Proxy Server Settings issue in Internet Explorer
Lately I have had a number of people who know that I repair computers asking me about a particular problem with their computer. The issue is to do with the proxy server settings in Internet Explorer. This particular fix is so easy it isn’t worth a onsite visit to get the issue repaired by a computer tech. I do not have any evidence to understand why this particular issue is becoming so common, but at a guess it is likely to do with malware on clients computers changing this setting. Chrome, Firefox and Safari can suffer from the same problem, but I haven’t noticed anyone asking me to repair the issue with those browsers so I will just deal with Internet Explorer here.
As a very quick background to the issue; proxy servers redirect internet traffic through a piece of network equipment rather than directly sending information through the normal internet connection. Commonly they are used by medium and large businesses to control security and privacy for their workers. When the internet was in its infancy proxy servers were also used to cache data, reducing the amount of internet data usage by storing the most commonly accessed files within an organisations own servers. As the internet technologies changed caching proxy servers no longer have the cost/benefit when web pages were statically created and delivered. The most commonly used modern use of proxy servers in the home environment is to hide your location from the internet. If you have set up a proxy server for this purpose this fix will not solve your problem.
Step One – Find the Internet Options
This guide only works for Internet Explorer. As there are about 4 versions of Internet explorer commonly used now there can be minor differences from what appears on your screen. The differences are only cosmetic and the functionality has not changed since the mid 1990’s. Yes I am that old, my children remind me constantly of that.
1. Find the “Tools” menu in Internet explorer. This can be found by one of the following
- a little “gear” icon in the top right hand corner
- a menu called “Tools” on the top of Internet Explorer
- holding down the ALT key while in Internet Explorer
2. After selecting “Tools”, select the “Internet Options” menu at the bottom of the list
3. Select the “Connections” tab on the top of the “Internet Options” menu
You should now have something on-screen that looks like the screenshot I have attached.
Step Two – Change the Proxy Server Settings
At the bottom of the “Connections” menu you will notice a button called “LAN settings” this is where the change needs to be made.
1. Click on the LAN settings option.
2. Remove any tick from the “Proxy server” settings. The tick will be next to “Use a proxy server for your LAN”.
3. Place a tick into “Automatically detect settings”
Your new setup should be similar to what I have attached as a screenshot.
Step Three – Save and Test the fix
1. Click “OK” on the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings screen
2. Click “OK” on the Internet Options screen
3. Enter a very common web address to test the connection. For example www.google.com.
Hopefully now you can browse the internet again. But before you rush off and start enjoying everything the internet has to offer, it would be wise to run a Malware detection program across your computer. So far every time I have repaired this issue malware was present on the computer. As I said initially I have no hard proof that malware is changing this setting, but it is highly likely. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an excellent program to run across the computer occasionally; and it is totally free. I do not know of any professional computer repairers that do not use this piece of software, it really is that good.