Buggy Microsoft update hamstrings Outlook 2013

Folder pane goes blank after stability and performance update Tuesday; Microsoft pulls update from Windows Update and WSUS

An Office 2013 non-security update, part of yesterday's massive Patch Tuesday, blanks the folder pane in Outlook 2013, the suite's email client, drawing complaints from customers on Microsoft's support forum.

The update, identified as KB2817630, was meant to quash a several stability and performance bugs in a number of the suite's components, including Excel, SharePoint Server and Lync; fix a problem that caused Office to freeze when a document was opened in the "Protected Mode" sandbox; and more.

Instead, it emptied Outlook 2013's folder pane.

"I can't view my list of e-mail accounts, folders, favorites, etc.," said Trevor Sullivan in a message Tuesday that kicked off a long support thread.

Scores of others quickly chimed in to say the same had happened to them after applying the update on PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

"Same problem on multiple fully-updated Windows 7 Enterprise Edition, Windows 8 Enterprise Edition and Windows 8.1 Enterprise Edition workstations ... all with Office 2013 32-bit," said "MiToZ" on the same thread.

Within minutes of Sullivan's post, users reported that they'd gotten the folder pane view back after uninstalling KB2817630.

Microsoft was not available for comment late Tuesday, and it has not posted any information about the glitch on its various Office-related blogs. Nor have company representatives weighed in on the support discussion thread, as they sometimes do.

However, users said that the original update had been pulled from both Windows Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). The former is the patch service aimed at consumers and very small businesses, while the latter is the Microsoft-provided patch delivery and management service used by most businesses. Others reported that they'd contacted their Premier Support representatives -- a support plan available only to Microsoft's largest customers -- but had not been told when a fix would be available.

The gaffe is the latest in a series of embarrassments for Microsoft stemming from flawed updates. In August, the Redmond, Wash. company yanked an Exchange security update, saying it had not properly tested the patches. In April, Microsoft urged Windows 7 users to uninstall an update that crippled PCs with the notorious "Blue Screen of Death"; it re-released the update two weeks later.

A few users dealing with the empty folder pane bemoaned the trend.

"Yeah, another Microsoft Update Tuesday Blunder," said "Triple Helix" on the long thread.

"Someone on [Microsoft's] update testing team needs to get fired," added "The Computer Butler."

The flawed Office 2013 stability and performance update was issued yesterday alongside a 13-bulletin, 47-patch collection of security fixes that closed vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, SharePoint, Word, Excel and Outlook.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

Read more about security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsMicrosoftsecuritysoftwareMalware and Vulnerabilities

More about AppleExcelMicrosoftTopic

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Gregg Keizer

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place