Default Gateway is not available? Try these methods

The “Default gateway is not available” error message is a common issue that has been experienced by a lot of Windows users, be it Windows 11, 10, or the predecessors. The error message is shown as a result of the built-in Windows troubleshooter for networks which, contrary to its name, does not offer much functionality and help in fixing the issue. As it turns out, the error message in question can be caused by a number of factors which include your network adapter’s power management settings to the third-party software that is installed on your computer. In this article, we are going to take you through the process and show you how to resolve the problem mentioned so just follow along.

The Default Gateway is not Available Error Message

As it turns out, the internet has become a necessity and having a working internet connection is important to everyone. However, when this experience is ruined by an error message, it tends to be really annoying. There are a number of different internet connectivity issues that you might come across while using Windows such as the No Internet Access error. Fortunately, these can be resolved quite easily with the right guidelines. 

The default gateway is essentially where information is sent when the destination is not known. To be more precise, a default gateway provides outgoing access to data packets that are leaving your network to communicate with other devices in another network. Before we start off with that, it is important to go through the different causes of the error message at hand so that you understand what essentially is causing the issue.

  • Third-Party Programs — One of the reasons that the error message in question may occur is when the third-party programs installed on your system interfere with it. This can include the security program that you have installed or any other apps in general. 
  • DNS Server — In some scenarios, the issue can also arise due to the DNS server that you are using on your system. In such a case, you can rectify the issue by simply opting for a third-party DNS server from Google or Cloudflare.
  • Network Adapter Drivers and Power Settings — In addition to that, the drivers on your system for your network adapter can also result in the issue in some scenarios. Furthermore, the power settings that are used to manage the network adapter can lead to the problem at hand as well. As such, you will have to check your power settings for your network adapter and maybe even reinstall the drivers for the mentioned adapter.

Now that we have gone through some of the possible causes of the issue in question, let us get started with the different methods that you can use to circumvent the problem. With that said, let us jump into it without any further delay.

Change Network Adapter Power Settings

The first thing that you should do when you encounter the error message mentioned is to check the power settings of your network adapter. As it turns out, in some cases, the power settings on your system will make certain devices go to sleep that it thinks are not required. As such, when the device goes to sleep, it is obvious you will not be able to use it properly.

Therefore, making sure that the network adapter on your system is not put to sleep by Windows should be the first step into resolving the issue. Follow the instructions down below to do this:

  1. First of all, open up the Device Manager by searching for it in the Start Menu.
    Opening up Device Manager
  2. On the Device Manager window, expand the Network adapters list.
    Device Manager
  3. From the list, right-click on your network adapter and choose the Properties option.
  4. On the Properties window, switch to the Power Management tab.
  5. There, go ahead and uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power checkbox.
    Disabling Power Management
  6. With that done, click the OK button. 
  7. See if that resolves the issue. 

Disable Third-Party Antivirus

Another thing that can possibly cause the error message in question is the third-party security program that you have installed on your computer. Third-party antivirus programs are quite infamous for causing issues with several devices of your computer due to it blocking access and whatnot.

As such, you should try turning off the third-party antivirus program on your system to see if that resolves the problem for you. In case it does, completely removing the security program from your system becomes an option.

Reset IP

In some cases, you can resolve the problem mentioned above by simply resetting your IP. Doing this allows your computer to essentially request a new IP address from your router. In order to do this, you will have to release your current IP address so that a new one can be assigned to your system. Follow the instructions down below to do this:

  1. To start off, open up the Start Menu and search for the Command Prompt. On the left-hand side, click on the Run as administrator option provided.
    Opening up Command Prompt as Admin
  2. Once the Command Prompt window is open, type in the following commands one by one and then hit Enter:
    netsh int ip reset C:\resetlog.txt
    netsh winsock reset
    ipconfig /flushdns
    Resetting IP
  3. With that done, close the command prompt window and go ahead restart your computer.
  4. After your PC boots up, see if the problem is still there.

Change Network Drivers

As it turns out, there have been various reports of users being able to circumvent the error message in question by changing the network drivers on their system. This means you will install different drivers on your system in place of the ones that you currently have. For this purpose, you won’t be needing to download additional drivers manually. To do this, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, open up the Device Manager window by searching for it in the Start Menu.
    Opening up Device Manager
  2. On the Device Manager window, expand the Network adapters list.
    Device Manager
  3. Right-click on your network adapter driver and from the drop-down menu, choose the Update driver option.
    Updating Network Driver
  4. Then, on the follow-up screen, choose the Browse my computer for driver software option.
    Looking for Driver Locally
  5. After that, click on the Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer option.
    Updating Network Driver
  6. Uncheck the Show compatible hardware checkbox.
    Choosing a different Network Driver
  7. Then, from the list of drivers shown, choose a different driver from the one currently installed for your network adapter. Click Next.
  8. Once the driver has been installed, see if the problem goes away.
  9. In case it does not, you can try reinstalling the network driver.
  10. For that, right-click on your driver and from the drop-down menu, choose the Uninstall device option.
    Uninstalling Network Driver
  11. With that done, go ahead and restart your computer so that it can be installed automatically by Windows. 
  12. Check if the error message is gone. 

Change DNS Server

As we have mentioned, one of the reasons that the problem can occur is due to your DNS server. Domain Name System or DNS server is really important as it resolves the domains into IP addresses. By default, you will be using a DNS server provided by your ISP. However, you can easily change that and use a third-party DNS server from Google or Cloudflare. To do this, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. To start off, right-click on the network icon on your taskbar and choose the Network and Internet settings option.
    Opening up Network Settings
  2. On the settings window, click on the Advanced network settings option.
    Network Settings
  3. Then, click the More network adapter options option.
    Advanced Network Settings
  4. On the window that opens up, right-click on your network adapter and from the drop-down menu, choose Properties.
  5. After that, on the Properties window, double click on the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option.
    Ethernet Properties
  6. At the bottom, choose the Use the following DNS server addresses option and provide either Google’s or Cloudflare’s IP addresses: 
    Google: 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
    Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 1.0.0.1
    Changing DNS Server
  7. With that done, click the OK button. See if the problem goes away. 

Perform Clean Boot

Finally, if the above methods have not fixed the problem for you, then it is very likely that the issue is being caused by a third-party application on your system except the antivirus program. In such a scenario, you can validate this suspicion by performing a clean boot. 

A clean boot will start up Windows with only the required services running in the background. This means that all of the third-party applications will be disabled on startup. In case the problem goes away in clean boot, you can turn on the services one by one to locate the culprit. Follow the instructions down below to do this:

  1. First of all, open up the Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R on your keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type in msconfig and hit Enter.
    Opening up System Configuration
  3. On the System Configuration window, switch to the Services tab.
  4. There, go ahead and tick the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.
    Hiding Microsoft Services
  5. After that, click on the Disable all button and follow it up by clicking Apply.
    Disabling Third-Party Services
  6. With that done, switch to the Startup tab and click on the Open Task Manager option.
    System Configuration Startup Tab
  7. On the Task Manager window, select the provided apps one by one and click the Disable button at the bottom.
    Disabling Third-Party Apps
  8. Then, go ahead and restart your computer to perform a clean boot. See if the problem goes away in clean boot.
Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

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Default Gateway is not available? Try these methods

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