How to fix a Windows PC that wont connect to the internet


fix a pc that wont connect to internet

In our previous articles on Windows PC internet problems, we discussed how to reduce heavy data usage (see )  and how to enable disabled Wi-Fi (see ) . In this tutorial, we’ll be looking at a case where you cant even connect to the internet on your Windows PC despite having an internet connection; common causes and effective fixes.

How can I tell if my Windows PC has internet access?

  • Navigate your mouse to the system tray (bottom right corner)
  • Hover over the network icon (it might be white network bars if using Wi-Fi or a Screen + Adapter cable if using a modem or cable)
  • You should see “Internet access” if you have or “No internet access” if you don’t (see an example in the image below)

system tray internet access


What could cause a Windows PC not to connect to the internet?

Common causes of not having internet access despite having a source or connection are:

  •  No data plan: If you don’t have some sort of data plan (be it by purchase or tweak) then you wont have internet access despite having a connection
  • MAC/IP address blocked or blacklisted: If your PC’s MAC / IP address has been blocked or blacklisted by your Internet Service Provider then you might not have internet access
  • Power saving mode: Sometimes, implementing power saving modes or settings could hinder internet access
  • IP address conflict: If more than one device in a network gets assigned or has the same IP address, it could result in no internet access for one of or all affected devices
  • Firewall settings: A firewall configuration could be blocking internet access for the program in question
  • Corrupt or missing network adapter drivers:  If there’s a problem with the drivers of the network adapter in use, this could translate to a problem with internet access
  • Weak signal: A weak signal could make an internet connection so slow that its practically non-existent
  • Bad PC port: Connecting a modem or cable to a faulty PC port could be a problem
  • Adapter misconfiguration: A misconfigured adapter is the most common cause of no internet access
  • Software error: The PC, router or modem in use might have encountered a software error
  • Crashed application / auto-start item: A crashed application which has firewall control (e.g Antivirus) could be the problem
  • Disabled adapter: If the adapter is disabled, it simply wont work

How do I fix a Windows PC that wont connect to the internet? 

Some effective fixes to employ are:

  • Ensure you have an active and compatible data plan
  • Restart the PC, modem or router as this could help fix temporary OS crashes / errors
  • If you get the “attempting to connect” message for long then its possible your PC has been blacklisted. contact your ISP or the router’s Admin
  • Ensure the PC is set to the High Performance power plan
  • If you suspect an IP address conflict, change yours using the following steps: Launch command prompt as admin > Type ipconfig /release then press Enter > Type ipconfig /renew then press Enter > Type netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt then press Enter
  • Check the application under Windows firewall settings to be sure it hasn’t been blocked ; Control panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall > Allow an app or feature through firewall). You could disable Windows Firewall as a diagnostic step (You might need to do this from your Antivirus
  • Install the latest network adapter drivers by downloading from your PC manufacturer’s website
  • Re-install network Adapter drivers using the following steps: Device manager > Network adapters > Right-click the adapter > Select Uninstall > Click Action at the top > Select Scan for hardware changes
  • If you have a weak signal then you best change location to get a better coverage or change ISPs
  • If you’re using a modem (USB stick) or cable then try changing the PC port its connected to
  • Diagnose the adapter for configuration error using the following steps : Network and Sharing center > Change adapter settings > Highlight the adapter in use > Click  Diagnose this connection at the top . Alternatively, you could right-click the network icon in the system tray and select Troubleshoot problems
  • Restart the PC, Modem or router (whichever applies) to clear OS errors
  • If this began after installing a software or changing some settings then uninstall the software or revert the settings. In extreme cases, consider doing a system restore (see )
  • Ensure the adapter is enabled;  Network and Sharing center > Change adapter settings > Right-click the adapter > Select Enable

Why is my internet connection so slow?

The fault could either be from the source of the internet connection or you have too many applications connecting to the internet at a time (or at least some heavy downloading / uploading being done by one or more apps)

How do I avoid heavy data usage on a Windows PC?

The major data consumers are auto-update apps like Windows update, Antivirus, Toolbars etc. It could also be due to malware. Follow this guide @ if you want greater control over your data usage

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