Known Issue Rollback: Here’s how Windows 10 is dealing with broken updates

A fews days ago, Microsoft shared more information about one interesting feature that comes into play with known issues exist for a Windows update. Known Issue Rollback helps developers undo the problematic patches. It eliminates the need to deploy additional updates or force users to manually troubleshoot their PCs. This is a particularly welcomed addition to the Windows Update mechanisms, considering how many updates the operating system receives every month. 

Known Issue Rollback is partially available in Windows 10 1809 and 1909. Microsoft has implemented its full support in Windows 10 version 2004. Here how this feature works.

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What is Known Issue Rollback

When Windows developers code a non-security bug-fix, they keep the old code intact and add the fix. Let's say something went wrong and now users are reporting issues with the latest updates. In this case, Microsoft starts troubleshooting with a thorough investigation and reproduction of users' reports. If their findings confirm the issue, the company makes a policy configuration change in the cloud. This change sends a notification to devices connected to Windows Update or Windows Update for Business. After receiving that notification, Windows automatically disables the new code and starts using previous versions of the files. While such a fix may require an OS reboot to apply, Microsoft points out that most users do not need to restart their systems. The switch between the old and new code happens on the fly, and is controlled by the deployment policy. Enterprises will be able to exercise control over this policy.

Besides providing a well-detailed explanation of how the Known Issue Rollback feature works, Microsoft has also shared an example of how KIR helped the company to resolve a particular problem. In April 2020, a preview release update broke the Microsoft Store licensing system. This causes tons of reports on how purchased content was no longer available. After carefully studying the case, Microsoft deployed a Known Issue Rollback. It took the company about 24 hours to fix the problem. As a result, most users never experienced any issue with the update. Their machines quietly updated the configuration to avoid trouble.

Microsoft also notes that Known Issue Rollback does not apply to security updates. Developers use this system to fix issues with non-security updates only. It is also worth mentioning that Known Issue Rollback solves known problems only. Still, it is nice to see Microsoft coming up with innovative ideas and tools that allow quickly troubleshooting the OS that runs on over a billion devices worldwide.

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