Microsoft releases emergency fix for 'aCropalypse' Windows vulnerability — here's how to get it

Windows 11 Snipping Tool overlayed on Windows 11 homescreen
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Earlier this week a vulnerability in the Windows 11 Snipping Tool and Windows 10 Snip & Sketch tool was discovered which could allow a malicious actor to reveal the contents of a cropped screenshot. As these tools are at times used to eliminate personal data from screenshots, it was deemed a high priority concern.

Microsoft took that to heart and issued an emergency patch to correct the issue already, so you are just a few steps away from ensuring that you are safe from this potentially disastrous vulnerability (via Bleeping Computer). 

Microsoft Store Library showing multiple apps updating

(Image credit: Microsoft)

How to manually install the Microsoft "aCropalypse" patch

1. Open the Microsoft Store
2. Select Library
Click Get updates
Select Update all

Once the updates are complete, you're all set. The issue was simply that the Windows 10 and Windows 11 screenshot tools weren't completely overwriting the data on the default PNG versions of the screenshots, this patch corrects that problem. 

Do be aware that this doesn't retroactively fix the problem for any previous screenshots, so if you had cropped any private data out of recent screenshots, you should delete the cropped versions and crop the originals again.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.