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Sometimes, Windows 11 will show you a “Limited Access” warning on your network connection, either out of the blue or after you’ve made a change to your networking settings. When the error appears, you PC can no longer access the internet or different network resources, despite being connected to the router.
Thankfully, you can fix the problem by yourself. We’ll show you the most common fixes to get rid of the “Limited Access” issue.
1. Check Your ISP’s Data Plan
Even if Windows shows the Limited access message when you connect to the Wi-Fi, there’s a chance you don’t have any system or connectivity issues.
Depending on your ISP (or Internet Service Provider), you might have limited or unlimited data. If you have a data cap, and you exceed it, your Wi-Fi network might show limited access once you connect to it.
You can check how much data you’ve used through Windows Settings. Press Win + I to bring up the Settings menu. Head to Network & Internet > Advanced network settings > Data usage. There, check your data usage and compare it with your data cap.
2. Turn Off the Metered Connection Feature
In case you’ve set up a metered connection to make sure you’re not going over your data cap, the Wi-Fi will show limited access if you’ve reached the limit. Now, if you no longer need Windows to keep an eye on your data usage you should disable the metered connection.
- Right-click the Start button and go to Settings.
- From the right pane, select Network & internet > Wi-Fi.
- Select the network you’re connected to.
- Turn off the Metered connection option.
If you’ve gone over the limit, you might have to upgrade to a better ISP plan or control how much data you use in Windows. But if you’re nowhere near close to the cap, it means the problem is limited to your computer.
3. Reconnect to the Network
Sometimes, reconnecting your computer is enough to fix the limited access issue. Open the Action Center and disconnect from the Wi-Fi network. Wait a few moments and reconnect to the network.
Similarly, you could enable and disable Airplane mode on Windows 11 as it disables all wireless functions on your computer.
4. Restart Your Router
If every device connected to the same network has limited access, you should restart the router. However, simply turning it off and on might not be enough. To get the best results you should use the correct way to restart a router.
5. Run the Network Troubleshooter
Whenever you encounter a problem on your system, you should give Windows a chance to fix the problem for you. Windows has plenty of troubleshooting tools that you can use to keep your computer running smoothly, including a network troubleshooter. Here’s how you can use it:
- Right-click the Start button and select Settings.
- Go to System > Troubleshoot.
- Select Other troubleshooters.
- Click the Run button next to Network Adapter.
- If the next window, you can select which network adapter Windows should diagnose. Select the Wi-Fi option and go through the next instructions.
6. Restart the Network Adapter
Restarting your network adapter might solve wireless issues, including Wi-Fi showing limited access. Here’s how you can restart the network adapter through Device Manager:
- Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
- Extend the Network adapter list.
- Right-click the wireless adapter and select Disable device.
- Wait a few seconds, right-click it again, and select Enable device.
Additionally, you should update the wireless driver, in case you’re running an outdated or corrupted version. Go through the above steps again, right-click the adapter, and select Update driver. In the next window, select Install drivers automatically, so Windows will search for and install the latest version available.
If you can’t find your network adapter driver, open the View menu and click Show hidden devices. If the adapter doesn’t show up, you might be dealing with a missing network adapter in Windows.
7. Check the Adapter Properties
Another cause for Wi-Fi showing the Limited Access message might be inappropriate adapter properties. Here’s how you can check them:
- Open Device Manager.
- Expand the Network adapters list.
- Right-click the wireless adapter and select Properties.
- Open the Advanced tab.
- From Property, select Wireless Mode.
- Set Value to Auto.
- Click OK to save the new adapter settings.
- Restart your computer and connect to the Wi-Fi network.
Depending on the adapter producer, you might not be able to set Wireless Mode to Auto. In this case, search for 802.11n Channel Width for 2.4GHz and 802.11n Channel Width for 5.2Ghz in the Property field and set their value to Auto.
8. Stop Windows From Turning Off the Network Adapter
Depending on your power management settings, Windows might turn off the network adapter if your computer has a low battery. While this may keep your computer working longer, it will cause the Wi-Fi network to show limited access.
Right-click the network adapter and open the Power management tab. There, uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option.
9. Reset Your Network
When dealing with the Wi-Fi network showing limited access, it might be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. If you’ve gone through the above instruction but didn’t find anything wrong with your system setting, you should reset the network.
This way, Windows will revert network settings to their default values and reinstall all the network adapters.
Go through the following steps to reset the network:
- Press Win + I to bring up Windows Settings.
- Go to Network & internet > Advanced network settings.
- Head to the More settings section and click Network reset.
- Click the Reset now button.
Keep in mind this will restart your computer, so make sure to save any work in progress and bookmark any browser tab that you might still need.
Fix Windows 11 Limited Wi-Fi Access
By now you should’ve gained unlimited access to your Wi-Fi network. Not being able to access the internet is a huge pain, as it is not much you can do without a proper network connection. Most of the time, the problem is caused by a network driver issue, so keeping them up to date will save you a future headache.
As you’ve fixed the problem, you should focus on increasing your internet speed in Windows 11.