Windows 10: “Socket Error 0×2200021” and WiFi issues

[German]Since April 1, 2020, there have been complaints from Windows 10 users in Italian Microsoft forums reporting WiFi problems in connection with an update. The socket error 0×2200021 is triggered. Here is some information about this. Update: It turns out, it has been an April prank – not that funny at all! We had enough to do to fight against real Windows errors and other mess – no need to have additional noise from such guys in MS Anwers forum – that’s going more and more downhill.


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“Socket Error 0×2200021” and WiFi broken

Blog reader EP pointed me in a comment to this Softpedia article, that is based on this article from the Italian website HTNovo. HTNovo reports, that after installing the update KB4554364 under Windows 10 version 1903 or 1909 no WiFi connection can be established anymore. Affected users get the error message:

“Socket error 0×2200021. c:/windows/sywow64/appidpolicyengineApi.dll, instruction cannot be read.”

Socket error 0×2200021

This information is then prayed up and down the web. But is this reliable?

Let’s take a closer look…

I then took the trouble to do some more research – and came to the conclusion that the facts outlined above are anything but conclusive. Yes, there seems to ben an error – which is unanimously reported as of April 1, 2020 (first thought about an April fools prank, but there has been too many posts). But already in this forum post there are doubts about the beautiful theory from above:

c:/windows/SyWOW64/AppIdPolicyEngineApi.dll Errors?

I’m Alvise, italian MVP. In italian community there is so much answers regard this error:

errore socket 0x2200021 c:/windows/SyWOW64/AppIdPolicyEngineApi.dll

this problem occur in build for Insider Program and normal build (from 1903 ) and make impossible to use wifi (can’t connect to any wifi)
There is some info about this? have any of you encountered the same problem?

There a MVP colleague already reports about the Windows Insider program, but also about Windows 10 version 1903. A search in the Italian-speaking Microsoft Answers forum produces several hits with the date April 1, 2020.


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  • Case 1: In this post (deleted) the user states that he use Windows 10 version 1909 with build 18363.720. This build shows me that the machine has the update KB4551762 dated March 12, 2020 installed.
  • Case 2: In this post (deleted) the user states that he has Windows 10 version 1909 with the same build 18363.720 – ergo the old update is also installed there. This post (deleted) contains no further details.
  • Case 3: In this post (deleted), the user states that he has Windows 10 version 2004 (an insider preview) with build 19040.172.

Notice the date April 1, 2020 in the posts (but this seems to mee not as an April fools prank) – and strangely enough only on Italian Windows 10 versions.

Don’t blame the ‘latest update

Investigating the Microsoft Answers forum posts from different users, I got the following picture:

  • It concerns Windows 10 version 1909 in build 18363.720, i.e. update status KB4551762 from March 12, 2020, and thus definitely before the rollout of update KB4554364 from March 30, 2020.
  • Or it concerns the current Windows Insider Preview of Windows 10 version 2004.

I do not know why this error occurs on March 31, /April 1, 2020 for Italian users. This user claims (deleted) in the forum post that the problem occurred ‘after the last update’. But the indication Windows 10 Version 1909 Build 18363.720 shows that it must have been the update from March 12, 2020. I would not attribute the problem to update KB4554364 according to the information gathered above.

BTW: The VPN bug fix updates released on March 30, 2020, has been available only on Microsoft Update Catalog for manual downloading and installing!

Another strange observation: Typo in path!

What I also like to mention is, that the path to the dll is simply wrong – it contains a typo. Have a look at:

c:/windows/SyWOW64/

The right path is %windir$/SysWOW64/, so either something within the registry has been changed to the wrong path. Or something has been installed, that put some files into the wrong folder.

Addenum: Well, it turns out, it was an April fools prank from a group of people – and the way, how it has been established isn’t funny – imho. The abused as a group of different users the Microsoft Answers forum, where volunteers spend their spare time to help users – and then avoid, to delete or updated their posts. I read that confession about the April fools prank in one of six posts), after I created this article. It’s another reason for me, to avoid spending my time further in Microsoft Answers forum anymore – too much is going downhill during the last years.

Addendum 2: As a Microsoft Answers community moderator I expressed my disappointment and escalated one post to Microsoft’s staff. The posts were (finally) deleted by the Microsoft moderators after my intervention. I hope that the jokers were additionally blocked as users in the forum.

Other curiosities

If I search for AppIdPolicyEngineApi.dll on the web, I end up at the following tweet referring to more issues.

In the above tweet, someone refers to reddit.com, where a user complains that the Internet connection bug that prevents Office Setup from connecting to the Internet was not fixed by KB4554364. He has Outlook hanging with ‘loading profile’ and cannot reach the cloud. The error is confirmed by other users.


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3 Responses to Windows 10: “Socket Error 0×2200021” and WiFi issues

  1. Leproide says:

    Hello,
    I am part of the group that made April Fools.
    After reading your addendums, I can only say that you are a deeply sad person with zero sense of humor.
    It is time for you to stop whimpering by remembering your “free time spent helping”, there is an open source community that has been doing it for years and that supports truly open and free systems.
    They are the heroes, not the Microsoft community.
    I wish you a good sad day.

  2. EP says:

    go away & disappear forever Leproide
    what you did is NOT funny and appalling

  3. Vic says:

    I do have a user facing internet connectivity/wifi dropping issue after installed the patch on 1709 machine. :( I will have a more detail on next monday

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