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

This Chrome error message is annoying but easy to fix

Middle-aged man looking confused with a laptop while thinking about Windows as a Service.

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Google Chrome users can occasionally encounter "a network change was detected" error messages on a Windows computer or laptop. This can disrupt internet access within the browser and destroy productivity. Fortunately, this tech issue generally isn't a big concern. There are several easy solutions you can apply quickly to resolve it.

This guide applies to Google Chrome users on computers and laptops running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 operating systems.

What Is The 'A Network Change Was Detected' Error?

The "a network change was detected" error message appears while using the Windows version of the Google Chrome browser. It's usually activated when the internet connection switches from one network to another while a web page is viewed or content is downloaded.

This change essentially confuses the browser as its connection to the internet switches to a new network and disrupts the current data flow.

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

While this network error can be frustrating, it usually isn't a major problem. It can be resolved fairly fast by trying one or more of the following solutions:

  1. Reload the browser window. This is often the fastest and easiest solution for this particular network error, as it forces Google Chrome to re-download the website's contents with the new internet connection.

    Some web browsers refer to the reload function as "refresh." Both terms mean the exact same thing and are usually performed by clicking a circular arrow button at the top of the web browser's window.

  2. Restart Google Chrome. If reloading didn't work, you may need to restart the browser itself. To do this, simply click the X in the top-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, it's a good idea to bookmark it

  3. Restart your computer. This is probably one of the most-recommended tech tips in history, but it's famous because it works. A simple computer restart from your Windows Start Menu can refresh your internet connection and all of your open apps, and it frequently fixes most bugs or glitches you're experiencing.

  4. Delete unwanted networks. If you continue to get error messages stating your connection was interrupted or your network has changed, your Windows device may be trying to connect to too many networks at once.

    Windows 10 Wi-Fi settings.

    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 and then manually remove unwanted connections by selecting their name, then selecting Forget.

    To view which internet connections are currently in range and could potentially be causing the conflict, select the internet icon in the Windows 10 taskbar. Remove all of these via the above method with the exception of your own internet connection.

  5. Reboot your modem and router. It's possible your modem and router could be behind this changed network error message. An effective way to fix this, and other network conflicts, is to reboot your modem and router by manually unplugging each device from the wall, waiting around five minutes, and then plugging them back in again.

  6. Perform a Windows update. A Windows update can often correct a lot of computer problems, as the process scans the system, downloads new files, and fixes known issues.

    Windows 10 Settings app.

    To perform a Windows update on Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security and select Check for updates.

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

  7. Update Google Chrome. The Google Chrome browser, like most web browsers, is updated on a very regular basis with security enhancements, new features, and bug fixes. To update it, click on the More icon (the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen), then select Update Google Chrome.

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

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

  9. Flush the DNS settings. If you continue to get the network error message, you can try flushing the system's DNS settings.

    To do this, highlight and copy ipconfig /flushdns to your clipboard, then open the Windows 10 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. If you continue to experience issues with Google Chrome, a valid solution is to simply try another popular internet browser such as Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox