Fix It: The Remote Device Won't Accept the Connection

If your browser won't connect to the internet, these fixes will help

Internet error on an old typewriter:

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A common issue computer users sometimes face is when they try to access the internet with a browser, they see the error message, "The remote device or resource won't accept the connection."

There are a number of reasons this error occurs.

  • Corporate Networks: If you've connected your laptop to your corporate network, the IT department might have modified your LAN settings to use their proxy server to access the internet. If this setting remains when you try to connect from home, you could see this error.
  • Malware: There are many forms of malware that will modify your LAN settings to direct your traffic through a malicious proxy server.

The solution for this problem depends on what caused the error.

The Remote Device or Resource Won't Accept the Connection

The meaning behind this error message is related to how your internet traffic is routed whenever you use a browser.

When your computer is configured to use a proxy server, all of your internet requests are routed to that proxy server. The proxy server then handles all traffic between the internet and your computer.

Photo of a proxy server with network cables
Thomas Jensen/Upsplash

On a corporate network, this is normal. IT administrators use proxy servers to protect corporate networks from malicious websites and protect corporate information.

However, in some cases home users get infected by malicious software that modifies the LAN settings in an attempt to route internet traffic through a proxy server that hackers use to steal your sensitive information.

Fix Your LAN Proxy Settings

The easiest fix for this problem is to remove the proxy server from your LAN settings.

  1. Select the Start menu and type Internet Options. Select Internet Options.

    Screenshot of Internet Options in the Start menu
  2. In the Internet Properties window, select the Connections tab.

    Screenshot of the Connections tab in Internet Properties
  3. On the Connections tab, deselect Use a proxy server for your LAN, and select Automatically detect settings.

    Screenshot of correct LAN settings in the Internet Options window
  4. After a few minutes, you should notice that you're able to access the internet with your web browser without seeing the error, "The Remote Device or Resource Won't Accept the Connection."

Reset Internet Explorer Settings

If you're using Internet Explorer and the solution above didn't work, it's possible that you still need to reset Internet Explorer to the default settings.

  1. Open the Internet Options tool as you did in step 1 above, but this time select the Advanced tab.

    Screenshot of the Internet Options Advanced tab
  2. Under the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, select the Reset button.

    Screenshot of the Reset Internet Explorer Settings window
  3. Select the Delete personal settings checkbox, then select the Reset button.

    Screenshot of Internet Explorer settings after reset
  4. Restart your computer, and then attempt to open Internet Explorer and access a website. The "The Remote Device or Resource Won't Accept the Connection" error should be gone and your internet connection restored.

Restore Your DNS Server Settings

If the previous sections didn't remove the error for you, it's possible that the DNS servers you're using to access the internet aren't configured properly.

DNS servers are typically located at your internet service provider's (ISP) data center and tells your browser the correct IP address for the URL you've entered into your browser URL field.

This can happen when malware infects your computer and modifies your network adapter settings. You can easily set those settings back with a couple of simple commands.

Only perform these commands on a computer that's connected to your home internet router on a wired connection. Attempting to follow these steps on a computer connected to a wireless network may not work properly.

  1. Select the Start menu and type CMD. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

    Screenshot of launching CMD as administrator
  2. In the command window, type the command: ipconfig/release

    This command releases the IP address your computer is using with your home router and ISP.

    Screenshot of an ipconfig/release command
  3. Next, type the following command: ipconfig/renew

    This command establishes a fresh connection (and potentially a new IP address) to your ISP with the correct DNS server configuration.

    Screenshot of the ipconfig/renew command
  4. Once you finish the renew command, you'll see a listing of the DNS server IP addresses under the active network connection. Open a web browser and attempt to connect to the internet to see if the error is gone.

Get Fresh Group Policies

If you're having this issue on a corporate network, it's possible that one of your group policy settings changed which causes your computer to utilize the wrong proxy server for internet access.

This is a common issue when a company changes the IP address of their DNS servers, and group policy settings haven't replicated out to all users yet.

An easy fix for this is to force an update of your group policy settings.

  1. Open the command prompt as administrator using the same procedure as step 1 above.

  2. In the command prompt window, type the command gpupdate /force

    Screenshot of forcing a group policy update
  3. If you receive an error message, you may not have appropriate permissions on your computer to force a group policy update. In this case, you'll need to reach out to your IT help desk and request a group policy update. Or, if you have the time, wait at least 24 hours for the corporate group policy update to roll out to all users.

Deal with the Malware

If none of the solutions above worked, you may be dealing with a severe malware infection that is resetting your internet settings even after you fix them.

In this case, you'll need to deal with the malware before you can fix the internet settings.

There are several applications that will remove malware from your computer, but one in particular that's known for fixing this particular problem is Hitman Pro.

Screenshot of running a Hitman Pro scan

The software isn't free, but you can download a 30 day trial (you'll need to provide your email address), and run a one-time scan on your computer.

Hitman Pro has been reported by some users as being capable of fixing the "The Remote Device or Resource Won't Accept the Connection" error.

Once Hitman Pro is finished, you'll need to run all of the standard adware, malware, and virus software to properly scan and clean your computer.

At the very least, you should run the following scanners to ensure all malicious software is removed from your computer.

  • Spybot: Will deep scan and clean your computer of all spyware.
  • MalwareBytes: Scans your computer for all forms of malware and removes it.
  • AVG: Will scan all files on your system for anything infected by a virus and clean it.

All of these products are free. They do take a while to scan so you may need to be patient and leave the scans running overnight.