Nov 11

Yesterday I was helping a friend with his computer after a clean install of Windows 7.  After each reboot, the Network and Sharing Center showed two active networks: the Work network – a wired LAN connection which was supposed to be listed – and an Unidentified Public network, which was not. 

Unidentified Network in Windows 7

The result of having these two active networks was limited access, i.e. no Internet connection.

To temporarily resolve the problem, I could disable and re-enable the LAN card after each reboot in the Device Manager, which would cause the unidentified network disappear and the Internet connection to be restored.  But the problem reappeared after each reboot.

The cause in my friend’s case (I discovered after half an hour of Google-aided research) was a secondary Default Gateway value of, which was showing up in the IPCONFIG readout before each re-enabling of the LAN card. I do not know the cause of this error, but it appears many users are reporting experiencing this problem in Windows 7 with several types of LAN cards and other networking hardware.

I was able to correct the problem on his Windows 7 PC with the following solution:

Network Connection Properties You must manually enter the Default Gateway in your Windows 7 Network Adapter’s IPv4 settings.  The gateway is the IP address of your router. If you don’t know your router’s IP address, you can find it listed under Default gateway by opening the Command Prompt (Start > All Programs > Accessories) and typing IPCONFIG then pressing Enter.  One listing may report the Gateway as; ignore this value and look for the one with four sets of numbers separated by periods. This will be something like  Write this number down; you’ll need it later.

Open the Network and Sharing Center by right-clicking on the network icon in the System Tray at the lower right-hand corner of your screen.  Once there, click Change Adapter Settings on the left side of the window.

This will take you to a listing of your installed network adapters.  Locate the adapter you’re using, right-click it and select Properties.  In the Connection Properties window, select the Internet Protocol Version 4 line (shown above) and click the Properties button below.

Once in Properties, click the Advanced button, and use the Add feature under Default gateways to add your router’s IP address.  Once entered, click OK and/or Close until you’re out of the network configuration windows.

Reboot your PC.

The problem should now be resolved.


Other Solutions

You might also want to try updating your network hardware drivers. Some have reported that by updating the driver for their LAN card or Wi-Fi adapter that the problem was resolved – and it’s always a good idea to install the latest drivers for your computer’s hardware. Also check to see if your router (if you have one) is running the most up-to-date firmware (the router manufacturer’s web site is the best place to start).


Some installed software may also be the culprit.  Adobe CS3 applications, along with some McAfee and Norton internet security software suites have been known to cause this networking issue.


Still No Fix?

If you’re experiencing this problem and no solution shown above works for you, please check the comments section below for other users’ suggestions.  Many of them are excellent. 

If you’d like to ask a question directly via email, or have a comment on this post, please feel free to email me.

246 Responses to “Windows 7 Unidentified Network, Limited Access, No Internet Connection Problem Resolved”

  1. HATIM Says:

    andrew hewwit post no 41….works for me…
    i have the same problem as anyone does.and it was because i am messing with my internet setting for some isp hack;)
    last night this problem occured and i had to troubleshoot it and windows find that the DHCP was not enabled,then windows fixed it and problem is gone,today it happened again because of the same reason. so i tried my earlier fix method but windows could not able to find the problem. after some searching on internet i came here and started trying the methods given above. none worked but post 41,works like a charm….so thank you so much andrew hewwit for this useful post and also to others whom trying to fixing that for people…i really appreciate it and wasalam o alaikum… ALLAH HAFIZ

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  3. tous nos vpn Says:

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  4. Zach Says:

    63 saved my morning. I hate how it fails and I have to automatically reinstall a wireless driver. Come on, HP!

    Thanks so much for all the help!

  5. Unidentified Network? HELP! - Page 2 Says:

    […] a few other possible causes for this problem, some of which are covered in the link below. Windows 7 Unidentified Network, Limited Access, No Internet Connection Problem Resolved   My System Specs You need to have JavaScript enabled so that you can use this […]

  6. Networking Problems (Unidentified Network) Says:

    […] problem are covered in the link below, there is also good info in the comments section in the link. Windows 7 Unidentified Network, Limited Access, No Internet Connection Problem Resolved   My System Specs You need to have JavaScript enabled so that you can use this […]

  7. jacqueline Says:

    Thanks so much! 24 worked for me!

  8. jermain Says:

    if you try everything and it doesn’t work, just change the router. i was having the same problem and i tried everything that was said and none work, the only other thing i could think of is changing the router and that worked for me.

  9. Fabrizio Says:

    Very helpfull, I had no solution. With your tip now it works.
    Thank you.
    MacBook Pro, Win7, nVidia network adapter.

  10. Betsy Says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I had to uninstall Avast and then it wouldn’t work again. I spent hours trying other things and am so happy I found this solution!


  11. Betsy Says:

    OH! It also could have been that when I got to the properties screen shown above, there was also a box checked for AVAST! so I unchecked that as well and now it’s working. But I never would have found that without finding this page!

    Thanks 😀

  12. Betsy Says:

    Thank you! 🙂 Manually entering the IP address of the router worked to get me reconnected to my home network (after trying a thousand other “fixes” to no avail!)

  13. Value Says:

    Try this: Uncheck Automatic metrics value and for Local Area Connection put there 4230 and for Wireless 8370. This has worked for 5 different pc’s and for 5 different broadbands.

  14. Internet Connection Sharing - 'Unidentified Network' Says:

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  15. geo Says:

    I tried all the fixes above, I just have windows 7 installed and what I did in order to use DHCP ip address without losing the default gateway was to add the default gateway in the advance tab of the adapter…It works fine.
    Steps: Open Network and Sharing Center–> Local Area Connection—–
    —->Properties—>Internet Protocol IPv4—>Properties Tab—>Advance Tab——->Default gateway add Tab.
    Add your gateway and you are good to go….

  16. scott Says:

    @Lee–this is exactly what was causing my problem. Thanks for the link to that article. Without it, i’d have never solved this annoying problem!!

  17. Sarrie Says:

    I follow the no 8 but it doesnt work and the medsage shows like that
    “Window IP configuration
    An error occured while renewing interface Wireless Network Connection : unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out .
    No operation can be performed on Local Area Connection while it has its media disconnected .
    An error occured while releasing interface Loopback Pseudo-Interface 1: the systen cannot find the file specified. ”

    What does that mean and what can I do with it 🙁 Thanks a lot 🙁

  18. 'Unidentifed Network' Very limited connection. Says:

    […] properties. Below that are many helpful comments with more possible solutions for this problem. Windows 7 Unidentified Network, Limited Access, No Internet Connection Problem Resolved   My System Specs You need to have JavaScript enabled so that you can use this […]

  19. Thankful Says:

    #24 comment seemed to work with the correct IP address – THANK YOU!

  20. WiFi doesn't have a valid IP configuration on Windows8 Says:

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  21. Solved Default Gateway is not available Says:

    […] exactly as yours. Try entering the gateway IP manually per the directions in the following link. Windows 7 Unidentified Network, Limited Access, No Internet Connection Problem Resolved   My System Specs You need to have JavaScript enabled so that you can use this […]

  22. just me Says:


    setting up the default gateway and renewing my address by ipconfig worked nice 🙂

  23. Lee Hall Says:

    Hollys Comment on changeing the Ip to manuel and
    setting the ip address
    subnet mask to
    default gateway:

    DNS primary
    DNS secondary

    saved my ass and made me look pretty good to boot Thanks Holly!!!

  24. Maya Says:

    So many thanks for all the help on this forum. Uninstalling McAfee worked instantly!

  25. Tina B. Says:

    We couldn’t get our brand new Dell laptop with Windows 7 to connect to the wireless router even though other devices in the house were using it. It would give us “limited access” or “no access”. Sometimes it recognized it as our Home Network and other times it only told us Unrecognized Public Network. I tried everything on here and nothing worked. Reset the router and modem multiple times, put in the static IP addresses (Holly’s #24), re-installed the wireless adapter, removed Mcafee trial, etc. Disabled the IPv6 wireless thing, etc. Finally, I plugged my other laptop into the router, downloaded and installed the most up to date firmware. Then, went to the new laptop and set up a “new network” for the router (which needed to be set up fresh after installing the new firmware). Finally! That worked! I kept the static IP addresses, so not sure if that’s having an effect as well. But just happy that it is finally working.

  26. Default gateway not available - Page 3 Says:

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  27. twister84 Says:

    Hi guys I had the same problems after a frustrating few days and lots of google help (how i found this) someone mentions a/v I disabled AVG 2014 and all works fine now

  28. Kia Says:

    I tried everything I could and finally followed post 191 and REMOVED McAffee. This worked!

    This has been a fantastic blog, full of kind guidance and suggestions.

    I tried and tried, did everything suggested on this website and others, YouTube, everything I could do AFTER I contacted DELL and they kept me on the phone long enough to re-register my computer, log my issues, get my email address and inform me that they could help me one time for $100 or I could purchase a warranty pack for $200.
    Very grateful to have found this blog!

  29. William Says:

    My friend brought me her laptop because it would connect to some networks and not to others.

    After running through driver updates, sfc /scannow, fighting the configuration, installing gpedit.msc and changing all networks to private, hard drive tests, I finally saw enough mentions of McAfee on this page to try disabling it. Disabled it, boom. Connected. Worked after a standyb, rebooting

    The tell for me that something else was messing with my settings was that while I changed things in group policy allowing users to change network types and names and icons, it kept blocking me. Also, configuring a static IP or static DNS ( worked … until standby.
    I thought it might be a failing hard drive, as I’ve seen settings appear to change themselves back, when really they never wrote properly to the drive in the first place, but the suggestions here seem to be the fix.
    Just came back up from a full shutdown and it’s connected.

    Thank you! And SCREW YOU McAFEE!

  30. Mjaycee Says:

    Thank you so much!!! Was going nuts trying to fix this….till I found this blog. Thanks all of you! (I tried the static IP config and disabled McAfee…that combo worked for me!)

  31. James Says:

    I changed my network settings to static addresses that were legitimate for my network. Then deleted the DHCP entry on the DHCP server that had been associated to my troubled pc. Then changed it back to AUTO IP’s and DNS.

  32. Dylan Says:

    THANK YOU! Ages since ive gotten it to work

  33. Sunil George Says:

    @24, you saved my day. Thanks

  34. EHC007 Says:

    I’ve tried manually setting the IP address, etc., but my issue is that the IPv4 address and default gateway is completely different from what’s been suggested:
    Subnet mask:
    Default gateway:

    I tried putting in what was suggested (, et al), but that didn’t resolve the problem. Also, it didn’t appear that there was any secondary defaul gateway of (at least, not when I put IPCONFIG in Command Prompt). I’m not terribly tech-savvy, and I’ve reached the limit of my knowledge and comprehension. Any suggestions?

  35. Bo Says:

    Done all of this.. system restore. default gateway doesn’t even show up in IPCONFIG.. no mcafee, no bonjour. still no fix. sigh):

  36. Laura Says:

    Such a frustrating thing! I tried many fixes, but #63 is what worked for me!!! Thank you!

  37. Matmomoftwo Says:

    #24 you are a genius! It worked!

  38. Lazar Says:

    The original post was made over 5 year ago but it is still very relevant! The solution with setting default and IP manually worked for a while. After I lost connection next time and hit “Troubleshoot problems”, Windows network diagnostics reset wireless adapter, which delets all manual settings and restores their automatic defaults.

  39. Pavel Says:

    First time in my life i leave a feedback on something. I will be honest here: THIS WORKED FOR ME! I am so pleased that i could help my wifes parents and help them out with the issue. Big thanks!

  40. Bocty Says:

    Tried everything that was suggested here. Finally taken a look at my router settings and changed under wireless settings – encription type from AES (default) to Automatic. finaly got it to work

  41. Peter Says:

    Hello Guys,
    what is usualy working for me :o) if i have issue with the static IP.
    An example: The default gateway
    I have 2 options:

    1. Set up router (if it is possible by feature in the router) for assigning my default “static” IP based on the MAC address of the requested PC….this is working for me always

    2.Set up the IP range in the router excluding of IPs which needs to be static….means if i am using internal network 192.168.1.X I will set IP range (means 50 hosts are able to have the IP by DHCP).
    And I am able now to set up any of the IP from the range as the static in the Windows
    Woala ;o)

  42. Teddy Says:

    As others have mentioned, in some cases this can be caused by a bug with Adobe CS3, which causes an extra network connection to appear. This seems to have been the issue in my case. I’m using Windows 7. To fix:

    Run MsConfig

    Under the Services tab uncheck the service called “##Id_String1.6844[… and then a bunch of numbers]” by Apple

    Reboot system, and voila.

  43. Diana Says:

    Hi all nothing seems to work I tried everything.

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  45. Debbie Says:

    #63 worked for me, after trying all the previous things posted !! thank you very much and it was so easy

  46. Matt Says:

    Well I have to say that manually entering in the default gateway is effectively ‘hard coding’ a solution, not solving the root cause of the problem. I can see that approach causing issues for people who connect to a variety of wifi networks on their laptop as they might have a different default gateway.

    I had this problem and I solved it. Was simple really and I got the clue from another page about the issue with people who said that the problem seemed to arise when they got a new router.

    I didn’t get a new router, I got a new (second hand) laptop as my old one was dying. The new one had a gigabit ethernet adapter, which I’ve noticed is a common thread in other posts / discussions on this issue. Some had issues with a Toshiba, others with an HP. Mine is an acer. All of us have gigabit ethernet adapter.

    I solved my problem by plugging a wifi router into my modem and connecting to that network instead.

    So the reason so many people have problems and no definitive solution is given in many cases is because the way some wifi routers work probably doesn’t keep the gigabit happily connected all the time. The symptom is unstable connection. I would say that the router’s technology is more to blame than the gigabit wifi hardware in the laptop since the latter holds connections perfectly fine on other networks.

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