I am using MikTex on a Windows 10 work machine to produce work documents. It worked fine until I tried to install package hyperref. I found I couldn't install any packages, presumably because of some firewall blockage. I tried to set up a local repository, but that got blocked too, with a "timeout reached, error 28" message. I tried to select a different net repository, but the list it offered me was empty, and it did not allow me to enter the URL of a repository. I tried various other things through the MikTex console with no results - often getting the "timeout reached" error..

So then I followed a suggestion to do a full MikTex installation, so that it would not ever need to request packages. I followed the instructions and downloaded the Net Installer from the MikTex site. But that got blocked as well, presumably at the stage when it tried to connect to a mirror and download all the packages.

I can connect to mirror sites in a browser and manually download from them, but attempts by MikTex to do that fail.

It looks like what I need is a downloadable installer that, once downloaded, doesn't need to download anything else - so a full 4GB-ish file containing all packages (the Net Installer file is only 100-something MB), or else a way to manually download all the packages to a dir and tell MikTex to use them. For the latter approach, I couldn't see a way to download all packages, at the mirror I looked at. Further, I can't see any way to tell MikTex to just get packages from an ordinary directory on the local machine. It seems to insist on getting them from a dir that it has set up as a repository, and attempts to do that get blocked, presumably because they involve it trying to connect to a net mirror.

Can anybody help me solve this problem?

Thank you very much.

  • 1
    Welcome to tex.sx. May 2, 2023 at 23:14
  • 1
    have you considered overleaf?
    – evamvid
    May 3, 2023 at 0:03
  • @evamvid. Thank you. I looked at the online latex processor at overleaf.com and was impressed. I think my employer would prefer me not using a web-based tool as it means putting proprietary info on the web - locked behind an account sign-in, but vulnerable to hackers - although the info I'm dealing is not really worth anything to anybody outside the organisation - so not worth stealing. I'll use overleaf as a Plan B if I can't get a local solution. PLus I might use it for my non-work collaborations. May 3, 2023 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


Use the portable MiKTeX version. I'm working since many years with that on an enterprise Windows 10 machine, that is completely secured and locked. Details are under miktex.org/download -> Portable Edition.

  • Does that require running an exe on a USB stick plugged into the computer? Our lockdown includes a restriction that it blocks running any .exe except those in C:\Program Files\. May 3, 2023 at 22:59
  • No, it does not. "Portable" just means that you do not need admin rights to install the program. Using a subdirectory under c:/program files should work fine. Just follow the instructions on the download page.
    – tfran
    May 4, 2023 at 5:18

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