Thanksgiving week, glitches in a recent update to Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system probably have users wondering if the new OS isn’t a turkey. Microsoft said yesterday that it removed a previous update from the Internet earlier in the week because of a problem that reset some users’ privacy settings when installed.
That update had been released November 12. The company restored access to the update after pulling it because of the privacy bug. A problem with the update reset settings on some devices made it easier for advertisers to track users across various applications, and also made user data more vulnerable to other devices with wireless Bluetooth connections — even if they weren’t linked to the users’ PCs, tablets or smartphones.
Also this week, Microsoft pulled down the Media Creation Tool installer for its latest Windows 10 build (version 1511) in the face of user complaints. Users said that in some cases the latest version of Windows 10 actually uninstalls user-installed software without the user’s permission.
However, the Windows 10 media creation tool, which allows Windows users to download installation files for clean installations and upgrades, once again allows anyone to obtain build 10586, which contains a full installation package and includes the November update.
Normally in updates, Windows Setup is supposed to migrate user settings to the new installation. But in the November 12 update, the commands for four settings — let apps use my advertising ID; turn on SmartScreen Filter for Web content; let apps run in the background; and sync with devices — were for some reason omitted and reset to their default values.
“Recently we learned of an issue that could have impacted an extremely small number of people who had already installed Windows 10 and applied the November update,” Microsoft said in a statement. “Once these customers installed the November update, a few of their settings preferences may have inadvertently not been retained.”
For those users, Microsoft said it will restore their settings over the next few days, although it didn’t say how it would do that. The company added that this won’t affect future installs of the November update, which is available now.
The company didn’t say what triggered the bug in the first place. The November 12 update affected users with fresh versions of Windows 10. Users who upgraded from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 were not affected by this update.
Users who had downloaded the update can update their settings, which should clear out the existing bugs and issues found in the defective update. The restored update now contains eight security updates and several other minor bug fixes from the previous update.