Starting in late January, Windows 10 users began reporting that when they tried to perform an update, Windows would state that it could not connect to the Windows Update service. At the time, Microsoft did not disclose the cause of the issue, but as users could fix the problem by changing their DNS servers, it was widely thought to be a DNS problem.
Even after Microsoft stated the problem was fixed, users continued to have problems performing Windows Update unless they switched to a different DNS service provider such as Google or Cloudflare. This issue appeared to predominantly affect users of Comcast in the U.S.A. and BT in the U.K., but users all over the world continued to have issues to some degree.
Microsoft finally disclosed that this was a DNS issue that was caused by an outage at an external DNS provider, which caused corruption of DNS Data. To make matters worse, these “corrupted DNS records” were propagated to downstream DNS providers causing a big mess for users who were trying to perform Windows updates.
In an updated Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 update history support article, Microsoft has stated that this issue should now be fully resolved as all local ISPs have refreshed their DNS servers and are now using the correct DNS records.
February 11, 2019 12:45 PM PST Windows Update customers were recently affected by a network infrastructure event caused by an external DNS service provider’s global outage. A software update to the external provider’s DNS servers resulted in the distribution of corrupted DNS records that affected connectivity to the Windows Update service. The DNS records were restored by January 30, 2019 (00:10 UTC), but downstream effects continued. We believe the issue to be fully mitigated because the majority of local Internet Service Providers (ISP) have refreshed their DNS servers and customer services have been restored. If you are still encountering download failures, please contact your local ISP. While this was not an issue with Microsoft’s services, we take any service disruption for our customers seriously. We will work with partners to better understand this so we can provide higher quality service in the future even across diverse global network providers.
This resolution comes at a good time as tomorrow is Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday and if users were unable to access the Windows Update service, their rollout would not have gone smoothly.
If you were previously having this issue, try again and see if Windows Update is working. If not, Microsoft suggests that you contact your ISP.
We would also like to know if your issue has been finally resolved, so please let us know in the comments.