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Microsoft's newest Windows update breaks VPNs, and there's no fix

AVG Secure VPNImage: Sam Singleton

Microsoft said this week that the most recent Windows security update for Windows 10 and Windows 11 may break VPN connections.

According to Microsoft (via Bleeping Computer), “Windows devices might face VPN connection failures after installing the April 2024 security update, or KB5036893.”

Microsoft has no fix at the current time, the company said. “We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release,” the company said.

Unfortunately, the list of affected clients is rather lengthy: Windows 11 (23H2, 22H2, and 21H2) as well as Windows 10 (22H2 and 21H2). If you’re a consumer and run into this issue, Microsoft advises that you first launch the Windows “Get Help” app to inform Microsoft of the problem and possibly work through a solution.

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It doesn’t really sound like there is a solution, though. You could always try to uninstall the most recent security update. (Of course, you lose the protections that accompany the most recent patch, too.) Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until Microsoft fixes the problem — if there is a problem. Microsoft at least hasn’t said that all VPNs are affected, possibly including our best VPN recommendations.

It’s all bad news, of course, for anyone who likes to work at a coffee shop or airport, or who is travelling overseas where VPNs can be a way of life. Hopefully Microsoft finds a fix soon.

Broken VPN connections aren’t the only issue with this update. Microsoft’s support page also warns that “After installing this update, you might be unable to change your user account profile picture.”

Further reading: 13 important Windows settings to adjust immediately

This article published on May 1, 2024, but was updated May 3 to mention that user account profile pictures may be broken by this update as well.

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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