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ISSUE 16.5.1 • 2019-02-11



MS-DEFCON 2: Make sure Automatic Update is turned off

Woody Leonhard

By Woody Leonhard

With Patch Tuesday coming tomorrow, now’s a very good time to make sure you have Windows Automatic Update turned off.

This month, for the first time, we have solid numbers from Microsoft that show you don’t need to patch the minute new updates roll out the Automatic Update chute. Microsoft’s Matt Miller noted: “It is now uncommon to see a non-zero-day exploit released within 30 days of a patch being available.”

I rarely wait 30 days to recommend that you install patches, but I routinely wait for a couple of weeks — or even longer if Microsoft’s having a tough month with buggy fixes. Which happens far too often.

As long as you avoid Internet Explorer and Edge, and some horrendously buggy programs like Flash and Adobe Reader, you should be in good shape. Wait for the all-clear.

Right now, while you’re thinking about it, check to make sure you have Automatic Update turned off. If you’re using Windows 7 or 8.1, it’s easy. Windows 10 Pro is just a bit more difficult. Windows 10 Home users ain’t so lucky.

I have full step-by-step instructions in my latest Computerworld article.

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