What you need to know
- An issue in Windows prevented some PCs from connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
- Microsoft confirmed the problem earlier this week and rolled out a fix within 24 hours.
- The issue is resolved through Known Issue Rollback, which brings systems to a stable state without requiring users to uninstall an update.
- The fix will roll out automatically, though you can speed up the process by restarting your PC.
A recently confirmed bug in Windows prevented some PCs from connecting to Wi-Fi networks. The problem is more likely to affect enterprise and education PCs when attempting to connect to public Wi-Fi, so people at home are unlikely to be affected. But millions of people use Windows PCs for professional and educational use, so the bug could potentially prevent a lot of people from getting work done.
Luckily for those affected by the issue, Microsoft confirmed the problem and rolled out a fix within 24 hours. The issue ticket was opened on December 18, 2023 and resolved by December 19, 2023.
Microsoft explained the issue in a support document (emphasis added):
"Microsoft has received reports of an issue in which some Wi-Fi adapters might not connect to some networks after installing KB5032288. We have confirmed this issue was caused by KB5032288 and KB5033375. As reported, you are more likely to be affected by this issue if you are attempting to connect to an enterprise, education, or public Wi-Fi network using 802.1x authentication. This issue is not likely to occur on home networks."
The resolution for the issue will rollout using Known Issue Rollback. That method of fixing bugs was first introduced in 2021. It returns impacted devices to stability without requiring users to uninstall an update. Known Issue Rollback only works for non-security bug fixes, such as the Wi-Fi adapter issue affecting education and enterprise PCs.
Known Issue Rollback should ship the fix automatically within 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by restarting your computer.
A genuinely simple fix
Yesterday I wrote a piece about Microsoft's strange fix for the HP Smart app getting installed on PCs without permission and renaming printers incorrectly. The fix for that problem wasn't a Windows update or Known Issue Rollback. Instead, the solution was to install an entirely separate tool that required you to use Command Prompt to solve the bug. It was an awkward fix for a peculiar bug.
In contrast, the fix for the Wi-Fi adapter issue has rolled out smoothly. Known Issue Rollback doesn't even require you to uninstall a Windows update to fix a problem. It just ships automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business PCs.
I understand that Windows is a complex operating system and that different bugs require different types of fixes, but I love seeing solutions roll out in a way that's easy on everyday users. There are plenty of people that have never opened Command Prompt, and to be honest they shouldn't have to.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.