How to fix the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error in Google Chrome

ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED is one of the most frequently occurring errors on Google Chrome. Internet users face a number of different types of errors when connecting to the net via the chrome browser and this could become a hassle if you do not understand the root cause or the solution.

What does this error message mean?

In simple words, ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error denies webpage access to the user by preventing it from loading normally. This error could be caused due to various reasons, therefore, it is important to look at several different solutions to this problem. What might work for someone else, might not work for you.

The error can either be displayed as “Unable to access the network. ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” or “Your connection was interrupted. A network change was detected. Check your internet connection.” It is a recurring error and a one that affects all popular websites too, such as Youtube, Gmail, Facebook and others. Hence, it is crucial to find a viable solution for this issue.

Why does this error occur?

Google Chrome usually experiences this error when it detects a change in the IP address of your PC. Each device, on all networks, is assigned with a distinct IP address which helps in connecting to the internet. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and website owners apply certain restrictions based on your IP address.

Using a VPN or a proxy service has become a common practice now. These are used by users to change their IP addresses in order to access a particular restricted website. This could be one of the reasons you are experiencing this error.

Below is a troubleshooting guide that discusses a few tried and tested solutions to the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error.

Solutions to the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error in Chrome

Fix 1. – Restart your modem

Before getting into some complex solutions, let’s start with the simple ones. Sometimes the problem is simpler than it might seem. The error might have been caused due to some internal and technical issues. If this is the case, restarting the modem might be a viable solution.

Fix 2. – Disable either the Ethernet or WiFi

Most PCs have two options for connecting to the Internet; WiFi or an Ethernet port. First, check if your PC supports both, and if both are enabled, this could be a cause of the problem as the connection is alternating between wired and wireless.

To address this issue, either disable the WiFi option on your laptop, or remove the ethernet cable. This ensures steady connection as the internet is now connected only through a single source.

Fix 3. – Disable VPN and/or Proxy servers

As mentioned earlier, VPN is used to divert the internet connection and it could give you access to restricted content. If you’re using a VPN or a proxy server, there are high chances that this is what is causing the error in Chrome.

Below are the steps to disable automatic proxy on Windows 10:

  1. Click on Start and go to Settings.
  2. Choose the Network & Internet option.
  3. Navigate to the Proxy tab and make sure all options for proxy setup are switched off.
Windows Proxy Settings

Below are the steps to disable proxy on a Mac:

  1. From the main menu or the apple logo on the top-left corner of the screen, go to System Preferences…
  2. Click on Network.
  3. Choose the WiFi you are currently connected to.
  4. Click on Advanced…
  5. Navigate to the Proxies tab and ensure all boxes are unticked and then click on OK.
Mac Proxy Settings

Fix 4. – Clear cache and browsing data in Google Chrome

Here is how to do it:

  1. Open the Chrome browser. On Windows, Press Ctrl + H, or on Mac, Press Command + Y. Alternatively, click on the three dots on the top right corner and open the History tab.
  2. From the left panel of options, click on the Clear browsing data option.
  3. This will open up a window that will prompt you to set a Time range. Select Beginning of time or All time (depending on the version of Chrome you are using).
  4. Also remember to tick the following boxes: Browsing History, Cookies and other site data, and Cached images and files.
  5. Now, click on Clear data.
  6. Close the browser, restart your PC and try connecting again.
Clear browsing data in Google Chrome

Fix 5. – Disable and Re-Enable the network adapters

Network adapters can sometimes be the cause of the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error on a PC running Windows. Generally, this problem does not occur on a Mac.

Follow these steps to fix network adapter related issues:

  1. Click on the Start button, search for Device Manager.
  2. Scroll down and click on the Network Adapters option.
  3. Rigth click the adapter you are currently using. (Here you can optionally scan for any hardware issues.)
  4. Disable and then Re-enable the network adapter.
  5. Go back to your chrome browser and try loading the webpage.
Network Adapters in Windows

Fix 6. – Flush the DNS Cache

Here is how to flush the DNS on Windows 10:

  1. Press the Windows key + X. This will open up the power user menu.
  2. Click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Type the following command: ipconfig/flushdns and hit enter.
  4. Restart your PC.
  5. Reload the page on your browser.

Fix 7. – Reset TCP/IP

This solution is usually taken as a follow-up of the previous one. If flushing the DNS cache was not enough, follow the steps:

  1. Press the Windows key + X. This will open up the power user menu.
  2. Click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Type the following commands one after the other:
    1. ipconfig/release and hit enter
    2. ipconfig/flushdns and hit enter
    3. ipconfig/renew and hit enter
  4. Re-open the Command Prompt and type the following: ipconfig/flushdns, nbtstat – r, netsh int ip reset, netsh winsock reset
  5. Press enter.
  6. Reboot you PC and try reloading the pages on your browser.

Fix 8. – Disable power saver mode

On Windows 10 the wireless adapter shuts down when the power saver mode is enabled. This causes disturbances in the network connection and hence, causes the network change error. To eliminate this problem source, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Start button, and search for Device Manager.
  2. Right click on the network adapter you are currently using and select the Properties option.
  3. Navigate to the Power Management tab.
  4. Disable the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” option.
  5. Click on OK and reload the webpage in Google Chrome.
Network Adapter Power Management Settings

Fix 9. – Try Google Public DNS

DNS settings can have a major effect on your network connection and could result in timed out connections.

DNS settings are under the TCP/IP protocol settings on your PC. The DNS server details can be changed and this process is different based on the operating system running on your PC. It is important that you use a reliable DNS server such as Google DNS. If you still have not found a solution to the network error, try deleting all the manual DNS servers, so the default one provided by your ISP is used for future network connections.

Fix 10. – Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

If none of these solutions are working for you, it would be best to consult your ISP regarding the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error. Sometimes they are able to help by making some backend changes that might positively impact your network.

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