Newsletter Archives

  • Roll back Windows 11 after more than 60 days

    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.50 • 2021-12-27


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    I wrote “Win11 isn’t a must-have upgrade yet” in my October 18, 2021, AskWoody column. However, for true experimenters, I explained a single Registry line that enables you to install Win11 on what Microsoft calls “unsupported” CPU and TPM chips, in case you really need one of four new Win11 features.

    Since that time, it turns out you can fix one of Microsoft’s most restrictive new policies. To the frustration of many, Win11 can’t be rolled back to Win10 a mere ten days following an upgrade. Fortunately, you can end that limitation by using a couple of very simple steps.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.50.0 (2021-12-27).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.50.F (2021-12-27).

  • What to do if you got caught with a forced Windows 10 update

    I’ve had so many people ask me how to deal with their forced upgrade to Windows 10, that I figured I’d better put the bare bones here for all to see.

    First, no you aren’t going crazy, and no, you didn’t do anything wrong. I’m having the same problem, and I’m just beginning to unwind how and when it happened.

    Very complex story short: Many of you are running Windows 7 or 8.1 with Automatic Update turned on. I’ve been railing against Auto Update for years, and now the big boobie bird has come home to roost.

    If you have Automatic Update turned on (and it’s turned on by default), you’ll get snagged by Microsoft’s latest change in the way it’s rolling out Windows 10. This isn’t happening to everyone all at once, but what was a trickle a few days ago has turned into a flood. I got bit on Friday night – and I sympathize greatly with those who got slimed when there was nobody around to lend a hand.

    If you haven’t yet installed Windows 10 – if your desktop hasn’t yet transformed into something completely alien – quick, run GWX Control Panel. I have a detailed article on InfoWorld. GWX Control Panel will ensure that you don’t get caught in Microsoft’s latest trap, and it’ll clean up all sorts of garbage left behind on your computer.

    If you have installed Windows 10, don’t panic. You can tell if you have Windows 10 because it looks all funny – the Start menu doesn’t work right, and weird things appear on the desktop. Down in the lower left corner, for example, there’s a bar that says “Ask me anything” or something equally enticing.

    Unless you feel an immediate urge to jump into Windows 10, you should roll your computer back to Windows 7 or 8.1. There are good reasons for going back now and a big one is that any changes you make now — including new documents that you create while in Windows 10 — may not make it back to Windows 7 or 8.1.

    I have a different InfoWorld article about rolling back. In a nutshell, the rollback routine doesn’t always work, but when it does, everything magically returns to the way you had it before.

    You have up to 30 days to roll back. If you have any doubts about Windows 10 (and there are plenty of good reasons to have doubts about Windows 10), roll back first, and ask questions later.

    Note that rolling back does NOT protect you from Microsoft’s hell-bent march to turn your PC into a Windows 10 PC. The minute you get your machine rolled back, run GWX Control Panel to make sure you don’t end up in the same briar patch tomorrow morning.

    You have until July 29, 2016 to get your “free” upgrade to Windows 10. There’s no reason to feel pressured to move to Win10 now. Windows 7 will be supported until January 14, 2020; Windows 8.1 will be supported until January 10, 2023.

    If you decide to move to Windows 10, that’s great. I’m using Windows 10 on all of my main machines right now, and I like it. Wrote a 1,000-page book about Windows 10. But I’m also willing to put up with the problems.

    If you aren’t – I wouldn’t blame you a bit – get your system protected with GWX Control Panel, and roll back NOW.

    Somebody at Microsoft should be pilloried. They’re trying hard to burn up every bit of goodwill they’ve accumulated over the past year. I know many, many experienced Windows folks who are more willing than ever to throw in the Windows towel.