As far as internet connections are concerned, Ethernet is by far the best way to connect. It provides low latency (transfer speeds), is stable and dependable, and is easy to set up and maintain. Best of all, it’s typically faster than WiFi, which makes it perfect for households that consume a lot of multimedia content or have several devices connected at once.
However, the downside to Ethernet is that when it doesn’t work properly, it feels like a nightmare to troubleshoot because so many factors could be causing the error message. In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to address the confusion and frustration of the “No Internet” Windows Status Message that pops up alongside the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” issue.
If you’re having this issue but with your WiFi instead, please visit our guide on WiFi Connected But No Internet: Here’s How to Solve It Easily.
What Is The “No Internet” Windows Status Message?
The “No Internet” Status Message is a Windows-specific notification that lets you know when your computer cannot connect to the internet, even though it is physically connected with an Ethernet cable. The message appears in the notification area of your taskbar, and looks like this:
You might see this message for a few different reasons, which we’ll go over in the next section. But before we do, it’s important to note that this message is different from the “No Internet Connection” message, which is a different notification that appears in Windows when your WiFi isn’t working.
The key difference is that the “No Internet Connection” message appears when your computer can’t connect to any network, while the “No Internet” status message only appears when your computer is physically connected to a network, but can’t access the internet.
Why Do I Have No Internet Access When My Ethernet Is Connected?
This is likely the first question you asked, as soon as that little yellow triangle with the exclamation mark in the middle popped up to tell you that there was no internet connection available. There are 7 possible reasons why this scenario can happen:
- The Ethernet Port on Your Motherboard is Damaged or Malfunctioning: the little port that you plug your Ethernet cable into is attached to your motherboard, and is on what is called an I/O back panel. This back panel is responsible for the input and output of the majority of your computer’s peripherals, such as your external speakers, your USB slots, your VGA/HDMI ports (dedicated GPUs use these), your monitor connections, and your Ethernet port. If this port is damaged in any way, it can cause the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error message and could explain why your ethernet is not working but WiFi is. A quick way to test this is to plug your Ethernet cable into a different port to see if it works or to try using a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.
- Your Ethernet Cable is Loose or Damaged: if your Ethernet cable is loose or damaged, it’s possible that the connection isn’t secure and data isn’t being transferred properly. To check if this is the case, unplug and replug your Ethernet cable into both your computer and your router. If you’re using a WiFi router, make sure that the Ethernet cable is plugged into the port labeled “Internet” or “WAN.”
- You’re Running Expired Network Drivers: out-of-date or expired network drivers can also cause the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error message. While most computer users generally understand and are aware that drivers need to be installed to ensure that software is up to date, not everyone is familiar with network drivers and may not know how or when to update them.
- You’ve Downloaded a Virus or Malware: it’s also possible that your computer has been infected with a virus or malware, which can interfere with your ability to connect to the internet. If you think this might be the case, run a virus scan using your preferred anti-virus software to see if there is something stopping your connection.
- Initial Internet Connection Configuration Was Done Wrong: if you’re using a new computer or just did a fresh install of Windows, it’s possible that the initial internet connection configuration was done wrong. If this is the cause, it’s very easy to fix as long as you have access to the router interface for your internet and the given ISP username and password. If you don’t have this information, check your router/modem manual for it, or give your ISP a quick call.
- Parental Controls Were Set: if you live in a large, family household, it is possible that Parental Controls were set for specific devices, which is why your computer is throwing you the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error message. This is a common occurrence as Parental Controls are often on a “set it up once, forget about it” schedule – that is to say, a lot of parents forget they’ve set them. This must be fixed using your router/modem’s user interface – log in and remove them.
- Your Router/Modem Might Be Experiencing An Issue: if you’ve ruled out all other potential causes, it’s possible that your router/modem is experiencing an issue. Hardware that is old, outdated (software-wise), or has been dropped/has had liquid spilled on it can end up with serious errors. To rule this out, you can try unplugging your router or modem from the power outlet, waiting for 1-2-minutes, and then plugging it back in and restarting your computer.
All of these factors can contribute to the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error, so it’s important to troubleshoot each one individually until you find the root cause of the problem. To help you do this, move on to the next section below to see our solutions for fixing the “ethernet plugged in, but no internet” issue.
10 Ways to Fix the “Ethernet Connected, But No Internet” Error on Windows 10/11 PC
If you’re getting the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error on your Windows computer, you can try to fix it in a few different ways. We’ve listed the most common solutions below, starting with the most basic and easiest, and working our way down to more complicated and technical options.
1. Check Your Ethernet Cable to Ensure Proper Connection
The first thing you should do is check if your Ethernet cable is connected properly to both your computer’s Ethernet port and the Ethernet port on the back of your router/modem. While this can be a little bit tedious and annoying to check if your tower is under a desk or your router/modem is up high, checking for connection lights is the first step in diagnosing what is wrong.
- On the back of your computer’s tower, locate where the Ethernet cable is plugged into. Do you see a solid light green light? If yes, you have a proper connection.
- On the back of your router/modem, locate where the Ethernet cable is plugged into. It will be in one of the Ethernet ports labeled WLAN1, WLAN2, WLAN3, and so on. See which port it’s plugged into, and then take a look at the top of your router/modem for the corresponding plug name, and see if you have a solid green light. If you do, you have a proper connection.
If either of these connections is flashing, has a red or no light at all, it means you’re not connected properly or there is a problem with the port(s).
2. Have a Wi-Fi Card? Turn Off Wi-Fi to Check Connectivity
If you have a WiFi card installed on your computer which enables a WiFi network connection, turn it off. While this may seem counterintuitive at first, it will help you see if there is any connectivity associated with your Ethernet cable. Once you’ve turned off your WiFi connection, try to access the internet again. If this works, then you know that there is some sort of interference with your WiFi connection that is causing the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error. To turn off your WiFi, do the following:
- In your computer’s search menu, type in Settings.
- Head to Network & Internet.
- In Network & Internet, Find Wi-Fi, and click on it.
- From here, toggle it off.
3. Restart Your Router/Modem and Computer
If the previous two steps didn’t rectify your Ethernet connectivity, then the next essential step is to restart your router/modem and your computer.
- Head over to where your router/modem is plugged into the wall outlet. If your router/modem has a power button, press it (or hold – depends on the model) to turn it off.
- Then find the cable that connects from your router/modem down to the power brick that plugs into the wall. Unplug the power brick from the wall outlet.
- Now, unplug the power cable from the back of the router/modem.
- Wait for 1-2-minutes while the router/modem sits in a shutdown state.
- Shut down your computer. You can do this by either using the Windows start menu to select the power button, or the shutdown option, or you can use your desktop tower’s power button.
- Once your computer has been shut down, plug the power cable back into the router/modem, and the power brick back into the wall outlet. If your router/modem has a power button, turn it back on.
- Wait for a few minutes until all the lights come back on, on the router/modem. Then reboot your computer and see if the Ethernet connects to the internet.
4. Try a Different Ethernet Port on Your Modem/Router
After restarting the router/modem and your computer and you still see that the LAN is connected but there’s no internet connection, then the next step is to try a different Ethernet port on your router/modem to see if the port is defective, broken, or filled with gunk (dirt and debris can cause faulty connection).
Simply, unplug the Ethernet cable from the port it’s in, and plug it into any of the other open ports. If you’ve tried all of the Ethernet ports on your router/modem and you’re still getting the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” error, then it’s time to move into the more technical steps.
5. Check If Ethernet Is Enabled on Windows
While this step isn’t too technical, it does require you to jump through a few Windows context menus/settings menus.
- In your computer’s search menu, type in Control Panel.
- Open the Control Panel, and click on Network & Internet.
- Then click into Network – Sharing Center.
- In the left-hand sidebar, click on Change Adapter Settings.
- Under the Ethernet label, you should see the network listed if it’s connected. If you don’t see the network name, then right-click on the Ethernet Connection and choose to Enable It.
6. Run A Network Diagnostics Check to Auto-Detect Problems
The next step is to run a Network Diagnostics on your internet connection to see if your computer can auto-detect any problems that may be interfering with the connection and causing the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” message.
To do this, repeat the steps in Fix 4, but instead of choosing Enable, choose to Diagnose. In clicking on this, the Windows Network Diagnostics window will pop up and will run. Follow the on-screen prompts.
7. Turn Off Real-Time Security Protection Temporarily
Sometimes real-time security protection can interfere with your ability to connect to the internet. If you’re using a built-in antivirus program like Microsoft Windows Defender, or even a third-party antivirus software like McAfee, Norton, or Kaspersky, try temporarily turning off real-time security protection to see if that fixes the problem. To do this for Windows Defender:
- In your computer’s search menu, type in Settings.
- Click into the Privacy & Security Option.
- Click into Windows Security – Virus & Threat Protection.
- Then click into Manage Settings under Virus & Threat Protection Settings.
- Toggle off real-time protection.
However, if you’re going to try this fix, please remember to toggle it back on before you do any type of browsing online, accessing your online financial accounts, or downloading/installing programs.
8. Update Your Network Drivers
While your network drivers should be updated automatically when running Windows Updates, it’s always good to check to ensure that an update wasn’t missed.
If your network drivers are outdated, it could be the reason your Windows 10 computer has no internet access even if it is connected to Ethernet. To update your network drivers, do the following:
- In your computer’s search menu (taskbar), type in Device Manager.
- In the window that opens, you’ll be greeted with a list of devices.
- Scroll through the list until you see Network Adapters.
- Click on the down arrow to open up the Network Adapters list.
- Select the Ethernet adapter from the list and right-click it.
- Now choose the Update Driver option from the menu.
- Now, if you have WiFi, you can use it to search for a driver automatically and install it.
If you have no internet access at all, you will need to manually get the Network Adapter Driver using another computer, and place it onto a USB stick. Then you need to manually install it onto your computer.
9. Check Your DNS Configuration Settings
Another reason you may be getting the “Ethernet connected but no internet” error is because of incorrect DNS configuration settings. DNS (Domain Name System) is what converts human-readable website names into machine-readable IP addresses. If your DNS configuration settings are incorrect, you won’t be able to connect to the internet. To check your DNS configuration settings:
- While on the desktop of your computer, hit the Windows Key and R simultaneously. This will bring up the Run Dialogue Box.
- In the Run Dialogue Box, type in ncpa.cpl and hit okay.
- This will bring up your Control Panel – Network & Internet – Network Connections Window.
- Right-click on your Ethernet connection and choose Properties.
- In the Ethernet Properties Window, scroll until you find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and double click.
- Check the Obtain IP Address Automatically – Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically.
- Hit okay, and check if your internet connection is restored.
- If it isn’t, repeat the steps above up until F, and instead of hitting the option to obtain it automatically, choose the “use following” for the DNS Server Address.
- Insert Google’s Public DNS: 126.96.36.199. And 188.8.131.52.
- Hit okay and see if you can access your internet via Ethernet.
If you’d like to learn more about using Google’s Public DNS Server, we have written a guide on this, which can be found here: How to Use Google’s 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 Public DNS Servers.
10. Reset Your Network Settings By Flushing the DNS
While resetting your network is not the easiest, flushing your DNS is frequently recommended in the case of network connectivity issues. By flushing your DNS, you clear out and reset the memory, which can resolve internet connection issues like the “Ethernet connected, but no internet” issue. Here are the steps for flushing out your DNS:
- In your computer’s search menu, type in CMD or Command Prompt.
- Choose to run the Command Prompt as an administrator.
- You may get a prompt to allow the Command Prompt to open up, hit yes.
- In the Command Prompt window, type in the following commands and hit enter after each one.
- Ipconfig /flushdns
- Ipconfig /renew
- Ipconfig /registerdns
- Once the DNS has been successfully flushed, you can close out the CMD window and restart your computer.
“Ethernet Connected, But No Internet” Issue, Solved!
While this guide has been a lengthy one, we hope that you’ve been able to fix your “Ethernet connected, but no internet” problem. As mentioned, this issue can stem from a lot of factors, which makes it a bit elusive and frustrating to troubleshoot correctly. If any of the solutions above have helped you, let us know in the comments below.