Some problems, no matter how many ways there are to solve them, just keep coming back to haunt the general community.

That’s exactly the case with the ‘Default Gateway Is Not Available’ error. It’s rampant, it’s incredibly annoying, and there are a lot of things that can contribute to it.

Luckily, there are also a handful of ways to deal with the error. If you want to get rid of it on your own Windows computer, sift through the checklist until you find something that works.

Remove or Disable Antivirus Programs

Unfortunately, the error can be sparked by one of several different antivirus programs. McAfee security products are the biggest offenders, so if you have one installed that’s probably where the fault lies. Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, and Avast can also cause problems.

If you don’t want to uninstall your virus software on a whim, you can also disable it temporarily to see if it helps.

The good news is that you always have Windows Defender to fall back on and keep your computer safe. It’s not the ideal solution, but it works, and once the antivirus is installed you should be able to connect to the internet again.

1. Change Your Network Adapter’s Driver

A faulty driver can also cause connection issues, as much as corrupt or outdated ones. Sometimes, however, there’s nothing wrong with the driver, per se, it’s just that a more ineffective option is selected.

Open device manager

  1. Press the Windows Key + X and click on Device Manager. 

  1. Expand the Network adapters field and right-click on the name of your network adapter.
  2. In the context menu that appears, select Update Driver Software.

Browse my computer for driver software

  1. Click Browse my computer for driver software.

Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

  1. Choose Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

Uncheck Show Compatible Hardware

  1. Uncheck the box next to Show Compatible Hardware. The window will change to include a sidebar on the left and a selection box on the right. In the left pane choose Intel Corporation (not Intel on its own). Simply choose one of the other network adapter drivers in the list and then click Next.

If you’re still getting the error return to step one of this section and simply choose a different adapter driver in the list.

Continue choosing different drivers until you find one that works. It may seem archaic, but there are a lot of people across the web that have fixed the problem using this method.

2. Reinstall Your Network Adapter’s Driver

You can also try reinstalling the current driver to see if it helps fix the problem. 

  1. Press the Windows Key + X and click on Device Manager. 

uninstall network adaptor

  1. Expand the Network adapters field and right-click on the name of your network adapter.
  2. In the context menu that appears, select Uninstall.
  3. A prompt will appear asking if you want to uninstall the current driver. Click OK to move forward. The uninstall process will begin and should complete in a few minutes or less. When it’s all done, reboot your computer.

Windows should automatically walk you through the driver install process when you sign back in.

3. Disable Auto Logon Function

First introduced in Windows 8, the auto logon function will automatically sign the operating system into the last used account before it was previously shut down.

Unless you enabled this on your own, it’s probably disabled. But if you do use it, the function can cause the ‘Default Gateway is not available’ error to appear.

To disable the function do this:

Open Run

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run
  2. Type “netplwiz” which will open the User Accounts window.User Accounts
  3. Check the box near the top: Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer. Then click Apply. If it’s already checked, you can disable it and then re-enable it which should do the trick! Make sure to restart your computer when you’re done.

If you’re wondering why this works to disable auto-logon the answer is simple. The system cannot log in to a user account without the appropriate credentials, which means it cannot automatically sign-in.

Bottom Line

One of these methods is sure to solve your problem. Alternatively, you can update your network adapter’s drivers.

To do that, return to the first method — Changing Your Network Adapter’s Drivers — but when you get to step three, select Search automatically for updated driver software and then allow Windows to do the legwork.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.