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Bug Microsoft Windows News Technology

Windows 10 Forced Update Resets Default Apps To Microsoft Products ( 387

Freshly Exhumed writes: Microsoft has told The Inquirer that it is aware of a bug which has been causing users' default programs to switch to the bundled Microsoft options. After deleting the update, a user discovered the next day that Windows had reinstalled it and reset the default settings again. InfoWorld gives some real world scenarios: "If you have Chrome as the default browser on your Windows 10 computer, you'd better check to make sure Microsoft didn't hijack it last week and set Edge as your new default. The same goes for any PDF viewer: A forced cumulative update also reset PDF viewing to Edge on many PCs. Do you use IrfanView, ACDSee, Photoshop Express, or Photoshop Elements? The default photo app may have been reset to -- you guessed it -- the Windows Photos app. Music? Video? Microsoft may have swooped down and changed you over to Microsoft Party apps, all in the course of last week's forced cumulative update KB3135173."
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Windows 10 Forced Update Resets Default Apps To Microsoft Products

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  • Accidentally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:18PM (#51552989)

    It seems that accidentally is another English word that is reversing its meaning.

    • The other word losing it's meaning is "bug".

      How does it appear on your annual review when you *intentionally* created a bug at the request of the marketing department? Is that good or bad?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft is simply apping apps that app other apps, which is what modern app appers know is the right thing to do!


    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft seems to have had lots of "accidents" with regards to Windows 10, spyware and forced updates on older versions of Windows.

      I only have to laugh at anyone stupid enough to have fallen for the Windows 10 scam. I hope they enjoy having their computer decide what they do and soon likely having to pay a subscription for the privilege.

    • It seems that accidentally is another English word that is reversing its meaning.

      Well we all understand how Ehsan Abdulaziz could "accidentally" lose his balance ending up with physical evidence suggesting he raped an 18 year old. One just can't control where that pesky little poker will wind up when you're in freefall...

      So how hard is it to believe MSFT accidentally overlooked resetting a user's defaults.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So, I haven't been experiencing any of the Windows 10 nag/force upgrade problems on my Linux machine.

      Just sayin'.

    • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @06:39PM (#51554137) Homepage Journal

      It seems that accidentally is another English word that is reversing its meaning.

      Kids these days are literally slaughtering the English language.

  • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:22PM (#51553003)
    So sorry, it won't happen again until next update.
    • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:24PM (#51553013)
      Basically, its happened to me too. They also re-install their shitty metro apps you may have removed.
    • by Zappy ( 7013 )

      This already happened several times. At least the pdf viewer reset to edge happened at least half a dozen times since windows 10 release. It has surprised me greatly Adobe is not being more vocal about this.

      • Their Reader app for pdf files is horrible - you open a second file, and instead of opening another instance of Reader w/ that file, it closes the first and opens the second. I lost a pdf file I was editing that way
        • Are you sure it hasn't just opened the new file as a second tab and switched to it, or something along those lines? FWIW, I've never seen the behaviour you described with Adobe Reader. In fact, I don't really get the Adobe bashing on this one, because Reader has consistently been better than all the half-baked in-browser alternatives that keep popping up, which apparently struggle with such complex viewing operations as showing two pages side by side or rotating a landscape figure page in an otherwise portr

          • FoxIT PDF reader beats Adobe reader hands down in all categories.
            Smaller memory footprint, opens files faster, has better GUI (the last thing being very subjective, since I adore Microsoft Office's Ribbon).

            • I used FoxIT for a while, but found it buggy and occasionally vulnerable to even worse security problems than Adobe Reader. Has it improved recently?

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                FOXIT is now malware It has been bought out by a malware company. After uninstalling I would re-image your system as it installs some backdoors and other evil stuff.\

                This and of course we all know uTorrent installs bitcoin miners too since it was bought out too

                • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                  I highly recommend Sumatra PDF as an alternative to Foxit, and qBittorrent as an alternative to uTorrent.

            • I'm using SumatraPDF. It's tiny, fast, and sure it lacks a lot of Acrobat features but that actually makes it safer as many of vectors of attack are simply missing. I still have Acrobat as non-default PDF reader for that 1% cases where a full feature set might be needed.

            • I like the free version of PDF-Xchange viewer. I found it outperforms Adobe and FOXit in performance, and included annotation features.

              I also get annoyed when Chrome and Firefox keep showing PDFs in their shitty built in viewers.

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              Foxit Reader is also available for Linux. It's fairly light and stable. I don't do much more than read PDFs or sometimes save files as a PDF.

              Evince is also a suitable reader. Oddly, it's named "Document Reader" on my distro. No, I don't actually know why.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Bug, my ass. This was deliberate, and they were hoping nobody would call them on it.

  • by maugle ( 1369813 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:24PM (#51553015)
    Never attribute to malice etc etc, but this isn't the first time Microsoft has pulled this sort of crap, and the fact that they still haven't put safeguards in place to prevent these "bugs" is telling.
    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:53PM (#51553151) Journal
      Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. (Ian Fleming)
    • Some of Microsoft's apps have been corrupted or disappeared on my laptop - the Windows Store, Windows Photos...

      It would be nice if they could make their apps ironclad before forcing them on us

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 )

      Same old Microsoft.

      They can make a show of switching CEOs from the overtly evil, thieving, manipulative bastard to the jumping, chair throwing, comical rage-monkey, to the mostly low-key new guy who thinks women should STFU and accept that it's their karma to be underpaid vs. men in the same job. It's still the house that Gates built and a leopard doesn't change its spots.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @04:35PM (#51553597)

        That's really not fair. This is nothing like the house that Gates built. Microsoft of the 1990s and early 2000s went to extraordinary lengths to ensure stability and backward compatibility on the Windows platform, far beyond what most in the industry have ever done before or since. They did start to shift their stance on that a few years ago, with for example less effort to support other people's software and devices/drivers that relied on undocumented features, but that should never really have been their responsibility in the first place so personally I don't hold that against them.

        However, this "update any time we feel like it and break whatever" attitude is relatively recent and seems to be squarely on Nadella and his senior management team, who can't get the boot fast enough as far as I'm concerned. Microsoft of 2016 is actively customer-hostile in numerous ways, and as both a private individual and a business person I want the old MS back so I can get on with using computers to help me do interesting and useful things instead of fighting with them.

        I was in a meeting just this past week with a bunch of other local consultants and freelancers, and at lunch time this subject happened to come up because someone had been looking for a new PC and checking out the latest status with Windows 10. It turned out that nearly half the people in the room -- and these were all clued-up people when it comes to IT, who would not make decisions about infrastructure or security policy lightly -- no longer install any Windows updates on their Win7/8 machines by default now, even security updates unless a specific threat was identified. Literally no-one there was installing more than security updates as standard policy any more. Also literally no-one was using Windows 10, nor had worked with any customer or client who was using Windows 10 outside of evaluation/lab settings yet. The general sentiment seemed to be that a lot of places are deferring major purchasing decisions until at least the dust has settled, or in a few cases actively switching to alternatives (almost invariably Linux on the server side and Apple for laptops).

        For an organisation that famously had "Developers, developers, developers!" as its battle cry under previous management, that is a potentially catastrophic shift in attitude from a group that would almost certainly have favoured a Microsoft platform for a wide range of projects just a few years ago.

        • by Kremmy ( 793693 )
          Those guys are behind the curve and will soon be scrambling to make sure everything is up to date.
          It's the same situation we had with every major revision of Windows in the past. Hordes of people insisting on keeping their outdated, but working and mission critical, systems up and running. Hordes of people slowly finding that they're having to pass on using the most up to date tools for their jobs because they decided to stick with end of life platforms. Hordes of people getting increasingly frustrated as
          • The thing is, the earliest these guys are really going to be in trouble is Win7 EOL, and that's not for almost 4 more years. Win8 is even later.

            Until that time, Microsoft have committed to supporting these platforms, which means if there really are essential security fixes then they ought to be provided. Even if they aren't, most of the customers and clients these guys work with have sensible defence in depth arrangements and don't rely primarily on OS updates for security anyway.

            As for compatibility, Win7

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This is the result of a safeguard. If the update detects something that could cause a problem it resets settings to default.

      Every vendor does it. In fact some software just resets as a matter of course when upgrading, because annoying users is less hassle than handling support calls when it goes wrong.

    • ...and the fact that they still haven't put safeguards in place to prevent these "bugs" is telling.

      Well, of course they don't catch these "little goofs" -- all of their test systems are unblemished and run only genuine Microsoft applications, so they'll never even see when something they do 'accidentally' forces your preferences back to using the stock Microsoft applications, and keeps resetting them back when you try to make a 'third party' program the default for a file type. After all, Microsoft's software is perfect for all your needs; why would you ever want to use a different application to open y

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:24PM (#51553017)
    I usually hate class action lawsuits, but as a Win10 user I'm getting sick of this crap. Between the spying, excuse me, "telemetry", the reboots in the middle of the night with the laptop closed, to resetting all my app associations, it's just a fucking joke. I don't believe for a second the app associate reset is a "bug", or a "glitch". It's something Microsoft is trying to sneak past us hoping that, if they do it enough times, we'll give up and use their app instead of the one we want.

    Don't tell me to run Linux. I do run Linux. I also need my laptop for things Linux won't run.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > as a Win10 user

      As a Windows 10 user, you deserve every drop of this.

      I know it sucks you can't use Linux, or OS X, or BSD, for some selection of applications (probably work related- for many others its games) that you just can't get anywhere else. But that's Microsoft's whole strategy! This is the endgame for vendor lock-in.

      Basically, Microsoft has said "deal with our bullshit or gtfo". Right now you kinda have other options- you can run 8.1 and be reasonably early in its support cycle, with its unf

      • by iampiti ( 1059688 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @03:11PM (#51553243)
        Well, up to now I was happy with Ms' business model: I give them money for a Windows license they give me a decent OS which allows me to run the software I want and stays out of my way.
        They've now have changed it and it doesn't suit my needs. Was I stupid by trusting that Microsoft was going to update Windows in a way that didn't suck? Maybe, but I repeat, up to now we had an exchange that satisfied both parties, I could've continued that way but Ms no longer want it.
        I asked for this? No, I didn't, I asked for the other model to continue. This is enabled by Ms' near monopoly on desktop OS and by people who do upgrade to Windows 10. I everyone refused they'd have no recourse but to back up.
        My future? Windows for games and Linux for everything else
        • by chipschap ( 1444407 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @03:40PM (#51553349)

          By putting substantial effort into it, I've been able to get almost completely away from Windows (haven't booted my Win 8.1 partition in at least a month).

          At one time, when Wine wasn't very good and some things that I had to have, like decent OCR, weren't functional on Linux, I was stuck. But things have evolved and so have my adaptivity skills.

          I realize I'm not making a good general case here. Of course, if you're an average user and most of what you do is on the Web or involves typical office suite work, Linux will work for you just about out of the box. If you have specialized needs, I contend that Linux can often be made to work for you, although sometimes that won't be true. (Gamers have the biggest problem, I suppose; people that require a specialized vertical such as maybe medical imaging software and others.)

          But to come the point, with all the Microsoft nonsense I keep reading about (and trying very hard to stay clear of), there's a lot of incentive. Microsoft seems to be getting more and more aggressive and not even caring enough to conceal it. There's a lot of reason to try to get away from their lock-in.

          Will Microsoft eventually self-destruct? To some extent IBM, which in its day was every bit as aggressive, did. But I'm not willing to put up with another decade of suffering.

          • My only real roadblock is gaming and I don't like the consoles attractive since I can currently do everything with my PC. Why should I buy hardware just for gaming?
            Will Microsoft self-destruct? I don't think so. Sadly, most people don't think like us and just tolerate whatever Microsoft throws at them. But of course I'd be very happy if they were forced to retreat and release a "decent" Windows
          • I'm still trying to figure out if I can safely move my wife's photo editing workstation to Linux. It needs to run the Adobe Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop and Lightroom, us third party plug-ins, plus screen color calibration software (and hardware).

            If I can make that all work, the next stop after Windows 7 is Linux for that system.

            (Please don't suggest alternatives to PS for her needs. For various reasons that ain't happening.)

          • By putting substantial effort into it, I've been able to get almost completely away from Windows (haven't booted my Win 8.1 partition in at least a month).

            I've got an ARM cross compiler and JTAG debugger, neither runs under Linux. Those are the only 2 programs I use that won't run under Linux. Unfortunately, those are the 2 programs the money tree grows from.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 21, 2016 @03:41PM (#51553355)

          > I give them money for a Windows license they give me a decent OS

          I mean, this is exactly why everyone is so hot about this. They changed from offering an OS to offering a spyware mess. If any of these posts gets modded up, you can expect some ACs to come in and say "but Android does this too!". Now, it doesn't, but even if it sucked raw anus with a straw, it's not a reason for Windows to wonder "how long a straw do I need"- but wait for it, those dual class Apologist / Shills will be here shortly.

          The thing is, Microsoft changing models to something shitty was INEVITABLE. That's the core problem. Microsoft has been forced in court to NOT do many things- you didn't have a rational agreement with Microsoft, you had the government pointing metaphorical guns at them and demanding they behave in a barely civilized fashion. Then you gave them money and were ok with the results. That's you supporting a version of the company that requires constant legal expenditure to ensure that they don't just flip out and destroy everything.

          The funniest part is that the paid version (Pro) available to individuals is a hot mess of spyware and total shit. Only Enterprise even has the ability to be controlled, and there's evidence that neutering it still takes an external firewall. The idea that corporations get privacy and you don't is scary as fuck.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          8.1 seems to be the sweet spot. Unless you are a gamer there isn't much in 10 that 8.1 doesn't have. There is some useful stuff over 7, like better high DPI support and SED support.

        • I will swap to windows 10 when my corporate overlord does, they have 180,000 crash test dummies and do not jump just because MS tells them to.
      • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @05:08PM (#51553739)

        As a Windows 10 user, you deserve every drop of this. I know it sucks you can't use Linux, or OS X, or BSD, for some selection of applications

        Blame the victim. Right.

        I need Windows 10 because I support code that is used by people who use Windows 10. I cannot change what they do, and I like getting a paycheck, so I use Windows 10.

        I appreciate that you think I deserve whatever happens because of that, but your opinion doesn't put food on my table, and it's pretty arrogant and just ridiculous.

        Right now you kinda have other options- you can run 8.1 and be reasonably early in its support cycle,

        Thanks for telling me what I can run. Isn't that the same kind of thing that Microsoft is doing with their changes to default programs (they are NOT "apps")? And tell me, how does paying Microsoft for an 8.1 upgrade help me support people who are running 10? Are you going to pay for my 8.1 upgrade?

        you'll have to be careful to avoid the Windows 10 "upgrade", etc.

        I didn't "have to be careful" to avoid the upgrade. All it took was deleting gwx.exe and everything else in that directory.

        But at the end of the day, you paid for this, asked for this,

        You are an ignorant, arrogant jerk, and that is putting it kindly.

    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      Oh c'mon, I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but do you SERIOUSLY think MS could reset everyone's apps to the MS apps and NO ONE would notice??? The people affected are the ones who go to the trouble to use a different app. This is going to cause MS a fair bit of grief and pain, and zero benefit.

    • First off, the proper term is GNU/Linux []; you're not just being advised to run only the Linux kernel. If the people advising you know what they're talking about, they should be advising you to run a completely free OS -- a free kernel (such as GNU Linux-libre) and free software on top of that. The more free software you can get on your system, the more you can put yourself in control of your computing. And this terminology difference is also apropos because this issue comes down to the very issue being raise

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      The judge is going to want to know what harm you can prove. While having to reset the defaults is a pain in the ass, it's probably not worth a whole lot and probably isn't going to get them to change their behavior. You've got to prove harm. Telemetry isn't harm (according to the courts) in the US - yet. I guess you could try for that but they'll just put a bigger warning in their EULA or change some wording around. I think you'd actually need some legislation and they'd just be included in that legislation

  • Just by "mistake" - what are those individuals doing it smoking over there, the "I am the Allmighty" weed?

  • Welcome to July 2015 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:35PM (#51553061)

    Windows 10 updates have been doing this since it was released to the general public in July 2015, why is it only just making headlines now?

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      It's never happened to me, and didn't this most recent round, either. Maybe because it's not as widespread as you think that it's not an issue.
      • It's never happened to me, either. Has it been reported on why it affects some users but not others?

        • by Luthair ( 847766 )
          I saw something once suggesting that using powershell to remove uninstallable metro apps causes it.
        • by Lisias ( 447563 )

          It's never happened to me, either. Has it been reported on why it affects some users but not others?

          It never happened to me neither. I just don't know why...

          Sent from my UNIX machine

        • It's never happened to me, either. Has it been reported on why it affects some users but not others?

          Hasn't affected me either. Of course, I don't use Windows 10...

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @02:42PM (#51553091)
    I was prompted to select Microsoft Edge earlier this week and selected Google Chrome instead. Not sure if that was the forced update or gamma radiation.
    • Yea i never had issue with any update resetting my defaults. Wonder how isolated it really is or is it just blown outta proportion.
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @03:15PM (#51553255)

    There's an even more evil bug going around in the Windows 10 fever pit right now, the sudden loss of Start menu functionality. One day you boot up and although there's still a Stafrt button, it no longer brings up its menu, and any program icons you pinned to the Taskbar are gone. As with so many other bugs in a new Windows version, a search reveals that a lot of people are getting this and there is a plethora of suggested workarounds, but none of them will work. You have to reinstall Windows.

    • by herve_masson ( 104332 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @03:24PM (#51553277)

      Isn't it the infamous "tablet mode" that get automagically enabled ? Took me one hour to understand what happened and disable this damn shit, another hour to rant against yet another windows 10 crap.

      • Wouldn't the Metro app buttons appear in Tablet mode as an alternative to the computer desktop? In the syndrome I'm describing, you still see the desktop, minus some of your personal icons , and with a Start button that doesn't do anything. No Metro icons.

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      Hahahaha really? Every time I read about one of these things I'm glad I stuck with Win7 and Linux. :-) Windows 10 is for suckers!

      • by afxgrin ( 208686 )

        Some of us need to stay ahead of the users so when it's time to upgrade everyone we know what to do right away.

    • by afxgrin ( 208686 )

      This update actually fixed this problem for me.

      It also blew away all my Quick Access links in windows explorer.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @03:18PM (#51553269) Homepage
    With Windows 10 users living in the in the nightmare world of the Panopticon [], I'll bet dimes to dollars Microsoft knows exactly how many people are not using Microsoft's own programs to open their software. Some manager somewhere saw the numbers weren't good enough to ensure her bonuses, so MS pushes out an update to reset the preferences which users have clearly chosen. I bet it works, too, after 3 months the numbers are will still be above where they were before the update. Evil like this has the unfortunate tendency to work.
  • And next week's new "feature". This is how the new Microsoft rolls out unpopular policy and feature changes.
  • This happened (happens) all the time. Not new to Windows 10. Happened with Windows 8 updates. Windows 7 updates. Vista updates. Windows XP updates... I think you should be seeing the trend now. They make this mistake from time to time. Every time it happens, the same story comes out Then they either apologize or say it was done for security reasons. So, please, just ignore this non-story and move along.
  • Nobody at Microsoft ever got fired for erring on the side of hemorrhagic fever.

    The mere contemplation of insufficient virulence, however, causes Microsoft employees to suffer a nervous, liquid fly [] incident.

    They can't help it. It's simply in their DNA.

    (For all the budding screen-writers out there, that clip is an expo-dump done right.)

  • I've already had a Win10 automatic update reset all my file associations to the Microsoft apps before. How does this keep happening?

  • Thank for the update. I just checked and my Ubuntu system does not seem to be affected by this.
  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @04:10PM (#51553495)

    Windows 10 upgrade only resets the defaults if you go with the "recommended settings" option. If you select "customize" then it prompts you whether to update your default programs or keep the existing.

    If you take Microsoft's "recommended settings"; is it any surprise that they set you up on Edge for your browser, the new windows 10 photo viewer, etc, and a few other application defaults?

    It's nuts. There is a REAL problem with Microsofts telemetry situation; but too many of you get side tracked by every little irrelevant detail; and then run around like chicken little foaming at the mouth; and it takes all your credibility away.

    - "Oh no! Windows 10 has waaay too much telemetry ... "

    o "Oh, that sounds a little disturbing, tell me more?"

    - "Oh no! Windows 10 sets your default browser to edge if you select 'recommend settings'.
    - "Oh no! Windows 10 tries to connect to the internet so that it can update the icon that says whether or not you are connected to the internet!"
    - "Oh no! Windows 10 connects to the internet a thousand times in the first 24 hours"

    o "er...I see you left Windows update service turned on!"

    - "OMG Micro$$$oft evil! Bing sounds stupid. They made it easier to get to device manager and control panels... by changing somehting. EVIL!!"

    o "Yeah, I've forgotten why I was listening to you."

  • But they sure are fucking up every inch of the roll out making it much more unattractive than it should be. Someone should remind them that patience is a virtue.
  • Since beyond all the other problems people have had with it I've hit a bug where Edge doesn't work at all. (I know I know, I should consider it an improvement.)
  • One wonders if Microsoft feels the agreements/penalties they were boinked with by the authorities are no longer anything to be concerned about.

    That or Windows is now designed and built by chimps (and that's being uncharitable to those of the chimp persuasion).

  • Below, my own text file of procedures which I use to denature both upgraded and new installations of Win10 on the machines I deal with. It's pretty drastic, but it's been working well, and the miserable goddamned Apps seem to not come back, or at least not all at once, which allows me to periodically check on: C:\Windows\SystemApps\, C:\Users\MainUser\AppData\Local\Packages, C:\Program Files\WindowsApps, C:\Users\All Users\Package Cache for any .cabs or whatever that may have insinuated itself back into th
  • Since that update (KB3135173), I keep getting told that PDF is reset to Edge, JPG is reset to Photos, and MP3 is reset to Groove Music, but nothing actually happens to my file preferences. Windows 10 just keeps announcing that it made the changes, on a daily, or slightly less often, basis. It doesn't seem to be associated with any task in the Task Scheduler, either. I checked the logs at the time of the message. It just keeps telling me that "an app caused a problem" so it's resetting my preferences in those three file types. All three announcements come at the same time.

    But nothing actually happens other than the announcement.

    I'm running in a Limited User Account. Could that have anything to do with it? Why wouldn't the OS be able to make the changes? I'm glad it can't seem to do what it's threatening to do, but it's weird.

    I feel just like a beta tester. Windows 10 is flaky.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger