There is nothing worse than receiving a Windows error that prevents you from accessing the Internet. Getting an error message that says “Windows can’t communicate with device or resource” is not uncommon and can quickly get you into trouble one day.
If you receive this error message, there is no need to panic. The following article will explain exactly what this error means and how you can fix it.
What is the “Windows can’t communicate with device or resource” error?
You will often see the “Windows can’t communicate with device or resource” error when you cannot connect to the Internet and run Network Diagnostics.
When you get this error, it means that your computer cannot connect to the Internet directory, also known as the Domain Name System (DNS). This system automatically translates website names into IP addresses, allowing you to browse the web more easily.
Your computer’s main DNS server is usually provided by your Internet service provider. A secondary DNS server is also set up in case the primary server fails. Even so, computer settings can sometimes go wrong, causing you to have trouble connecting to the Internet.
If you can’t get rid of the “Windows 10 can’t communicate with device or resource” error, here are some troubleshooting options that may help.
6 Ways to Fix “Windows Can’t Communicate With the Device or Resource” Error
1. Make sure DNS and DHCP clients are running
Before trying any of the following fixes, you will always need to make sure that your DNS and DHCP clients are running. To do this, go to the Start menu search bar and type “Services“.
Select the Services app and you’ll see a list of all the services running on your device. Check for services labeled DNS and DHCP. If “Running” is not listed in the “Status” column for either of these services, you need to fix that.
Enable DNS and DHCP by double-clicking each service. If the service has been stopped, just select Start. You should also make sure that you select Automatic from the “Startup type” drop-down menu.
When done, click Apply > OK.
2. Uninstall and reinstall the network device
Outdated or incorrect drivers can sometimes cause “Windows can’t communicate with the device or resource” errors. In this case, it’s best to wipe everything and uninstall the network device.
To access network devices, press Windows + X to open the Quick Link menu. Select Device Manager from the list and click Network adapters.
Select the network device and click Uninstall device. Once that’s done, right-click on Network adapters and then click Scan for hardware changes.
Windows will automatically detect the “new” network device. It will then proceed to install the default drivers that come with the device. Now you can restart your computer and test your connection.
3. Update network drivers manually
Although network drivers are usually automatically updated on Windows 10, there’s no harm in trying to update your network drivers manually. To do this, press Windows + X > Device Manager > Network adapters.
Find the network device in the drop-down menu, right-click it and select Update driver.
Now, Windows will give you two ways to find new drivers. Select the option that says Search automatically for updated driver software.
From here, Windows will look for any updates on your computer and the Internet. If there are new drivers, let’s install them.
4. Clear DNS cache
A corrupt DNS cache can also cause error messages. To fix this, you will have to clear your DNS cache.
To get started, open the Command Prompt with administrator rights.
When the program appears, type the following lines of code one by one:
ipconfig /flushdns ipconfig /registerdns ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew
This not only clears the DNS cache, but also causes the computer to reset any corrupted configurations that might have caused the error message. Then press Enter, and you can close the Command Prompt.
5. Configure adapter settings
If the fixes above still don’t work, your network adapter settings may be affecting your connection. To start configuring the settings, go to the Control Panel and select View network status and tasks under the Network and Internet heading.
Then, select Change adapter settings from the menu on the left side of the screen.
Right-click the connection and select Properties.
Make sure that the box next to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) is checked. From here, double-click the IPv4 option.
Check Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS Server address automatically. When you’re done, press OK.
To troubleshoot this issue more effectively, you can also repeat the same steps for Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).
6. Switch to public DNS
If you still can’t connect to the Internet, you may have a problem with DNS. Switching to a public DNS, such as Google’s DNS, can help with this. In fact, you may even find that switching to a different DNS can help you speed up your Internet.
To get started, you will have to access the network settings using the same method outlined in the previous step. Simply go to Control Panel > View networks status and tasks > Change adapter settings. Right-click the connection and select Properties.
Double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) again. This time, select Use the following DNS server addresses.
Now enter the address for Google’s DNS. In the fields below, enter the following numbers:
- Preferred DNS server: 126.96.36.199
- Alternative DNS server: 188.8.131.52
After clicking OK, restart your computer to see if your Internet connection is working again.
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