Sometimes you see this frustrating yellow exclamation mark icon above the network connection icon in Windows. The OS prompts you to troubleshoot, but after running the automatic tool, you will see this message:
Windows cannot automatically detect the proxy settings of this network.
What does this mean and how can I fix it? Let’s take a look at Windows proxy settings and steps to troubleshoot the error.
Restart your computer and router
Before proceeding with advanced troubleshooting, it is always recommended that you restart your hardware first. Chances are this will clear up your problem in a few minutes.
Since this error is usually associated with misconfigured settings on one computer, rebooting the router will most likely fail. It is still worth trying when you run into network problems of any kind.
If you restart your computer and router and the problem persists, continue with the more detailed steps.
View proxy settings in Windows
Since this issue is related to Windows proxy settings, this is the first sane place to check. To access proxy settings in Windows 10, open Settings, select the Network & Internet category, and click the Proxy tab from the left sidebar.
Here you will see a list of proxy related options. If you are not using a proxy server (as is the case for most home users), make sure the Use proxy server slider is disabled. Leave Automatically detect settings if you have already done so.
For users who connect through a proxy, such as in a work or school environment, you can contact your system administrator to make sure you have the correct proxy details.
Then try connecting to the network again. If the error persists, try disabling the Automatically detect settings in proxy settings and try again.
What is a proxy server?
We don’t want to bore you with the details while you try to solve this problem, but we wanted to give a short explanation of what a proxy server really is and why Windows can run into problems with it.
Basically, a proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. Instead of connecting directly to the Internet, you are connecting to a server that receives information from the Internet for you.
They are most common in businesses and schools, where system administrators use them for safety and efficiency. It is unlikely that you are using a proxy server on your home network unless you specifically set it up. This is why you should clear any proxy settings that might exist when you run into this problem.
Run the Network Adapter Troubleshooter
When you right-click the network connection icon and select a troubleshooting method, it launches the Internet Connections troubleshooter, resulting in the error message “Windows could not detect proxy settings.” But there is another network troubleshooter that you can run that can help you.
Open Settings again and select Update & Security → Troubleshoot. Find your network adapter in the list and go through troubleshooting. As experienced Windows users know, this tool doesn’t always solve your problem, but it’s worth trying.
Auto-obtain IP address and DNS
As it turns out, there are not many proxy-specific troubleshooting steps. We’ll share other tips below, but keep in mind that troubleshooting is similar to fixing Windows No Internet Access from now on.
While not technically related to proxy settings, incorrect IP address or DNS settings can cause this error as well. To check them, go to Settings → Network & Internet → Status. Click the Change adapter settings button in the list to see all your network connections, then double-click the one you are using.
Here click the Properties button and double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 in the list. Make sure you have both Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server addresses automatically selected. Misconfigured settings will prevent you from connecting to the Internet.
Update or rollback your network driver
Outdated network driver can cause connection problems. Likewise, you may have recently installed a failed update for your network driver. Either way, a replacement may fix the problem.
Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager to open this utility. Expand the Network Adapters section and double-click the connection you are using.
On the Driver tab, you can select Roll Back Driver to uninstall the latest update and return to the previous one. Use this if you start experiencing this issue after updating.
Select Update driver and you can check for new updates online. This probably won’t find anything, so you’ll have to manually download the latest driver from your machine manufacturer.
Reset network configuration via command line
Windows offers many network troubleshooting tools via the command line. A few quick commands can solve your problem in minutes. If you’re still having problems, right-click the Start button again and open Command Prompt (or PowerShell) as Administrator.
Then run the following commands, one at a time. They will reset various networking features of your computer:
- netsh winsock reset
- netsh int ip reset
- ipconfig / release
- ipconfig / renew
- ipconfig / flushdns
Review your firewall, VPN and antivirus software
Next, you need to make sure you don’t have a firewall, VPN, or security package that is interfering with your network connection. Perhaps the software you selected has an update that changed some settings that you weren’t aware of, or you just installed a new app.
Try disabling your firewall, VPN, and antivirus software one at a time, and then see if the error goes away. If so, the problem is with one of these apps. You will need to configure them to not interfere with normal network activity.
Scanning for malware
Some malware is known to constantly tamper with your proxy settings so that you cannot connect to the Internet. If you are confronted with the message “Windows could not detect the proxy settings of this network” every time you reboot, you may be a victim of this.
Thus, you should run a scan with a reliable antivirus application like Malwarebytes. This will detect any viruses or other malware running on your system and get rid of them. If the scan detects any infections, take the recommended action and check if your connection works as usual again.
Use a restore point
The System Restore feature in Windows allows you to go back to a previous point when your computer was working fine. If your problems started recently, try this to see if you can come back in time.
Find Control Panel in the Start Menu to open it. If a category is selected in the upper right corner, switch to Small or Large icons and select System Entry.
Then click System Protection on the left sidebar. In the dialog that appears, click System Restore to open a new window. Windows will guide you through choosing a restore point and confirming the operation. Of course, if your computer has not created restore points, you cannot use this feature.
Please note that using a restore point will remove all programs and drivers that you installed after creating this restore point. You can click Search for vulnerable programs on a restore point to see the effect. System Restore will not affect your personal information.
Resetting your network settings
After trying all of the above, you should resort to hard resetting your network settings. You’ve already spent a lot of time working on this and a reset should clear any persistent problem blocking your connection.
Fortunately, Windows 10 makes it easy to reset all configuration. Open Settings> Network & Internet. In the Status tab, find Network Reset at the bottom and click this button.
Keep in mind that this will remove all network information from your computer, so you will need to reconnect to the saved networks. If you agree with this, click Reset Now. Your computer will reset and then restart.
Learn more about network troubleshooting
Now you know what to do if Windows cannot detect proxy settings. All network errors are frustrating, but you should be able to fix them without much work. It is very important to make sure the proxy is disabled (if you are not using one) or configured correctly (if you are using one).
Otherwise, some common network issues will fix you all. We’ve got an in-depth Windows network troubleshooting guide Windows network troubleshooting guide a troubleshooting guide with if you need more help.