Fix Network & Internet Connection Problems in Windows 11/10/8/7

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If you notice that your Internet connection suddenly stops working under Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 or Windows Vista, or if you encounter certain network and Internet connection problems, here are some troubleshooting steps.

1. Restart Your Device and Network Hardware

Restarting your computer, modem, and router can often resolve common network connectivity issues. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your computer: Start by shutting down your Windows 10 PC completely.
  2. Power off the modem and router: Disconnect the power cords from your modem and router.
  3. Wait for a few minutes: Let them remain disconnected for at least 30 seconds. This allows the hardware to reset and clear any error states.
  4. Reconnect and power on the modem and router: First, plug back the modem and wait for it to fully boot up, then do the same with your router.
  5. Turn on your computer: Once your network devices are up and running, turn on your PC.
  6. Check the connection: After your PC boots up, check to see if the internet connection issue is resolved.

Note: Ensure your Wi-Fi is enabled and Airplane mode is turned off in your PC settings.

2. Run Network Commands

Running certain network commands can help reset your network configuration and solve connectivity issues. Open Command Prompt as an administrator and run these commands:

  1. netsh winsock reset: Resets the Winsock Catalog to a clean state.
  2. netsh int ip reset: Resets the TCP/IP stack to its default configuration.
  3. ipconfig /release: Releases the current IP configuration.
  4. ipconfig /renew: Reassigns an IP address to your computer.
  5. ipconfig /flushdns: Clears the DNS cache to resolve DNS related problems.

After running these commands, restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

3. Update Network Adapter Driver

Updating the driver for your network adapter can resolve issues related to compatibility and functionality:

  1. Access Device Manager: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Find Network Adapters: In Device Manager, expand the Network adapters section.
  3. Select Your Network Adapter: Right-click on your wireless network adapter and choose Update Driver.
  4. Search Automatically: Select ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart Your PC: After the update is complete, restart your computer to apply the changes.

If you’re unable to access the internet, use another PC to download the latest driver and transfer it via USB to your computer.

4. Check Wi-Fi Signal Strength and Connectivity

A weak Wi-Fi signal can lead to connectivity issues. Ensure your PC is in the optimal location for connection:

  1. Check Signal Strength: Look at the Wi-Fi icon in your system tray to gauge signal strength.
  2. Reduce Interference: Move away from physical obstructions and electronic interference.
  3. Try a Different Network: If possible, connect to another Wi-Fi network to check if the issue is with your current network.
  4. Restart Wi-Fi: Toggle your PC’s Wi-Fi off and then back on to refresh the connection.

If the problem persists, consider moving closer to the Wi-Fi router or using a Wi-Fi extender.

5. Disable Security Software Temporarily

Security software like antivirus and firewall can interfere with your network connections:

  1. Open Security Software: Navigate to your antivirus or firewall application.
  2. Disable Temporarily: Look for an option to disable the software temporarily. This option is usually found in the settings or system tray icon.
  3. Check Connection: After disabling, check if your internet connection issue is resolved.
  4. Re-enable Software: Remember to re-enable your security software after testing to ensure your system remains protected.

If the issue resolves after disabling the software, consider adjusting its settings or contacting the software vendor for assistance.

6. Flush DNS Cache and Register DNS

Flushing the DNS cache can resolve DNS-related connectivity problems:

  1. Open Command Prompt: Search for ‘Command Prompt’, right-click it, and select ‘Run as administrator’.
  2. Flush DNS: Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter. You should receive a confirmation message.
  3. Register DNS: Next, type ipconfig /registerdns and press Enter. This updates your DNS settings.

These steps clear your DNS resolver cache and update any DNS records, potentially resolving connectivity issues.

7. Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings can resolve various connection issues by reinstalling network adapters and setting them to their defaults:

  1. Open Settings: Go to Start, click on Settings (the gear icon).
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet: In the Settings window, click on ‘Network & Internet’.
  3. Network Reset: Scroll down and click on ‘Network reset’.
  4. Confirm Reset: Click on ‘Reset now’ and confirm the action. Your PC will restart, and network adapters will be reinstalled.

Note: After resetting, you may need to re-enter Wi-Fi passwords and reconfigure other network settings.

8. Check Network Adapter Power-Saving Settings

Adjusting power-saving settings for your network adapter can help maintain a stable connection:

  1. Open Device Manager: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand Network Adapters: In Device Manager, find and expand the ‘Network adapters’ section.
  3. Properties: Right-click your wireless adapter and choose ‘Properties’.
  4. Power Management Tab: Go to the ‘Power Management’ tab.
  5. Adjust Settings: Uncheck ‘Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power’.
  6. Save Changes: Click ‘OK’ to save the changes and exit.

This action ensures that your PC doesn’t turn off the network adapter to save power, which might cause connectivity issues.

9. Perform a Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot can help identify if background programs are causing network issues:

  1. System Configuration: Press the Windows key + R, type ‘msconfig’ in the run box, and hit Enter.
  2. Selective Startup: In the System Configuration window, select the ‘Selective startup’ option.
  3. Disable Startup Items: Uncheck ‘Load startup items’ under the Selective startup option.
  4. Services Tab: Go to the Services tab, check ‘Hide all Microsoft services’, and then click ‘Disable all’.
  5. Apply and Restart: Click Apply, then OK, and restart your computer to apply these changes.

This process helps in isolating any software conflicts that might be affecting your internet connectivity.

10. Use Network and Internet Troubleshooters

Windows provides built-in troubleshooters to help diagnose and fix network issues:

  1. Access Settings: Click on the Start button, then select Settings (gear icon).
  2. Update & Security: In the Settings menu, choose ‘Update & Security’.
  3. Troubleshoot: From the left-hand menu, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
  4. Run the Troubleshooter: Under ‘Get up and running’, select ‘Internet Connections’ and then ‘Run the troubleshooter’.
  5. Follow Prompts: Follow the on-screen instructions to diagnose and resolve any detected issues.

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11. Check for Windows Updates

Ensuring your Windows 10 system is up to date is crucial for maintaining network functionality:

  1. Open Settings: Click on the Start button, then select Settings (gear icon).
  2. Go to Update & Security: In the Settings menu, choose ‘Update & Security’.
  3. Check for Updates: Click on ‘Windows Update’ and then ‘Check for updates’. Install any available updates.
  4. Restart if Needed: If updates are installed, restart your computer to complete the installation process.

Windows updates can include important fixes for network-related issues and enhance overall system performance.

12. Reset or Update Your Router

Issues with your router can lead to network connectivity problems. Here’s how to address them:

  1. Locate the Reset Button: Find the reset button on your router. This is typically a small pinhole button.
  2. Use a Paperclip: Use a paperclip or similar tool to press and hold the reset button for about 10 seconds.
  3. Wait for Reboot: Release the button and wait for the router to reboot. This process will reset the router to its factory settings.
  4. Reconfigure Router: After the reset, you’ll need to reconfigure your router settings, including Wi-Fi network name and password.
  5. Check for Firmware Updates: Regularly check your router’s manufacturer website for firmware updates to ensure optimal performance and security.

Resetting your router can resolve many network issues, but remember that it will erase all your current settings.

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