Windows Fix Breaks Some VPNs

John Lister's picture

Last month's Windows 10 and 11 updates included a bug that has broken VPN functions for some users. Microsoft is working on a fix but hasn't give a timescale.

VPN stands for virtual private network. It's an approach to security and privacy that uses a secure connection between the user and the Internet. It's sometimes likened to a traffic tunnel: although the traffic still flows normally without disruption, it's not visible to anyone outside the tunnel.

Using a VPN can disguise a user's IP address (which identifies their connection point to the Internet) and makes it much harder for anyone to tell what sites they have visited. This could include Internet providers, government or advertisers.

Some VPN users also take advantage of the ability to make it appear they are located in a different country, such as getting around region blocking on streaming services or to access more favorable rates when booking services online.

"Get Help" May Not Help

Microsoft says the problem has affected April's main security update, KB5036893, which should have gone to any users who don't have automatic security updates disabled. It may also affect users who have signed up for preview access to future non-security features. (Source:

Microsoft has suggested users run the Windows "Get Help" app to see if there's a solution. However, it seems this is mainly a way to get a handle on how widespread the issue is, as there doesn't appear to be an actual solution available right now.

Limited Options

That leaves affected users three main choices. One is to manually uninstall the update. Given it fixes security problems known to be under exploitation, that's not ideal to say the least. (Source:

Another option is to try a different VPN provider. That's also not simple as there's no word yet on exactly which VPN services are and are not affected, or whether there's a clear pattern such as the specific technologies each uses.

The third solution is to stop using a VPN altogether. That's also not ideal given most people who use a VPN do so for a specific reason.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you been affected by the issue? Do you use a VPN? Has Microsoft done enough to mitigate or avoid such problems?

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mark_w8's picture

What's the easiest way to be notified if/when Microsoft fixes a specific issue (like this one)? Any ideas folks?

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft does not offer an automated way to know if and when they fix a specific issue, so your options are to review the latest news reports and hope that it gets a mention. You could set up a Google Alert to automate this task but there is no guarantee it will target the exact news you're looking for.