New Windows 10 bug hits home working: Outlook, Office 365, Teams can't access internet

Microsoft is rushing to release an out-of-band fix in early April for a Windows 10 connectivity bug.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

As if working from home wasn't challenging enough, Microsoft has now warned that a Windows 10 bug is preventing Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and other critical work apps from reaching the internet.

The Windows 10 connectivity bug couldn't come at a worse time and is probably causing real pain for the millions of employees worldwide working remotely amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

Many of these workers are running a Windows 10 PC and accessing work resources remotely via a virtual private network (VPN) connection. And millions of workers will be relying on Microsoft's productivity apps, such as Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Internet Explorer, and Outlook to get work done.   

But a bug affecting all supported versions of Windows 10 that have applied the February 27 cumulative update KB4535996 – or any of the three subsequent cumulative updates – is preventing these core productivity apps from connecting to the internet.   

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)    

Making matters worse for Windows 10 users, connectivity is more likely to be disrupted when using or connecting and disconnecting from a VPN, which many employees are likely to be doing a lot under the current conditions.      

"Devices using a manual or auto-configured proxy, especially with a virtual private network (VPN), might show limited or no internet connection status in the Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) in the notification area. This might happen when connected or disconnected to a VPN or after changing state between the two," explains Microsoft

"Devices with this issue might also have issues reaching the internet using applications that use WinHTTP or WinInet. Examples of apps that might be affected on devices in this state are as follows but not limited to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office, Office365, Outlook, Internet Explorer 11, and some version of Microsoft Edge."

Microsoft says Windows 10 users "might be able to mitigate the issue by restarting your device", but that's still going to be a drain on productivity and a source of frustration.

Suggesting Microsoft considers the bug a severe issue, the company is planning to release an out-of-band fix in "early April". The update will only be made available on the Microsoft Update Catalog

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