Microsoft has officially acknowledged, and provided a temporary resolution for, a Wi-Fi bug that was precipitated by a recent Windows 11 update. The issue was particularly prevalent on public, educational, and enterprise networks.
The bug emerged following the December Patch Tuesday updates ─ a routine distribution of enhancements and fixes for Microsoft products. Users began reporting issues with connecting their devices to Wi-Fi networks. The two culprits, according to Microsoft, were OS updates KB5032288 and KB5033375.
Distinctly Affecting Certain Networks
Microsoft reported that users attempting to connect to enterprise, education, and public Wi-Fi networks using 802.1x authentication were disproportionately affected. In contrast, home networks were less likely to experience this issue.
This problem markedly impacted people using Wi-Fi on networks that have facilitated fast-transition or fast-roaming ─ common features in university campuses to ensure unwavering connectivity across different access points.
A case in point is the University of British Columbia, which alerted their students and staff about the problem. In the absence of an immediate solution from Microsoft, they advised uninstalling the updates to restore Wi-Fi service temporarily.
A Temporary Solution Rolled Out
In response to the growing discontent, Microsoft has issued a Known Issue Rollback (KIR), essentially reverting the OS to a previous version where the problem does not occur. KIRs, introduced by Microsoft in March 2021, are used to mend non-security bugs. While this is only a temporary fix, the tech titan plans to implement a comprehensive resolution and release an improved patch soon.
It might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer and non-managed business devices. A restart can hasten this process. For enterprise-managed devices, the issue can be fixed by installing and configuring a special Group Policy.
User Dissatisfaction Prominent
Some users, displeased at the delayed response, voiced their grievances on online forums such as Reddit. Several users even had to resort to manually rolling back updates to solve the issue. The Microsoft Community pages were also flooded with user complaints about the recent Wi-Fi glitches.
There’s no ignoring that the current scenario is eerily familiar. Microsoft has a history of inadvertently disrupting services with their updates, and then having to roll back the update or issue new patches.
In conclusion, while Microsoft has provided a temporary workaround for the Wi-Fi bug, the tech community is eagerly waiting for a more permanent fix.