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Big warning about the latest Windows patches you need to know

Around two weeks ago, Microsoft released its Patch Tuesday set of updates for the month of March. 15 critical bugs were identified and fixed, including browser bugs, a Flash vulnerability that can sneak malware into your PC and new patches for the Spectre chip flaw.

All of these patches fix security holes that can harm your computer or give hackers access to it.

However, last Thursday, Microsoft released another set of Windows 10 cumulative updates that contain fixes for issues that the March patches introduced.

The company usually releases patches on the second Tuesday of each month but these cumulative updates were deemed important enough to be released “out of band.” (Out-of-band fixes are starting to be alarmingly common with Microsoft lately.)

These updates are now available for Windows 10 machines that are on the Anniversary Update, Creators Update and the Fall Creators Update.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 users who encountered issues with the buggy March updates are out of luck, though. There are no fixes scheduled for these systems at this time.

Windows 10 Cumulative Updates

Fall Creators Update

The cumulative update for the latest and most popular Windows 10 version, the Fall Creators Update (version 1709), is KB 4089848. This contains a collection of fixes for a variety of bugs that have persisted since January.

This long list of fixes includes Bluetooth connection issues, BitLocker corruption bugs, group policy and Windows Defender Firewall bugs, Remote Desktop License report corruption bugs and Edge PDF rendering issues. Click here to read the full list of fixes.

None of these flaws are security threats but they are nagging software quality bugs that can affect performance and usability.

Note: Some users are complaining about issues with this Fall Creators cumulative update, as well. These issues may be confined to specific machines but they include Start Menu, Notification Center and Settings Menu bugs and printer problems.

Creators Update

The cumulative update for the Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) is KB 4088891.

Aside from fixes specific to the Creators Update, most of the patches address the same issues found in the Fall Creators Update. Again, none are critical security threats but are software quality issues.

A Servicing Stack update, KB 4088825, is also available for the Creators Update.

Anniversary Update

The cumulative update for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (version 1607) is KB 4088889.

This shares some of the patches included in the Fall Creators and Creators cumulative updates but it contains specific fixes too.

If you’re still on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, better think about updating to a later version soon. It is the oldest supported Windows 10 version and is set to lose support in the next few months.

No fixes for Windows 7 buggy update

Although Microsoft has acknowledged that March’s Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Monthly Rollup KB 4088875 is buggythere are no fixes scheduled for these systems as of yet.

These issues include SMB server memory leaks, stop errors on 32-bit machines when Physical Address Extension mode is disabled, virtual Network Interface Card bugs and lost IP settings after the update is applied.

Interestingly, this buggy update is still listed as an “Important” update but is no longer automatically pushed to Win7 and Server 2008 R2 machines even when Windows Automatic Update is enabled. Please avoid the KB 4088875 update in the meantime.

How to delay Windows Updates

What’s going on with Microsoft’s updates? Windows Patch Tuesday updates used to be relatively reliable and out-of-band and emergency patches were rare and far in between. But the past few months, it’s hit or miss (mostly miss) and the updates have been buggy and worse, even causing some Windows PC to be rendered unbootable.

We always advise users to apply security updates right way but in light of the buggy Windows patches we’ve seen, we don’t blame you if you’re a bit apprehensive about updating your Windows machine right away.

If you want to adopt a “wait and see approach” to what the latest Windows updates will bring, there are ways you can postpone, defer or delay Windows Updates. Click here to learn how.

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