It can be frustrating to be in the middle of a project that requires you to be online and then receive that frustrating yellow “!” over your network icon telling you that you are not connected to the Internet. The first thing you do is use the Windows troubleshooting tool. When the tool finishes, you receive the message, “Windows could not automatically detect this network’s proxy setting.”
What do you do? There may be an issue with your proxy settings. Sometimes, though, it may be a hardware issue that is troubling you. In that case, you should get a high-quality gaming router as a replacement, as gaming routers have better build quality than regular ones.
Let’s take a few minutes and look at Window’s proxy settings. We will examine different steps to repair this issue.
Reboot Your Router and Your Computer
At the risk of quoting Chris Odowd’s character on The IT Crowd, “Hello. IT. Have you tried to turn it off and on again?” Before going through advanced troubleshooting, try restarting your equipment. There is a chance the problem will clear up on its own in a few minutes.
The error is probably linked to a misconfigured setting on the computer. Still, restarting your router can be beneficial when you have network problems like this. If turning it off and on doesn’t fix the problem, you want to continue to more complicated steps.
Check Your Proxy Settings in Windows
It makes sense that you start with your Windows proxy settings since it is a proxy issue. If you are using Windows 10, go to “Settings” and then find “Network & Internet.” On the left sidebar, you will find the “Proxy” tab.
Here, you are going to be presented with a list of options connected to proxy servers. If you are like most people, you don’t use a proxy service, so make sure that the proxy server slider is in the “Off” position. You want “Automatically Detect Settings” to be left on.
If you do connect with a proxy, maybe for work or because you are connecting from a school, you want to talk to your systems administrator and make sure that the proxy details you have are correct. If this doesn’t fix the issue, reconnect to the network again. If the error still reappears, turn off “Automatically Detect Settings” and try again.
Use the Network Adapter Troubleshooter
Find your network connection icon. Right-click on it and select “Troubleshoot.” This will bring up the “Internet Connections” troubleshooter.
However, there is another troubleshooter that might be beneficial for you. Go to “Settings” and find the “Update & Security”. Then click on “Troubleshoot.” From there, identify the “Network Adapter” and then go through the troubleshooting process. This tool may not fix your problem, but it is worth a try.
Use the Command Prompt to Reset Network Configuration
Windows offers a variety of ways to troubleshoot using the command prompt. There are a couple of commands that might address your issue directly.
To access command prompt, right-click the Start Button. You will be able to open the command prompt as an administrator. Then you will need to reset a number of functions on your computer, inputting the following commands one at a time:
- netsh winsock reset
- netsh int ip reset
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
- ipconfig /flushdns
Look at Your VPN, Antivirus, or Firewall
You want to make sure that your VPN, your antivirus software, or your firewall are not negatively interacting with your network connection. Maybe your VPN software or your antivirus software has updated and this update changed the settings. Or maybe you just installed a new app that is interfering with your network connection.
You can use a process of elimination to determine if any of these factors are impacting your network connection. Disable your VPN, your firewall, and your antivirus software one at a time. If the error disappears, then it is one of those apps that’s causing the problem. You may need to talk to the software distributor to learn how to configure the software so it does not impact network activity.
Check for Malware
Dealing with malware can be frustrating. Malware is infamous for messing up your proxy settings. A clue that you may have fallen victim to malware is seeing the “Windows could not detect this network’s proxy settings” message every time you reboot the computer.
The best way to find malware is to scan your computer using anti-malware applications that are well recommended and trustworthy. This can detect malware running on your system and make it disappear. If the software does find infections, follow the recommended action and then test your connection again to see if it works as normal.
Also, we recommend not visiting websites without SSL encryption, as they tend to be less safe than their HTTPS counterparts.
Restore Your Computer to a Point Where It Was Working Normally
Windows has a system restore feature. This allows you to restore Windows to a point where it was working normally. If your problem started recently, you may want to use this feature to go back in time, as it were.
You can find this feature in the “Control Panel.” If you see “Category” selected on the top right, then change the selection to small or large icons. Next, select “System” entry.
In the left sidebar, you will see “Systems Protection.” Click on this and the dialog box with “System Restore” will appear. All you need to do is follow the provided instructions to choose a restore point and confirm how you want Windows to operate.
It goes without saying that in order to use this feature, you need to have created restore points. It is good to note that using restore points will get rid of any programs or drivers that you have installed since that restore point. You can select “Scanned for Affected Programs” on any restore point to see what effect restoring to said point will have. Using a restored point will not impact personal information.
Network errors can be frustrating. However, with a little bit of work and a little bit of research, you should be able to make this proxy error disappear. A key takeaway is making sure that you have the proxy turned off if you are not using a proxy. If you are using a proxy, make sure that it is configured properly.