Users who updated to Microsoft's latest Windows 10 operating system may want to recheck their settings. The software giant recently revealed that it took down its November update because of a problem that changes some users' privacy settings without their permission.
The bug that reset the settings on affected computers makes it easier for advertisers to track users across various applications and let their devices share their owners' information with wireless accessories such as Bluetooth beacons even if they are not linked to the user's PC, tablet or smartphone.
In past updates, Windows Setup is supposed to migrate the existing settings to the new installation. However, in the latest update that was released on November 12, the commands for four settings were inexplicably reset to their default status. Those involve options that allow apps to use advertising ID, enable SmartScreen Filter for Web content, allow apps to run in the background, and sync with devices.
Aside from pulling out the November update from existing Windows 10 users, Microsoft also removed the updated Media Creation Tool (for build version 1511) as they face complaints. This tool allows Windows users to download installation files for clean installations and upgrades. Some users claim that the latest version of Windows 10 courtesy of the said update uninstalls user-installed software without their consent.
Only those already on Windows 10 have encountered this issue, and those who are upgrading from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 were not affected, according to Ars Technica. As such, the November update was still being distributed over Windows Update to users upgrading from those operating systems.
In a statement given to Forbes and other tech journalists, Microsoft explained: "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 (Version 1511)."
"When the November update was installed, a few settings preferences may have inadvertently not been retained for advertising ID, Background apps, SmartScreen Filter, and Sync with devices. This issue has been fixed in the update that accompanies KB3120677."
Microsoft apologized to customers who previously installed the said November update (version 1511) and said that they are working to help restore their previous settings over the coming days. They advised users to double-check their settings by going to Settings, then Privacy.
Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft's popular operating system. It was made available for free back in July and is now used by a majority of Windows users. By January 2017, Windows 10 is expected to run on 50 percent of business organizations, according to Yahoo Tech.