How to Solve a Destination Host Unreachable Error

This can be caused by bad internet and/or cable connections or even overly aggressive firewalls

Shortcut Options

  • Test the IPv6 connection to determine the default gateway IP, then compare it to the device's configured gateway via netshell IP settings.
  • Add a gateway: LAN settings > Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) > Properties. Change Default Gateway to the correct address.
  • To check if the error is resolved, enter a ping test in Command Prompt: C:\Users\Me>ping -6

This article explains how to fix a destination host unreachable error on Windows devices, as well as how to add the correct gateway address for a destination host, and how to confirm the error is resolved.

What Causes a Destination Host Unreachable Error?

There are many possible reasons for getting a “destination host unreachable” error, including things as simple as erroneously connected cables or an overly aggressive firewall.

As you can see from the details below, we're trying to ping a specific network device IP address, but the response we're getting doesn't provide much detail beyond the error itself:


Pinging with 64 bytes of data:

Reply from Destination host unreachable

So, what's going on here? In simple terms, we're trying to communicate with a device at the specified IP address, but the remote gateway is unable to direct our ping request to the host itself, and so it sends an echo message back to say that it can't be found.

How to Fix a Destination Host Unreachable Error

In diagnosing the error, it's useful to follow the steps to fix an IPv6 error first to see if they resolve your networking issues. If the problem persists, you need to look at your network infrastructure to establish where the issue is.

For this example, we’re going to check our Default Gateway settings, then follow the steps to fix them.

  1. To start, we need to check our internet connection via a browser. For this example, we'll check to see if it loads on our device. If it does, we know there's a problem on our local network, rather than a broader connection issue.

  2. Next, we're going to test our IPv6 connection to see if that's where the issue lies. To do this, open the Command Prompt and use the following command to ping your original IP address, but type "ping -6" to isolate the IPv6 line.

    C:\Users\Me>ping -6
  3. You should get a reply in the Command Prompt, which looks like this:

    Pinging with 64 bytes of data:
    Reply from Destination host unreachable.
    Reply from Destination host unreachable.
    Reply from Destination host unreachable.
    Reply from Destination host unreachable.
  4. The above reply comes from IP address, which seems to relate to the remote gateway handling our request. To check this, run a traceroute using the following command:

    C:\Users\Me>tracert -6 -d
  5. You should get a response, and it should resemble the following:

    Tracing route over a maximum of 30 hops:
    1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms
    2 reports: Destination host unreachable.
    Trace complete.
  6. From this, we can make a judgment that is configured as the default gateway. To check if this is as it should be, we can look at our IP settings via the netshell. To launch netshell, enter the following command:

  7. With netshell open, enter this command:

    netshell>interface ipv6
    netshell interface ipv6>showconfig
  8. The response will show our Local Area Connection details, with a reference line for the Default Gateway. In our example we see the following:

    Default Gateway

    This confirms that is currently configured as the default gateway, but when we look at our actual device's IP address, we see it's slightly different:

How to Add the Correct Gateway Address for a Destination Host

From the information gained above, we can see we need to add the correct gateway address via our Local Area Network (LAN) settings. To do this, follow these steps.

  1. Select Settings > Network and Internet > Network Connections.

  2. Right-click the relevant Local Area Network. Then, select Properties.

  3. From the list, select Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6). Next, select Properties.

  4. In the Properties tab, change the Default Gateway to the correct address. So, in this example, we change "" to ""

  5. Press OK to save the changes.

Extra: How to Check if Destination Host Unreachable Error Is Resolved

  1. To check if the issue is resolved, go back to the Command Prompt and exit the netshell using the following command:

    netsh interface ipv6>exit
  2. Now, we're ready to try our ping test once more, using this command:

    C:\Users\Me>ping -6
  3. Just as before, the ping should come back with a reply showing the new Default Gateway.

    Pinging with 64 bytes of data:
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=57 time=27.205 ms
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=57 time=14.109 ms
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=57 time=13.887 ms
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=57 time=13.954 ms
    64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=57 time=18.269 ms
  4. As we can see, our ping test is now working and our connection is running as expected.

  • What is the difference between “request time out” and “destination host unreachable?”

    A request timeout error means that your request was received, but the host took too long to respond. A destination host unreachable error, on the other hand, means that your request couldn't reach the host.

  • How does the ping command work?

    The ping command is used to test the ability of the source computer to reach a specified destination computer. It sends Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo request messages to the destination computer and waits for a response.

  • How do I ping a website?

    To ping a website, open the command prompt and enter ping followed by the URL (i.e. ping Alternatively, use a computer name or an IP address with the ping command.

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