Limited Access Or Connectivity

How To Fix Limited Access, Limited Connectivity Or No Internet Access Problem

Sometimes when users are setting a network or using your Windows computer connected to a network they get an error message saying that a computer is connected to a particular network with limited access, or limited connectivity. Usually when you get this error you are unable to access the internet, however, limited means that you still can access locally shared files and folders. This error can occur in various forms, like limited access, no internet access, limited or no connectivity.

Many users reported that this problem occurred during or after Windows update process. Suddenly their network connectivity gets limited and they are unable to access the internet the way they used to. However, this does not always mean that there is no internet connection at all. In many cases the internet connection is stable and you can still use it with other devices without any problems. Anyway, this does not make this problem any less frustrating if you want to use your computer and not some other device in order to be able to access the internet. Good news is that there are several different ways to solve this problem. In order to fix it you may need to try to reset the TCP/IP, re-enable your network adapter, restart your router or modem, change the DNS server address, temporarily disable your installed antivirus software or firewall, run the Windows troubleshooter and some other things. In this guide we are going to thoroughly describe every method by providing detailed descriptions and screenshots. Read the guide below and try out our described methods one by one and see if any of them solve this limited connectivity (limited access) problem for you.

limited connectivity

Table of Contents:

Restart Modem Or Router

The first thing we recommend you to try out is to restart your router or modem. Unplug your modem (or router) from the power plug and leave it unplugged for a couple of minutes. Then plug your router (or modem) in again and wait until it finishes the startup (self test) process. Plug your router or modem into a power source again and see if you are now able to connect to the internet without any limitations.

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Re-enable Your Networking Device

Another simple method that could possibly solve this problem is disabling your networking device (network adapter) and then enabling it back again. To do so you need to open Device Manager first. Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting "Device Manager" result from the contextual menu or type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result.

re-enable your networking device step 1

In Device Manager you will see a list of devices connected to your computer. Expand the "Network adapters" category and right-click your networking device. Select "Disable device" option from the contextual menu. You will be asked if you really want to disable it, because disabling it will cause it to stop functioning. Click "Yes". Restart your computer and enable it again by following previously described steps and select "Enable device" when right-clicked your networking device. See if this solves the problem, if not, then proceed to the next method.

re-enable your networking device step 2

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Run Windows Troubleshooter

Another simple thing you might want to try out is to run Windows Network Adapter troubleshooter. Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. To start Blue Screen troubleshooter, go to Settings and type "troubleshoot", select "Troubleshoot" from the list.

run windows troubleshooter step 1

Now find the "Network Adapter" troubleshooter under Find and fix other problems, select it and click "Run the troubleshooter" button. It will start looking for problems related to wireless and other network adapters. Additionally we recommend you to try to run the Internet Connections troubleshooter as well.

run windows troubleshooter step 2

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Reset TCP/IP Stack

To reset network settings you will need to execute several commands using Command Prompt, this method includes entering and executing "netsh" commands. Netsh is a command-line scripting utility that allows you to, either locally or remotely, display or modify the network configuration of a computer that is currently running. Netsh also provides a scripting feature that allows you to run a group of commands in batch mode against a specified computer. The commands require an elevated Command Prompt opened with administrator privileges. To open elevated Command Prompt, type "command prompt" in Search and right-click on the "Command Prompt" result. Choose "Run as administrator" to run it with administrative privileges. When you select "Run as administrator", a User Account Control prompt will appear asking if you allow the Command Prompt to make changes to your computer. Click "Yes".

reset tcp ip stack step 1

Now type these commands and press Enter after each:

netsh int ip reset C:\logreset.txt
netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled

reset tcp ip stack step 2

Restart your computer and see if you are still having problems with limited access or connectivity.

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Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus

It is possible that your antivirus (anti-malware) software is blocking the access to the internet and that is why the limited connectivity or limited access problem occurs. To make sure that the installed third-party antivirus software is not the culprit of this problem we recommend you to try to temporarily disable it and check if the problem still persists. If disabling (or uninstalling) your antivirus actually helps, then we recommend you to switch to another antivirus software or to reinstall the currently installed one. If you are not sure how to disable your antivirus, then read this guide. There you will find instructions on how to disable some of the most popular antivirus programs.

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Change DNS

You might want to try to change the DNS address to Google Public DNS and see if this solves the problem. Google's Public DNS, a free alternative Domain Name System (DNS) service offered to Internet users around the world. The public DNS service and servers are maintained and owned by Google. It functions as a recursive name server providing domain name resolution for any host on the Internet. We recommend to use Google DNS for faster and secure connection. You will have to change the DNS manually, and we are going to show you how.

To change your DNS server to Google's DNS server, go to your Network Connections settings. Right-click the Start menu and select "Network Connections", or go to Settings and click "Network & Internet".

change dns step 1

In the Network & Internet settings window, select your connection type (in our case, "Ethernet") on the left pane and then click "Change adapter options" on the right pane.

change dns step 2

Right-click on your connection and select "Properties" from the drop-down menu.

change dns step 3

Select "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" and click "Properties".

change dns step 4

In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window, select "Use the following DNS server addresses", enter as the "Preferred DNS server" and as the "Alternate DNS server". Click "OK" to save changes. Restart your computer and see if you are now able to connect to the internet without any limitations.

change dns step 5

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Reset Network Configuration

This method includes running some other netsh sub-commands via Command Prompt launched as administrator. In this method we are going to show you how to reset winsock and TCP/IP stack using a little bit different commands than we used previously. Run Command Prompt ad administrator again and type the following commands (do not forget to press Enter after each command):

netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log

reset network configuration

Restart your computer and see if executing these two commands solved the problem.

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Adjust Power Management Options

To adjust Power Management settings you will need to open Device Manager once again and expand the "Network adapters" section. Right-click the network adapter and select "Properties" from the contextual menu (or simply double-click it).

adjust power management settings step 1

In the network adapter properties window, find and click the "Power Management" tab and ensure that the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option is disabled.

adjust power management settings step 2

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Roll Back Network Adapter Driver

Roll Back Driver is a Windows Device Manager feature that is available in all versions of Windows. This feature enables you to uninstall the currently-installed driver of a hardware device and then install the previously-installed driver. This feature is typically used when latest or newer drivers are not working properly. The latest, updated drivers are often better than previous versions and include certain improvements, but sometimes they can actually cause problems rather than fix them. The Roll Back Driver feature enables you to simply uninstall the current driver and replace it with the previous version within a few mouse clicks. If you started experiencing this limited connectivity problem after Windows update, then it is possible that Windows automatically updates your Network adapter driver and it is not working properly. In order to roll back drivers, go to Device Manager again (type "device manager" in Search and click the Device Manager result), expand the Network adapters category and right-click your network adapter. Select "Properties" from the contextual menu.

roll back network adapter driver step 1

Now, select the "Driver" tab, click the "Roll Back Driver" button, and follow the instructions. If the button is greyed-out and you are not able to click it, a previous driver version has not been installed for this device. If you were able to roll back this driver, then restart your computer and see if you are still unable to connect to the internet without any connectivity limitations.

roll back network adapter driver step 2

That's it, we hope that one of the methods solved this limited connectivity or access problem for you and you are now able to connect to the internet without any problems. However, if none of the methods helped, then you may need to check if there is no problem with the cables and if they are connected properly on both ends. And, if there is another method that solved this problem for you and we have not mentioned it in our guide - do not hesitate to share it with us and with the others by leaving a comment in our comment section below.

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Video Showing How To Fix Limited Access Or Connectivity Problem:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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