Microsoft blocks Windows downloads in Russia

Russia Flag Grunge

In Mother Russia, Windows downloads you? It appears that Windows downloads have been made completely unavailable in Russia, though the nature of the block is currently unclear.

It does not help that Microsoft has not confirmed or denied this.

But a couple of days back, Russian news agency TASS began reporting that users in the country were unable to install Windows 11 from the official Microsoft Russia website. Below you can find the original news report on the left, with an English translation on the right.

Trying to download the operating systems from the official sources leads to a “404 — File or Directory not found” error message. The report claims that download works fine with a change in location via a VPN connection.

Apparently, both Windows 11 and Windows 10 are affected, with attempts to download ISO or installation utilities being met with error messages.

Russia Windows Downloads Error

As noted, when trying to download Windows 11 ISOs in Russia, you are shown this error message above.

Russia Windows Downloads Error Message

Interestingly, the Media Creation Tool download works fine, but it too eventually fails giving an error code 0x80072F8F-0x20000. It is accompanied by a message revealing that this tool failed to run on your computer for some unknown reason.

Unknown reason?

Yeah, right!

At this point in time, there is a distinct possibility that this latest move is part of the company’s plan to slowly withdraw more of its products and services from Russia. Sure, there is still a chance that this could be a technical glitch, but that chance is very slim.

Microsoft, as you may be aware, is in the process of a major downsizing in its quest to disrupt Russia, with some 400 employees said to be affected by this withdrawal.

The company’s relationship with the country has been at odds ever since the invasion of Ukraine, with Redmond not only disrupting Russian cyberattacks, but also suspending the sales of its products and services since March.

This latest barrier set by the company clearly is another step in that direction.

We’ll just have to wait and see if Microsoft has anything to say in this regard. And more importantly, if and when the downloads will be back on the plate. Until then, a VPN. seems to be the only way to grab the newer versions of Windows straight from the source.