If you use Google Chrome, you may run into the occasional error that’s unique to the browser. One of those errors is “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED,” which signifies a problem with your internet connection. Until you resolve that issue, you won’t be able to access any websites.
There are a lot of network configuration changes that can prevent you from browsing the web. The good news is that troubleshooting most of these errors is relatively simple. In fact, you can apply the same methods we’re going to teach you to most internet connectivity issues and minimize downtime.
In this article, we’ll discuss what causes the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error in Chrome and how to fix it. Let’s get to it!
Check Out Our Video Guide to Fixing the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED Error:
What Does “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” Mean?
Most browser error messages include brief descriptions of their potential causes. The “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” Chrome error includes a message that tells you about a potential problem with the network connection.
Specifically, the error message says, “Your connection was interrupted” and “A network change was detected:”
In other words, seeing this error message means you have an internet connection, but it’s currently not working. This may be due to problems with the Internet Protocol (IP) address, network configuration, proxy settings, or other factors affecting your connection.
While this error can be annoying, the fact you have an internet connection means it’s fixable. If your connection is actually down, there’s nothing you can do about it besides sit patiently and wait for your service provider to fix the problem.
What Causes the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” Error?
The “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” happens in Google Chrome. It appears when there’s a problem with your network connection that prevents you from browsing the web. That problem might also prevent you from using other applications that connect to the internet.
In almost all cases, the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error appears because of a problem with your IP address. The address might have changed suddenly, or the network may be unable to resolve it due to Domain Name System (DNS) issues.
You can’t navigate the web without a valid IP address because your browser, Chrome, in this case, won’t be able to establish a connection with other servers. This issue can resolve automatically after a while, but you can speed up the process with some basic troubleshooting tips.
How To Fix the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” Error? (4 Methods)
All the troubleshooting steps we’re going to cover here can also be useful if you run into any type of connection issues. However, if you see an error different from “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED”, check to see if your internet connection isn’t down.
If the connection isn’t down, you can troubleshoot it. In the opposite scenario, you’ll need to wait or contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ask them to solve the problem.
1. Restart Your Router
If you have any connectivity or residential networking problem, your first approach should always be resetting the router. This process is as simple as unplugging the router’s power plug, waiting for a minute, and then reconnecting it.
When you plug in the router, it might take a minute or two to fully boot up again and restore your connection. Check the lights on the router to ensure the WLAN connection is working, and then return to the computer.
In most cases, this process will solve the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error. If it doesn’t, we can move on to more complex troubleshooting methods.
2. Reset Your Network Configuration
If restarting the router doesn’t work, you can reset the entire network configuration directly from the computer. That process involves renewing the computer’s IP address and flushing its local DNS cache.
You might already be familiar with browser caching (along with how to clear the browser cache and Chrome’s cache). Fortunately, local DNS caching works similarly. Your computer stores DNS information locally, so it doesn’t have to resolve the same URLs to IP addresses over and over.
To reset the network configuration in Windows, press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run program. Type CMD to open the command prompt from this window:
Once the command window opens, type the following lines, one at a time, and hit enter after each one to execute the commands:
IPCONFIG /FLUSHDNS NBTSTAT –R NETSH INT IP RESET NETSH WINSOCK RESET
These commands will flush the DNS and restart the Windows network settings. After executing them, try opening Chrome again and navigate to any page to see if the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error persists.
You don’t need to open the terminal to reset the network settings using macOS. Instead, remove the Wi-Fi or wired connection you’re using from the network settings. Afterward, re-add the connection. This will reset its configuration.
3. Check Your Proxy Settings
A proxy server is an intermediary between your computer and remote servers. Unlike a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a proxy only routes traffic through specific connections, such as those used by apps and servers.
If you use a proxy, it’s probably either a SOCKS5 or an HTTP server. SOCKS5 proxies tend to be more private but slower. By contrast, HTTP proxy servers enable you to access websites that may otherwise be restricted.
Although proxies serve a purpose, they can cause problems with your internet connection (as can any intermediary).
To change your proxy settings in Windows, open the Start menu and type in “internet options”, then select the option that appears in the menu. This will launch the Internet Properties settings window. Go to Connections > LAN Settings from this window:
If the setting that says Use a proxy server for your LAN is ticked, disable it temporarily. While you’re at it, make sure the option that says Automatically detect settings under Automatic configuration is enabled:
Click on OK to save the changes to the network configuration and check Chrome to see if the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” message persists. If the error is gone, the proxy server was the issue.
In that case, we recommend either not using a proxy server temporarily or switching to a different option. Either choice will enable you to browse the web using Chrome as usual.
Changing the proxy settings in macOS works similarly. Go to System Settings > Network and select a service from the menu to the right. Click on Details > Proxies for that service and choose between either manual or automatic proxy configuration options:
Click on OK, then check Chrome to see if the error persists. If it does, the problem may lie within your computer’s DNS settings.
4. Check Your DNS Settings
When you visit a website, the browser connects to a DNS server to see which IP address corresponds to the URL you’re visiting. The DNS servers you use will depend on your device’s configuration and ISP.
In most cases, you don’t need to configure your computer to use a custom DNS server because it will default to the option your ISP provides. However, if you run into connectivity issues in Chrome, you’ll want to check your network settings.
To do this in Windows, go to the Network Status screen and head to Advanced network settings > Change adapter options:
The next screen will include a list of your available network connections. Several of them might be enabled, but only one corresponds to your active internet connection. If you’re having trouble identifying it, look for the option that includes your Wi-Fi network’s name.
Right-click on that option and choose Properties, then go to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) > Properties:
By default, this screen will have the Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically options enabled. If you’re using a custom IP address or DNS servers, we recommend reverting to the default settings temporarily:
If you want to continue using a custom DNS, you’ll need to temporarily switch to a different option. This should prevent you from continuing to run into the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error in Chrome.
There are plenty of public DNSs you can use. Some of them will even help speed up your browsing because they may resolve requests faster. Once you’ve changed the DNS configuration, click on OK and check if the error persists in Chrome.
The “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error is unique to Google Chrome, but it’s caused by internet connectivity issues and problems with your IP address. If you use the internet regularly, you’ll sometimes encounter connectivity issues. Understanding the basics of troubleshooting them will save you a lot of headaches.
You can troubleshoot most internet connectivity issues with the same steps across all operating systems. We recommend restarting your router and resetting your network configuration. If you’re still seeing the “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” error, it’s time to check your proxy and DNS settings.
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