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| Discussion | When trying to set up bridging network support available in the Microsoft Vista operating system, you may see the error Connected with limited access on a device joining the network. One of our message board members had this problem recently when trying to connect his Xbox 360 to the home network.

Very possibly, he did nothing wrong. Follow along on this thread to see what remedies are available that can resolve this problem: Connected With Limited Access in Windows Vista
November 1, 2008 at 10:03 pm
(1) Kenzie says:

having similar problem, just picked up a laptop and trying to connect to the internet via the router in the next room, i’m getting a “connected with limited access” problem and it cannot identify the network. tried rechecking the connection key and it’s correct, and all the other computers in the house are connected, however, my new laptop can’t.

November 30, 2008 at 12:21 am
(2) Alecia says:

At the beginning of November, I bought a new wireless N router. It worked great up until a week ago. It now says connected with limited access. I can still use the internet but it is slow. It’s like being on dial-up. It took 5 minutes for this page to load. I can’t figure it out. Everything is connected right and when I try to repair, it says that there are no problems. I’m ready to pull out my hair!! I work at home so having quick access internet is extremely important.

December 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm
(3) Truong says:


I got same issue. Thanks for showing me how to download a Microsoft Hotfix. unfornately I could not install the hot fix on Window Vista Home Premium x64 SP1 because it said it were not apply on my system. Anything wrong with it? Any advices would be appreciated.

December 28, 2008 at 8:26 pm
(4) Linda says:

HELP also having the same problem new laptop connects with limited acess with wireless also won’t recognise modem.Works fine with cable, other laptop and comps all working!

March 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(5) SMN says:

I’m having same problem, all other laptops in our haouse can connect and keep the connection but mine keeps losing the connection then saying ‘connection with limited access’

i’m running windows Vista on a Compaq laptop with wireless router. Help!

May 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm
(6) tomas says:

I have the same problem, this new notebook is getting me crazy, can anyone tell me how to resolve this??

July 6, 2009 at 9:05 am
(7) Dan says:

Same problem. PS3, iMac and iPhone all work great on wireless network. Brand new Compaq laptop with Vista, not so much.

October 8, 2009 at 10:28 pm
(8) Ron says:

Same here. Has anyone found a solution?

October 21, 2009 at 10:22 am
(9) nate says:


October 31, 2009 at 8:02 am
(10) Ross says:

all you need to do iss is turn the router off at the wall for 5 mins or so the turn it back on that will work … or disconnect your connection via you computer/laptop and refresh and connection that will take several times and a longer process but will work in the long run

November 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm
(11) Dodo says:

ok here what you need to do guys
just change your WEP Network Key to NUMBERS ONLY
do not use any LETTERS on it then go back to your laptop
and connect again
do not waste your time trying to install hotfix
as so many vista will show this message ( this update does not apply to your system ) even after updating to Vista SP2
give it try :P and enjoy
for whom that have no idea how to change the WEP Network Key
log into your router and go to Security and change the WEP Network Key
Have Fun

January 10, 2010 at 2:58 am
(12) Karen says:

I’m having the connection problem too, but in response to someone suggesting something about a WEP key: PLEASE do not use WEP! It is very outdated and can be broken easily, use WPA and make sure it’s just random numbers/letters as a password.

March 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm
(13) Lynne says:

Thanks for your advice Ross I have been trying to fix my laptop all day I have the same problem as everyone, cant connect to the internet limited access.
I didn’t want to mess about any-more but tried your idea of switch off the router for five mins and magically it fixed the problem now i am back on the internet.:)

April 10, 2010 at 8:29 am
(14) harold says:

Had to re-format my hard drive back to the original settings, and now everything works fine.( had to save and copy all the files i needed)

July 21, 2010 at 6:43 am
(15) Dave K. says:

After a short power outage my Vista laptop displayed “connected with limited access”. Had recently installed a Motorola Surfboard modem and new Belkin router. The problem was coming from my VOIP phone connection which was causing issues with my IP address. I disconnected the VIOP line. Unplugged my modem for 10 seconds. Powered up and got the wireless to my computers working again. I then reconnected my VOIP phone. All good so far.
I may switch to a dual LAN modem if this issues comes up again. Can dedicate one LAN to VOIP and the other to my wireless network.

August 2, 2010 at 11:48 am
(16) monkey says:

It is possible caused by using WEP as security. Change to WPA will fix your problem. It worked for me on HP laptop with window vista.

August 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(17) goose says:

Restore your system to the point when everything was normal. It works for me.

September 3, 2010 at 8:49 am
(18) Ozel says:

All you have to do is what Dodo says which is change your phrase/password under your router wireless settings.

Specicicaly here is what I did:
1. Type into my browser, click enter.
2. Log in
3. Go to wireless, wireless security.
4. Change my settings to WPA personal and change my password.
5. Save.

Internet connection fixed.

Good luck

March 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm
(19) Kendra says:

to solve it I go to control panel, device manager, then network adapters. Then right click on the wireless network adapter (MINE IS ATHEROS) and disable it. Then enable it after waiting about 30 seconds. This has always fixed the problem for me.

May 28, 2011 at 10:13 am
(20) mno5271 says:

i do got same problem. just do the restore point and fixed the problem.

July 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm
(21) Derek says:

Changing the security from WPA2 to WPA resolved this issue, Thanks to Karen and Dodo With WPA we were able to use the combination of letters and numbers.

July 30, 2011 at 3:08 am
(22) technomixx.com says:

Thanks a lot kendra, it’s work for me. Nice

August 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(23) Edwin says:

sometimes avast or another antiviru’s firewall may not let you connect to the internet. You have to go to device manager and check for the wireless or lan adapter. If it shows the antivirus name remove the antivirus and restart, this will fix the problem.

September 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm
(24) Steve S says:

Kendra’s suggestion seemed to work – for about a week. But now when trying to disable the adapter, it goes into a hung up state (not responding). Ctrl/Alt/Del and restarting the device manager shows the wireless adapter still active (no option to enable). Disabling again only repeats the above state – requiring a restart to get back online .

… until I get “Access Limited Connectivity” again – usually when streaming video.

November 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm
(25) Steve S says:

This happens consistently when streaming video FULL SCREEN. So it must be graphics related – in addition to a Vista problem.

November 12, 2011 at 5:24 am
(26) Renee says:

Good morning; I am having issues with my Internet :( . It’s stating i have limited access. I have disabled and then enabled, still nothing. I am using WPA personal. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

November 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(27) Jhoel says:

Hi everyone, i have the same problem. i try everithing… turn off the router, desable de network wireless adapter and nothing works… anyone help?

December 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm
(28) KMitch says:

I was having the same issue and my fix was to simply update the drivers for my wireless device and everything is working fine.

August 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm
(29) Rbet says:

On Windows vista:
Control Panel>System and Maintenance>Device Manager

Go to Network adapter and right click on your wireless adapter and select update driver software.

Here is the trick : you need your machine to be connected to internet using other connection so the driver software will be updated from the internet. It will take some time for the updating but it worked for me.

Thanks to KMitch.

October 19, 2012 at 12:39 am
(30) zack damion says:

I tried a lot of setting on the Wifi router to get a stable connection, change channel, change DNS, change Hz, change n/b/g what ever. All didn’t work, pissed off.

Only easy solution was to restart the computer. Without restarting, I can connect back, but all I get was Connection with limited access.

Couldn’t get a solution until I found this site.

I change from WPA2 to WPA….man…it worked! RoCk Solid…Thx a million!

November 17, 2012 at 2:56 am
(31) star says:

Changed the network key to numbers only, it works! Thanks every one!

December 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm
(32) donce says:

It happened on my Vista computer after I upgraded AVG antivirus. Made a restore point and installed Avast – works fine.

January 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm
(33) Smokey Jo says:

I’ve been around the houses, tried all the above to no avail, then eventually worked out something – which was a kind of mixture of all and some of the above.

The problem with my solution is that you need a 2nd computer which can access the internet, because you need to duplicate the working computers settings into the non-working computers settings in order to bridge the gap.

From your working computer, go to Start/Run/Cmd (pre vista) or type in Cmd into the search box (post vista)

Cmd launches the command dialogue box. Type in ipconfig /all

You want to make a note of…

IP Address…….. e.g.
Subnet Mask…… e.g.

(and the 2 addresses from DNS Servers)

DNS Servers……. e.g.

Then go to the faulty Limited Connectivity computer.

Right click the network icon in the bottom right of the desktop
open Network and Sharing Centre
open Manage network connections
right click ‘Wireless Network Connections’
select Properties
select (from the networking tab) Internet Protocal Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
click Properties
click Advanced
in IP Addresses, click [Add] then add your IP and Subnet from above
in Default gateways, click [Add] then add your Default gateway from above
Select the DNS tab
Add the 2 DNS addresses from the working computer in the order you got them (e.g. 8.26… first)

Ok, Ok, Ok…

Then try rebooting or simply turn off turn on your wireless

THIS eventually worked for me, although sadly if this webpage proves anything, not the same solution works for everyone – I hope at least someone like me at the end of their teather can derive some happiness from this – good luck

January 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm
(34) Smokey Jo says:

SORRY! forgot to mention, from the working computer ipconfig, you need to write down the Default Gateway address aswell as IP, Subnet and 2x DNS

So 5 lines of numbers in total.


February 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm
(35) Katy says:

Thank you to #29. Installing the new drivers worked for me. I’ve been looking into this for days. I’m so happy that I can finally use wireless again!

July 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm
(36) Meo says:

I have been struggling finding the appropriate solution for this issue. But the very simple solution is to simply CHANGE YOUR NETWORK SECURITY TO NUMBERS ONLY. Then that’s it. Happy days!

October 31, 2013 at 1:25 am
(37) Boszie says:

Dear Rbet (29)
It did work :) I had vista with limited connection and now I have vista with Internet :)
Thank you for sharing it!

November 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm
(38) Jim says:

Solved by looking at the Tom’s Hardware entry from Dockster to go to HP site for a updated driver for the Atheros AR5007 wifi b/g card taht came with Compaq 900 series running vista32 bit. It seems that the problem is the card does not support new encryption of WPA. Dockster found a link to an HP customer care site to update the AR5007 driver to a 09-2009 version that does.

December 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm
(39) grohbob says:

in my case problem was with antivirus,avast. repaired antivirus and problem solved.thanks a lot all of you.

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May 9, 2014 at 11:52 am
(42) Randall Brewer says:

I have had att.net for friggen years. Suddenly, I cant compose email. It takes multiple sessions to actually open my email. Now you folks want me to fix it? Hey, its on your end, bone heads. So fix it. Failure to provide services paid for… . Seems your system froze. Was more than likely hacked, and your security systems froze everything. So fix it… . My system is clean, I’ve run everything there is… just got it back from the specialist… .

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