October 10 Windows update may delete your files unless you take precautions

HEADS UP EVERYONE

Be warned: users who’ve tried installing early previews of the next big Windows version update, version 1809, have found it has deleted their personal files. Some users have lost hundreds of gigabytes of personal documents, photos, and other material. This behavior is apparently tied to updates to the Windows space-clearing tool—it gets a little overzealous when it comes to clearing out old user profiles. Have a care before you update—if you keep your ebooks in your documents folder, you could end up losing them too!

Fortunately, there are precautions you can take, even beyond the common-sense approach of backing up your files externally. Perhaps the simplest precaution is to disable Windows’s automatic updates until a fix can be found. But for people a little more tech-savvy, there’s also a workaround involving using Windows’s Group Policy Editor, gpedit.msc, to disable a key setting.

The Group Policy Editor is bundled with…

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