How to Fix the Default Gateway Is Not Available Error in Windows

The "Default gateway is not available" error message in Windows highlights a problem with your Internet connection. It means your device cannot communicate properly with the default gateway, thus impacting your ability to go online. The error usually pops up as you're troubleshooting the network adapter. This guide provides effective solutions to help you resolve the "Default gateway is not available" error in Windows.

Good to know: performing system maintenance on your PC? Removing your password from Windows may make the process smoother.

Quick Fixes You Can Try

Before implementing the error-specific fixes listed below, try these simple solutions to see whether you can fix the "Default gateway is not available" error in Windows with minimal effort.

  • Finish running the Network Adapter troubleshooter: if you're seeing the error, you've already initiated the Network Adapter troubleshooter. Once activated, make sure you complete the process and allow the troubleshooter to scan your system for any underlying issues, then follow the on-screen instructions to resolve the Default Gateway issue. Note that in newer versions of Windows 11, the Network Adapter troubleshooter has been replaced by the Network and Internet troubleshooter.
  • Restart the network adapters: restarting the network adapters will refresh the connection between your computer and the network, clearing any temporary glitches and re-establishing communication with the gateway.
  • Check the network adapter drivers: an outdated or malfunctioning network driver can be another reason for this error. First, make sure you update your network adapter drivers to the latest version. If a recent driver update has resulted in compatibility issues with your network adapter, it may be a good idea to roll back the driver to restore the adapter's functionality.
  • Disable your antivirus and Windows Firewall temporarily: your antivirus may block a connection if it detects any suspicious activity, leading to the error under discussion. Try temporarily disabling the Windows Firewall, as well as the antivirus, to avoid getting network connections blocked on your device.
  • Reset your router: there may be a problem with your router, causing disrupted communication between the device and the network adapter. Troubleshoot your router to give it a fresh start and improve connectivity to the gateway. If the problem persists, consider performing a complete network reboot.

If none of the above methods have produced results, continue on with the following solutions that are more complex.

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1. Turn Off Automatic Login

Disabling automatic login ensures that the network on your PC starts properly during login, eliminating any connection problems. This promotes a stable connection to the gateway, enhancing the overall network performance.

Press Win + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and press Enter.

Typing "regedit" in Run box.

Navigate to the following location in the Registry Editor:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\PasswordLess\Device
Navigating to a desired path in Registry Editor.

Double-click on “DevicePasswordLessBuildVersion,” set the value to "0" under “Value data,” and press Enter.

Setting new value data for key in Registry Editor.

2. Reset Your TCP/IP Stack

Resetting TCP/IP using the netsh command is another way to fix the "Default gateway is not available" error on Windows. Doing so gives your network a fresh start, as it clears all network configuration issues and re-establishes the network connection with the gateway.

Open a Run dialog, type cmd in the box, then click “OK.”

Typing "cmd" in Run window.

Type the netsh int ip reset command in the Command Prompt window, and press Enter.

Typing command in cmd.

Wait for a few seconds until the command is processed. Do not close the Command Prompt window or shut down your PC during the processing. Then, restart your device, and the Default Gateway issue should be resolved.

FYI: learn what to do if you spot the "There are currently no power options available" message on Windows.

3. Change the Power Settings for Network Adapters

Changing Power Management settings prevents the network adapter from entering power-saving modes, ensuring a consistent connection to the gateway, and eliminating the possibility of errors showing up.

Type “Device Manager” in the search bar, and select the option in the search results.

Type Device manager in the Windows search bar.

Find the “Network adapters” drop-down, and click the arrow next to it. In the subsequent options, right-click an adapter, and select “Properties.”

Right click on your adapter and select Properties.

Switch to the “Power Management” tab, and uncheck the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” command. Click "OK."

Uncheck the option Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.

Try going online on your PC to see whether changing the power settings for network adapters has resolved the Default Gateway issue.

4. Change the Frequency of the Wireless Router

Sometimes your device will struggle with the default 5GHz frequency used by modern routers. This can lead to connectivity problems, causing the Default Gateway error.

Switching the frequency bandwidth is an easy fix. Use the IP address on a web browser to access your router's settings while connected to the router.

Switching to 2.4GHz frequency from router interface.

Navigate to the wireless network settings, and switch the frequency to 2.4GHz. Try to connect your PC to the network to check whether you have a more stable connection between your PC's network adapter and the router.

Tip: learn how to view network adapter details on Windows.

5. Prevent Windows From Turning Off the Network Adapter

Sometimes Windows itself is responsible for causing the "Default gateway is not available" error, especially if your device uses a power-saving mode. Windows can automatically put the wireless adapter to sleep to save energy, disrupting the network connection as a result. Switch to a high-performance mode, leading to a consistent connection to the gateway.

Type “Edit power plan” in the search bar, and select the option in the search results.

Typing "Edit power plan" in the search bar.

Click “Change advanced power settings" in the “Edit Plan Settings” window.

Clicking "Change advanced power settings" in Power plans.

Under “Balanced [Active],” double-click “Wireless Adapter Settings," then select “Power Saving Mode.”

Selecting "Power Saving Mode" in Advanced settings.

Select the drop-down icon next to “On battery,” and click “Maximum Performance” from the menu. Likewise, select the drop-down icon next to “Plugged in,” and select the same option.

Selecting "Maximum Performance" for various settings in Power Options window.

Restart your device to ensure the “Default gateway is not available” error is no longer manifesting on your PC.

Note: changing your power settings to "Maximum Performance" will lead to more power consumption and faster battery drainage on your laptop.

Revive Your Internet Connection

Now that you know how to fix the "Default gateway is not available" error, you can finally go back online. If you'd like to prevent some Windows apps from accessing the Internet, we have a dedicated guide that walks you through the process. If you cannot access an app, ensure that the error is not caused by the "This app has been blocked by your system administrator" error on your device.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Khizer Kaleem.

Khizer Kaleem

Khizer Kaleem is a content writer at MTE. Having more than 15 years of experience with Windows OS, he has been showing his subject expertise by writing on various technical problems that users face. The content that Khizer produces helps readers resolve their Windows-related issues.

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