10 Best Ways to Fix “Default Gateway is Not Available” Error Message

A Windows user must have experienced the “the default gateway is not available” error while surfing the internet and websites. 

The default gateway is not available windows 10 error is very common with its users.

The error leads to an internet connection problem in which there might be no internet access or limited access with no connectivity at all.

This issue can be due to anything from network adapter driver settings to McAfee.

By power-cycling your router you can solve the issue, however, if it is still not resolved, then you can see the fixes listed below.

What is Default Gateway?

The default gateway is a router or network node acting as an access point for communication or sending data packets between two networks.

In case a default gateway is not configured in your system, then the local network will not be able to connect to the internet.

The routing table maintained by every network component contains the port or interface for communication and a set of rules and route to deliver the data packets to their destination in the network.

In some cases, there is no next-hop IP address in the routing table for data forwarding, then default gateway acts as a forwarding hop to forward the data packet to the destination host.

Thus, the default gateway contains a set of configurations known as the default route.

If the IP packets at any instance of the node are not able to find the rule or route for the next destination of the hop, then the IP addresses and subnet masks of the system and network topologies may be altered.

In-home networks or small offices, the router that links up the LAN network to the internet behaves like the default gateway for all the components in the network.

Possible fixes

“The default gateway is not available” error can be fixed by removing and reinstalling network adapter driver, installation of a new ethernet driver, changing power management settings of the system, or changing the channel of the wireless router.

Fix 1. Reset the ethernet adapter or Wi-Fi

If you are getting the “the default gateway is not available” then first you must ensure that you have installed the latest ethernet driver.

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Reinstalling ethernet driver:

  1. Visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website and find the latest ethernet driver for your device.
  2. After downloading it, install it as per the instructions.

However, manual download and installation of the driver is a risk as you can permanently damage your system, so do it with caution.

Resetting Wi-Fi:

default gateway
  1. Right-click the network icon and then select “Open Internet settings”.
  2. Go to “Change your network settings” and choose the change adapter settings from the menu.
  3. Choose your ethernet connection adapter and “disable” it by right-clicking on it.
  4. After some time, select the “enable” option and close the window.

This fix might be able to solve “the default gateway is not available” error. In case this fix does not work, you can perform the next one.

Fix 2. Remove all McAfee programs

Sometimes the Anti-virus programs like McAfee interfere with the system’s network configuration.

Uninstalling McAfee programs might be able to solve your problem. 

For doing this go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features and then uninstall the McAfee completely. 

To directly remove the program, you can press the “Windows+R” key together and then type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialog box.

Once you uninstall, the issue might resolve. If this happens then stay away from McAfee programs and go for any other anti-virus program.

However, Windows 10 defender is strong enough that you might not need any anti-virus program.

Fix 3. Disable auto-login

Windows has introduced the “auto-logon” feature with Windows 8 in which the system will automatically login the user into the account previously logged in by the same or any other user.

This feature of windows conflicts with the windows network settings and thus causes “the default gateway is not available” error.

Unfortunately, you cannot disable the auto-logon feature, but you can stay away from it by using passwords for all the different accounts.

Setting a password will prevent the windows from automatically logging you on the system. 

In case you have a problem with remembering passwords, you can use a simple and easy password or use a Microsoft Account so that password reset can be easy.

Fix 4. Change the frequency of the wireless router

The current routers generally work on 5GHz frequency, but your adapter might not support this frequency.

Thus, changing the frequency setting from 5GHz to 2.5 GHz might be able to solve “the default gateway is not available” issue.

You can find the process for changing the frequency of the router in the router’s manual, and by following those instructions, you can resolve the gateway error.

Fix 5. Change the channel of the wireless router

Generally, there is an automatic value for the wireless channel and the dual-band wireless adapters.

It might cause “the default gateway is not available” error that we can resolve by setting a fixed value, that for many users it was 6, in place of the automatic.

Apart from changing the channel, you can also change the encryption mode to WPA-WPA2 or any other encryption methods to fix the gateway error.

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However, remember that some of these encryption methods are outdated and might not provide the necessary protection.

You should check your wireless router manual for more detailed instructions on how to change the channel.

Fix 6. Update network adapter drivers

In case “the default gateway is not available” issue is not solved even after the above steps; your network adapter driver might be the cause behind it.

You can either update your network adapter driver if it isn’t of the latest version or try reinstalling it.

Apart from this, another error saying windows cannot find a driver for your adapter may also exist. The fix given below is applicable in this situation as well.

Automatic fix for updating network driver:

  1. Go to device manager and then right-click the network adapter option.
  2. Expand the tab to see the current version of the driver you are currently using and select update driver software.
  3. After selecting this option, the system will automatically search for the updated driver software and then download it.

If the driver says that the driver is updated, then you can search on the driver’s official website and check the latest version as it might happen that windows might not be able to update automatically.

Manual fix for updating network driver:

  1. Visit the driver’s official site and go to the Downloads page.
  2. If a newer version of your driver is available, then download and install it on your system.
  3. In case your system’s internet connection isn’t stable enough to allow you for a download then you can troubleshoot the network by going to Windows Troubleshooter in troubleshooting and go to Network and Internet > Internet connections > Next > Troubleshoot my internet connection. If this does not fix your network for some time to allow a smooth download, then you can download it on any other system and then copy-paste to your system.

This fix will solve the default gateway not available error. If not, then follow the next fix.

Fix 7. Uninstall network adapter drivers

If you don’t want to get into the trouble of updating your driver manually, then you can go ahead and uninstall it.

Don’t worry. Your windows will automatically detect and reinstall it once it reboots.

Follow the following steps to uninstall:

  1. Go to Device Manager and right-click on network adapter options.
  2. Click on uninstall.
  3. Once the uninstallation is successful, reboot your system.
  4. The system will automatically identify the missing adapter and install it.

Fix 8. Change network adapter drivers

Suppose installing the latest driver or uninstalling it doesn’t fix “the default gateway is not available” error. In that case, change the adapter with some other adapter already present in the system.

Example: if your network adapter is Broadcom 802.11a, then you can change it to Broadcom 802.11n, and vice-versa to fix the error.

Steps involved are:

  1. Open Device Manager and expand Network Adapters.
  2. Right-click to check the current adapter and click Update Driver Software option.
  3. Go to the “browse my computer for driver software” option and choose “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer” and then uncheck “Show compatible hardware”.
  4. From the list of available adapters, select the 802.11n or 802.11a depending on the current version.
  5. Click Next and follow the instructions to change the network adapter driver.
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If none of the above network adapter fixes can solve “the default gateway is not available” error, then follow the next fixes.

Fix 9. Reset TCP/IP through netshell command

You can reset the TCP/IP settings in your system to fix “the default gateway is not available” error.

Steps for resetting include:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator. You can do this by pressing Windows + X keys together and then selecting Command Prompt (Admin) 
  2. Type “netsh int ip reset”. Press enter.
  3. Close the window once the process completes and then restart your PC.

Fix 10. Manually fill in the gateway settings

You can try changing the gateway setting manually to resolve the gateway error.

The steps include:

  1. Start a command prompt as administrator by pressing Windows + X keys together and then selecting Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type “ipconfig”. Press enter and then note down the IP address, default gateway, subnet mask.
  3. Right-click on Wireless icon and choose “Open Network and sharing Center”.
  4. Right-click on Wireless Adapter Connection and select Properties.
  5. Choose Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and go to Properties.
  6. Go to “Use the following IP address” and enter the Subnet Mask, IP address and Default gateway from step 2. 
  7. Click on Apply. Press OK to save the settings.
  8. Reboot PC and check if “the default gateway is not available” error persists.

Conclusion

Facing the default gateway is not available windows 10 keeps happening is pretty tiresome and the above fixes can help resolve the issue.

If by resetting the ethernet and Wi-Fi driver does not fix the issue, then you must uninstall the McAfee anti-virus program as the anti-virus might be interfering with your system’s network settings.

If the anti-virus seems not to be the cause, then to keep it uninstalled and try other fixes like the disabling of auto-login feature or changing the frequency or channel of the wireless adapter.

Your network adapter driver could also be the reason behind the error, so try to fix that by uninstalling, updating or changing it. 

The manual configuration of TCP/IP or the default gateway might also be able to solve the issue in case the network adapter driver is not the root cause.

With the help of the above fix, you will surely be able to solve “the default gateway is not available” error.

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