Whether you use wireless or ethernet, Windows 10 systems are vulnerable to a network issue which prevents you from connecting to a network. This error is known as "Unidentified Network error," and has been around since older generations of the operating system. It can be extremely frustrating to deal with, so let's get troubleshooting.
In this article, you can learn how to fix the Unidentified Network or no internet access issue on Windows 10.
Causes of the Unidentified Network error
In this day and age, we use the internet on a daily basis. Whether you're looking up a recipe to cook for the family, or utilizing the endless amount of entertainment online, you need a stable internet connection. Issues related to this connection, such as the Unidentified Network error can come from a variety of sources.
The first step in fixing any error is identifying the correct cause. Some of the most common reasons for the Unidentified Network error are the following:
- Windows Update. While Windows 10’s automatic updates are delightful and easy to apply, there’s a possibility of something going wrong during the update process. New updates may modify key system files, which cause the Unidentified Network error to occur.
- Incorrect IP configuration. Networks are able to identify your computer by using its unique IP address. If this address is poorly configured, it can lead to a number of issues with connecting to a network and the internet.
- Your network card driver. It’s important that you keep your drivers up to date. If your network card driver is old or corrupted, it’s most likely the cause of the Unidentified Network error.
- Network settings. Similarly to your IP address, your network settings play a huge role in allowing you to connect to a network and the internet. Incorrect settings will prevent you from making a connection.
- Third-party apps. Windows 10 users have reported that various third-party applications, such as antivirus solutions, prevent them from connecting to networks.
If any of the above causes seem to have anything to do with the Unidentified Network error on your device, continue reading the next section.
As there are many different causes for this error to occur, there’s no certain way to resolve it. However, we compiled the top solutions to fix this issue on Windows 10, giving you the ability to enjoy your network connection once again.
Method 1: Turn off Flight Mode
We’ve all made a mistake with leaving a feature on and not realizing it later. Since Windows 10 supports Flight mode, there’s a possibility that you accidentally left it on, or didn’t even realize you turned it on in the first place.
- Click on the network icon in your taskbar. You can find this in the notification area in the bottom right of the screen. If the icon isn’t visible, click on the upwards arrow to see hidden items.
- Check if Flight mode is turned on. If so, click on the Flight mode icon again to disable it.
- Try reconnecting to your network.
Method 2: Run the Windows Troubleshooter
Windows 10 comes with a plethora of troubleshooters that address nearly all of your operating system’s issues. For network issues such as the Unidentified Network error, you can use the handy Network Troubleshooter. It is readily available, as it’s a built-in feature of Windows 10.
- Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen, then choose Settings. You can also use the Windows + I shortcut.
- Choose Network & Internet from the options.
- Make sure the Status tab is selected.
- Click on the Network troubleshooter.
- Wait for the troubleshooter to detect issues, then follow the on-screen instructions to fix them. It’s possible that the Network troubleshooter doesn’t identify any errors - if that’s the case, continue reading our article.
Method 3: Reboot your router and modem
If you use a router and modem to access the internet, it’s recommended you give them a proper restart to ensure it’s not causing issues with your network. When these devices are left running for a long time without any restarts, they may start to act up and make your online life a whole lot more difficult.
- Unplug your router and modem. Make sure you don’t press any of the buttons labeled “Reset” or “Restart”, as these usually mean restoring factory settings instead of restarting the device.
- Wait for at least 30 seconds. This gives your devices time to cool off and allows all connected devices to detect that the router is not available.
- Plug your modem back in. Most modems automatically power on when plugged in, but you may have to manually press the Power button.
- Wait another minute. Give your modem time to reconnect to the internet and properly authenticate your IP address and internet provider.
- Plug the router back in. Again, you might be required to power it on manually.
- Wait for a couple of minutes. Allow the router to boot up and let your devices detect it again. When everything is reconnected, test if the Unidentified Network error still exists.
Method 4: Renew your IP address and flush your DNS cache
This method is able to help you if your IP address is poorly configured. We’ll be using a few commands to release and renew your device’s current IP address, then flush any cache present related to DNS.
Note: If you’re not confident in your command skills, feel free to copy-paste any text you see written in this font. Commands can be pasted into Windows PowerShell, making it easy for you to follow the steps below.
- Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard, then select either Windows Powershell (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin).
- Input the following command: ipconfig /release
- Now, input the next command: ipconfig /renew
- When you’re done renewing your IP address, use the following command to flush any DNS cache: ipconfig /flushdns
Method 5: Update your network driver
It’s extremely important that you keep your drivers up to date by updating them regularly. An outdated network driver may lead to issues with your network such as getting the Unidentified Network error.
To learn how you can update your network driver on Windows 10, watch this quick video by Sunita Kumari:
Method 6: Temporarily disable your antivirus
With more and more antivirus apps offering network protection, it’s possible that they interfere with your settings and mess something up. The easiest way of testing this is temporarily disabling any third-party antivirus software.
Note: Make sure you turn on Windows Defender while operating your system without a third-party antivirus. It’s Windows 10’s integrated security solution that doesn’t cause issues and provides basic protection against most threats.
- Right-click on an empty space in your taskbar and choose Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Switch to the Start-up tab at the top of the window.
- Locate your antivirus application and select it by clicking on it once.
- Click on the Disable button now visible in the bottom-right of the window. This will disable the application from launching when you start your device.
- Restart your computer and attempt connecting to your network again.
After you confirm whether or not your antivirus app interferes with your network connection, you can enable it again by following the same steps. When you select your disabled antivirus, the button will change to Enable.
If your current antivirus caused the issue, we recommend contacting customer service or looking for a different antivirus solution.
We hope this guide was able to help you resolve the "Unidentified Network" error on Windows 10. Enjoy surfing the internet without any disruptions! If you’re in need of information about Microsoft Windows, need help with troubleshooting, or want to learn more about your operating system, check out our other articles here.
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