Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 18317 currently available!

Today, we released a brand new Windows 10 Preview Build of the SDK to be used in conjunction with Windows 10 Insider Preview (Build 18317 or greater). The Preview SDK Build 18317 contains bug fixes and under development changes towards the API surface area.

The Preview SDK obtainable from developer section on Windows Insider.

For feedback and updates to the known issues, please visit the developer forum. For new developer feature requests, head over to our Windows Platform UserVoice.
Things to note:

This build works in conjunction with previously released SDKs and Visual Studio 2017. You can install this SDK but still also continue to submit your apps that concentrate on Windows 10 build 1809 or earlier towards the Microsoft Store.
The Windows SDK will now formally simply be based on Visual Studio 2017 and greater. You are able to download the Visual Studio 2017 here.
This build of the Windows SDK will install ONLY on Windows 10 Insider Preview builds.
In to help with script access towards the SDK, the ISO will also be able to be accessed through the following URL: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?prd=11966&pver=1.0&plcid=0x409&clcid=0x409&ar=Flight&sar=Sdsurl&o1=18317 when the static URL is published.

Tools Updates
Message Compiler (mc.exe)

The “-mof” switch (to generate XP-compatible ETW helpers) is considered to be deprecated and will also be removed inside a future form of mc.exe. Removing this switch will cause the generated ETW helpers to expect Vista or later.
The “-A” switch (to create .BIN files using ANSI encoding instead of Unicode) is regarded as deprecated and will be removed inside a future form of mc.exe. Removing this switch will cause the generated .BIN files to make use of Unicode string encoding.
The behavior from the “-A” switch has changed. Just before Windows 1607 Anniversary Update SDK, while using the -A switch, BIN files were encoded while using build system’s ANSI code page. Within the Windows 1607 Anniversary Update SDK, mc.exe’s behavior was inadvertently changed to encode BIN files while using build system’s OEM code page. Within the 19H1 SDK, mc.exe’s previous behavior has been restored and it now encodes BIN files using the build system’s ANSI code page. Note that the -A switch is deprecated, as ANSI-encoded BIN files don’t provide a consistent consumer experience in multi-lingual systems.

Breaking Changes
Switch to effect graph from the AcrylicBrush

In this Preview SDK, we’ll be adding a mix mode towards the effect graph of the AcrylicBrush called Luminosity. This blend mode will ensure that shadows do not appear behind acrylic surfaces without a cutout. We’ll also be exposing a LuminosityBlendOpacity API available for tweaking that enables for additional AcrylicBrush customization.

By default, for those that have not specified any LuminosityBlendOpacity on their own AcrylicBrushes, we’ve implemented some logic to make sure that the Acrylic will appear as similar as it can to current 1809 acrylics. Please be aware that we’ll be updating our default brushes to take into account this recipe change.
TraceLoggingProvider.h / TraceLoggingWrite

Events generated by TraceLoggingProvider.h (e.g. via TraceLoggingWrite macros) will also have Id and Version set to 0.

Previously, TraceLoggingProvider.h would assign IDs to events at link time. These IDs were unique inside a DLL or EXE, but changed from build to construct and from module to module.

How you can clean up your Windows 10 act

Nowadays, a relatively clean and uncomplicated Windows 10 system disk might be home to a lot more than 150,000 files and 90,000 folders. A far more complex, application-heavy system disk might contain between 500,000 and a million files. That’s lots of files!

Indeed, not all those files need be kept around. Thus, it’s a good idea to practice disk hygiene on a regular schedule. That’s exactly what’s explained and explored here, with plenty of examples and screen shots to illustrate the cleanup process. Best of all, the tools that’ll help you clear won’t set you back a dime.

Step 1: Run Disk Cleanup or “Free up space now”

From time immemorial, Windows has included a software application for cleaning up disk space – namely, Disk Cleanup, a.k.a. cleanmgr.exe. In Windows 10, users gained a second method to clean up disk space, part of its Settings-based “Storage Sense” facility, that is targeted at optimizing storage in Windows 10. Even though there continues to be speculation the first method might disappear consequently, the Disk Cleanup utility remains ready, ready to work even in the latest 19H1 Insider Preview (Build 18317) as I write this story. Either approach provides a great way to cleanup extraneous and unneeded Windows 10 files.

To produce Disk Cleanup, type disk or cleanmgr.exe into the Start menu search engine. In either case, the Disk Cleanup desktop app should appear at the top of those search results. Make sure to right-click the program and select Run as administrator in the resulting pop-up menu. Why? Only then will it offer to clean up redundant or outdated OS files (for example old OS files after an upgrade, or old updates) as well as other Windows leftovers.

You’ll wish to scroll through the checkbox components of the pane labeled “Files to delete:” and pick stuff you’d prefer to get rid of. The numbers within the right column indicate how much disk space the items occupies. Don’t delete old OS versions or updates if you think you might want to roll back to earlier versions. Note additionally that the Downloads item represents the items in your personal Downloads folder, so don’t delete it unless you’re sure you don’t need anything in there.

The second built-in cleanup option comes from Windows 10’s Settings app. If you click Settings > System > Storage > Free up space now, the machine runs a scan. Once that scan is finished, you’ll find yourself facing options like the ones in the screen capture below:

The boxes the thing is checked represent the default selections that Windows 10 marks for deletion advertising media are this utility. Note that it doesn’t choose the Trash can (which contains items that is usually desirable for cleanup) by default.

When I use this tool, I usually uncheck Thumbnails. But I also check Delivery Optimization Files, Recycle Bin, and sometimes also Error Reporting Files, assuming I’m not fighting system issues I might wish to are accountable to Feedback Hub or perhaps in an assistance encounter of some type.

All of those other checked merchandise is usually worth losing, including various kinds of temporary files, upgrade log files, graphics files, and so on. The figures around the right show how much disk space you can regain by deleting the items.

In August 2018, Microsoft quietly announced it would deprecate Disk Cleanup but ensure that it stays available “for compatibility reasons.” Personally, I don’t think the organization will ever eliminate it since the Settings > Free up space tool is definitely an available alternative. That’s because many Windows admins and power users run cleanmgr.exe in the command line having a number of switches and settings this user-friendly UWP app cannot match.

Unless and until Microsoft offers a command-line option to cleanmgr.exe that can do what that tool currently does in scripts and batch files perfectly, I firmly think that Disk Cleanup will remain part of modern Windows OSes. Only time will tell, obviously. We’ll see!

Whichever tool catches your fancy, you need to use it at least one time per month for cleanup, or even more often than that.

Step 2: Use UnCleaner to trap what built-in tools miss

Josh Cell is really a Francophone developer in Canada who’s built a peachy and free utility called UnCleaner. It is able to ferret out and take away temporary and obsolete log files that even Windows’ built-in utilities don’t catch and kill. You are able to download the latest version of UnCleaner (1.7) from Major Geeks.

Running on the production PC upon which Disk Cleanup just ran, here’s what UnCleaner finds to wash up:

Note that it finds over 400MB of files to clean up, even on a supposedly clean system. All you have to do is click the Clean button in the lower left area of the screen, and it will delete the files it’s flagged that aren’t locked to some running Windows process. You’ll never understand this utility to get rid of everything (because something’s always locked by runtime constraints). But you’ll often visit a status message that says “Good. Your system is extremely clean.”

Step 3: Drop obsolete device drivers with DriverStore Explorer

DriverStore Explorer (RAPR.exe) is really a free, open-source tool that you can download from GitHub. Always be sure to seize the most current release (0.9.39 as of this writing). Unless you’re a genuine Windows driver wizard, you’ll need only click two buttons to create RAPR do its thing: Select Old Drivers and Delete Package.

You’ll need to run RAPR in administrator mode (right-click its icon and select Run as administrator). When you begin it up, you’ll see a list of installed drivers with checkboxes. Click on the Select Old Drivers button at the top right from the screen, and also the program will automatically look into the boxes for that older driver versions it finds.

Click on the Delete Package button, and RAPR will do away using the older drivers. The utility won’t delete any drivers which are currently in use, so of course this usually safe cleanup method picks an active driver, RAPR won’t delete it unless you click the Force Deletion checkbox. Power users and experts can find a lot more for RAPR to complete, but many regular users only will enjoy its ability to clean up old, outmoded drivers.

Notice within the screenshot above the program picks two older Nvidia drivers when that button is clicked, for any potential space savings of 1.5GB or thereabouts. Once you make use of this tool a period or two, space savings will seldom considerably larger, but first-time users may recover 3 to 5GB when they clean up numerous driver files. On especially cruft-laden systems, I’ve used to this tool to recuperate 7 to 10GB.

Step four: Use DISM to clean the Component Store

Most Windows OS files live in the WinSxS folder, also known as the Component Store. Each time you install a cumulative update, and often after other updates, the Component Store will contain duplicate, obsolete, or orphaned elements. You can use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool in the command line to determine the Component Store from time to time. Such checks will tell you if a cleanup is required.

To get started, you’ll have to open a heightened PowerShell window. Around the Windows desktop, type the Windows key and, then select Windows PowerShell (Admin) in the resulting pop-up menu. (Alternatively, you can type powershell into the Start menu search engine, then right-click Windows PowerShell and choose Run as administrator from that pop-up menu.) Within the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window seems, type this string striking enter:

dism /online /cleanup-image /analyzecomponentstore

As I wrote this story, I had just installed a Cumulative Update along with other update items earlier that week. Affirmed, /analyzecomponentstore reported there were three reclaimable packages ready for cleanup. Notice that the response text reported “Yes” within the field labeled “Component Store Cleanup Recommended.” That’s your clue that DISM has something it may cleanup on your behalf.

To make which happen, in the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window, type this string:

dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

Following the cleanup operation, I analyzed the component store once again. This lets you do the math around the pre and post /analyzecomponentstore outputs. This time around, cleanup saved more than 0.71GB of space for the actual on-disk size of the component store. Most of these savings come from reduced backups and disabled features (0.7GB) – a great cleanup maneuver and result. Some updates may remove 3 or more reclaimable packages. (That one removed three.) Recently updated systems may recover as much as 3GB by using this technique, with respect to the number and size of reclaimable packages removed.

Step five: Inspect the system drive with WinDirStat (or equivalent)

Once all preceding cleanups are complete, it’s smart to inspect the machine drive to determine in which the big files are. I personally use the disposable, open-source WinDirStat program, but TreeSize Free is really a worthy alternative. These programs produce graphical renderings of disk contents making it simple to spot big files and folders.

The diagram in the bottom window places colored rectangular blocks to exhibit a schematic for entries in the scanned drive’s file system. This kind of diagram is called a treemap and organizes files by disk and folder hierarchy, in which the size of a given block shows how much disk space each file consumes. For the big blue box outlined in white at the very top left from the diagram, the legend in the lower left says it’s an event trace log file (file extension: etl).

Remember, you’re looking for big files, because getting rid of them provides useful, quick wins in the disk space recovery game. The following, the boot log (.etl file) I ran yesterday on my small system to try to determine in which the time was going created a HUGE (49.2GB) file behind. I’ve carried out with that analysis and don’t need the file anymore, so getting rid of it regains me nearly 50GB of disk space in one fell swoop. Yes!

By clicking other “big blocks” in the treemap, you will soon figure out where your biggest potential space recovery opportunities lie. You won’t be able to get rid of all of them – the paging and hibernation files must stay, for example (green blocks at lower center) – but if some of them can go, big space savings will result.
Practicing to achieve perfection

If one makes these cleanups periodically (I aim for at least one time a month), you’ll be able to keep the space consumption under much better control. Do this regimen out for yourself, and you’ll soon see what I mean. And don’t forget to slog with the Users folder (especially your account subfolder) every so often, too, because junk also has a tendency to accumulate there.

Windows 7 Support Ends in Twelve months – Here’s Why You Should Care

Here’s one for your diaries. Microsoft is stopping support of Windows 7 in January 2020, marking the end of over a decade of service from the operating-system, which inadvertently found itself to become something of the fan favorite over the years.

Because of the terrible reception of Windows 8, plus embarrassing teething issues with Windows 10, Windows 7 is held in fond regard by many people. More to the point, millions worldwide are still utilizing it. That’s something of the problem, as when support ends around the 14 January 2020, it will be susceptible to security exploits that Microsoft won’t patch to deal with.

We glance at what this means for Windows 7 users, and just what you must do prepare for its terminal.

Who’s Still Using Windows 7?

Actually, many people. Millions in fact.

Microsoft has had a bit of a bad run with its operating systems in recent years, and also the usual rush to upgrade it experienced in the past has faded.

As an example, at the time of its release in ’09, Windows 7 broke Amazon UK’s pre-order records, even beating that for the last Harry Potter book. An incredible feat, particularly when you think about how much the Brits love that bespectacled schoolboy.

Using the launch of Windows 8 though, Microsoft lost lots of potential upgraders. The radically different Metro design, which was intended to accommodate new touchscreen devices and, crucially, removing the Start button, was a step too far for many. Even though Windows 8.1 rectified a lot of these complaints, it had been past too far for many, who refused to upgrade.

Windows 7, because of its faults, was a cozy set of slippers that you could depend on. Windows 10 was really a success, helped considerably by its free upgrade offer for those 7 and 8.1 users. But, headlines about crashing systems, insufficient compatibility with existing peripherals and software, plus other gripes, scared many people off.

Research by Net Share of the market, which tracks operating-system activity, states that Windows 10 has only just managed to outperform Windows 7 the very first time, now which makes it the operating system of preference on 39.22% of computers. By comparison, Windows 7 includes a 36.9% share. Like we say, that’s a LOT of people worldwide.

Exactly what does Ending Support Mean?

So with Microsoft support ending in a year, what does that actually mean for people who currently run Windows 7? Essentially, it means the clock is ticking for their internet security.

Microsoft doesn’t just release a new operating system, and then rest on its laurels. Each one receives a committed period of support, wherein it’s constantly worked on behind the curtain. Microsoft delivers small or large OS updates directly to users when available.

These updates are now and again cosmetic, but are often essential, fixing bugs, delivering improvements. In some cases, these updates and patch fixes are the dam holding back a tidal wave of exploits and vulnerabilities that may cripple your pc, and risk your data, too.

When support stops on a platform, this means that it’s no longer receiving patches, which exploits aren’t being fixed. What this means is it’s open season in your computer’s security.
I personally use Windows 7 – What Can I actually do?

Upgrade. It’s really that stark. You may still carrying on using Windows 7 until the start of 2020, but it’s essential that you upgrade by the 14 January deadline.

Now, this could mean upgrading your operating-system in your existing computer, or replacing your computer itself. But, in either case, if you wish to stay protected, you need to result in the move.

Upgrade to Windows 10 – The obvious answer, but upgrading to Windows 10 will get you back in line. Don’t disassociate with the stories you heard about it on release. Yes, it had been something of the horror show and caused lots of headaches, but Microsoft has continued to operate on these issues, which days, Windows 10 is really a perfectly stable and decent OS. The disposable upgrade period has passed, so you’ll need to pay for it, but it’s worth shopping around as retailers provide it below price Microsoft charges on its site.

If you have an older machine, you may need to check her specs to run Windows 10. See our full explainer help guide to computer specifications to help you comprehend the jargon.

Buy a new computer – A little more of the drastic response, but if you’re running Windows 7 currently, it could very well be time for you to change your computer as well as your operating system. Any new Windows PC you buy in 2019 will have Windows 10 pre-installed.

See our help guide to the very best laptop brands that will help you select a new computer

Buy a Mac or perhaps a Chromebook – If you’re purchasing a new computer, why stop at a Windows machine? A MacBook, iMac or Google Chromebook might be a great replacement, and can enable you to get from the Microsoft eco-system for good. Take a look at our review of the latest Apple MacBook Air for a starting point, or see our guide to Chromebooks vs Windows Laptops.

When Will Support for Windows 10 End?

Like Michael Caine says, Windows 10 support will never end.

…maybe.

At the time of its release, Microsoft claimed that 10 will be the ??last Windows ever’. The implication being that it will function as an ever-evolving platform which will replace the more regular numbered updates we’ve seen in yesteryear. Does this imply that we’ll never see a Windows 11? Possibly.

But, the chances are that Windows 10 will slowly become unrecognisable from the original form, while still retaining exactly the same moniker.

It’s not really clear-cut as that though. Microsoft is ending Windows 10 support in some ways. In fact, it’s already commenced.

While Windows 10 like a ‘concept’ could keep on ad infinitum, Microsoft is dropping support for version numbers. You can observe its roadmap on the Microsoft site. There’ve recently been seven distinct versions of Windows 10, with the latest, 1809, losing support in May 2020. Don’t worry though, once we suspect that it’ll soon get replaced with a newer version that will prolong the life of Windows 10 for many years. Because of this, it’s important to ensures you keep your form of Windows 10 up-to-date.

Whether Windows 10 does prove to be immortal, or Microsoft backtracks and releases a fresh product within the next couple of years, for that foreseeable future, it’s the smart choice, especially if you are currently using Windows 7.

How to Fix Browsing Issue Caused by Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4480116

When i reported earlier today, the most recent cumulative updates released by Microsoft for Windows 10 cause a problem when trying to load local webpages in Microsoft Edge.

In updates towards the KB pages of every impacted update, Microsoft states that in some instances, installing these cumulative updates results in the said local websites neglecting to load or making the browser unresponsive. Here’s how Microsoft describes the bug:

“After installing KB4480973, quite a few users are convinced that they cannot load a website in Microsoft Edge using a local Ip. Browsing fails or even the webpage may become unresponsive.”

Before anything, it’s important to realize that Microsoft has started working on a fix, but an ETA isn’t available yet.

The organization says it’ll release a patch “in an upcoming release,” which can mean anything from a cumulative update shipping after the month to the next Patch Tuesday cycle developing February 12.

The glitch has already been confirmed in several cumulative updates, as follows:
Windows 10 version 1809: January 8, 2019-KB4480116 (OS Build 17763.253)
Windows 10 version 1803: January 15, 2019-KB4480976 (OS Build 17134.556)
Windows 10 version 1803: January 8, 2019-KB4480966 (OS Build 17134.523)
Windows 10 version 1709: January 15, 2019-KB4480967 (OS Build 16299.936)
Windows 10 version 1709: January 8, 2019-KB4480978 (OS Build 16299.904)
Windows 10 version 1703: January 15, 2019-KB4480959 (OS Build 15063.1596)
Windows 10 version 1703: January 8, 2019-KB4480973 (OS Build 15063.1563)
“How to fix the problem brought on by these cumulative update”

The workaround on all affected versions is pretty much the same, if you installed the aforementioned cumulative updates, here’s what you ought to do.

As Microsoft explains, the bug occurs when users try to load a local page, so you’ll have to add the page that’s failing to the trusted sites list.

To do this, launch User interface ¡§C observe that User interface is now a second-class citizen on Windows 10, which means you have to open it either by clicking the Start menu and typing its name or by typing Control Panel within the File Explorer address bar.

Next, in Control Panel you need to follow this path:
Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Options > Security (tab)

Within this Security tab, click the Trusted sites icon (the green check mark) and then click on the button that reads Sites. You should now visit a small screen that allows you to add new websites to the zone.

The very first thing you must do, and it’s critical to do this, would be to clear the check box next to the option called Require server verification (https:) for those sites in this zone.

Next, you need to enter the address of the local website that failed to load within the field called Add this website to the zone. Make use of the Ip from the page, therefore it must look something like 10.10.0.1, 192.168.0.1, or any other pattern that you employ inside your network.

When you do this, check the Require server verification (https:) for those sites within this zone back. Again, it’s crucial that you need to do this after you add some site towards the list.

At this point, everything should be ready, so click the OK button and then close all windows. Before the changes are applied, you need to restart Microsoft Edge browser, so when launching it once again, the page should load correctly.

A reboot of the system isn’t required, but it’s recommended, particularly if you don’t use whatever improvements after making these edits.

Once Microsoft releases a fix, you are able to safely follow these steps once again and remove the web site from the list mentioned previously.

How to change the default Windows 10 font

It had been very easy to change the system font in Windows 7 and Windows 8.x, however in Windows 10 you’re stuck with Segoe UI. It’s not necessarily a bad choice, but when you’ve got a favorite font — Comic Sans! — then wouldn’t it’s great should you could deploy that over the entire operating system?

Well, actually you are able to. You need to simply perform some registry tweaking.

If you’re unsure which font to make use of, right-click on the desktop, select Personalize, and then click Fonts around the left side. Select one.

Next open Notepad and copy the following into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]

“Segoe UI (TrueType)”=””

“Segoe UI Bold (TrueType)”=””

“Segoe UI Bold Italic (TrueType)”=””

“Segoe UI Italic (TrueType)”=””

“Segoe UI Light (TrueType)”=””

“Segoe UI Semibold (TrueType)”=””

“Segoe UI Symbol (TrueType)”=””

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes]

“Segoe UI”=”Newfont”

Replace ‘Newfont’ using the exact name from the font you want. Go to File > Save as and in the ‘Save as type’ box select All Files. Change the extension from .txt to .reg and save the file to the desktop. Double-click the file as well as your changes is going to be produced in the registry and you simply need to restart your PC.

If you want to return to Segoe UI, create a new Notepad file and use this text:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]

“Segoe UI (TrueType)”=”segoeui.ttf”

“Segoe UI Black (TrueType)”=”seguibl.ttf”

“Segoe UI Black Italic (TrueType)”=”seguibli.ttf”

“Segoe UI Bold (TrueType)”=”segoeuib.ttf”

“Segoe UI Bold Italic (TrueType)”=”segoeuiz.ttf”

“Segoe UI Emoji (TrueType)”=”seguiemj.ttf”

“Segoe UI Historic (TrueType)”=”seguihis.ttf”

“Segoe UI Italic (TrueType)”=”segoeuii.ttf”

“Segoe UI Light (TrueType)”=”segoeuil.ttf”

“Segoe UI Light Italic (TrueType)”=”seguili.ttf”

“Segoe UI Semibold (TrueType)”=”seguisb.ttf”

“Segoe UI Semibold Italic (TrueType)”=”seguisbi.ttf”

“Segoe UI Semilight (TrueType)”=”segoeuisl.ttf”

“Segoe UI Semilight Italic (TrueType)”=”seguisli.ttf”

“Segoe UI Symbol (TrueType)”=”seguisym.ttf”

“Segoe MDL2 Assets (TrueType)”=”segmdl2.ttf”

“Segoe Print (TrueType)”=”segoepr.ttf”

“Segoe Print Bold (TrueType)”=”segoeprb.ttf”

“Segoe Script (TrueType)”=”segoesc.ttf”

“Segoe Script Bold (TrueType)”=”segoescb.ttf”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes]

“Segoe UI”=-

Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4480116 Causes Browsing Issues

The most recent cumulative update for Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update) breaks down Microsoft Edge when trying to load a local page.

Microsoft has already acknowledged the bug, saying that in some instances, Windows 10 cumulative update KB4480116 could cause the page loading to fail or the browser being unresponsive whenever a local IP address is being used in Microsoft Edge.

“After installing KB4480116, quite a few users are convinced that they can’t load a website in Microsoft Edge utilizing a local IP address. Browsing fails or even the webpage may become unresponsive,” Microsoft says.

The company recommends users to enable server verification for the local websites that fail after installing this cumulative update and says that a fix is already in the works also it should go live “in a future release.”

“New update coming in late January”

Quite simply, Microsoft will include an area in the next cumulative updates for Windows 10 October 2018 Update, though no ETA has been provided this time. Windows 10 version 1809 is the only new Windows 10 version that hasn’t received an update in mid-January, and I expect a brand new cumulative update to be published by no more the month.

Microsoft shows that a new cumulative update is indeed coming to devices running version 1809 in late January. Inside a different bug acknowledgment that concerns issues with authenticating hotspots, Microsoft says an answer “will be available at the end of January.”

The following Patch Tuesday cycle happens last month 12, and cumulative updates with both security and non-security fixes could be shipped to any or all Windows 10 versions.

As with every cumulative update that causes issues, removing KB4480116 indeed resolves the Microsoft Edge bug, though users are suggested to stay using the workaround supplied by the organization. KB4480116 includes security fixes, so removing it leaves the doorway open to exploits aimed at patched vulnerabilities.

UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed the bug also exists within the other cumulative updates that it released in mid-January, because it follows: KB4480976 (version 1803), KB4480967 (version 1709), and KB4480959 (version 1703).

How you can disable Windows 10 Active History permanently

Windows 10 introduced a new feature that helps a person to remain connected to their task across their devices. This selection was marketed as Windows Timeline. With this, the user could continue their task across Windows 10 computers as well as on devices running iOS and Android too. This selection was shipped in Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft Advantage on Android devices, and to Microsoft Edge only on iOS devices. To make this selection work, the consumer had to send either Basic or Full data and diagnostics of the machine to Microsoft which would sync it across devices with the aid of the cloud. All of the information is stored on your Windows 10 PC, with Microsoft under your account. This will make it simple to access it well, and start working out of your left. This is whats called Activity History.

We’ve already seen how to View and Pay off the Active History data. Today, we will be checking out how you can disable Windows 10 Active History permanently using Group Policy and Windows Registry.
Disable Windows 10 Active History permanently

I would recommend that you simply create a System Restore Point at this time before proceeding using the changes. This is a precaution in case something goes completely wrong once you make the changes.

We are taking a look at two methods to attain the same goal. They are-

Using the Registry Editor.
Using the audience Policy Editor.

1] Using the Registry Editor

Hit the WINKEY + R button combination to launch the Run utility, type in regedit striking Enter. Once Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following key-

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System

Now, see if you get a DWORD named as PublishUserActivities. If you don’t, just create one with similar name. Ensure that the base is chosen to Hexadecimal.

Double-click on it and alter its Value to 0 to disable it and, to 1 to allow it.

Reboot your computer for that changes to take effect.

2] Using the Group Policy Editor

This method won’t work at all if you work with Windows 10 Home Edition. This is so since the Group Policy Editor doesn’t come with Windows 10 Home.

Begin by hitting the WINKEY + R button combination to begin the Run box and kind in gpedit.msc and then finally hit Enter.

Now, navigate to the following path within the Group Policy Editor-

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\OS Policies

Double-click around the configuration listing named as Allow publishing of User Activities to spread out the configuration page.

This policy setting determines whether User Activities could be published. If you enable this policy setting, activities of type User Activity can be published. If you disable this insurance policy setting, activities of type User Activity aren’t allowed to be published. Policy change becomes effective immediately.

You are able to select Enabled to Enable Publishing of User Activities or Disabled or Not Configured to Disable Publishing of User Activities depending on your requirements.

Click OK and exit the Group Policy Editor.

Reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

What this will do is disable the syncing between your devices and can shut down the Timeline feature on the particular computer at the same time.

How you can Configure Delivery Optimization in Windows 10

Windows Update for Business (WUfB) was introduced in Windows 10 included in Microsoft’s model for delivering Windows like a service. WUfB is Microsoft’s preferred update mechanism in Windows 10 and it allows organizations to manage how quality and feature updates are applied to devices. It utilizes a peer-to-peer technology to distribute updates called Delivery Optimization which is a configurable feature in Windows 10. The main benefit for organizations using WUfB is that Delivery Optimization removes the need to deploy a local update server also it lets devices pull updates from local and Internet peers while optimizing bandwidth usage.

For additional info on WUfB, see Understanding Windows Update for Business and Configure Windows Update for Business using Group Policy on Petri.

Windows Server Update Services and Delivery Optimization

Delivery Optimization is also utilized by Windows Update clients that are configured to use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). For any device to become a Delivery Optimization peer, it must have a minimum of 4GB RAM and 32GB of free disk space.

Once the Windows Update (WU) client is invoked, it first checks along with the local WSUS server to discover what updates are essential. The client then ‘talks’ to the Delivery Optimization service on the web to construct a list of peers which have the necessary content. Should there be peers available, then your client will try to drag the content. Any content that isn’t available is pulled from WSUS instead.

Configuring Delivery Optimization

Delivery Optimization is enabled automatically in Windows 10 and may save bandwidth when downloading cumulative quality updates and have updates. It’s not used when downloading small updates, but it’s employed for Store apps bigger than 100MB.

Download Mode

Delivery Optimization has lots of different ‘download mode’ options. Automatically, Enterprise and Education SKUs are going to make use of the ‘LAN’ download mode, which helps clients to download content from devices around the local area network. Other SKUs are going to ‘Internet’ download mode automatically, which allows clients to use peers on the web as well as the LAN.

But there are many other download mode options which you can use. The ‘Group’ download mode is recommended by Microsoft for many organizations to achieve the best bandwidth optimization. In Windows 10 1511, the ‘Group’ download mode limits clients to downloading content from peers within the same Active Directory (AD) domain. In Windows 10 version 1607, this setting allows clients to download content from peers within the same AD domain and site. There’s also a Group ID setting that lets you optionally create a custom number of devices which should use Delivery Optimization but aren’t a part of an AD domain or site ¡§C for example, devices that are a part of another domain but on a single LAN.

You can find the Delivery Optimization ‘Download Mode’ Group Policy setting under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Delivery Optimization. The equivalent Mobile Device Management (MDM) setting is under .Vendor > MSFT > Policy > Config > DeliveryOptimization.

Along with LAN, Group, and Internet download modes, Windows 10 1607 also contains Simple and Bypass. ‘Simple’ prevents clients downloading content from Internet peers and ‘Bypass’ forces clients to use BITS instead of Delivery Optimization. BITS may be the download technology utilized by Windows Update clients in earlier versions of Windows.

As you can tell, Delivery Optimization is a reasonably vary from how clients downloaded updates in previous versions of Windows and it can reduce Internet traffic when large updates need to be installed, helping keep devices on LANs with slow Online connections up-to-date and reducing network costs. But there’s also a benefit for Microsoft because Delivery Optimization puts a smaller amount load on Internet update servers.

Windows KB4480960 & KB4480970 Updates Causing Network and License Problems

On January 8th, Microsoft released the KB4480960 and KB4480970 updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, which have been causing networking and licensing havok for users and organizations which have installed them.

Ever since the updates came out for the January 2019 Patch Tuesday rollout, numerous threads on Reddit have been created where users complain about their license becoming deactivated or not having the ability to connect to network shares.

To warn users, Microsoft has added the next information towards the bulletins for KB4480960 and KB4480970:


Symptom Workaround
After installing this update, some users are reporting the KMS Activation error, “Not Genuine”, 0xc004f200 on Windows 7 devices. We are aware of this incident and are presently investigating it. We will provide an update when available.
Local users who are part of the local “Administrators“ group may not be able to remotely access shares on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 machines after installing the January 8th, 2019 security updates. This does not affect domain accounts in the local “Administrators” group. To work around this issue use either a local account that is not part of the local “Administrators” group or any domain user (including domain administrators).

We recommend this workaround until a fix is available in a future release.

KMS Activation error after installing updates

After installing these updates, users are receiving messages on enterprise versions of Windows 7 that demonstrate KMS Activation errors, that their licenses are not “Not Genuine”, or the error code 0xc004f200.

Woody Leonhard reported that this has been brought on by an a mature KB971033 update that’s conflicting with the newer updates. It appears with the release of KB4480960 and KB4480970, there’s been a conflict that’s causing activation errors for Key Management Services (KMS) controlled workstations.

A Reddit post states that users can go into the following commands to uninstall KB971033 and reactivate the workstation via KMS.

wusa /uninstall /kb:971033 /quiet
net stop sppsvc /y
del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah
del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah
del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat
del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\cache\cache.dat
net start sppsvc
cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato
taskkill /IM slui.exe

Cannot connect to network shares or networking issues

Borncity can also be reporting that users who install these updates are having issues connecting to Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 shares, accessing computer’s over Remote Desktop, or connecting to SQL servers.

BleepingComputer was also told this is affecting connections made through PowerShell on non-administrator accounts.

Apparently, you cannot use non-admin accounts with PS Remoting anymore https://t.co/n8QvgxUkeo
– Franci ?acer (@francisacer1) January 10, 2019

According to Andy of administrator.de, these updates have made it so you cannot connect with Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 shares using SMBv2 because it will produce a “Invalid Handle” error. This issue, though, appears to only affect shares developed by users who are webmaster.

To fix this problem, Andy has stated that users can uninstall the updates or make use of the following instructions to regain access.

When the user accessing the W7 is an administrator around the remote system this should work on the W7 hosting the proportion (elevated cmd):

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\system /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Next, you have to do a reboot!

So it only occurs when the user administrator is on the system hosting the proportion, so long as it is normal user everything OK, so MS here has what is applicable to the administrative shares, now extended with other shares.

BleepingComputer has not been able to confirm if the above fix works.

We have also reached out to Microsoft for comment, but had not heard back during the time of this publication.

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 19H1 release adds support for coming reserved storage feature

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 19H1 Fast Ring test build may be the first that allows users to determine how Windows 10 will manage disk space, going forward. That coming storage-focused feature, known as Reserved Storage, will start either in today’s Windows 10 build (No. 18312) or even the next, depending on when testers complete a quest.

Those Windows Insider testers who run through this quest before installing today’s build might find Reserved Storage start for this test build. People who perform the quest after installing Build 18312 should see that feature within the next Windows 10 19H1 test build, according to Microsoft’s January 9 article about Build 18312.

Reserved Storage, as Microsoft officials detailed earlier this week, will retain about 7 GB of disk space (but possibly more) to ensure that updates could be installed smoothly, even on storage-constrained PCs. Considering that a number of Windows 10 users have come across problems when attempting to set up Microsoft’s Windows 10 feature updates due to storage constraints, Reserved Storage is Microsoft’s latest attempt at an answer. Officials said Reserved Storage will be introduced automatically on PCs that include 19H1 preinstalled or on PCs where 19H1 was clean-installed.

There are several additional updates and tweaks in Build 18312, including some alterations in the “Reset this PC” interface. Microsoft also has added newer and more effective command-line options to the Windows Subsystem for Linux command-line tool in the name of improved WSL management.

You will find quite a few known issues in the current test build, plus some other additional minor updates, that are indexed by Microsoft’s blog post about Build 18312.

Windows 10 19H1, which may be referred to as Windows 10 1903 once it’s available, should begin rolling to mainstream users around April 2019, if Microsoft sticks to the current feature-update timetable.