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Fix network connection issues in Windows 10

If you’re having problems getting connected to a network and can’t connect to the Internet, here are some things you can try in Windows 10.

Things to try first

Try these things first to help you fix or narrow down the connection problem.

  • Check out Why can't I get online? and try some of the basic troubleshooting steps mentioned there.
  • Generate a wireless network report. This report can help you diagnose the problem, or at least provide you with more information to give to others who might be able to help.
    1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
    2. At the command prompt, type netsh wlan show wlanreport.
    3. This creates an HTML file that you can open in your web browser from the location listed under the command prompt.

  • Make sure it’s not a problem with your cable modem or Internet service provider (ISP).
    1. If it is, contact your ISP. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
    2. At the command prompt, type ipconfig.
    3. Look for the IP address listed next to Default gateway. Write down that address if you need to. For example: 192.168.1.1

    4. At the prompt, type ping <DefaultGateway> and press Enter. For example, type ping 192.168.1.1 and press Enter.
    5. The result should be something like this:

      Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

      Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

      Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

      Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

      Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1: Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds: Minimum = 4ms, Maximum = 5ms, Average = 4ms

      If the ping is successful and you see results similar to the results above, but can’t connect to the Internet on your PC, there may be a problem with your modem or Internet service provider (ISP).

Update the network adapter driver

An outdated or incompatible network adapter driver can cause connection problems. If you recently upgraded to Windows 10, it's possible that the current driver was designed for a previous version of Windows. Check to see if an updated driver is available.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. In Device Manager, select Network adapters > the network adapter name.
  3. Right-click (or press and hold) the network adapter, and then select Update Driver Software > Search automatically for updated driver software. Follow the steps, then select Close.
  4. After installing the updated driver, select the Start button > Power > Restart if asked to restart, and see if that fixes the connection issue.

If Windows can’t find a new driver for your network adapter, visit the PC manufacturer’s website and download the latest network adapter driver from there. If your PC can't connect to the Internet, you'll need to download a driver on a different PC and save it to a USB flash drive, so you can install the driver on your PC. You’ll need to know the PC manufacturer and model name or number.

Roll back the network adapter driver

If you were connected before and recently installed a new network adapter driver, rolling back your driver to a previous version might help.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. In Device Manager, select Network adapters  > the network adapter name.
  3. Press and hold (or right-click) the network adapter, and then select Properties.
  4. In Properties, select the Driver tab, select Roll back driver, then follow the steps.
  5. If the button is unavailable, that means there's no driver to roll back to.

  6. After rolling back to the previous version of the driver, select the Start  button > Power > Restart if asked to restart, and see if that fixes the connection issue.

If Windows can’t find a new driver for your network adapter, visit the PC manufacturer’s website and download the latest network adapter driver from there. If your PC can't connect to the Internet, you'll need to download a driver on a different PC and save it to a USB flash drive, so you can install the driver on your PC. You’ll need to know the PC manufacturer and model name or number.

Run the Network troubleshooter followed by networking commands

The Network troubleshooter can help diagnose and fix common connection problems. Using this troubleshooter, then running some networking commands afterwards if needed, can help get you connected.

To run the Network troubleshooter

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Network troubleshooter, and then select Identify and repair network problems from the list of results.
  2. Follow the steps in the troubleshooter and see if that fixes the problem.

If that doesn’t fix your connection problem, try these things:

  • Reset the TCP/IP stack
  • Release the IP address
  • Renew the IP address
  • Flush and reset the DNS client resolver cache

To run these networking commands in a command prompt window

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
  2. At the command prompt, run the following commands in the listed order, and then check to see if that fixes your connection problem:
    • Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
    • Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
    • Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
    • Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
    • Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.

Temporarily turn off firewalls

Sometimes firewall software might prevent you from getting connected. You can see if the connection issue is caused by a firewall by turning it off temporarily and then trying to visit a website you trust.

The steps to turn off a firewall depend on the firewall software you’re using. Check the documentation for your firewall software to learn how to turn it off. Make sure you turn it back on as soon as you can. Not having a firewall turned on makes your PC more vulnerable to hackers, worms, or viruses.

If you have trouble turning off your firewall, do the following to turn off all firewall software that's running on your PC. Again, make sure you turn your firewall back on as soon as you can.

To turn off all firewalls

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
  2. At the command prompt, type netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off, and then press Enter.
  3. Open your web browser and visit a website you trust and see if you can connect to it.
  4. To turn on all firewalls you might have installed, at the command prompt, type netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state on, and then press Enter.

If you find the firewall software is causing the connection issues, contact the software manufacturer or visit their website to check and see if updated software is available.

Temporarily turn off any antivirus or malware-prevention software

Sometimes antivirus or malware-prevention software might prevent you from getting connected. You can see if the connection issue is caused by antivirus and malware-prevention software by turning it off temporarily and then trying to visit a website you trust. If you find it is causing the connection issues, contact the software manufacturer or visit their website to see if updated software is available.

The steps to turn off antivirus or malware-prevention software depend on the software you’re using. Check the documentation for your software to learn how to turn it off. Make sure you turn it back on as soon as possible. Not having antivirus or malware-prevention software turned on makes your PC more vulnerable to hackers, worms, or viruses.

If you’re not sure what antivirus or malware-prevention software program you have installed, Windows might be able to tell you.

To find out what antivirus or malware-prevention software is installed

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type System and security, and then select Review your computer’s status and resolve issues.
  2. Select the down arrow next to Security.
  3. If Windows can detect your antivirus software, it's listed under Virus protection. For malware-prevention software, look under Spyware and unwanted software protection.

  4. If the antivirus or malware-prevention software is on, check the documentation for that software to learn how to turn it off.

Make sure you turn your antivirus or malware-prevention software back on as soon as you can to make sure your PC is better protected.

Uninstall the network adapter driver and restart

If the previous steps didn’t work, try to uninstall the network adapter driver, and then restart your computer and have Windows automatically install the latest driver. Consider this approach if your network connection stopped working properly after a recent update.

Before uninstalling, make sure you have drivers available as a backup. Visit the PC manufacturer’s website and download the latest network adapter driver from there. If your PC can't connect to the Internet, you'll need to download a driver on a different PC and save it to a USB flash drive, so you can install the driver on your PC. You’ll need to know the PC manufacturer and model name or number.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. In Device Manager, select Network adapters > the network adapter name.
  3. Right-click (or press and hold) the network adapter, and then select Uninstall > Delete the driver software for this device check box > OK to confirm you want to uninstall it.
  4. After uninstalling the driver, select the Start button > Power > Restart.
  5. After your PC restarts, Windows will automatically look for and install the network adapter driver. Check to see if that fixes your connection problem. If Windows doesn't automatically install a driver, try to install the backup driver you saved before uninstalling.

Use network reset to reinstall network devices

Using network reset should be the last step you try. Consider using it if the steps above don’t help to get you connected.

This can help solve connection problems you might have after upgrading from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10, as well as fix problems where you can connect to the Internet, but not to shared network drives. It removes any network adapters you have installed and the settings for them. After your PC restarts, any network adapters are reinstalled, and the settings for them are set to the defaults.

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet > Status > Network reset.
  2. On the Network reset screen, select Reset now > Yes to confirm.

    Wait for your PC to restart and see if that fixes the problem.

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Article ID: 10741 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 47

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