How to fix internet connection problems in Windows 11on January 12, 2023 at 10:40 Tech Advisor


Windows 11 has plenty of offline features, but most of the main ones rely on a stable internet connection. When something goes wrong with that connection, it’s extremely annoying.

Upon encountering any issues, your first step should always be to check your other internet-connected devices. If nothing is working, it’s likely to be an issue with your router or current outage in your area.

But if those devices are connecting and loading content like normal, the problem is likely to be software related. There are plenty of potential solutions to try in Windows 11, although you’ll probably need to adopt a trial-and-error approach. Here are 12 things you can try.

Restart your device and make sure Wi-Fi is turned on

The most popular solution to any computer issues is also one of the most effective. Open the Start menu, then click the power button in the bottom right and choose ‘Restart’. 

If you’ve landed on this article, you may have already tried this. But it’s worth testing before moving on. 

Another potential solution which sounds obvious is Wi-Fi being turned off, but it can easily happen accidentally without you noticing. Head to Settings > Network & internet and ensure the Wi-Fi toggle is set to the on position.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Disable and re-enable Wi-Fi adapter

Updates can sometimes change Settings too, with the Wi-Fi adapter among the most common. Head to Settings > Network & internet > Advanced network settings, then click ‘Disable’, followed by ‘Enable’.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Reset known networks

‘Forgetting’ the network and re-entering the details manually is also worth trying. Head to Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi > Manage known networks and click ‘Forget’ next to your usual network.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Then, head back to the main Wi-Fi page and click it from the ‘Show available networks’ drop-down. Enter your password like normal and you’ll be reconnected. 

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Perform a network connection test

Next, it’s worth establishing if the problem lies is related to the connection between your computer and router.

Open the Command Prompt window by searching for it in the Start menu. Type ‘ipconfig’ and hit enter, then find the ‘Default Gateway’ for the wireless network. Next, type ‘ping ROUTER-IP’, replacing ‘ROUTER-IP’ with the Default Gateway you just found out. 

Hit enter and confirm that 4 packets have been sent and received. If not, the issue is more likely to be linked to your internet provider.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Reset networking stack

It’s also worth resetting the Windows 11 network stack, which can solve configuration errors. For this, you’ll need to right-click the Command Prompt app when opening it and choose ‘Run as administrator’.

Then, type the following commands in order, hitting Enter after each one: 

netsh winsock reset netsh int ip reset ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew ipconfig /flushdns

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Restart your device to apply all the changes.

Use Windows 11 troubleshooter

Did you know that Windows 11 has a built-in troubleshooter for many common issues? Try the one for Internet Connections. 

Head to Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters and click ‘Run’ next to ‘Internet Connections’. Choose ‘Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet’ from the window that appears, then follow the instructions.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Reset entire network

The next thing to try is resetting all network settings to their factory defaults. Unless you’ve made lots of changes, it won’t take long to get everything set up the way you like it again.

Head to Settings > Network & internet > Advanced network settings > Network reset and click ‘Reset now’. Your device will restart once it’s complete.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Complete driver updates

Any out-of-date drivers can affect the internet connection. If you can connect to any other Wi-Fi network (such as your phone’s data via hotspot), try installing any outstanding driver updates. 

Head to Settings > Windows Update > Advanced options > Optional updates, then select any driver updates and choose ‘Download & install’.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

If you’re still offline, try manually updating via Device Manager. Open the app and click the ‘Network adapters’ drop-down, then right-click each one and choose ‘Update driver’. You’ll need to browse your computer for the available drivers though, so make sure you know where they’re located first.

Roll back driver updates

If the issues have emerged since updating specific driver/s, try rolling back to the previous version.  

In Device Manager, locate your Wi-Fi or Ethernet network under ‘Network adapters’ and choose ‘Properties’. From there, select the ‘Driver’ tab and choose ‘Roll Back Driver’. If the option is greyed out, that means it won’t be possible.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Uninstall and reinstall network adapter

Similarly, you may want to try uninstalling the network adapter. 

In Device Manager, simply right-click the network and choose ‘Uninstall device’, then restart your device. Once you’re back up and running, your computer will automatically detect and re-install the relevant driver.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Temporarily disable antivirus or firewall

Antivirus software can sometimes interfere with the internet connection, so it’s worth temporarily disabling to see if that fixes the problem. The process will vary if you use a third-party app, but it’s relatively simple on the pre-installed Microsoft Defender. 

Search for Windows Security and open the relevant app, then select ‘Virus & threat protection’. Under ‘Virus & threat protection settings’, choose ‘Manage settings’ and then turn off the toggle under ‘Real-time protection’.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Even if this solves the issue, remember that keeping real-time protection turned off isn’t recommended. This should only be a temporary measure.

An active firewall may also disrupt the internet connection. To turn it off, open the same Windows Security app and choose ‘Firewall & network protection’. Click the network marked ‘active’, then turn off the toggle under ‘Microsoft Defender Firewall’.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Again, turning off the firewall leaves your device vulnerable

Uninstall recent updates

If you think an update has caused the problem, try uninstalling it. 

Head to Settings > Windows Update > Update history, then choose ‘Uninstall updates’ from the ‘Related settings’ section at the bottom of the page. On any update you think might’ve been problematic, click ‘Uninstall’.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

With a bit of luck, one of the above will fix your issue. If not, you may have to wait for a future Windows 11 update or consider completely resetting your device.

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