Windows 11 KB5033375 December 2023 update breaks Wi-Fi in universities

Peer Networks UK Windows Latest Windows 11 KB5033375 December 2023 update breaks Wi-Fi in universities

KB5033375, also known as Windows 11 December 2023 Update, is a mandatory security update that fixes several bugs. However, Windows 11 KB5033375 is also becoming a disaster for some people. According to several reports seen by Windows Latest, the December 2023 update could break some Wi-Fi connections.

Our readers, particularly those working with universities or small to medium-sized businesses, have expressed their frustrations, noting that after installing KB5033375, they encountered issues with their Wi-Fi connections.

For instance, a user running Windows 11 22H2 reported experiencing trouble when sending ping requests to Google. The responses were inconsistent, with half of the requests failing to resolve and the other half suffering from substantial packet losses and delays. After removing the update, the Wi-Fi connection returned to normal.

One of our readers, who works as a system administrator at a university, identified that the issue could be linked to a compatibility issue between the Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter and the Windows 11 update.

The bug seems to be affecting at least two updates released in December – KB5033375 (mandatory security update) and KB5032288 (optional update).

In some cases, the problem may also affect Wi-Fi connections using PEAP for connectivity.

A thread on Microsoft forums suggests that Wi-Fi problems occur on WPA2 Enterprise SSIDs when used with 802.11r. Disabling 802.11r appears to restore connectivity, but this is a less-than-ideal solution due to potential roaming issues.

The issue seems widespread, with reports from various universities and educational institutions.

In support documentation, the University of New Haven warned that “a recent Windows update released on 12/12/2023 has caused users to not be able to connect to the wireless networks. This update is known as KB5033375.”

Similarly, the University of Brunel London confirmed that the Windows 11 December 2023 Update could be a deal breaker if students want to access the Wi-Fi on campus.

“If you have a Windows 10 or 11 laptop, and recently downloaded a Microsoft update, you may have difficulty accessing the WiFi on campus,” the university warned and recommended students to uninstall the update if they have exams in the coming weeks.

How to deal with Wi-Fi issues caused by KB5033375 update

The quickest workaround is to disable 802.11r on the affected SSID, as the root of the problem appears to be in the 4-Way Handshake. If that doesn’t work, you might want to uninstall the update using Settings or Command Prompt.

Microsoft has not acknowledged or offered a fix for this issue, but my sources tell me the company is already looking into the reports.

Windows 11 December 2023 Update is the last update of the year, and it is a significant release for a number of reasons, including Copilot improvements.

This update improves the Copilot experience on the desktop with support for multiple displays. This means you can now open Copilot wherever you want, the primary or the secondary display, by clicking its button on the taskbar.

Similarly, Copilot now appears alongside other apps in Alt+Tab.

In the release notes of the last preview update, Microsoft explained that the thumbnail preview for Copilot will be visible when you switch between apps and Copilot. This is similar to Microsoft Edge and other web apps appearing alongside traditional apps.

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