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A wired Ethernet connection lets you get a fast internet connection—plug one end of the Ethernet cable into your router at home, then plug the other end into the Ethernet port on your Windows PC. (If your PC doesn’t have an Ethernet port but you want to try this option, you might consider getting a USB to Ethernet adapter.)

If you’re using an Ethernet connection and can’t connect to the internet, there are a few things you can try to try to fix the problem and get connected.

On your home router

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

  • Check the Ethernet cable and connection. Make sure the Ethernet cable is securely plugged into the Ethernet port on both your router and Windows 11 PC. On your router, make sure the Ethernet cable is plugged into the correct Ethernet port—not the Internet port that’s used to connect your modem and router.

    If one Ethernet cable doesn’t work and you have another one nearby, try the other Ethernet cable to see if that works. If it does, it might be a problem with the first cable.

  • Restart your modem and wireless router. This helps create a new connection to your internet service provider (ISP). When you do this, everyone that is connected to your Wi-Fi network will be temporarily disconnected. The steps you take to restart your modem and router can vary, but here are the general steps.

Note: If you have a cable modem/Wi-Fi router combo device, you only need to follow the steps for the single device.

  1. Unplug the power cable for the router from the power source.

  2. Unplug the power cable for the modem from the power source.  

    Some modems have a backup battery. If you unplug the modem and lights stay on, remove the battery from the modem.

  3. Wait at least 30 seconds or so.

    If you had to remove the battery from the modem, put it back in.

  4. Plug the modem back into the power source. The lights on the modem will blink. Wait for them to stop blinking.

  5. Plug your router back into the power source.

    Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to fully power on. You can usually tell when they’re ready by looking at the status lights on the two devices.

  6. On your PC, try to connect again using the Ethernet connection.

On your PC

  • Check the network status in Settings. Open Settings > Network & internet. Check your Ethernet connection status at the top of the screen. Make sure it says Connected underneath the network connection name. If there’s an error, such as one that says Action needed, select Ethernet to view your Ethernet connection settings.

    If one Ethernet cable doesn’t work and you have another one nearby, try the other Ethernet cable to see if that works. If it does, it might be a problem with the first cable.

  • Connect to Wi-Fi instead. If your router is a Wi-Fi router, try to connect to Wi-Fi and see if you can get connected. This can do two things—help you get an internet connection and help you narrow down the source of the problem. For more info, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network in Windows.

  • Run network commands. Try running these network commands to manually reset the TCP/IP stack, release and renew the IP address, and flush and reset the DNS client resolver cache:

  1. Select Search on the taskbar, type Command prompt. The Command Prompt button will appear. To the right of it, 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 select Enter.

    • Type netsh int ip reset and select Enter.

    • Type ipconfig /release and select Enter.

    • Type ipconfig /renew and select Enter.

    • Type ipconfig /flushdns and select Enter.

  • Uninstall the Ethernet network adapter driver and restart. If the previous steps didn’t work, try to uninstall the network adapter driver, and then restart your computer. Windows will 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. Select Search on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.

  2. Expand Network adapters and locate the Ethernet network adapter for your device.

  3. Select the network adapter, press and hold (or right-click), and then select Uninstall device > the Attempt to remove the driver for this device check box > Uninstall.

  4. After uninstalling the driver, select the Start  button > Power  > Restart.

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. 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 Windows 10 to Windows 11. It can also help to fix the problem where you can connect to the internet but can't connect to shared network drives. Network reset 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 enter settings. Select Settings  > Network & internet > Advanced network settings > Network reset.

    Open Network & internet status settings

  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.
     

    Notes: 

    • After using network reset, you might need to reinstall and set up other networking software you might be using, such as VPN client software or virtual switches from Hyper‑V (if you're using that or other network virtualization software).

    • Network reset might set each one of your known network connections to a public network profile. In a public network profile, your PC is not discoverable to other PCs and devices on the network, which can help make your PC more secure. However, if your PC is used for file or printer sharing, you’ll need to make your PC discoverable again by setting it to use a private network profile. To do this, select the Start  button, then enter settings. Select Settings Network & internet > Ethernet . On the Ethernet screen, under Network profile type, select Private.

On another PC

  • Try to connect to the same network on a different device. If you have another Windows PC in your home and a USB to Ethernet adapter, try to connect using that PC. If you can connect, the source of the problem is likely due to your first PC. If you can't connect to the Ethernet network on either PC, it might be a problem with your router, internet service provider, or USB to Ethernet adapter.

On your home router

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

  • Check the Ethernet cable and connection. Make sure the Ethernet cable is securely plugged into the Ethernet port on both your router and Windows 10 PC. On your router, make sure the Ethernet cable is plugged into the correct Ethernet port—not the Internet port that’s used to connect your modem and router.

    If one Ethernet cable doesn’t work and you have another one nearby, try the other Ethernet cable to see if that works. If it does, it might be a problem with the first cable.

  • Restart your modem and wireless router. This helps create a new connection to your internet service provider (ISP). When you do this, everyone that is connected to your Wi-Fi network will be temporarily disconnected. The steps you take to restart your modem and router can vary, but here are the general steps.

Note: If you have a cable modem/Wi-Fi router combo device, you only need to follow the steps for the single device.

  1. Unplug the power cable for the router from the power source.

  2. Unplug the power cable for the modem from the power source.  

    Some modems have a backup battery. If you unplug the modem and lights stay on, remove the battery from the modem.

  3. Wait at least 30 seconds or so.

    If you had to remove the battery from the modem, put it back in.

  4. Plug the modem back into the power source. The lights on the modem will blink. Wait for them to stop blinking.

  5. Plug your router back into the power source.

    Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to fully power on. You can usually tell when they’re ready by looking at the status lights on the two devices.

  6. On your PC, try to connect again using the Ethernet connection.

On your PC

  • Check the network status in Settings. Open Settings > Network & Internet  > Status. Check your Ethernet connection status there. It should display You're connected to the Internet underneath the Ethernet network connection.

    If one Ethernet cable doesn’t work and you have another one nearby, try the other Ethernet cable to see if that works. If it does, it might be a problem with the first cable.

  • Connect to Wi-Fi instead. If your router is a Wi-Fi router, try to connect to Wi-Fi and see if you can get connected. This can do two things—help you get an internet connection and help you narrow down the source of the problem. For more info, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network in Windows.

  • Run network commands. Try running these network commands to manually reset the TCP/IP stack, release and renew the IP address, and flush and reset the DNS client resolver cache:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt. The Command Prompt button will appear. To the right of it, 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 select Enter.

    • Type netsh int ip reset and select Enter.

    • Type ipconfig /release and select Enter.

    • Type ipconfig /renew and select Enter.

    • Type ipconfig /flushdns and select Enter.

  • Uninstall the Ethernet network adapter driver and restart. If the previous steps didn’t work, try to uninstall the network adapter driver, and then restart your computer. Windows will 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. Expand Network adapters and locate the Ethernet network adapter for your device.

  3. Select the network adapter, press and hold (or right-click), and then select Uninstall device > the Attempt to remove the driver for this device check box > Uninstall.

  4. After uninstalling the driver, select the select the Start button > Power  > Restart.

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. 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 fix the problem where you can connect to the internet but can't connect to shared network drives. Network reset 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.

    Open Network & internet status settings

  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.
     

    Notes: 

    • After using network reset, you might need to reinstall and set up other networking software you might be using, such as VPN client software or virtual switches from Hyper‑V (if you're using that or other network virtualization software).

    • Network reset might set each one of your known network connections to a public network profile. In a public network profile, your PC is not discoverable to other PCs and devices on the network, which can help make your PC more secure. However, if your PC is used for file or printer sharing, you’ll need to make your PC discoverable again by setting it to use a private network profile. To do this, select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet   > Ethernet . On the Ethernet screen, select the Ethernet network connection you want to change, then select Private under Network profile.

On another PC

  • Try to connect to the same network on a different device. If you have another Windows PC in your home and a USB to Ethernet adapter, try to connect using that PC. If you can connect, the source of the problem is likely due to your first PC. If you can't connect to the Ethernet network on either PC, it might be a problem with your router, internet service provider, or USB to Ethernet adapter.

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