VPN, Proxy 'No Internet' Bug Fix Released for Win10

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has fixed a Windows 10 bug that meant some users, particularly those running VPNs or proxy servers, couldn't get online. It's an optional update designed only for those who experienced the problem.

The bug came to light last week, which was about as bad timing as it gets given the increase in the number of people now working from home. As is now a familiar issue, it seems to have been introduced by a previous update to Windows 10.

The problem appears to have affected people running either proxy servers or virtual private networks. Though they use different techniques, both are designed to add an extra layer of security to Internet connections. (Source: techradar.com)

That's particularly relevant when people are working remotely and need to send confidential business data to and from their workplaces. However, some home users also run proxies or VPNs to access sites with restricted geographical access or to communicate when fearing government surveillance.

False 'No Connection' Status

The specific effects of the bug vary. In some cases specific applications were unable to communicate over the Internet, causing significant problems.

In other cases, the Internet connection was actually working but Windows displayed either a "limited" or "no Internet connection" status, causing confusion and irritation. (Source: windowscentral.com)

It appears the problem caused widespread complaints as Microsoft has issued a rare "out of band" update, which is often informally known as an emergency patch. That's usually reserved only for serious security bugs.

Fix Is Optional Update

Microsoft says users should only install the fix if they've experienced the problems. To do so, users should visit this page.

From here they can get specific instructions, but this depends on which version of Windows 10 is running. The quickest way to find out is to press the Windows key and the R key together, then type "winver" into the resulting text box, then press or click Enter. The resulting window will display the Windows 10 version number (1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, etc) and the build number. Build number 18363 corresponds to version 1909, for example.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you experienced this problem? Do you use a proxy server or VPN? Should Microsoft email customers about significant bugs and fixes or would you find this annoying?

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Unrecognised's picture

For months now I've experienced this or a similar problem. I use neither proxies nor a VPN.
After restarting the machine there's "no internet" and persistent "can't connect to that account" (can't remember exact wording). Because of this hassle, I rarely restart.
Fortunately, phone doesn't run Win 10, so i was able to source a few articles about it. Effective is the following:

Run -> cmd

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

ipconfig /flushdns