Patch Tuesday: Here’s what’s new for Windows 7 and 8.1 this month

Today is the second Tuesday of May, and that means it's time for this month's Patch Tuesday. Microsoft is rolling out cumulative updates for all supported versions of Windows, and that includes Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Keep in mind, Windows 7 actually reached end of support earlier this year, so you'll only be getting updates if you're a business user paying for extended security updates.

These monthly updates come in two flavors – monthly rollup and a security-only update – and by default, you'll get the monthly rollup automatically.

For Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, the monthly rollup update is KB4556846, and you can download it manually here, though you can also get it through Windows Update. It includes the following changes:

  • Updates the 2020 start date for daylight saving time (DST) in the Kingdom of Morocco. For more information, see KB4557900.
  • Addresses an issue that causes offline file syncing to stop responding or fail in mobsyc.exe.
  • Security updates to Internet Explorer, the Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Media, Windows Kernel, Windows Core Networking, Internet Information Services, Windows Network Security and Containers, Windows Active Directory, the Microsoft JET Database Engine, and Windows Storage and Filesystems.

The update has no known issues.

As for the security-only update, it's labeled as KB4556853 and you can download it manually here. This one won't be sent out through Windows Update, so you'll need to download and install it yourself. As you'd expect, this update focuses exclusively on security fixes and improvements:

  • Updates the 2020 start date for daylight saving time (DST) in the Kingdom of Morocco. For more information, see KB4557900.
  • Security updates to Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Media, Windows Kernel, Windows Core Networking, Internet Information Services, Windows Network Security and Containers, Windows Active Directory, the Microsoft JET Database Engine, and Windows Storage and Filesystems.

It also has no known issues

As for Windows 7, the monthly rollup update is KB4556836 and it can be downloaded manually here. Again, it's only available for businesses that are paying for extended security updates, since support for Windows 7 officially ended back in January. It includes the following changes:

  • Addresses an issue that prevents certain apps from installing if they are published using a Group Policy Object.
  • Addresses an issue that causes Windows to incorrectly report the connection state of a network interface. The issue might cause software that queries the media connection state to receive a result of “Unknown” from a network interface after installing Windows updates released after February 11, 2020. This issue has been observed in the Network Access Manager component of the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.
  • Updates the 2020 start date for daylight saving time (DST) in the Kingdom of Morocco. For more information, see KB4557900.
  • Security updates to Internet Explorer, the Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Apps, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Kernel, Internet Information Services, Windows Network Security and Containers, Windows Active Directory, the Microsoft JET Database Engine, and Windows Storage and Filesystems.

There aren't any known issues with the update itself, but editions not supported by by Windows 7 ESUs will see an error if they try to install the update:

SymptomWorkaround
After installing this update and restarting your device, you might receive the error, “Failure to configure Windows updates. Reverting Changes. Do not turn off your computer,” and the update might show as Failed in Update History.

This is expected in the following circumstances:

  • If you are installing this update on a device that is running an edition that is not supported for ESU. For a complete list of which editions are supported, see KB4497181.
  • If you do not have an ESU MAK add-on key installed and activated.

If you have purchased an ESU key and have encountered this issue, please verify you have applied all prerequisites and that your key is activated. For information on activation, please see this blog post. For information on the prerequisites, see the "How to get this update" section of this article.

Finally, the Windows 7 security-only update is KB4556843 and it can be downloaded manually here. It includes the following security fixes:

  • Updates the 2020 start date for daylight saving time (DST) in the Kingdom of Morocco. For more information, see KB4557900.
  • Security updates to Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Apps, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Kernel, Internet Information Services, Windows Network Security and Containers, Windows Active Directory, the Microsoft JET Database Engine, and Windows Storage and Filesystems.

The single known issue is the same as what's in the monthly rollup.

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