not included in the DEFCON-3 approval for the July 2020 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and  recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4484418)
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB4484477)
    Update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB4484464)

    Office 2010
    Update for Microsoft Office 2010 (KB4484454)
    Update for Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 (KB4092435)

    There were no non-security listings for Office 2007 (which is out of support) nor for Office 2013.

    Updates are for the .msi version (persistent). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • Bad Office Click-to-Run (and installed MSI version?) update blamed for Outlook freeze

    Posted on July 15th, 2020 at 12:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Lots of reports this morning about Outlook freezing on start.

    From an anonymous poster on AskWoody:

    Today when I went to check my email, Outlook would not open; it would load the “Starting Outlook…” splash screen, which would close without opening the Outlook window itself, and the taskbar icon went away. Looking in Reliability History, it states that Outlook has crashed.

    I tried opening in safe mode (it does the exact same process as described above) and restarting the computer to no avail. I even tried the full repair (not the quick one), redownloading and reactivating MS Office 2019, but no go.

    Quintalis on Reddit:

    Outlook immediately crashing on open after patching last night

    Even in safe mode, appcrash. Full online repair no good, rolling back updates, anyone seeing this?

    edit: appcrash, exception code 0xc0000005, re-install no good, rollback no good. We also regedited for sigred mitigation last night, I’m tempted to temporarily undo that and test…

    edit2: temporarily unpatched sigred, tested, not the culprit!

    edit3: Had some copies of Office 2019 C2R lying around, installed version 1808 (Build 10363.20015 Click-to-run) and it’s working. Yay?

    From tenebrousrogue:

    I’ve got a fix, after this hit several of our clients. Performing a rollback fixed it, must be a bad office update. open cmd, run:

    cd “\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun”

    then:

    officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.6366.2062

    EDIT: u/peEtr had success as well, with a more recent version (June24th). Change the second command to:

    officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.12827.20470

    Additional reports (1, 2, 3)

    UPDATE: From @rpodric

    I assumed the update they were talking about was server side, since I’ve been on the same C2R (Beta) build for a week, but who knows. Nothing should have changed build-wise here. My third attempt running it this morning was successful somehow.

    In the past few minutes, Microsoft has acknowledged the bug, but you’re on your own. “As a workaround, users can utilize Outlook on the web or their mobile clients.” Golly. My PC doesn’t work for email, so I need to whip out my iPad?

    ANOTHER UPDATE: Microsoft says “We’re rolling out a fix for this issue, and we expect the mitigation to reach all customers over the next few hours.” No details about version numbers – or even the method being used to roll out the fix.

    Says Ralph Carothers: “So, by reach them do you mean its going to back door patch them? Because this happened middle of the day to most of the users I’ve had impacted, and I certainly didn’t push out a patch.”