It is generally not recommended to reset network settings in Windows 10 because doing so can erase any changes you made to the settings. However, if you are having problems connecting to your network, then the only way to troubleshoot your connection issues is to reset your network devices to their defaults.
You can do this using the Windows built-in network reset tool found in the Windows Settings menu. This will reset your network devices as well as other essential components required for network connectivity, such as your TCP / IP stack. You can also change or reset network settings using Windows PowerShell.
Troubleshoot Windows 10 Networking Issues
Before resetting your network settings for Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet devices, you might find that using the built-in Windows troubleshooter can fix common network problems.
This can often be a less drastic method for solving problems with the current network settings. For example, a common problem is an unavailable DNS server that prevents websites from loading. The troubleshooter will check for such problems and, if possible, solve them automatically or help you solve them yourself.
- To use the Windows troubleshooter, you need to open the Windows settings menu. To do this, right-click the Windows Start menu and select Settings.
- From the Windows Settings menu, click Update & Security> Troubleshoot. This will take you to the Windows troubleshooter.
- Several troubleshooting tools are available for your network connections. For example, if you have problems connecting to the Internet, select the Internet Connection option from the Troubleshoot menu. If you are unable to connect to other local devices, click Incoming Connections. To troubleshoot your WiFi and Ethernet adapters in general, click Network Adapters instead.
- Click Run the troubleshooter. This will download a troubleshooter that will start checking your adapters and active connections for problems.
- In the Troubleshoot window, Windows will start scanning your devices and network configurations. If you have selected network adapters, you will need to select the adapter you want to check, or click All Network Adapters to check all your devices at once. Click Next to continue.
- This will launch the troubleshooter, so wait a few seconds for Windows to fully test your adapters, connections, and network configuration. If it finds any problems, they will be presented at the end for you to fix, or they will be fixed automatically. Select “Try this repair as an administrator” option if you are prompted for a fix that Windows can automatically perform.
- If the troubleshooter cannot find any problems, it will tell you at the end that it cannot fix the problem. Click the View Details button to view the full test report to help you identify the problem yourself, or click Close to close the tool.
While the Windows troubleshooter can fix common problems with your network devices, it’s not a miracle from potential configuration conflicts or disconnected connections. If you are still having problems, you need to learn how to reset network settings in Windows 10 by following these steps.
Use Windows Settings to Reset Network Settings in Windows 10
Like the Windows troubleshooter, Microsoft includes a standalone network reset tool in the Windows Settings menu. This will reset your network adapters and other network settings and protocols, such as the TCP / IP stack, which is required in order for your computer to connect to other devices.
If you have made any changes to the network configuration, you will need to restore them after resetting the devices. However, before you do this, you must make sure that the changes you make are not causing any network problems or conflicts, such as an IP conflict on your network.
- To reset network settings in Windows 10, right-click the Start menu and select the Settings option.
- In the Windows Settings window, click Network & Internet> Status.
- Click the Network Reset option in the Status menu to begin the network reset process.
- An explanation of the process will appear in the Network Reset menu, explaining that Windows will reset your devices and network settings. Click “Reset Now” to start resetting your devices.
- On the Network Reset pop-up window, click Yes to confirm and start the process.
At this point, Windows will start resetting your network devices and configuration. Once this is complete, your computer will reboot to make sure your adapters are completely reset and ready to be reused afterwards.
Use Windows PowerShell to run advanced network settings tools
A hard network reset using the Windows Settings tool will clean the tablet and reset your adapters and connections to their default configuration. You can further tweak the settings or reset other parts of the configuration as needed using Windows PowerShell.
- To start a PowerShell terminal window with administrative access, right-click the Windows Start Menu icon and click Windows PowerShell (Admin).
There are several network commands that you can run in a PowerShell window to fix or reset network devices and settings. These include:
- Clear-DnsClientCache – This will reset your current DNS cache.
- Get-NetAdapter – will show a list of available network adapters on your device.
- Disable-NetAdapter -name “name” – This will disable the network adapter, replacing “name” with the name of the adapter you selected (found with Get-NetAdapter).
- Enable-NetAdapter -name “name” – This will enable the network adapter. This command can follow the issued Disable-NetAdapter command to restart the network device.
- ipconfig / release – This will release your current IP address
- ipconfig / refresh – This will refresh your IP address upon release.
- netsh winsock reset – Resets the Winsock settings on your PC (which are used to help applications and other services on your Windows PC to communicate over the network).
- netsh int ip reset – will reset your PC’s TCP / IP stack (the main components used to work on a Windows network).
- netcfg -d – will remove all current network devices, their active connections and configurations. This is the last option, similar to the above Windows settings method for resetting network configuration shown above and after that it will require a PC restart.
To run any of these commands, type them into a PowerShell window and press Enter. This ensures that the requested information or action (such as disabling the network adapter or flushing the DNS cache) is performed.
Although a reboot is usually required only for the netcfg -d command, rebooting the computer after running several commands in succession can help ensure that the changes are successful.
Windows 10 Network Management
Most users solve common network problems by using the network reset tool in the Windows settings menu. However, if you’re still having connectivity issues, you might find that the Windows troubleshooter can help first. If the device is new, you may need to update the drivers first to get it working.
You may find that using a VPN can cause network conflicts on your Windows PC. If so, uninstalling and reinstalling the VPN service might fix the problem, but if all else fails, reset your network devices to clear configuration or device conflicts in your network settings.