Windows 10/11 downloads blocked in Russia and Kazakhstan

Windows[German]According to a report from the Russian news agency TASS, users in Russia no longer seem to be able to download IS0 files of Windows 10 and Windows 11 from Microsoft servers. The download only works with a VPN connection. It is currently unclear whether this is a technical problem or whether Microsoft (or a third party) has deliberately blocked these downloads and removed them from the download servers accessible from Russia.


The information came to my attention in the following tweet from Catalin Cimpanu. Cimpanu, a former security reporter, follows developments in Russia and Ukraine from Romania. 

Windows 10/11 downloads banned in Russia

Another confirmation can be found in this tweet – when trying to download (even the Media Creation Tool), an Error 404 is displayed.

Unable to download Win10 / Win 11 in Russia

There is a Russian source that also describes the situation. According to this, Russian users have been reporting that the installers for Windows 10 and 11 as well as the operating system images and the Media Creation Tool could not be downloaded from the Microsoft website since mid-June 2022. There are also several known complaints from residents of Kazakhstan about this issue.


Error message when downloading Windows 10 / Windows 11 from Russia
Message when downloading Windows 10 / Windows 11 from Russia , Source

Any attempt from Russia or Kazakhstan to download ISO files of Windows 10 and Windows 11 (ISO image files or images via Media Creation Tool) from Microsoft servers ends with error 404 ("404 – file or directory not found"). The site writes that a DTF check revealed that the files can indeed not be downloaded from the two Russian ISPs. Only the use of a VPN connection will allow users from these regions to still access the installation images of the system.

Currently, it is unclear what this problem is due to. Microsoft might have blocked the files from being downloaded via the two Russian Internet providers. However, it could also be that the files were removed by Russian agencies. However, the Russian source writes that the Media Creation Tool for Windows 11 could still be downloaded without a VPN at the time of writing the article in question. However, this contradicts the statements from the tweet above that MCT downloads were also blocked.

Inquiries to Microsoft have not yet been answered. Since the West imposed sanctions on Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft has also withdrawn from Russia. The following tweet addresses this announcement from March 4, 2022.

Microsoft announce suspending sales in Russia

Bloomberg reported a week ago, that Microsoft continues to shutdown it's activities in Russia.

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