Microsoft confirms Wi-Fi issue caused by update, issues rollback as temporary fix

Microsoft has offered a temporary fix to Windows users for Wi-Fi related issues after a Windows 11 update that compromised wireless connections on public, education, and enterprise networks.

The move is a response to reports from Windows users that they were having problems connecting their computers to Wi-Fi networks after the rollout of December’s Patch Tuesday updates to Microsoft products.

Microsoft blamed two OS updates from December’s Patch Tuesday — KB5032288 and KB5033375 — for the connectivity glitches in a post on its website, and acknowledged its prevalence in affecting users of particular Wi-Fi networks over others.

“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,” the company wrote. “This issue is not likely to occur on home networks.”

Indeed, the problems disproportionately affected people connecting to Wi-Fi on wireless networks that have enabled fast-transition or fast-roaming, which are typically used on university campuses to facilitate seamless connectivity between various access points.

In fact, some universities — such as the University of British Columbia — alerted their students and staff about the issue before Microsoft responded and even advised uninstalling the update as a temporary measure to restore service until a vendor-supported fix was available.

Fixing the Problem

Microsoft’s resolution isn’t actually much different than what the university advised and what many other users already applied. The company issued a Known Issue Rollback (KIR), which will cause the OS to fall back to a previous version of the code that doesn’t have the problem.

Microsoft introduced KIRs in March 2021 as a service to fix non-security bugs. However, a KIE is just a temporary fix, and the company said it plans to more comprehensively fix the problem and will re-issue a patch soon.

Microsoft also advised that it might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices; however, users can restart their devices to help hurry the process along.

For enterprise-managed devices that encounter the issue, it can be resolved by installing and configuring a special Group Policy, which can be found in “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> <Group Policy name listed below>,” the company said.

Users Express Annoyance

Microsoft’s response didn’t come quickly enough for some users, who quickly took to internet message boards like Reddit to grumble publicly about having to mitigate it themselves by rolling back the update.

“To no one’s surprise Microsoft broke things with their ‘update,'” one disgruntled user posted on Reddit. “What better way to test than production. Just keep lowering the bar.”

Microsoft’s Community pages also lit up with people complaining of the fix, with users reporting that even newly purchased Windows laptops experienced slow or nonexistent wireless connectivity.

“My Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is just a little bit over 2 weeks old from Costco,” reported user Sunny6887. “After the Windows 11 KB5033375 security patch yesterday, my Internet became super slow and unusable. Google Chrome kept throwing DNS errors and other errors.”

Long-suffering Windows users have a point, as the scenario is certainly not the first time an update by Microsoft aimed at patching its software inadvertently disrupted existing services. The company has a long and storied history of having to backtrack on an update or issue new patches for problems created by its own patching system.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.