Latest Windows 10 updates break access to some UK Government websites

Martin Brinkmann
May 17, 2019
Updated • May 20, 2019
Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge

If you have installed the latest round of cumulative updates for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, you may have noticed that some official government sites in the UK are no longer accessible in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft released security updates for all supported versions of Windows 10 on Tuesday on the company's monthly Patch Day. On Thursday, Microsoft added a known issue to the update KB4494441  for Windows 10 version 1809 revealing that it may install twice on some user devices.

Update: Microsoft released updates for Windows 10 on May 19, 2019 that fix the issue described below. End

edge ie issue windows

Today, another issue was added to the list of known issues; this time, for all updates for Windows 10 released on the May 2019 Patch Day.

After installing the May 14, 2019 update, some websites that don’t support HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) may not be accessible through Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge.

The issue affects connectivity to some UK government websites (those ending in Microsoft notes that the issue affects sites that don't support HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security), and that the issue affects Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge only.

One of the changes in the released updates added to the HTTP Strict Transport Security Top Level Domains (HSTS TLD) for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.

While that improves security when connecting to these sites, it breaks sites that don't support HSTS.

Microsoft notes that it is working on a resolution for the issue and plans to release an update quickly to resolve the issue in all supported versions of the operating system.

Windows 10 users who run into the problem may want to use a different web browser to access these government sites in the meantime as the issue affects Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge only. If that is not possible and access to these sites is essential, it is only possible to uninstall the cumulative update to resolve the issue.

Affected versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server:

Closing Words

The number of broken UK government sites is unknown but it is important enough for Microsoft to add it to the list of known issues. The latest issue highlights again that Microsoft's approach to testing and verifying updates needs to be improved.

Did Microsoft generate a list of websites and test connectivity to those in IE and Edge?

Latest Windows 10 updates break access to some UK Government websites
Article Name
Latest Windows 10 updates break access to some UK Government websites
Recent Windows 10 updates prevent connections to some UK government websites in the Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers.
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  1. TelV said on May 20, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Fixed in KB4505056:

    Catalog d/l link at the foot of the artlcle.

  2. chesscanoe said on May 20, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Via WU about 3 hours ago I installed KB4505036 after deciding the warning notes at did not apply to me. Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17763.504] works well for me.

  3. clake said on May 18, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    As of 1530 utc, on 18 May, the KB4494441 hasn’t been pushed here. Yesterday the other 2 – flash and .net updates arrived. So, I wonder if they halted the KB4494441 temporarily.

  4. KnightKrawler said on May 18, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Both times this has installed I have had to run a repair to get Office 2019 working. It did not affect Office 2016 on my Laptop.

  5. VioletMoon said on May 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Right we all remember that Patch Day is sort of a joke, so no one should be surprised or disappointed because no one was dumb enough to let MS update their Windows computer(s).

  6. ilev said on May 17, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Not a big deal. Who on earth uses Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge ?

  7. Tom said on May 17, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    That’s the only good bug I have heard about.
    UK should fix their webpages, a government page without correctly working HSTS? What are we, in the 1980-s with security?

  8. Phil said on May 17, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    It’s really quite stupid to force HSTS like this, even to hosts which resolve to RFC1918 addresses.

    Lots of broken internal systems in today as a result

  9. Dave said on May 17, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    At least this time, it’s M$ informing us of the issues by adding it to the official documentation.

  10. Armond said on May 17, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Interesting. At least I can access, for example
    using Windows 10 version 1903. So maybe it’s not effected?

  11. TT said on May 17, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    This must be a blessing for the common British people. Finally a little bit of peace from this highly skilled and well organized government. ….would you like a cup of tea ?

  12. Flyer said on May 17, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Does anyone remember Patch Day which doesn’t break anything during Win 10 system?
    Sure, there are people who love to repair something in Windows all the time, improve, etc. like me many years ago. But normal user no matter he/she uses computer for gaming or for work want to have working and stable system which is not breaked by creator of system specially if upgrades are obligatory.
    But now it looks like a sad joke and neverending story.
    Since WIndows 3.11 I have always changed the system a year after its new relase to avoid to be a beta tester. But now the life shows the solutions and management of the system is a huge mistake so no way to change the system from my Win 7 (and nixes).
    I need my computer for work not for experiments.
    Just my point of view ;)

  13. ULBoom said on May 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Little reported is this KB also broke their porn filter.

    MS breaks all!

    1. Donny IT said on May 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      That’s a “feature” not a bug.

      1. Will said on May 17, 2019 at 8:41 pm

        Best comment in a long time.

  14. Clairvaux said on May 17, 2019 at 11:28 am

    That’s Microsoft’s way of boosting America’s GDP : first break things, then repair them.

    1. Thorky said on May 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      Boeing does the same … two crashes with about 600 casualties … now some new software … so sad. 😒

      1. SadMan said on May 17, 2019 at 9:15 pm

        Why not? Who cares? Those/these were only numbers on a sheet. Is anyone jailed,charged or even asked? no.

        If you care, your only option is to boycott them.

        #boycott-m$,google,apple etc.

        The list could be endless.

      2. Will said on May 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm

        Don’t drink and write !

  15. Tony Huby said on May 17, 2019 at 11:15 am

    One good reason for not using the Edge browser

  16. Lambo-san said on May 17, 2019 at 11:06 am

    It should be news IMO when a new Windows 10 update actually doesn’t break something. xD

    1. Anonymous said on May 18, 2019 at 4:32 am

      Blocking the UK surveillance state? It seems to me like this might be a security feature.

      1. pioruns said on May 22, 2019 at 9:33 am

        Thing is, sometimes we have to use these pages as UK residents or citizens. Blocking whole page because it doesn’t support HSTS doesn’t solve a surveillance problem 😊

      2. Anonymous said on October 11, 2022 at 6:35 pm

        Unlock My Samsung

  17. RedSchuhart said on May 17, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Microsoft Updates – SNAFU

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