Windows downloads blocked in Russia – only VPN servers will help
Installing Windows will probably be much more difficult in the future – at least if you live in Russia. Some downloads, including installation tools and ISO files, can no longer be downloaded.
Even if the official confirmation is still pending – Microsoft has probably blocked downloads from Russia.
Windows users living in Russia are currently experiencing problems downloading certain Windows tools. A statement from Microsoft is still pending.
Bleepingcomputer recreated the problem with a VPN server in Russia and was able to confirm the complaints of users who are already doing the rounds on Twitter. The error message differs depending on the intended download. When attempting to download Windows 10 Update Assistant, Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, or Windows 11 Installation Wizard, the user is greeted with a “404 – File or Directory not found.” confronted.
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For ISO files for Windows 10 and Windows 11, the error message reads a little differently: “There was a problem with your request”.
When trying to download a Windows ISO, users from Russia only see an error message.
It is possible to download the Windows 11 media creation tool, which can be used, for example, to prepare USB sticks for the installation of Windows 11. However, users in Russia do not even come to this process, when the program starts it issues another error message. The topic is also hotly debated on Twitter.
As users report to Beepingcomputer, the problem can be circumvented by accessing the Microsoft website via a VPN server outside of Russia.
It is currently not possible to say with certainty whether the download block was a deliberate process or a technical error. However, it is likely that this approach is another step taken by Microsoft to limit the accessibility of its own services in Russia. As early as March, Microsoft President Brad Smith announced in response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine that sales and the accessibility of services in Russia would be suspended in the near future.
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