Microsoft patches Windows 10 bug that kills Internet connectivity on VPNs

Microsoft has released an update for a bug which disrupted Internet connections on certain Windows 10 devices.

Since cumulative update KB4535996, which was released on 27 February, users reported that their systems were showing limited or no Internet connection status in the Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) in the notification tray.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue and explained that devices using a manual or auto-configured proxy, especially within a virtual private network (VPN), were known to be affected.

“This might happen when connected or disconnected to a VPN or after changing state between the two,” Microsoft said.

Additionally, affected devices could have issues getting online through applications that use WinHTTP or WinInet, Microsoft noted.

This is particularly problematic in a time when more people are working from home as part of efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, as it affects a number of key productivity applications.

This includes Microsoft Teams, Office, Office365, and Outlook. Browsers like Internet Explorer 11 and certain versions of Microsoft Edge could also struggle to access the Internet.

Out-of-band update

The patch is currently only available as an out-of-band update on the Microsoft Update Catalog and not within Windows Update itself.

Given the fact that the update’s rollout was sped up, the company recommended that users only install the optional update if they are affected by the issue.

Updates are available for the latest Windows 10 versions, including:

Suspended non-essential updates

Microsoft recently announced that it will temporarily stop releasing optional updates for Windows 10.

“Starting in May 2020, we are pausing all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products (Windows 10, version 1909 down through Windows Server 2008 SP2),” Microsoft said.

The company explained that given the public health situation and how this was impacting its customers, it was prioritising security updates.

“There is no change to the monthly security updates (B release – Update Tuesday); these will continue as planned to ensure business continuity and to keep our customers protected and productive,” Microsoft stated.

Now read: Microsoft launches News Bar for Windows 10

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Microsoft patches Windows 10 bug that kills Internet connectivity on VPNs