Windows Update and Microsoft Store aren’t working for some users

Windows 10
Image Credit: Microsoft

Update: Microsoft has confirmed this is a DNS problem with some ISPs, and stated that it was resolved for everyone but a few users. In a support update, the company wrote: “The Windows Update service was impacted by a data corruption issue in an external DNS service provider global outage on January 29, 2019. The issue was resolved on the same day and Windows Update is now operating normally, but a few customers have continued to report issues connecting to the Windows Update service.

“We expect these issues will go away as downstream DNS servers are updated with the corrected Windows Update DNS entries.”

 [Original story follows below.]

A number of Windows 10 users have apparently been having trouble connecting to the Microsoft Store, and more crucially, Windows Update.

Reports have broke out online describing such gremlins in the works of Windows 10, as Windows Latest spotted, and they’re allegedly being caused by a DNS issue.

At first, the denizens of Reddit were reporting that the problem was with Comcast DNS, and that switching to an alternative DNS server (like Google’s) remedied the issue.

That workaround was only successful for some, though, and further reports (one of which was on Microsoft’s forum) have popped up of non-Comcast users being unable to get Windows Update or the store to function, including users in the UK on BT, TalkTalk and possibly other ISPs.

So there appears to be a problem on Microsoft’s end somewhere, seemingly persisting – even though the very latest comments on the thread suggest Windows Update now appears to be working again, it’s not actually downloading anything, or functioning correctly.

Investigation underway

A Microsoft support engineer chimed in on Reddit to say: “Microsoft is aware of this issue and is investigating. We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.”

Apparently this bugbear is only affecting a fairly limited set of Windows 10 users, but nonetheless, it’ll hopefully be solved sooner rather than later, given that having Windows Update failing to function is a pretty major faux pas (and not being able to download apps or games from the Microsoft Store could doubtless be a major annoyance, too).

Meantime, you could always try the workaround of switching your DNS server to see if that has a positive effect. We’ve highlighted all the best free and public DNS servers, and we describe how to switch servers if you scroll further down the article, past the recommendations.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).