Microsoft appears to have patched a bug in Windows 10 that caused a key part of the OS to crash for some testers just two days before launch.
The bug caused Windows Explorer to crash when users tried to remove an application or disable an enabled network interface using the Control Panel.
Those affected should install the new security patch using Windows Update. The initial problem appears to have been caused by an update that Microsoft pushed out over the weekend to defend against a pair of security vulnerabilities and to improve Windows 10 overall. While the update was important for security reasons, it also meant that people accustomed to changing settings inside the Control Panel who were running the pre-release version of the operating system could have been in for a nasty surprise.
Monday's patch appears to have fixed the problem, according to user reports on Twitter. It's one in a long line of rapid-fire patches that Microsoft has been putting out in preparation for the launch of Windows 10.
The crash rankled some people who are used to having full control over which updates they do and don't install. Windows 10 is set up to automatically install updates by default in order to keep users on the latest version of the OS. Automatically updating should help better protect users against security threats and give them access to the latest features that Microsoft ships out. However, it also means that if one of those updates goes bad, a bunch of people will be automatically affected by it.
People who use Windows 10 Pro will be able to defer some software upgrades for "several months," which will keep them current on security fixes but leave them behind on some of the newest features. That setting likely wouldn't have helped in this case, since the update that introduced the crash was a security update, and those aren't deferred under the setting. Microsoft has shown during the tail end of its public beta test for Windows 10 that it's no stranger to providing speedy patches that fix critical bugs, so that may help ease the sting of problematic system updates.
It's worth noting that, like other new software releases, it's unlikely Windows 10 will be completely free of bugs when it's released to the public on Wednesday. The operating system has come a long way in terms of stability compared to the earlier days of Microsoft's public testing period, but users who download the new OS on Wednesday will likely find some things wrong with it. Microsoft has committed to continually updating Windows 10 as part of its initiative to provide "Windows as a service," so it's likely that users will see frequent updates aimed at improving the operating system after launch.