How to Fix the Error Message 'Your Computer or Network May Be Sending Automated Queries'

Get back to work in just a few steps

When using Google to search, regardless of your browser or operating system, sometimes the error message "your computer or network may be sending automated queries" will appear.

This error can stop you from accessing certain web pages and can require you to enter captchas multiple times to reset your search, which still may not always work.

Cause of Automated Queries Errors

If Google's servers and search receive many attempts at connecting, i.e., queries from a single computer or network, they flag it as possible automation.

Google search error captcha

If this is detected, Google will temporarily restrict your use of search (and you may be unable to access specific webpages) to make sure other users don't experience a slowdown.

Often, Google will ask, after this error is displayed, for the user to enter a captcha to prove that they are human and are not sending automated queries from their computer or network.

How to Fix Automated Queries Errors

It's unlikely that your computer or network is sending out automated queries. This error message is most often a glitch that you can solve with a few solutions.

  1. If you experience this error immediately after installing a particular program or downloading and opening a specific file, a program may have connected to the internet without your knowledge. In this case, first, try uninstalling the program to see if the issue remains.

  2. Clear your browser cache. Regardless of what browser you're on, clearing your cache is a great way to make sure your browser data isn't causing any issues.

  3. Try a different internet browser. Sometimes the browser itself can cause this issue. Attempting to search in a new browser will confirm if the problem is from one application.

    If you don't receive the error message on another browser, uninstall and reinstall your initial browser; then, try searching again to see if you get an error.

  4. Restart the browser. Closing out of it completely and clearing the open tabs, is an important step you can take that might resolve the issue you're experiencing.

  5. Restart your computer. Many problems across devices are temporary issues that a fresh boot may solve from a powered-off state. Once back on your computer, try searching again.

  6. Restart your router and modem. If the previous steps don't solve the issue, it's possible the problem isn't with your device and is instead an issue with your internet connection.

    If you can otherwise access your internet without issue and the problem persists after a restart, the problem likely isn't with your network or internet connection.

  7. Scan your computer for malware. Unless you frequent sketchy sites or download suspicious attachments, a virus popping up on your computer is unlikely. Still, a nefarious program or service can cause this error message to appear.

    Once the scan completes and you remove any detected infected files, try searching again.

What to Do When All Else Fails

Computers are complicated pieces of technology, and many things can go wrong. However, whenever experiencing an issue, there's always a last resort: a system reset.

The Reset This PC feature on Windows PCs allows Windows users to reinstall Windows without a disc and gives users the option to keep their files intact.

Mac users, as well as MacBook Air users, also have options to reset their computers. On Macs, you can choose to backup your system and then restore a reset computer from the backup.

While you can keep all your files even when you reset your computer, this is something of a nuclear solution that you should only attempt if all else fails.


It's good practice to make sure you have an extra copy of any essential files on your computer, preferably stored in the cloud where they are not susceptible to hardware failures.

Was this page helpful?