Internet or network problems frustrate many users. If you saw the The default gateway is not available notification, then we can safely assume you are dealing with a connectivity issue.

The error is reported to manifest itself as an X figure on the taskbar to indicate that the required network is unavailable even though your router or Ethernet is active. Or you might associate the error with a yellow exclamation mark that appears after you run the Windows Network Diagnostics tool.

Other users – who encountered the error in question – reported that their internet connection frequently dropped (every now and then), some stated that they had lost their access to the internet, and so on.

Note: The article here is the first part of the series on resolving the The default gateway is not available error on a Windows 10 computer.

What does The default gateway is not available means?

If Windows says, “The default gateway is not available”, then your computer is trying to tell you that its path to the internet is broken or blocked.

The error typically has something to do with changes made to your internet setup, especially those changes that were implemented without your knowledge. For example, a Windows update might have modified your computer’s settings to make it use incorrect IP settings.

Your internet connection might get broken or blocked if your router (or internet device) malfunctions. Outdated or corrupted network drivers have also been proven as the common causes of the The default gateway is not available error. Some malicious programs have also been recognized to trigger the connection issues that give rise to the The default gateway is not available error.

You might find it difficult to figure out the cause of the error on your computer because far too many factors or variables are involved. In fact, there is a decent chance a bug in Windows code triggered the chain of events leading to the error, which means the problems you are facing might be down to no fault of yours or other programs on your computer.

Fortunately, almost all variants or cases of the The default gateway is not available error can be resolved through simple or regular procedures in the Windows operating system environment. Here we go.

How to fix the The default gateway is not available error in Windows 10

If you are yet to run a troubleshooter to diagnose and fix the internet problem, then you will do well to run the Internet troubleshooter now. A good number of users confirmed that the Internet troubleshooter had done enough to make the connection issues go away.

If the problem comes back (after you used the Internet troubleshooter) or if the Internet troubleshooter fails to deliver the needed results, then you have to try other procedures. We recommend you start by restarting your computer (several times). The reboot is a simple operation, but it might be all your computer needs to get its house in order.

At this point, if you are still struggling with the problem defined by the The default gateway is not available error, then it is time you went through these procedures (in the order they appear):

  1. Disable your security utility (temporarily):

It makes sense for you to consider the possibility where the antivirus or antimalware app installed on your computer is responsible for your connectivity problems. The security application might be blocking legitimate processes or disrupting tasks that it is not supposed to interfere with (in the first place).

Some security utilities, in their bid to protect computers from threats, are known to overreach with the efforts and end up doing more harm than good. So, it should come as no surprise to you that your antivirus or antimalware app sometimes makes mistakes. For this reason, you will do well to put down your security utility (or stop it from functioning) for some time.

We do not know the antivirus or antimalware app you installed on your computer because there are so many of them out there. We cannot provide instructions tailored to the security solution you use, so we will describe the general procedure for disabling or turning off security utilities in the Windows operating system environment.

These are the instructions you must follow to disable your antivirus or antimalware temporarily:

  • Open your antivirus or antimalware app: click on the program launcher or shortcut on your desktop.
  • Assuming the security utility window is now on your screen, you must go to its main menu or configuration screen.
  • Locate the Disable or Turn off button and then click on it.
  • You will probably have to specify how long the application must stay down. We recommend you choose the longest period possible (or until the next reboot).
  • Your antivirus or antimalware status should read Disabled or Off.
  • Save the new configuration for your antivirus (if this step applies).
  • Close or minimize your antivirus window.

Now, you must try connecting to the internet using the app or setup you struggled with earlier to see what happens now. If the connection goes through, then you can take your success with the internet as confirmation that your security utility was somehow involved in causing problems for you.

You can try downloading and installing an update for your antivirus. A new version of the application might not trigger the issues that give rise to the The default gateway is not available error. If the problem persists even after you update your antivirus, then you have to get rid of it for good. See the next procedure.

  1. Uninstall McAfee programs from your computer; remove your antivirus:

Among the known security utilities reported to be the causes of the The default gateway is not available problem in Windows, McAfee programs appear the most. So, if you have any McAfee app on your computer, you will do well to uninstall it.

The same thing goes for other antivirus programs from other firms. If you are still struggling with the internet connection problem due to gateway issues, then it makes sense for you to remove apps like antiviruses, which are known to screen, interfere with, or disrupt incoming and outgoing connections on computers.

These are the instructions you must follow to uninstall a McAfee app or another antivirus program from your computer:

  • Fire up the Run app: use the Windows button + letter R key combination.
  • Once the small Run window shows up, you must type appwiz.cpl into the text box on it.
  • Run the code: hit the Enter button (on your PC’s keyboard) or click on the OK button on the Run window.

Your computer will direct you to the Apps and Features menu in the Control Panel application.

  • Now, on the Uninstall or change a program screen, you must go through the list of installed programs.
  • Locate the McAfee program you intend to remove (or your antivirus) and then right-click on it.
  • Select Uninstall.

Your computer will bring up the uninstaller or uninstallation wizard window for the selected app now.

  •  Click on the required buttons. Follow the directions (as they come up) to remove the unwanted app.
  • Once the uninstallation operations reach completion, you must close the Control Panel app, close the windows for other applications, and then restart your computer.

After you remove your antivirus or the McAfee program, you must run some tests to confirm that your PC can now reach the web without issues. Invariably, you have to consider a replacement for the security utility you uninstalled because your computer defense setup against threats is now weaker than it was.


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  1. Disable the Auto Logon feature:

Microsoft first introduced the Auto Logon feature in Windows 8. It gained popularity quite fast. The Auto Logon feature is a handy and useful function in the Windows operating system environment because it allows users to gain entry into their computers quickly.

Unfortunately, a reasonable number of reports point towards the Auto Logon feature being the cause of network connection issues (defined as default gateway setbacks) on computers. And we are yet to figure out why or how the function causes trouble.

Well, you can live without the feature for a while. After all, you always found a way to log into your computer when the Auto Logon function was nonexistent, so you must try doing the same thing now. The Auto Logon feature simply allows the operating system running on your computer to load fast and go straight to your desktop (skipping the login screen).

There is no specific procedure for disabling the Auto Logon feature. You simply have to reconfigure your accounts to stop it from working. For example, if you normally log into Windows through an account that lacks a password, then you must add a password to that account (to prevent Windows from signing you in automatically).

Ideally, you should use a simple password that you can type in quickly to make the necessary changes and then test things. Restart your computer. Once you get to the logon screen, you must type in your password and then hit the Enter button to proceed.

Here, you must run simple checks on your computer to see if your internet connection is now in order. If using the password-protected account proves successful in eliminating the The default gateway is not available issue, then you will do well to keep the account that way (with the password).

Perhaps, you will do well to continue things in that direction. Create new accounts and add simple passwords to them, or add passwords to the existing user accounts.

  1. Disable power conservation functions:

In new Windows versions, Microsoft implemented setups that allow computers to disable certain features or activities to conserve power. The setups work well for the most part when they are suitable for the devices on which they have been enabled. However, on certain computers, they malfunction and cause issues that prevent a driver from doing its work.

Here, we are assuming an important driver on your computer is down with a problem because it is currently set to use a problematic setting. To this end, we will walk you through the procedure for disabling the setting and testing things out. These are the instructions you must follow:

  • Open the Run app: You can use the Windows button + letter R keyboard shortcut here again.
  • This time, once the Run window shows up, you must type devmgmt.msc into the text field on it.
  • Run the code: hit the Enter button or click on OK.

Your computer will bring up the Device Manager application window now.

  • Carefully go through the list of driver categories, locate Network Adapters, and then click on the expansion icon for this category.

The contents of the Network Adapters category will be visible now.

  • Now, you must locate the internet driver your computer is using and then right-click on it.
  • Select Properties.

Windows will bring up the Properties window for the chosen driver now.

  • Click on the Power Management tab (to go there).
  • Click on the box for Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power (to deselect it).
  • Click on the OK button to save the new configuration.

Now, you will do well to try getting your computer to connect to the internet to see how things go this time. If The default gateway is not available appears, you have to restart your computer and then have another go at it.


If you are still struggling with the The default gateway is not available error, then you may want to check our continuation of this guide (Part II). There, we described additional solutions to the problem plaguing internet and network configurations in Windows.


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