Microsoft is probing a bug in Windows 10 version 2004 that wrongly warns folks that their machines have no internet connection.

For several weeks now, punters have complained that the Windows 10 May 2020 update causes their PCs to display the familiar yellow triangle icon – the no connectivity status indicator – in the system tray, despite having working internet connections via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet.

“With Windows 10 1909 all worked fine. After the upgrade to Windows 10 2004 it straight started to complain that ‘No internet Access’,” user Inetbas reported just after the patch came out. “Although internet both for my Wi-Fi and Ethernet connection just work fine.”

Having an incorrect warning in the system tray is a mild annoyance, however the problem goes deeper: something inside the operating system is convinced there is no network connection, and this message is passed onto internet-reliant applications via the standard Windows APIs. That means things Spotify, the Microsoft Store, and OneDrive refuse to work as expected, Cortana can’t be activated, and so on, because they’re told by Windows that there is no connection to the outside world.

The Register asked Microsoft for comment on the matter. We understand a cumulative update in future is expected to address the problem as the software giant investigates the bug.

“Microsoft has known about this issue but haven’t resolved it yet,” Microsoft contingency staffer Candy Luo, said on Redmond’s forums on Friday. “It is being investigated by Microsoft currently.”

In the meantime, some people have found a temporary workaround for the bug: use the Registry Editor to access HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet, and change the EnableActiveProbing value from 0 to 1.

Following a restart, users say this fixes the issue, though some have reported the engine warning light returning after a day or two. Most netizens on the support forums report success, though. To many, it’s clear the buggy version 2004 should maybe have a little more QA testing before release. ®

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