How to Fix the 'A Network Change Was Detected' Error

This Chrome error message is annoying but easy to fix

Google Chrome users on Windows computers occasionally encounter "a network change was detected" error message. The issue can put a drag on productivity, but it generally isn't a big concern and has several easy and fast solutions.

This guide applies to Google Chrome on computers and laptops with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7.

What Causes the 'A Network Change Was Detected' Error?

The message usually crops up when the internet connection switches from one network to another as you view a web page or download content. This change confuses the browser and disrupts the current data flow.

How To Fix the 'A Network Change Was Detected' Error

Although this error can be frustrating, you usually can fix it quickly. Try the following approaches.

  1. Reload the page. Click the circular button at the top of the Chrome window to reload the page. This is often the fastest and easiest solution. It forces Google Chrome to re-download the website contents with the new internet connection.

    Some web browsers refer to the reload function as refresh. Both terms mean the same thing.

  2. Restart Google Chrome. Click the X in the upper-right corner of the screen, then reopen Google Chrome the way you usually do.

    If you're not sure you'll remember what web page you're on after restarting the browser, bookmark it before you close the window.

  3. Restart the computer. This is probably one of the most-recommended tech tips in history, but it's famous because it works. A computer restart from the Windows Start Menu refreshes the internet connection and all open apps.

  4. Delete unwanted networks. Your Windows device might be trying to connect to too many networks at once. One way to fix this is to remove or forget all of the networks you don't need. To do this, open Settings > Network & Internet > Manage known networks, remove unwanted connections by choosing the network name, then select Forget.

    To view which internet connections are currently in range and could be causing the conflict, select the internet icon in the Windows 10 taskbar. Remove all of these, except the internet connection you use, with the above method.

  5. Reboot the modem and router. Manually unplug the devices from the wall and wait about five minutes. Plug the devices back in and wait a few minutes for the network to come online. Then, restart the computer.

  6. Perform a Windows update. This often corrects several computer problems because the process scans the system, downloads new files, and fixes known issues. To perform a Windows update on Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security, and select Check for updates.

    A Windows update can take a while to complete if you haven't performed one in a while.

  7. Update Google Chrome. As with most web browsers, developers update Chrome regularly with security enhancements, new features, and bug fixes. To update it, click the More icon (the three dots in the upper-right corner of the screen), then select Update Google Chrome.

    If you can't find this option in the menu, it means that the browser is updated to the latest version.

  8. Clear browsing data. This is a good tip for fixing many browser-related errors and bugs. Click the More icon in the upper-right corner and select Settings > Advanced > Clear Browsing Data > Clear Data.

  9. Flush the DNS settings. Highlight and copy ipconfig /flushdns to the clipboard, then open the Start Menu and press Ctrl+V. Select the Run command link that appears. The process should complete almost immediately.

  10. Try a different internet browser. Download and install Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or another browser.

  • What else can cause a "network change detected" error?

    It's possible that your Virtual Private Network (VPN) is conflicting with your network connection. Try temporarily disabling the VPN to see if that fixes it. Malware is another possible cause, in which case you should perform a malware scan.

  • Does a "network change detected" error mean I've been hacked?

    While it is possible that you're seeing a network change error due to a hack, it's far more likely that you're just experiencing technical issues. More common signs of a hack include unexpected web browser re-directs, more frequent pop-ups, ransomware or fake antivirus messages, and passwords no longer working.

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