Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 Update Can Cause Internet Connectivity Problems

07/21 Update below. This post was originally published on July 19

Windows 10 users continue to suffer from problem after problem, some of which could/should have been avoided. And now Microsoft has confirmed another Windows 10 warning. 

MORE FROM FORBESMicrosoft Releases Troubled Windows 10 Update, Despite Warnings

Picked up by Windows Latest, Microsoft has confirmed that its (ever more troubled) Windows 10 May 2020 update can cut off users from the Internet, even when their Internet connections are working. Moreover, the problem has been affecting a growing number of users for several months as Microsoft continues to roll out the update to more and more PCs. So you need to be on your guard. 

07/20 Update: Microsoft has confirmed a further significant Windows 10 issue, but this time the company has issued a fix simultaneously. Spotted by BleepingComputer, Microsoft says a problem with its popular Disk Cleanup utility could result in PCs refusing to boot up. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the problem affects users running the Windows 10 May 2020 update, but Microsoft has released a fix into Windows Update which should address the problem automatically and bring the operating system up to version 19041.84. Last week, Microsoft also patched another May 2020 bug which could cause Windows 10 to throw up error messages and blue screens when connecting or disconnecting from Thunderbolt docks. Despite its name, Microsoft still prevents many PCs from installing the May 2020 update due to known hardware conflicts. Given its troubled start to life, that may prove to be a blessing in disguise for many PCs.

07/21 Update: Microsoft has confirmed further bugs in its software today after revealing Outlook has startup problems (the company has suggested two fixes). News has also broken that its next-gen Windows 10X platform has been delayed until 2021, with dual screen support pushed to 2022 and plans for Win32 program support have also been scrapped (subsequently verified by Cnet). The news significantly scales back the ambitions for what many hoped will be a platform to right the wrongs of Windows 10, given its overhauled way of delivering updates and focus on efficiency and performance. That said, Windows 10X is essentially Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS just as Chrome OS brings native support for Windows programs. Consequently, Google might be about to beat Windows 10X at its own game.

What affected users see is Windows 10’s standard ‘No Internet Access’ label (a yellow triangle) appear on their WiFi or Ethernet icon in the system tray (bottom right hand corner). Because the warning is bogus, the good news is your Internet browser will still work. The bad news is many installed applications base their connectivity on Windows 10’s status, so they won’t even try to connect if Windows 10 says there is no connection. Apps impacted by this can range from Windows 10’s built in Cortana search to games and streaming services with Windows 10 clients, like Spotify.. 

The irony is one of the features affected by this is Microsoft’s Windows 10 Feedback Hub, which has stopped users easily reporting the problem, though forum queries have started to appear from frustrated users on Microsoft’s Community forum. 

Acknowledging the issue on its TechNet forum, a Microsoft engineer said that Microsoft is aware of the issue and is currently investigating it but has not yet found a fix. In the meantime, some (though not all) affected users have found this workaround to be effective: 

  • Type ‘Registry Editor’ in Windows Search
  • Open it and find: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesNlaSvcParametersInternet”
  • Change the “EnableActiveProbing” value from 0 to 1
  • Click ‘OK’, close the editor
  • Restart your computer

Remarkably, this is the second time a Windows 10 update has broken Internet connections in the last three months, with Microsoft admitting its equally problematic KB4556799 update did this in May

In fact, since May, Windows 10 updates have impacted top tier games, booted users out of their profiles (twice), broken printers, caused boot failures, deleted user data and now cut off Internet connectivity, twice. 

I have reached out to Microsoft and will update this post when I know more. 

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