Patch Tuesday

Details on Microsoft's Security Updates in September's Patch Tuesday

Happy Tuesday calligraphy note card
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Patch Tuesday is the name given to the day each month that Microsoft releases security and other patches for their operating systems and other software.

Patch Tuesday is always the second Tuesday of each month and more recently is being referred to as Update Tuesday.

Non-security updates to Microsoft Office tend to occur on the first Tuesday of each month and firmware updates for Microsoft's Surface devices on the third Tuesday of every month.

Note: Most Windows users will experience more of a Patch Wednesday because they're prompted to install, or notice the installation of, the updates downloaded via Windows Update on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Some half-jokingly refer to the day after Patch Tuesday as Crash Wednesday, referring to the troubles that sometimes accompany a computer after the patches are installed.

Latest Patch Tuesday

The latest Patch Tuesday was on September 13, 2016 and consisted of 14 individual security updates.

September's updates correct a number of unique security issues across Microsoft Windows operating systems and some other Microsoft software.

The next Patch Tuesday will be on October 11, 2016.

Important: If you're currently using Windows 8.1 but have not yet applied the Windows 8.1 Update package or updated to Windows 10, you must do so to continue to receive these important security patches! See my Windows 8.1 Update piece for more on what this is and how to upgrade or How to Download Windows 10 for more on that upgrade.

What Do These Patch Tuesday Updates Do?

These patches from Microsoft update several individual files involved in making Windows and other Microsoft software work.

These files were determined by Microsoft to have security issues, meaning that they have "bugs" that could provide a means to do something malicious to your computer without your knowledge.

How Do I Know if I Need These Security Updates?

You need these updates if you're running any supported edition of Microsoft's operating systems, 32-bit or 64-bit. This includes Windows 10, Windows 8 (as well as Windows 8.1), and Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Server versions of Windows are also included.

All currently supported versions of Microsoft Office are also being updated this month, including all of the free Office "viewer" and "compatibility pack" programs. MS SharePoint Server, Office Web Apps, and Office Online Server are also being updated.

Some updates correct issues so serious that, in certain situations, remote access to your computer may be possible without your permission. These issues are classified as critical, while most others are less serious and classified as important, moderate, or low.

See Microsoft Security Bulletin Severity Rating System for more on these classifications and the Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for September 2016 for Microsoft's summary on this month's collection of security updates.

Note: Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and so no longer receives security patches. Windows Vista support ends next, on April 11, 2017, and Windows 7 on January 14, 2020.

Are There Any Non-Security Updates This Patch Tuesday?

Yes, a number of non-security updates are being made available for all supported versions of Windows including, as usual, this month's update to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Microsoft's Surface tablets also usually get driver and/or firmware updates on Patch Tuesday. You can get all the details on these, and previous, updates on the Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface 3, Surface Pro 3 , and Surface Pro 4 update history pages.

There may also be non-security updates included this month for Microsoft software other than Windows. See the non-security update information in the section below for details.

Download Patch Tuesday Updates

In most situations, the best way to download patches on Patch Tuesday is via Windows Update. Only the updates you need will be listed and, unless you've configured Windows Update otherwise, will be downloaded and installed automatically.

See How Do I Install Windows Updates? if you're new to this or need some help.

You also have the option of manually installing these security updates, each of which is available via the link corresponding to your version of Windows or Microsoft software within the individual Bulletin ID pages in the September MSBS.

Any non-security updates for Windows are listed on Microsoft's New Non-Security Content for 2016 page. You can usually find links to any non-security Microsoft Office updates on the Microsoft Office Updates blog.

Note: Most of these downloads come in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. See Do I Have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows? if you're not sure which downloads to choose.

Patch Tuesday Problems

While updates from Microsoft rarely result in widespread problems with Windows itself, they do frequently cause specific issues with software or drivers provided by other companies.

If you haven't yet installed these patches, please see How To Prevent Windows Updates From Crashing Your PC for a number of preventative measures you should take before applying these updates, including disabling fully automatic updates.

If you're having problems after Patch Tuesday, or during or after installing any Windows update:

See Windows Updates & Patch Tuesday FAQ for answers to other common questions, including "Does Microsoft test these updates before they push them out?" and "Why hasn't Microsoft fixed the problem that their update caused on my computer?!"

Patch Tuesday & Windows 10

Microsoft has publicly commented that beginning with Windows 10, they will no longer be pushing updates solely on Patch Tuesday, instead pushing them more frequently, essentially ending the idea of Patch Tuesday altogether.

While this change goes for both security updates and non-security updates, and Microsoft is clearly updating Windows 10 outside of Patch Tuesday, so far they still seem to be pushing a majority of the updates to their latest operating system on Patch Tuesday.

More Help with Patch Tuesday September 2016

Run into some trouble during or after September Patch Tuesday? Head over to Facebook and leave a new comment on my post:

Patch Tuesday Problems: September 2016 [Facebook]

Be sure to let me know exactly what's happening, what version of Windows you're using, and what if any errors you're seeing, and I'd be happy to help you out.

If you need help with a computer problem but it's not about an issue you're having surrounding Microsoft's Patch Tuesday, see my Get More Help page for information about contacting me for personal assistance.

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