• Master Patch List for September 12, 2023

    I’ve updated the Master Patch list for the September updates.  Remember to always review the known issues we are tracking on the Master Patch List page. I will keep the latest info there.

    The updates are taking longer than normal to install. Many are reporting this, but it doesn’t mean anything bad is happening to your machine.

    Consumer tip:  If you are on Windows 11 and have any sort of third party menu or file explorer program, ensure that it’s up to date. If the start menu won’t launch be prepared to remove it. While I haven’t seen issues in my testing, it’s still too soon to be installing updates.

    I am recommending at this time that you install Apple updates, I’m not recommending Windows updates at this time. I’ll have more details in the newsletter on Monday.

    • Windows 11 22H2: Recommended
    • Windows 11 21H2: Will be recommended these get updated to 22H2 at the end of the month.
    • Windows 10 22H2: Recommended
    • Apple Ventura – Recommended for newer hardware – as always check with the applications you rely on if they recommend this release.

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • September patches, Apple headlines and Browsers!

    Lots of headlines today. Today is the day they hold their event to announce new product releases. Rumor has it that iPhone 15 will be announced.

    Next up is our usual release of security patches from Microsoft.  Remember today is the day that I start testing, and the rest of you hold back. We have adventurous souls on the site that also test and report back (and for that thank you!) .  In early review we have for Windows 11 in addition to security patches additional “enhancements” (annoyances?) such as “new hover behavior for the search box gleam, fixes an issue that impacts the search box size. It also “This update removes a blank menu item from the Sticky Keys menu. This issue occurs after you install KB5029351.”

    Remember for businesses, you need to be aware of the full enforcement phase for updates that impact Kerberos protocol changes. Before you install updates this month ensure you have reviewed your Domain controller event logs looking for Event 43 with the text “The Key Distribution Center (KDC) encountered a ticket that it could not validate the
    full PAC Signature. See https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2210019 to learn more. Client : <realm>/<Name>” in the System law.

    Finally and in my mind, more importantly as an action item that I DO want you to do, is to launch each browser you have on any device and review that it’s up to date. Chrome has a zero day out and just released a fix for it. Firefox is out with 117.0.1 today. So regardless if you patch your operating system – whether that’s Windows, Mac, or various flavors of Linux, DO launch your browser, to into the settings and then about to make it ‘kick’ a self update.  Make sure you do this on all browsers today.

    Dustin Child’s zero day blog

    As a reminder I’ll be watching for bugs and side effects and will call them out on the Master Patch List page.


  • How to upgrade your Windows 10 PC to Windows 11

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    ISSUE 20.37 • 2023-09-11

    WINDOWS 11

    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    Can you switch your computer from Windows 10 to Windows 11 without any major hiccups? Here’s how the upgrade played out for me.

    I recently decided to move my Windows 10 Lenovo laptop to Windows 11. Lately, for both personal and professional reasons, I’ve been relying more on features that are exclusive to Windows 11 — including Phone Link support for the iPhone, the new Photos app, AI integration, support for Android apps, smarter voice dictation, and screen recording in the Snipping Tool.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.37.0, 2023-09-11).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Moving from Evernote to OneNote


    Mary Branscombe

    By Mary Branscombe

    Microsoft no longer has a tool to help you move from Evernote to OneNote, but there are two utilities that can make it less painful.

    When OneNote was first introduced back in the days of the original Tablet PC, it wasn’t the only app to help you keep track of your notes. Evernote — originally named for its approach of an endless scrolling piece of digital paper, like a toilet-paper roll or till receipt — launched around the same time.

    In light of the recent layoffs of almost everyone who worked on Evernote after the company was bought by Bending Spoons, that name might now look a little ironic.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.37.0, 2023-09-11).

  • Essential Office — Fewer bells, fewer whistles


    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    My husband bought me a smart watch a few years ago. I use it the same way I used my old Timex — to tell me the time.

    I work with a lot of customers who purchase expensive office suites, such as Microsoft Office, only to be overwhelmed by the features. I have just as many customers whom I have steered toward free office suites such as LibreOffice. But even these can be daunting if you just want to write a Christmas letter, keep track of your members’ lodge dues, or make a chart of duties for volunteers at a town festival.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.37.0, 2023-09-11).

  • The death of a hard drive


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    I got a call. “Susan? Can you help me with my laptop? It won’t boot up, and it’s making a weird noise.”

    “Sure,” I said to the friend on the other end of the phone call.

    But when my friend brought the laptop and I turned it on, I went from feeling certain I would tame the tech (after all, it’s me) to knowing it wasn’t looking good and that I might not be able to help after all.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.37.0, 2023-09-11).

  • Got notifications?

    I’m linking a thread in the forums about something I’ve seen lately on both Windows 10 as well as Windows 11 and both on and off a domain.

    Microsoft is now “suggesting” and doing so annoyingly.

    Thanks but no thanks, Microsoft I really don’t want Tik Tok templates.  I’ve seen suggestions about Paint at the office.

    While the thread points out how to disable it, I hope that this is a temporary behavior on Microsoft’s part and enough of us complain. Now while I fully expect that if they only did this to consumer or home users, Microsoft would continue the behavior, I HOPE that with enough businesses start to grumble about the suggestions and pop ups in a business operating system that enough customers that have Satya on speed dial will complain so that they will knock off this behavior.

    Just the other day I helped someone who got a notification from a web site stuck in their Chrome browser to the point where there was a pop up nearly every second. These suggestion pop ups, while not QUITE as annoying are a close second.

    Microsoft stop being malicious and pushy. Put the adults back in charge and leave the suggested Tik Tok’s out of my operating system.

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Windows 11 21H2 nears end of life

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    ISSUE 20.36.1 • 2023-09-07

    By Susan Bradley

    On October 10, 2023, the Home and Pro editions of Windows 11 21H2 will no longer be supported by Microsoft.

    Anticipating next week’s Patch Tuesday, I’m raising the MS-DEFCON level to 2. When (and if) the dust settles, we’ll enter another period of safe patching toward the end of the month. I’ll say more then, but you should prepare.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.36.1, 2023-09-07).

  • September 2023 Office non-Security updates

    PK's Office update infoMicrosoft released NO non-security updates for Office on September 5, 2023.

    On April 10, 2018, Office 2013 reached End of Mainstream Support. Extended Support ended for Office 2013 on April 11, 2023.
    Office 2016 also reached End of Mainstream Support on October 13, 2020. EOS for Office 2016 is October 14, 2025.

    Updates are for the .msi version (perpetual). 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).

  • New fonts and templates, but with traps

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    ISSUE 20.36 • 2023-09-04


    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Whenever you start a new document by clicking “Blank” (or “New”) in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook, you’re almost certainly using Microsoft’s default templates and fonts.

    Microsoft has started pushing changes to those starting “blanks” for Microsoft 365 in a very special way that adds little compatibility traps for Office 2021/2019 as well as earlier versions.

    You’ve probably heard about the change in default templates and the arrival of the new Aptos font family. What I’ll explain here is the true scope of those changes and how they are quite different from past Office template and font changes.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.36.0, 2023-09-04).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • MORE of your worst Windows 11 irritations solved


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    We’ll all eventually be forced to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11. Microsoft says it’ll end security updates for Win10 on October 1, 2025, as I wrote in Part 1 of this two-part column.

    In today’s Part 2, I describe the two options we face: Hang on to our Win10 installations until the last possible moment, or take the time now to adopt Win11 and cure some of the worst bugs and stupidities that Redmond sent out the door with it.

    I invited my readers to send me fixes they’ve found for Win11’s problems. We’ll get into those workarounds in a minute. But before you go any further, please take a look at the first half of this two-part column and then review my previous exposés of Win11 that you may have missed.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.36.0, 2023-09-04).

  • Understanding Windows Subsystem for Android

    WINDOWS 11

    Simon Bisson

    By Simon Bisson

    Fill the “app gap” by running Android applications on your PC.

    PC software is disappearing. Where there used to be full-featured desktop applications, there are now mobile apps and the Web. That’s a problem, especially when it comes to working with smart homes and financial services. We don’t always want to use a browser for devices such as doorbells and security cameras, and reaching for a phone to respond to an alert quickly takes you out of your flow.

    That all adds up to a growing app gap, with the PC rapidly left behind.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.36.0, 2023-09-04).