Most applications and programs on your computer require Internet access to function. Therefore, when applications cannot connect to the Internet in Windows, they are of little use. Fortunately, it is possible to solve this annoying problem.
Here are some effective solutions that you can try if your Windows applications cannot connect to the Internet.
1. Turn off the Windows Defender firewall
The Windows Defender firewall monitors all applications and programs that connect to the Internet. As a precautionary measure, it may occasionally block the application from accessing the Internet and display a security warning “Windows Defender Firewall has blocked some features of this application”. This is one of the most common reasons why an application may not connect to the Internet in Windows.
You can temporarily disable the Windows Defender firewall to see if that fixes the problem.
- press Win + S open the search menu.
- Type control panel in the field and select the first result that appears.
- In the Control Panel window, use the drop-down menu in the upper right corner to change the display type to Big icons.
- Click on Windows Defender Firewall.
- Choose Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left panel.
- Under Private and public network settings, select an option Disable Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) choice.
- Click OK to save changes.
Check if your apps can now connect to the internet. If this solves your problem, you may need to enable Windows Firewall for apps. If you need help, check out our guide how to allow applications through Windows Firewall and follow the steps given here.
2. Disable your antivirus program
Just like a firewall, your antivirus can also cause connection problems. To rule out this possibility, you should temporarily disable your antivirus program. Simply right-click on the antivirus program icon on the taskbar and select Disable > Disable until next reboot.
3. Run the Windows Troubleshooter
Windows 10 and 11 include several troubleshooting tools that can automatically detect and fix common system-level problems. Running the Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter should resolve any issues with the apps and restore their ability to connect to the Internet.
To run the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter:
- Open up Start menu and click on gear icon launch the Settings app.
- IN System click on Eliminate problems.
- Choose Additional troubleshooting tools.
- Click on Run button next to it Windows Store apps and follow the on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter.
Next run Internet connections troubleshooter from the same menu. It will diagnose your system for any internet related issues and try to fix them. After that, the applications on the computer should connect to the Internet.
4. Reset the Microsoft Store cache
A corrupted Microsoft Store cache could affect Windows applications and prevent them from working properly. When this happens, you will face all kinds of problems with your applications, including the one described here.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy reset the Microsoft Store cache in Windows. Here’s how to do it.
- press Win + R open the Run dialog box.
- Type wsreset.exe in the Open field.
- Click OK.
A blank command window will appear on the screen and run the command. Once the process is complete, the Microsoft Store will launch itself. Then try using the apps again and check if the issue persists.
5. Disable automatic proxy detection
When you use a proxy server to connect to the Internet, the traffic goes through the proxy server, not directly from your PC. It is possible that your applications are using a proxy server that no longer works. You can try disabling the proxy server and see if that fixes the problem.
- Right-click the Start icon or press Win+X open Power User menu.
- Choose Settings from the list.
- Choose Network and Internet from the left panel.
- Click on Proxy.
- Prohibit Automatically detect settings choice.
6. Reset Winsock settings
Winsock is a program that allows applications to connect to the Internet via Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Naturally, if there is a problem with this program, applications on your Windows system will have trouble accessing the Internet. In most cases, you can resolve these issues by resetting your Winsock data. Here’s how to do it.
- press Win + S open the search menu.
- Type command line into the field and select Run as administrator.
- Choose Yes when prompted by User Account Control (UAC).
- Type the following command into the console and press Enter.
netsh winsock reset
Restart your computer (using one of the many ways to restart your windows computer) and see if the issue is resolved.
7. Reset network settings
If the problem persists, you can perform a hard reset of the network configuration in Windows. It is possible that one of the network settings in Windows is conflicting with your applications and preventing them from accessing the Internet.
To reset network settings in Windows:
- press Win+I open the Settings app.
- Go to Network and Internet tab on the left.
- Scroll down and click on Advanced network settings.
- Under More settings, select Network reset.
- Click on Reset now knob.
- Choose Yes confirm.
After the reset is complete, the computer will restart. Then your problem will be solved.
8. Fix the clean boot problem
Third-party programs and services running on your computer can sometimes interfere with Windows processes and lead to such problems. To check this option, you need to start your computer using a clean boot.
In a clean boot state, Windows runs with only basic drivers and programs. This can help you determine if a third-party app or service is causing the problem.
If you want to learn more about the topic, check out our guide on how to clean boot windows and follow the steps there. If you do a clean boot and the problem goes away, then one of the disabled services is the culprit. Now you can slowly reactivate the services until the problem reappears, and voila: you know what’s causing the problem.
Get your Windows applications back online
Now you have a good idea of what to do when Windows applications cannot connect to the Internet. One of the solutions above should help resolve any underlying issues and get your apps back online.
Now that your applications are connected to the Internet, you may want to limit the amount of data your Windows PC consumes.