Most apps and programs on your computer require internet access to function. Therefore, when apps can’t connect to the internet on Windows, they are of little use. Fortunately, it’s possible to fix this annoying issue.
Here are a few effective solutions to try if apps on Windows are unable to connect to the internet.
1. Disable Windows Defender Firewall
Windows Defender Firewall keeps track of all apps and programs that connect to the internet. As a precautionary measure, it may occasionally block an app’s internet access and display the “Windows Defender Firewall has blocked some features of this app” security alert. This is one Of the most common reasons why an app may fail to connect to the internet on Windows.
You can temporarily disable the Windows Defender Firewall to see if it fixes the issue.
- press Win + S to open the search menu.
- type control panel in the box and select the first result that appears.
- In the Control Panel window, use the drop-down menu in the top right corner to change the view type to Large icons.
- Click on Windows Defender Firewall.
- select Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left pane.
- Under Private and Public network Settings, select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) option.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Check to see if your apps can connect to the internet now. If this solves your problem, you may have to allow your apps through Windows Firewall. If you need help, check our guide on how to allow apps through Windows Firewall and follow the steps outlined there.
2. Disable Your Antivirus Program
As with the firewall, your antivirus can also cause connection issues. To rule out this possibility, you should disable your antivirus program temporarily. Simply right-click on the antivirus program’s taskbar icon and select Disable > Disable until the next restart.
3. Run Windows Troubleshooters
Windows 10 and 11 include a few troubleshooters that can automatically detect and resolve common system-level issues. Running the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter should resolve any issues with your apps and restore their ability to connect to the internet.
To run Windows Store Apps troubleshooter:
- Open the Start menu and click the gear-shaped icon to launch the Settings app.
- In the System tab, click on Troubleshoot.
- select Other troubleshooters.
- Click the run button next to Windows Store Apps and follow the on-screen prompts to run the troubleshooter.
Next, run the Internet Connections troubleshooter from the same menu. It will diagnose your system for any internet-related issues and try to solve them. Following this, apps on your PC should connect to the internet.
4. Reset Microsoft Store Cache
A damaged Microsoft Store cache could affect Windows apps and prevent them from functioning properly. When this happens, you’ll face all kinds of issues with your apps, including the one discussed here.
Thankfully, it’s quite easy to reset the Microsoft Store cache on Windows. Here’s how to do it.
- press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
- type wsreset.exe in the Open field.
- Click OK.
A blank command window will appear on your screen and execute the command. When the process is complete, the Microsoft Store will launch on its own. After that, try using your apps again and check if the issue is still there.
5. Disable Automatic Proxy Detection
When you use a proxy server to connect to the internet, the traffic goes through the proxy server rather than directly from your PC. It’s possible that your apps are using a proxy server that no longer works. You can try disabling the proxy server to see if that resolves the problem.
- Right-click on the Start icon or press Win + X to open the Power User menu.
- select Settings from the list.
- Select the Network & internet tab from the left pane.
- Click on proxy.
- Disable the Automatically detect settings option.
6. Reset Winsock Settings
Winsock is a program that allows applications to connect to the internet through Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Naturally, if there’s an issue with this program, apps on your Windows will have trouble accessing the internet. In most cases, You can fix such issues by resetting the Winsock data. Here’s how to do it.
- press Win + S to open the search menu.
- type command prompt in the box and select Run as administrator.
- select Yes When the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
- Type the following command in the console and press Enter.
netsh winsock reset
Restart your PC (using one of the many methods to restart a Windows PC) and see if the issue is resolved.
7. Reset Network Settings
If the problem persists, you can perform a full network configuration reset on Windows. There’s a chance that one of the network settings on Windows is conflicting with your apps and preventing them from accessing the internet.
To reset network settings on Windows:
- press Win + I to open the Settings app.
- Navigate to the Network & Internet tab on your left.
- Scroll down and click on Advanced network settings.
- Under the More settings section, select Network reset.
- Click the Reset now button.
- select Yes to confirm.
After the reset is complete, your PC will restart. Following that, your issue will be resolved.
8. Troubleshoot the Issue With a Clean Boot
At times, third-party programs and services running on your PC can disrupt Windows processes and lead to such problems. To check for this possibility, you need to boot your PC in a clean boot start.
In a clean boot state, Windows only runs with essential drivers and programs. This can help you determine if a third-party app or service is causing trouble.
If you’d like to learn more about the topic, check out our guide on how to perform a clean boot on Windows and follow the steps listed there. If you perform a clean boot and the issue goes away, it means that one of the disabled services is the culprit. Now you can slowly re-activate the services until the problem reappears, and voila: you know what’s causing the issue.
Get Your Window Apps Back Online
You now have a good idea of what to do when apps on Windows cannot connect to the internet. One of the solutions listed above should help resolve any underlying issues and bring your apps back online.
Now that your apps are connected to the internet, you may want to limit how much data your Windows PC consumes.