14 Fixes For Unidentified Network Error on Windows 10

The internet is one of the most important aspects of our lives today. This marvelous phenomenon is responsible for making the world a smaller place. But there can be problems related to your network and this can make things difficult. 

One such problem is the Unidentified network issue, which can come upon any computer that can be connected to the internet. This is not something you have to worry about, because we have got you covered.

What does Unidentified Network mean?

If you have the Unidentified Network error on your computer, you will notice a small yellow-colored exclamation mark over the network icon. When the pointer is moved over the network icon, you will see a small “No network access” note appear. This means that you will not be able to use your network to gain internet access even when you have proper, functional connectivity. 

This issue can occur on your system, irrespective of whether you are connected to a wireless connection or a Local Area Network (LAN).

Reasons the Ethernet Unidentified Network Problem occurs on Windows 10

 The main reason that this problem occurs on your computer has a wrong IP configuration or a different network setting. Other things can cause an Unidentified Network error on your Windows 10 PC.

These are factors that can bring up this error on your computer:

  1. Third-party Applications – Applications like Antivirus programs can cause a lot of problems regarding the internet. They might create a firewall that blocks the internet. 
  2. Network Adapter driver – There may be some problems with the drivers that are responsible for the networking section of the computer. Even the perfectly functioning drivers may not have the needed features to accommodate the network that is provided to you by the service provider.
  3. Wrong IP address Configuration – If the IP address on your computer is wrong, this can bring up a whole new batch of problems. 
  4. Modified Network Settings – A small change in your network settings configuration can cause some network problems like the unidentified network issue.
  5. Windows Updates – Some Windows updates may be beneficial in some ways but they can affect your system files, the modification of which can give birth to Unidentified Network connectivity issues.

Methods to Fix Unidentified Network issue on Windows 10

  1. Update your Network Adapter Drivers
  2. Diagnose the network
  3. Troubleshoot the network
  4. Switch off Airplane mode
  5. Disable Antivirus Software temporarily
  6. Disable Fast Startup
  7. Change the network DNS address
  8. Allot a static IP address for your device
  9. Run specific Command Prompt commands
  10. Get a Different Ethernet Cable
  11. Try using an External Network Adapter
  12. Reboot the modem and router
  13. Update the System Router’s firmware
  14. Disable Virtual Network Adapters on your system
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Fixing the No Internet issue on Windows

Update your Network Adapter drivers

The Network Adapter drivers can be troublesome if they aren’t updated to the most recent version. You can update these drivers through the Device Manager on your computer. 

Skip this method if you already have an updated driver software

These are your steps to update a network driver:

  1. Search for Device Manager in your search bar on the taskbar. Under the results, select Device Manager
  2. Locate the Network Adapters section and click on it to expand. 
The Network Adapters on a Ethernet connected laptop
  1. Find the Network driver which has to be updated. There will be a number of network card drivers. You will have to find out yours.
  2. Double-click on it. The driver properties window pops up.
  3. Note the driver version you have and see if there is a newer version than the one you have. 
  4. Click on the Update Driver button and follow the instructions in the update wizard.
A Network Adapter properties window
  1. You will have to choose if you want to install an existing update file or download one from the internet.

Diagnose the network

Windows has a built-in network troubleshooter which can be used to find network connection issues. 

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon or press Windows key + X and select the Network Connections option.
Network Connections option in the Quick Link menu
  1. A chart of all the adapters that you have been connected to appears. Right-click on your active connection and choose the Diagnose option. 
The Diagnose network option
  1. Follow the instructions that come up on the diagnostic page. This will detect your problem and fix most of them on its own.

Troubleshoot the Network

There are three different troubleshooters dedicated to internet issues.

Search for it, select Command Prompt from the results and run the commands depending on the issues:

Internet Connections Troubleshooter

msdt.exe -id NetworkDiagnosticsWeb
The Internet Connections troubleshooter window

Incoming Connections Troubleshooter

msdt.exe -id NetworkDiagnosticsInbound
The Incoming Connections Troubleshooter window

Network Adapter Troubleshooter

msdt.exe -id NetworkDiagnosticsNetworkAdapter
The Network Adapter Troubleshooter window

Switch off Airplane mode

The Airplane mode is placed on every device with access to any form of a wireless network. Enabling this will disconnect your device from all the networks it is connected to. 

There are three ways for you to disable the Airplane mode:

  1. Windows Settings – Press the Windows key on your keyboard or click on the Windows icon to bring up the Start menu. Click on the gear icon on the left to open the System Settings. Go into Network and Internet, choose Flight mode, and click on this toggle switch to turn it off.
  2. Network Icon – You will be able to see your network symbol on the right side of your taskbar. It may even be inside the task tray. You just have to click on it and press the Airplane mode option with your pointer. 
  3. Notification Panel – The small, square speech bubble at the right-most end of your taskbar is the notification tray. Clicking on it will show you your notifications and also a few features you can quickly enable or disable. Click on Airplane Mode from this to activate or deactivate it. 

Disable Antivirus software temporarily

It is highly likely for your Windows firewall or your antivirus program is blocking the network connection to your PC. Disabling this for a short while might help you get the internet back. 

The disabling-the-antivirus solution is a risky method to fix as antimalware software is quite essential to any computer. This risk is worth taking because it will help you narrow out the network connections issue on your computer. 

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Open the task tray and you will see your antivirus program’s icon in it if it is running in the background. Right-click on the icon and you should be able to disable it or quit it for the time being. If this is not available, you can open the application and put it to sleep for a specific duration. 

Disable Fast Startup

The Fast Startup feature is responsible for your computer to boot up faster than usual. This will speed your startup process but this can affect the network connection.

This is how you turn off the Fast Startup feature in your system:

  1. Type in Power Options in the search bar and open the best match. You will be taken to the Power Options in the Control Panel. 
  2. On the left panel, press the Choose what the power button does link.
The Power Options window in the Control Panel
  1. Remove the check from the Turn on fast startup checkbox.
The Turn on fast startup checkbox
  1. Turn your computer off and boot it back up after a minute.

Change the Network DNS Address

A DNS is a feature that translates human language to machine language for computer interpretation over the internet.

We have an article dedicated to How to change DNS settings on your PC running Windows 10

There are quite a number of ways to change the DNS server addresses in Windows 10. The following is the easiest way to change it on your PC.

  1. Search for the Control Panel in the search bar and open the first result.    
  2. Under the Network and Internet section, open the Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Press the Change Adapter Settings menu, from the left panel menus. You will be able to see all the network adapters that were connected to your device.
  4. Double-click on the network which is currently active.
  5. Select the Properties button, at the bottom. 
  6. Under the Networking tab, click on the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) check box. Check the Use the following DNS server address box and type in the preferred DNS server and the alternate.   
  7. Click Ok. Select Close when you are done.

You can use the following DNS server addresses: 

Three of the best open DNS server addresses

Allot a static IP address for your device

A Static IP address is an IP address that does not change until the device stops working. This is how you can change the Static IP when your router fails or if the service provider does not provide you a dynamic IP:

  1. Go to the Windows Control Panel. On the other hand, you can press Windows + X to bring up the Quick Link menu, where you can choose Network Connections
  2. Double-click on the Network and Internet option.
The Network and Internet settings in the Control Panel
  1. Go into the Network and Sharing Center.
The Network and Sharing Center option
  1. Choose Change adapter settings from the left panel.
  1. Open the currently active connection and choose Properties.
The Ethernet Status window with the Properties button
  1. Check the Internet Protocol Version 4 checkbox and open it.
The Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) checkbox
  1. Click on the radio button that says “Use the following IP address” and enter the IP address you want.
The TCP/IPv4 properties window with the IP address radio box
  1. Click Ok when you are done.

Run specific Command Prompt commands

Some commands can be run to fix issues with your internet connection through Command Prompt. 

You have to type Command Prompt in the search bar and select Run as Administrator under the best match results.

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Run the following commands, in the Command Prompt window, one at a time, and hit enter after each time:

Renewing the IP address

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

Resetting the Winsock

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset

Flushing the DNS Cache

ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns

Resetting the TCP/IP

netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
netsh int tcp show global

Get a different Ethernet cable

There are chances that your ethernet cable is damaged. This may not provide you internet from the modem. If you have an old cable, it can cause trouble for you. Changing this can help you narrow down the network issues. 

Try using an external Network Adapter

The addition of an external adapter may resolve this issue on your computer. If the internal adapter had stopped working, the external one can take over. 

This method will help you if there are issues with the adapter.

A wired External network adapter for the LAN cable

Reboot the modem and router

Restarting the modem can solve a lot of network-related problems. You just have to find the reset button which is usually behind the router. Use an object with a small point, like a toothpick or a pin, and use it to push the small button in. 

The Reset button behind a modem

Alternatively, you can turn the modem switch off and back on again, after 30 seconds. 

This will reset your wireless network connection and the LAN.

Update your System Router’s Firmware

Old router firmware can cause some problems. Most routers have an interface that can be used to update the firmware. 

If it does not, you can contact the router manufacturer’s customer care for information. 

Disable Virtual Network Adapters on your System

Virtual Adapters are digital adapters that do not require hardware to get devices connected to a network. 

These are the steps to disable them on a Windows 10 PC:

  1. Press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run utility. 
  2. Type in devmgmt.msc and press Enter key to bring up the Device Manager.
The Run utility with the command for the Device Manager
  1. Under the Network Adapters section, see if you have any virtual adapters. 
  2. Right-click on them and select Disable device
The Disable device option for network adapters

These are the methods that you can employ to solve this issue.

We hope you realize that this issue is not harmful but you may need to fix this to avoid frustration and a short span of time without the internet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix ethernet unidentified network?

You can edit your DNS servers, set up a Static IP, check your data cable, run the network troubleshooter, update your ethernet driver or WiFi adapter or disable the fast startup feature on your Windows 10 PC to fix this issue. 

What does it mean when it says unidentified network?

An Unidentified Network on a computer means that it is not connected to a wifi network or LAN that it isn’t familiar with. This may not give you access to the internet. 

How do I fix unidentified network on Windows 10?

Updating the network card, changing the ethernet cable, running a network troubleshooting, resetting the modem are steps you can take to fix the unidentified network problem on Windows 10 PCs.

What is connected to unknown network?

Being connected to an unknown network means that you have an incorrect IP configuration, outdated network card, old network adapter driver, or a firewall on your Windows 10 computer.

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