Microsoft has acknowledged a Windows 10 bug that may cause connectivity issues for some applications. The issue occurs when users are using a proxy, be it manually and automatically configured, and can happen most commonly after they disconnect from a VPN.
“Devices with this issue, might also have issues reaching the internet using applications that use WinHTTP or WinInet,” it explained in its documentation. “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.”
This issue appears to permeate all recent Windows versions, from 1909 to 1709. More concerningly, it also impacts Windows Server installations. Users will note the problem through the display of the limited or no connection status in their taskbar.
Microsoft has currently assigned the bug the ‘mitigated' status. However, even it acknowledges that its workaround isn't 100% effective. You “might be able to mitigate” the problem temporarily by restarting your PC, the company says. If you're jumping in and out of a VPN often, that could prove quite annoying, so many users are likely to just avoid VPN use where possible.
Thankfully, it's planning to push an emergency “out-of-band” update for this soon. The current target for a fix is early April, which should mean only a week or two of annoyance. Given the current global pandemic, the company is probably more hard-pressed than usual.
That said, it's worth noting that Microsoft did promise a renewed commitment to update quality. It has been better of late, but this problem was clearly caused by the recent big patch this month. A fix that for Windows Defender scans that rolled out with the update is also causing some PCs to fail their boot. Assumedly, the rush to fix the security gap led to some unexpected results, and users are now seeing the price.