We all know that it's sometimes annoying -- and even disruptive to a business -- when Microsoft comes up with a new update. My employees complain that it's not always clear how long an update will take and God forbid if you set your laptop to automatically update and you're about to board a flight. Those "do not shut down your computer" warnings are not a joke.
Also not a joke: the new Windows 10 KB4532693 Update from February 11, 2020. According to independent support site Windows Latest, users are complaining that the update is not only resetting Start menu and desktop settings --wallpapers, icons and shortcuts -- to their defaults but also, and more disturbingly, deleting some of their local files. Some users have also said they're encountering that famous blue screen of death and having problems re-booting. Not good.
But instead of ignoring the issue Microsoft, thankfully, is acknowledging it.
Microsoft is working on a fix.
Windows Latest added in its report that Microsoft's support team said it was able to duplicate and then resolve the issue by creating a new user account and then transferring the data from the temporary user file to a new one, then deleting the temporary account. The other way to do this is by rolling back the latest Windows update altogether.
Unfortunately, these workarounds aren't exactly simple for the typical employee which means that IT people at businesses big and small that already downloaded the Feb 11, 2020 update may be busy over the next week or so. If your employees haven't downloaded this update, you should communicate the problem to them and tell them to hold off until the next one is announced. Windows Updates are cumulative and regular so even if you miss one or two, when you do finally download the update it will have all changes to date, along with any bug fixes.
This blip shouldn't discourage employees at your company from regularly updating your devices. Doing this of course gives you new features and capabilities, but Windows updates (just like the updates made to Apple and Google devices) are extremely important because they include the most recent security fixes.
Don't lose in faith in Windows Updates.
As malware -- particularly ransomware -- continues to infect thousands of businesses around the world (the most recent being an attack at a U.S. gas production facility this week), having the most updated operating system software installed is probably one of your best defenses against an attack. Why? Because the hackers and malware developers are searching for older devices with older operating systems because they're easier to compromise.
And one other thing: are your employees storing files locally? What is this, 1995? The problem with the most recent Windows update should at the very least motivate you and your IT people to double-check that your employees are storing all files on a cloud based service and that online backup software has been deployed and is working.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has had its troubles with Windows update this year. This is the third high-profile Windows 10 update problem already and we're not even into March. "Unsurprisingly, many users, whatever the damage done, have become irate yet again," writes JC Torres at SlashGear. "It seems that it is becoming less likely that Microsoft will ever be able to fix its updates problem without doing an overhaul of its entire process and maybe of the OS itself."
That's reason enough to make sure everyone at your company is doing backups and saving their files online.