6 Solutions for ‘Default Gateway is Not Available’ Error

The “Default gateway is not available” error occurs when Windows is unable to establish a connection with the network router’s gateway. This typically indicates an issue with the router’s functionality. Restarting your router can often resolve the problem.

The Default Gateway is not Available Error Message

The “default gateway is not available” error can be extremely frustrating as it completely disrupts your internet connection.

In this article, we will guide you through the troubleshooting process and provide solutions to resolve this problem. Please follow along to resolve the issue and regain access to your internet connection.

What causes default gateway is not available error?

  • Third-Party Programs: Third-party firewalls and antivirus programs can sometimes block access to your router for certain applications, leading to the “default gateway is not available” error.
  • DNS Server: Incorrect DNS settings can also cause this error. Make sure your DNS settings are configured correctly to avoid encountering this issue.
  • Misconfigured Network: Misconfigured network settings can alter the default gateway of your router, resulting in this error. Ensure that your network settings are properly configured to prevent this problem.

How to Fix ‘The Default gateway is not available’ error?

Now that we have discussed some of the possible causes of the issue, let’s proceed with the different methods you can use to resolve the problem. We have a total of six solutions for you to try, so let’s dive into each one step-by-step:

  1. Change Network Adapter Power Settings
  2. Disable Third-Party Antivirus or Firewall
  3. Reset IP Settings
  4. Change Network Drivers
  5. Change DNS Server
  6. Perform Clean Boot

1. Change Network Adapter Power Settings

The first step in resolving the issue is to ensure that Windows does not put the network adapter on your system to sleep. To accomplish this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open up the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Network adapters list.
    Device Manager
  3. Right-click on your network adapter and choose the Properties option.
  4. Go to the Power Management tab.
  5. Now uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power checkbox.
    Disabling Power Management
  6. Click the OK button. 
  7. See if that resolves the issue. 

2. Disable Third-Party Antivirus or Firewall

Another potential cause of the error message is a third-party security program installed on your computer. Third-party antivirus programs, in particular, are known to sometimes interfere with various aspects of your system, including blocking network access.

To troubleshoot this, you should try turning off the third-party antivirus program on your system to see if that resolves the issue. If disabling the antivirus program resolves the problem, you may consider uninstalling or replacing it with a different security solution to ensure smooth network connectivity without any conflicts.

3. Reset IP Settings

You can resolve the problem mentioned above by simply resetting your IP. By doing this, your computer can essentially request a new IP address from your router. To proceed, you need to release your current IP address so that a new one can be assigned to your system. Follow the instructions below to accomplish this:

  1. 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.

4. Update Network Drivers

If your network drivers are incompatible or corrupted, they can encounter difficulties connecting to your network router, resulting in the mentioned issue. To resolve this problem, you have to update your network drivers.

  1. Open up the Device Manager
    Opening up Device Manager
  2. 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. 

5. Change DNS Server

The Domain Name System (DNS) server plays a crucial role in resolving domains into IP addresses. By default, your computer uses a DNS server provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). However, this default DNS server can sometimes be unreliable, leading to issues. In such cases, it is recommended to change the DNS server to a more reliable alternative. Follow the instructions below to change the DNS server:

  1. Right-click on the network icon on your taskbar
  2. Choose the Network and Internet settings option.
    Opening up Network Settings
  3. Click on the Advanced network settings option.
    Network Settings
  4. Click the More network adapter options option.
    Advanced Network Settings
  5. Right-click on your network adapter and from the drop-down menu, choose Properties.
  6. Double click on the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option.
    Ethernet Properties
  7. Choose the Use the following DNS server addresses option and provide either Google’s or Cloudflare’s IP addresses: 
    Changing DNS Server
  8. With that done, click the OK button. See if the problem goes away. 

6. Perform Clean Boot

A clean boot starts up Windows with only the essential services running in the background. This means that all third-party applications will be disabled on startup. If the problem disappears during a clean boot, you can enable the services one by one to identify the culprit. Follow the instructions below to perform a clean boot and proceed with the troubleshooting steps:

  1. 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.