Windows 10 connectivity bug hits at the worst possible time for Outlook, Teams, and Office 365

Laptop with Office 365
Laptop with Office 365 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A Windows 10 bug prevents Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and other apps from connecting to the Internet.
  • The bug affects people using proxy connections or VPNs.
  • The bug comes at a time when millions of people are working from home for the first time.

Microsoft issued a warning to people about a Windows 10 bug that prevents Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and other apps from connecting to the Internet (via ZDNet). The bug affects people using proxy connections and VPNs. The bug comes at a terrible time because millions of people are working from home for the first time due to current health restrictions. The bug can also affect people's ability to connect to the Internet in general.

The bug affects all versions of Windows that have applied cumulative update KB4535996 or any of the three cumulative updates that came after that. KB4535996 came out on February 27, 2020, so devices updated after that date could run into the bug.

Microsoft outlines the bug in a doc (opens in new tab):

Devices using a proxy might show limited or no internet connection statusDevices 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. 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 states that restarting your device might mitigate the issue. It adds that it is "working on a resolution and are targeting a Microsoft Catalog only release of an out-of-band update to resolve this issue by early April."

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

5 Comments
  • Not surprised. They've been having constant issues, since
    the start of of this a few weeks ago. You can thank their planning teams, and lack of testing.
    Good to know they've been laying off people for the last
    several years, so they can keep pushing out updates too,
  • Them and everyone else
  • Totally agree.
    I think we're seeing these problems with most big software companies nowadays.
  • I'm still surprised that they haven't hired back some more of their quality assurance team after the amount of major issues Microsoft have caused over the years since due to buggy Windows updates. (yes, I'm aware that not everyone from QA was fired but there's definitely more work than the current team can handle)
  • Great, I reported this back in February. Good to see that finally someone has read the ticket and attachments. Networking had been broken in different ways on all my devices, including WM10. They managed to push something really nice there too with their last update to the platform.