Microsoft admits Windows 10 autumn update bug, reinstates full download

Windows 10
At least we finally know what the problem was now

Microsoft has reinstated the full download of Windows 10 with the major November update on board, and explained the reason why it pulled the download over the weekend.

You may have seen our story on this yesterday, but if you missed it, in a nutshell we're talking about the full version of Windows 10 you can download via Microsoft's Media Creation Tool (MCT) to perform a clean install of the OS with all the latest tweaks applied.

Microsoft yanked this down following reports of various issues across the internet, although the official line previously trotted out to explain why the download was removed simply stated that the MCT shouldn't be used to apply the November update, and it was only being made available via Windows Update.

This was a vague and highly unsatisfying statement which made no real sense, but fortunately Microsoft has decided to come clean on the real reason, and as suspected it is due to a bug.

ZDNet received a new full statement from Redmond, which read: "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. Once these customers installed the November update, a few of their settings preferences may have inadvertently not been retained.

"For these customers, we will restore their settings over the coming days and we apologize for the inconvenience. We worked to resolve the issue as quickly as possible – it will not impact future installs of the November update, which is available today."

Privacy options

The bug apparently caused Windows 10 to reset four settings to default values. These were privacy settings, which explains why Microsoft was so sensitive about the affair, and they included options to let apps make use of the user's advertising ID, and to let apps run in the background, as well as turning the SmartScreen web filter on.

The problem with BitLocker encryption and users not being able to turn it on with a clean install via MCT wasn't mentioned, but that could be another issue which affected some folks and contributed to the decision (there were also reports of the update removing some programs such as CPU-Z).

At any rate, the full download of Windows 10 complete with the latest November update is now available once again, doubtless to the relief of some IT admins.

In the future, hopefully Microsoft will come clean on any issues in a swifter manner, and not trot out meaningless statements like the first one the company issued on this matter – frankly, radio silence would have been more palatable than that initial communication.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).