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Microsoft patching off to a rough start for 2019

Woody LeonhardBy Woody Leonhard

Welcome to our first AskWoody Plus Alert! And a special welcome to all Windows Secrets Newsletter folks.

Although we’re still working out the plumbing for the full AskWoody Plus Newsletter, we fired off this short post to alert you about new problems with Windows and Office patching.

For the new year’s first Patch Tuesday, Microsoft dropped a fairly typical load of updates — around 50 fixes for Windows, Office, Edge, .NET, and other worse-than-senseless things. It’s still way too early to tell if they’re stable, but we should have more news next Monday. In the meantime, check out our patch coverage on

We already know of problems with Windows 7’s monthly-rollup and security-only patches, KB 44080970 and KB 4480960. There are early reports that they can break networking in some situations (more info). It appears to be a problem mostly for corporate networks, though it could also affect smaller client/server network setups. In any case, if networking suddenly stops working, you now know why!

Take note: All of January’s non-security patches for Office 2010 have been pulled. If you installed them, you need to go back and uninstall them.

The move to the latest “October” update to Win10’s Version 1809 is going very slowly. And as Iposted on the AskWoody site, I think that’s a good thing. Don’t be in a rush to install it. Just make sure you have Windows Automatic Update turned off for now (read more), and check for the latest.

While we work through the transition to a full AskWoody Plus Newsletter, sit back and relax. We’ll keep posting important news on In the meantime, if you get a newsletter renewal notice, you can click through to make a donation with PayPal or a credit card. But don’t be in a rush; there are lots of bumps that still need to be ironed out.


Changes also coming to Patch Watch

Susan BradleyBy Susan Bradley

With a new year, Patch Watch gets a new format and new recommendations.

For years, Windows Secrets’ paid subscribers have come to expect the Patch Watch column on Wednesday, the day after Patch Tuesday. In fact, it was the reason the newsletter published every Wednesday. But over the past few years, Microsoft has radically changed how and when it delivers updates for Windows, Office, and other applications. The changes to Patch Watch reflect that reality.

The most significant change will be when you see a full description of updates and any reported problems. Publishing the day after Patch Tuesday might have been timely, but update failures and bugs can take days to appear. With that in mind, I’ll no longer recommend installing most updates the same week they’re released. (There might be some extraordinary security fixes that need to be installed immediately.)

What I will do is highlight patch issues in AskWoody Plus Alerts like this one as soon as they appear and (hopefully) tell you in the next full newsletter what’s okay to install. Or what’s not ready. As always, my goal is to help you navigate Windows and Office updates.

I’m also in the process of putting the finishing touches on the first of many master spreadsheets listing the updates I recommend and those I don’t. I will also update the spreadsheets as patch problems are resolved. The first spreadsheet will cover our old and trusty Win7 machines. There are certain updates that I never install on Windows 7, and I’ll urge you to do the same.

As in the past, Patch Watch will cover updating on both business systems (including servers) and personal PCs. And I’ll be keeping you up to date on changes to Click-to-Run releases of Office, including what you should expect in the future. Finally, I’ll also track the use and security status of Office alternatives — so should you decide that Click-to-Run isn’t your cup of tea, you know you have options.

I’m excited about the changes, and I’m looking forward to doing more security stories in this new venue!

Publisher: AskWoody LLC (; editor: Tracey Capen (

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