Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has blocked people in Russia from being able to download Windows 10 and Windows 11 ISOs, including their respective installation tools, according to a report that surfaced from the country’s local TASS news agency over the weekend. A follow-up investigation by BleepingComputer has seemingly confirmed that Russian users can no longer download the Windows 10 Update Assistant, Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, and Windows 11 Installation Assistant from Microsoft’s websites and are merely greeted with 404 errors and similar messages when they try to do so (the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool can reportedly still be downloaded by Russian residents, but running it generates a 0x80072F8F-0x20000 error that says the tool has failed to run for unknown reasons). BleepingComputer has talked with several people located in Russia who say that they had no problem downloading the files from Microsoft after masking their locations with VPNs.

While Russia has been restricting the use of VPNs in the country, Russia’s Roskomsvoboda reported today that while the government is against the use of VPNs, they will not punish those who use them in the country.

It is unclear at this time if this is a technical mistake or if Microsoft is intentionally blocking downloads. Furthermore, Microsoft had not provided any information to BleepingComputer when we contacted them with questions about the issue.

Microsoft has been increasingly withdrawing services from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, starting with the suspension of all sales in the country in March.

Source: BleepingComputer

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9 comments

  1. VPNs are banned in Russia (and China for that matter) so you'd need a VPN to sign up for a vpn :D
    Because we all know banning VPN's works. Can't tell you how many chinese players I come across in PUBG on NA servers.
  2. Because we all know banning VPN's works. Can't tell you how many chinese players I come across in PUBG on NA servers.
    Yeah, I was being 110% serious about it working, that's why I put the smiley face there.
  3. Because we all know banning VPN's works. Can't tell you how many chinese players I come across in PUBG on NA servers.
    Those people better be amazing at the game. I don't get risking your life to play a game.
  4. Uhm... about that, technically, VPNs are not banned in Russia says Putin's, right-hand man.
    Nope, not banned. You just go on a watchlist and find yourself in the gulag. It's a totally free society - you are completely free to speak your mind, and the government is completely free to throw you in a hole.

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