Multiple Windows users in the US and UK have been unable to download updates from Windows Update. But rather than the problem lying at Microsoft’s end, the culprit appears to be various ISPs’ domain name system (DNS) settings.
Users have also reported the same DNS issue preventing app updates from the Windows Store and breaking Microsoft’s security feature, SmartScreen.
As spotted by Softpedia, Windows users pinpointed Comcast’s DNS settings as the source of the problem, and, oddly, found that switching the computer’s network settings to use Google’s Public DNS allowed Windows Update to resume.
A user on Comcast’s Xfinity community forum said they were able to get Windows 10 updates after changing the Windows 10 device’s IPV4 and IPV6 DNS lookups from Comcast’s default DNS to Google Public DNS.
Users there reported the Google Public DNS fix enabled Windows Store apps to update and restored Windows Defender Smartscreen.
Affected people on a separate Xfinity post about the same issue reported that Comcast appeared to have fixed the issue on Thursday afternoon, although the company has not announced the DNS issue has been resolved.
For unknown reasons, this issue wasn’t isolated to Comcast, with dozens of Windows 10 users in the UK reporting the same Windows 10 update problems on BT Broadband.
SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)
A BT forum moderator, Neil, acknowledged the complaints on Thursday evening UK time and said the ISP’s network team has been informed of the issue. The company has yet to report a resolution.
Affected BT customers were still experiencing the same Windows Update problems on Friday morning.
As noted by Softpedia’s write-up on the workaround, switching to Google’s public DNS server should be considered a temporary fix until it’s resolved by the ISP, and for that reason it would be wise to backup the original IP address for when that fix arrives.
Windows 10 users can change the default DNS settings by going to Settings and selecting Network & Internet > Ethernet > Change adapter settings. This will display a field where the user can manually type in Google’s public DNS server IP addresses.
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