Microsoft appears to have blocked Windows downloads in Russia

The Windows logo superimposed over a wall with shuttered windows.
(Image credit: Microsoft / Thomas Winz)

Windows 10 and Windows 11 appear to have been made completely unavailable in Russia, with attempts to download the ISO or installation utilities being met with nothing but error messages. Confirmation has been popping up all over Twitter, though it's still unclear whether it's an intentional block by Microsoft, or just a server error.

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Bleeping Computer even double checked using a VPN connected to a Russian server, though none of the VPNs we use have an option for Russia right now. When they tried downloading the Windows 10 Update Assistant, Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, and the Windows 11 Installation Assistant, they were met with a blank page and a "404 - File or Directory not found" error message. 

Reports also show that attempting to download the full Windows 10 or 11 ISO files would just show a message stating "There was a problem with your request."

It's worth noting that the relationship between Microsoft and Russia currently is at odds. Not only has the company been disrupting Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine by seizing Russian domains, Microsoft also decided back in March to suspend sales of products and services in Russia.

Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith's blog post said then that the company was "coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions."

So while there's no official statement from Microsoft as to whether this was an intentional barrier set by the company, this could well be another step in its plan to disrupt Russia because of its attacks on Ukraine. 

Without access to Windows 10 and 11, they'll have to go back to older versions... And we all know was a disaster Windows 8 was.


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Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.