How to Fix ‘Connected with Limited Access’ Error Messages in Windows

When setting up or using a Windows PC on a computer network, you may get an error message that the PC is connected with limited network access for various reasons.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

Starting with Windows 8, this error message may appear on the Windows Network screen after trying to connect to a local network over Wi-Fi: Your connection is limited .

It can be caused sporadically by technical issues with Wi-Fi settings on the local device (more likely) or issues with a local router (less likely but possible, especially if more than one device is experiencing the same error at the same time). Users can follow several different procedures to recover their system to a normal working state:

  1. Disconnect the Wi-Fi connection on the Windows system and connect again.
  2. Disable and re-enable the network adapter for the local Wi-Fi connection.
  3. Reset TCP/IP services on the Windows device using netsh commands such as netsh int ip reset (suitable for advanced users who can perform this faster than a reboot).
  4. Restart the Windows system.
  5. Reboot the local router .

These troubleshooting procedures do not fix the underlying technical problems, that is, they do not prevent the same problem from recurring later. Updating the network device driver to a newer version if one is available can be a permanent remedy for this problem if the cause is a driver issue.

A similar but more specific message may also appear: This connection has limited or no connectivity. No internet access .

Both this and the other error above were sometimes triggered when the user upgraded their computer from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. By disabling and re-enabling the Windows network adapter, the system recovers from this error.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista users sometimes saw the following error message appear next to their active connection entry in the “Connect to a network” dialog: Connected with limited access .

The bug caused a user to lose the ability to access the Internet, although file shares on other resources were still locally accessible. Microsoft confirmed that there was a bug in the original Vista operating system that sporadically caused this error every time the PC was connected to the local network in a bridged configuration. That bridged connection could be a wired connection to another PC, but users often encounter this error from a Wi-Fi wireless connection to a home broadband router.

Microsoft corrected this bug in the Vista version of Service Pack 1 (SP1).