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Operating Systems

Last prerelease Windows 10 tweak triggers crashes for some testers

An update to the prerelease version of the software causes crashes in certain situations as Microsoft works hard to meet its July 29 launch deadline.

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A new Windows 10 bug has surfaced days before the official launch. screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Windows 10 is still misbehaving mere days before its official debut.

An update dubbed KB3074681 pushed to the current Windows 10 build for members of the Windows Insider Program is triggering crashes for some users. Rolled out on Saturday, the update causes a crash if you try to uninstall a program using Control Panel instead of using the more modern Settings screen.

I was able to reproduce the problem by trying to uninstall an application via Control Panel by either double-clicking it or selecting it and then right-clicking it to bring up a popup menu to uninstall it. Attempting to uninstall a program using Control Panel crashes Control Panel and returns you to the Windows 10 desktop.

The bug affects the current edition, or build, of Windows 10, which is considered the final one before launch date. Build 10240 is the one that will be pushed out as an upgrade on Wednesday to people who signed up for the Windows Insider Program, which lets you download and test the new operating system and then offer your feedback to Microsoft.

The presence of a bug at this late date, especially one caused by an update, is disconcerting but not totally unexpected. Microsoft has been looking at Windows 10 as a work in progress. As such, the company is planning a phased rollout, first launching the upgrade to Windows Insiders come July 29, then moving on to Windows 7 and 8.1 users who have reserved the free upgrade. A phased approach gives the company time to catch and squash any bugs or other issues that arise as the Windows 10 rollout progresses over days or even weeks.

A fix is in the works for this latest bug and will be rolled out soon, Gabe Aul, the engineering general manager for Microsoft's operating systems group, told blog site SuperSite for Windows on Sunday. In the meantime, those of you running the latest Windows 10 build with the KB3074681 update installed have an easy workaround if you're trying to uninstall a program. Instead of going through Control Panel, simply click the Start button and then open the Settings screen. From there, click the System category and then choose the setting for Apps & features. In the right page, click the app you wish to uninstall and then click the Uninstall button.

Microsoft is gradually trying to phase out Control Panel in favor of the Settings screen. But that process is likely to take time. And Windows users accustomed to Control Panel to configure and modify key settings may be more inclined to continue to use it even after upgrading to Windows 10. So Microsoft will have to respond to all such bugs and technical glitches as it pushes out Windows 10 to make sure the new OS is as solid as possible after the initial rollout.