How to Fix an Unidentified Network Error in Windows


There are a lot of reasons why you'd get an unidentified network error in Windows. Some of these have to do with connectivity, while specific network settings might cause others. Additionally, some programs may alter the system settings and cause an issue.

Most network problems aren't deeply rooted in the system, so let's look at some fixes at the surface level first. If those don't work, you can implement some major changes. Here are a few fixes you can try to resolve unidentified network errors in Windows.

1. Perform Some Preliminary Fixes

Here are a few preliminary fixes you can implement before moving on to major changes.

Disable Airplane Mode

In many cases, this error happens after the user turns on airplane mode, either on purpose or accidentally. If the airplane mode is left on, the system might generate an unidentified error upon accessing the internet. To ensure airplane mode is turned off, follow the instructions.

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the taskbar and open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet settings.
  3. Select Airplane mode from the left-side menu and turn the toggle off if it is on.
    Turning Off Airplane mode in Windows Settings

If turning off airplane mode does not resolve the issue, try reconnecting your system to the internet.

Reconnect Your Internet

An unidentified network error may occur due to a specific packet loss or if the devices have trouble translating the identity packets correctly. Reconnecting to the internet may resolve the issue.

Unplug and re-plug your Ethernet cable if you use a wired connection. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, you will see the Wi-Fi icon on the bottom-right side of your taskbar. Turn it off and then turn it on again.

Reconnecting Internet in Windows

You can remove all old network connections as a last preliminary fix if reconnecting your internet hasn't fixed the issue.

Remove Old Network Connections

If you've connected to lots of different networks in the past, there's a good chance your system has several old network profiles sitting around and doing nothing. These can sometimes interfere with how your PC connects to the internet.

RELATED: How to Merge Multiple Internet Connections

Remove old networks by following the steps below:

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the taskbar and open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet.
  3. Select Wi-Fi from the left-side menu and click on Manage known networks.
  4. Then click on the older connections one by one and hit Forget button.
    Forgetting Old Internet Connections in Windows

Once you've tried all three preliminary fixes and cannot resolve the problem, it's time to move on to making major changes.

2. Disable Your Firewall

A Windows firewall is a security screen responsible for scanning each packet of data that enters the system's atmosphere. In sporadic cases, the firewall may consider the connection to your Wi-Fi as a security threat. Turning the firewall off may solve the problem. Follow the given steps to turn the firewall off.

  1. Open Windows Control Panel.
  2. Navigate to System and Security and click on Windows Defender Firewall.
  3. On the left-side menu, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
  4. Select the option "Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)" according to your network type, if it is public or private.
    Turning Off Windows Defender Firewall in Settings

3. Change the DNS Server

A DNS setting defines the type of network connection, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or Static. Most of the time, your service provider automatically chooses the DNS server for you. Occasionally, a misconfigured DNS server can prevent your browser from connecting to the internet.

Changing the DNS server may provide you with the connection from a different switch, thereby resolving the unidentified network error on your machine. To change your DNS server, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the windows icon on the taskbar and open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet.
  3. Select Wi-Fi from the left side menu and click on your connection.
  4. Under IP Settings, click on the Edit button and change the setting from DHCP to Manual.
    Editing IP Settings in Windows Settings
  5. Toggle on the IPv6 or IPv4, depending on your connection.
  6. Enter your new DNS server and IP address, and hit Save.
    Changing DNS Settings in Windows

Note: You may have to flush your old DNS cache to avoid having issues while adding the new one.

4. Update Your Network Card's Drivers

If the network card has difficulty translating packets through the communication lines or the router, updating its drivers might help solve the problem. Updating the network card driver will reset its settings to the latest versions without affecting user preferences.

RELATED: The Best Internet Service Providers for a Faster Connection

To update your network driver, follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click on This PC on desktop and click on Manage.
  2. Click on Device Manager from the left side menu and expand the Network adapters category.
  3. Select your currently operating network adapter.
    Updating Driver of Network Adapter
  4. Right-click and select Update driver.
  5. Click on Search automatically for drivers and follow the on-screen instructions.

5. Reset theTCP/IP Stack

By resetting the TCP/IP stack, you usually reset the current TCP/IP settings. If the unidentified network error was caused by the TCP/IP stack overlapping or any of its segments failed to reach their destination, resetting it will bring it back to normal.

Follow the steps below to reset the TCP/IP stack.

  1. Type CMD in the Windows search bar, right-click on the command prompt icon and select Run as administrator.
  2. Type "netsh int ip reset" into the command prompt and enter.
    Running Command in Windows Command Prompt

Restart your machine after completion and check if the problem has gone away.

6. Ruling Out Router Issues

Once you have tried all the fixes in the list, you should connect to the internet again without seeing an unidentified network error. If not, it's possible that the problem is not with your computer but with your router. Below are some steps you should take to rule out this possibility:

  1. Check your router physically for any damage.
  2. Make sure there are no loose connections.
  3. Check for possible overheating or overloading.
  4. Follow the router guide to inspect the indicator lights.

Get Rid of Unidentified Network Error

Hopefully, the fixes in the list will help you reconnect. However, if you still cannot connect to the internet, you can try disabling third-party firewall programs, checking your adapter settings, and disabling all antivirus programs. If nothing seems to be working, contact your IPS, which may help you with more severe problems.

Do you have a secure internet connection? Securing your internet connection is essential to enhance your online experience and keep your data safe. To ensure the security of your internet connection, you should test the strength of your firewall, check your antivirus, check the protocol when browsing, and if you use a VPN connection, make sure there are no leaks.


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