With the release of the latest round of Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has resolved a known issue that prevented user data from being completely erased after resetting a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC.
First discovered by Microsoft MVP Rudy Ooms in February, the bug caused some user data to remain readable in the “Windows.old” folder after a remote control or local wipe in Windows. At the same time, the issue also moved data encrypted with Bitlocker to the same folder, but after that they were readable because the data was no longer encrypted.
According to the software giant, the bug was caused by its cloud storage service OneDrive. Microsoft previously explained in a post on the Windows Health dashboard that logging out or unlinking OneDrive before resetting a Windows device could serve as a workaround while it was working on an update to fix the problem.
Fortunately, by installing the latest updates on your Windows PC, you can fix the problem once and for all and don’t even have to mess with OneDrive when you wipe a PC or even multiple PCs.
Fix may take a while to work
While Microsoft has released its new KB5011493 update to fix this issue on both Windows 10 and 11, it may take a while for the fix to take effect.
In a new support document, the company revealed that on some devices it may take up to seven days after installing the update to “fully fix the issue and prevent files from persisting after a reset”.
While this may be inconvenient for IT administrators or others who constantly wipe Windows devices, Microsoft has another solution. For the update to take effect immediately, users can manually activate the Windows Update troubleshooter by following these instructions.
Now that Microsoft has finally nipped this problem in the bud, Windows users can sell their old PCs again without fear of losing some of their personal information.