One of the most persistent Windows 11 bugs ever keeps telling users they’ve changed their location, when they haven’t – but it’s getting fixed

Windows 11 has a new bug (that’s also in Windows 10) whereby the operating system keeps telling users that their time zone has changed, when it hasn’t – and repeatedly doing this, driving some users to the point of distraction by all accounts.

Windows Latest flagged up multiple complaints about this bug, which has been acknowledged by Microsoft, and the company is now working on a fix.

Indeed, the tech site notes that it has experienced the glitch itself, whereby a dialog box pops up, warning that “due to a location change a new time zone has been detected.”

Then the user has the choice of clicking ‘Ignore’ to dismiss the prompt, or ‘Accept’ to be taken to the Date & Time settings where there’s actually nothing amiss (the time zone and location aren’t changed, just to clarify).

Essentially, the prompt is appearing by accident, but the real problem is that affected users don’t just see this once. It’s occurring repeatedly and in some cases multiple times per day, or even hour, which is going to get seriously tiresome.

A user hit by the problem complained in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub: “This is the 2nd system where this pop-up about me changing time zones has occurred. After I set the date and time (Central time zone), why does Windows think that I have moved 455 miles to the East? Fix your darn OS Microsoft.”


Analysis: A rare bug apparently – but a seriously annoying glitch

This is a bit of an odd one, to say the least, and while it’s a relatively benign bug – an errant pop-up that doesn’t actually throw anything of a spanner in the works (unlike some of the showstoppers we’ve seen in the past) – if it’s happening regularly, then it’s going to be a headache.

The good news is that Microsoft says the bug is rare, and so presumably the set of Windows 11 and 10 users who are subject to it happening particularly regularly is even rarer. That said, it needs to be fixed, and the problem has been around for a few weeks now.

According to Windows Latest, the fix is already in the pipeline and should (most likely) be applied as a server-side solution, meaning that it’ll happen on Microsoft’s end, and you won’t need to wait for an update to contain the cure if you’re affected by this issue. Fingers crossed that this resolution arrives swiftly, then.

Meantime, if you’re getting these head-scratching time zone notifications, there’s nothing you can do but keep dismissing them.

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Google may have been storing your incognito browsing data and now they’ve agreed to delete it

Bad news: Google's apparently been storing your Chrome incognito browsing data.

Good news. They've finally agreed to delete it.

In a court document filed Monday (April 1) and spotted by BGR, Google has agreed to settle a nearly four-year-old class-action suit that challenged Google's private browsing (a.k.a. “Incognito Mode) data collection policies.

The original lawsuit claimed, “Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy…even when Google users launch a web browser with 'private browsing mode' activated…Google nevertheless tracks the users’ browsing data and other identifying information.”

Google didn't entirely deny the claims, stating in 2020 that while incognito browsing mode data isn't saved locally, “websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”

Now, the search giant has, in principle at least, agreed to several adjustments in its messaging, data collection, and storage practices. However, if you thought this class action lawsuit might result in a small check arriving on your doorstep, you may be disappointed. The filing states that there will be “no release of monetary claims,” though individuals retain the right to sue Google for damages.

Among the changes Google will agree to when it appears before a judge on July 30:

  • Deletion or remediation of all collected data
  • Rewrite its incognito browser disclosures
  • Google must add, for the next five years at least, the ability in incognito mode to block third-party cookies by default.
  • Google has to delete private-browsing detection bits.

Google Chrome Incognito Mode splash page

You probably want to read this splash page before browsing in incognito mode. (Image credit: Future)

While this is probably good news and a big deal (Chrome currently has over 65% browser market share), the fact that incognito browsing never meant what you thought it did might be unnerving for some users.

Now, no one is judging what you browse in incognito mode but it's probably good guidance to stop assuming that whatever you see while browsing in that mode is not being detected or “seen” in some way by others.

It's not that random people or Google employees are looking at your browser history, Instead, Google's been doing what it always does, acting as a data middle-man to enable ad-targeting and some continuity in your browsing experience either by Google or through partners who use cookies to ensure that what you see on subsequent pages reflects what you were looking at on the page before.

While the filing notes that Google has already undertaken some of these changes, it's not clear if the messaging on the incognito splash pages has changed.

At the top, it reminds you that others using the same device won't see your browsing history and it notes that Chrome doesn't in this mode store browser history, cookies, and form information. It also notes, however, that your activity might be visible to the sites you visit, someone in control of your account (a school or employer), and your ISP.

It's not clear if the changes Google's set to make will impact any of that.

As for how Google feels about all this, the settlement notes that “Google supports final approval of the settlement, but disagrees with the legal and factual characterizations contained in the Motion.”

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Hunting for your Google Workspace reminders? They’ve moved to a new app

Keeping track of your reminders in Google Workspace could be a bit trickier for a short while as the platform moves alerts over to a new app.

Users of the online collaboration platform have been told their reminders for Google Assistant and Google Calendar will now be moving over to the company's Google Tasks app.

The news was first announced in September 2022, with the migration now underway for Google Workspace users across the world, as it looks to “to create a single experience for managing to-dos across Google.”

Google Tasks migration

Originally launched in 2018, Google Tasks is one of the most underappreciated Workspace tools, often going unnoticed by many users, but the company is now looking to boost its importance with the new move.

Now, Google Tasks will be directly integrated with Workspace apps such as Gmail, Google Chat and Calendar, meaning you can quickly add to and manage your to-do list as new jobs come in.

Users will be able to select a new “Add to tasks” button in Gmail, create tasks directly from Google Chat, and create a task in Google Calendar in order to make sure they have the time to get it done. 

Once created, all these tasks can be sorted into lists, with priorities set with the star selection already seen in Gmail and Google Drive – and finished tasks marked as complete with a satisfying tick mark.

Google Tasks new layout

(Image credit: Google Workspace)

Google says that integrating Assistant and Calendar reminders into Tasks will also make users' lives much easier, allowing them to save suggestions or ideas hands-free.  If you specify a date or time, your device will display a notification when it's time, so you don't forget.

Anyone wishing to have a copy of their Reminders data should receive it before June 2022, the company says, with Keep reminders also remaining on the app, but no longer showing on your calendar.

Following the migration, users will be able to view their tasks by going to the Tasks calendar instead of the Reminders calendar – and they can also go to Google Tasks, or ask Assistant, for your tasks.

Users can find out more on the changes on Google Workspace's support page.

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