How to fix “An Unexpected Error Occurred” error when opening Ethernet properties

The most common causes of the “An Unexpected Error Occurred” error when opening Ethernet settings are a Windows update or a change in the configuration of the network adapter. Windows updates can cause some network driver problems, preventing the system from connecting to the Internet. However, if the problem is because you have changed the configuration of the network adapter, then resetting is quite easy.

How to fix “An Unexpected Error Occurred” problem in Windows

Whatever the cause, one of the following fixes should be able to get you back online, regain access to Ethernet properties, and no longer get the “An Unexpected Error Occurred” error.

1. Reinstall the Ethernet driver

If the driver configuration has been changed, you can simply uninstall and reinstall the driver to get everything back to default. This will probably resolve the “An unexpected error occurred” error.

Press Win + CHEAP and enter devmgmt.msc to launch Device Manager. Expand the list Network adapters and search for your Ethernet adapter. In most cases, the word ethernet will appear in the name. Right click on the driver and select Uninstall device.

Reinstall the Ethernet driver
Reinstall the Ethernet driver

Choose Uninstall set when prompted for confirmation.

When your device disappears from the list, click Action from the top ribbon and select Scan for hardware changes. Windows will reinstall the device when scanning. You can also restart your PC and the driver will automatically reinstall.

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Revisit the window Network Connections and see if you can access the Ethernet adapter properties now. If you can’t but windows Device Manager is open, do not close it.

2. Update Ethernet driver

When in the window Device Manager, try updating the driver. Even if there is no problem, you should still update the driver. If the driver has compatibility issues with Windows, an update can fix the problem.

Update Ethernet driver
Update Ethernet driver

Right click on the Ethernet adapter and select Update drivers. The update wizard will ask if you want Windows to automatically search for drivers or browse your computer for driver files.

When you’re done, restart your PC to see if the “An unexpected error occurred” error goes away.

3. Use the built-in debugger

Windows has a group of troubleshooters that can help you solve many problems with just one click. If the previous methods didn’t work, it’s time to head to one of these troubleshooters to see if they can help.

Press Win + I to launch the Settings app. Navigate to Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Choose Additional troubleshooters from the right pane and this will take you to the troubleshooter list. Find Network Adapter troubleshooter, click on it and select Run the troubleshooter.

After launching the troubleshooter, you will need to select the adapter with which you want to resolve the issue.

Use the built-in debugger
Use the built-in debugger

Click next once you’ve selected the adapter and let the troubleshooter detect the problem. if it finds a problem, it will try to fix it automatically. If this built-in tool cannot be fixed automatically, you will at least find out what the problem is.

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If this doesn’t work, move on to the next option.

4. Disable IPv6

The usual way to disable IPv6 may not be available here because you cannot access the network adapter properties. Fortunately, Windows has an alternative that you can use to manipulate the configuration of various system components.

PowerShell allows you to configure network adapters through cmdlets. You can use PowerShell to disable IPv6 for a specific network adapter without having to open the network adapter’s properties.

Disable IPv6 with Powershell
Disable IPv6 with Powershell

Follow the 3rd method in the article: Disable IPv6 to fix Internet connection problems on Windows computers to do this.

It’s hard to control the network when you can’t access the network adapter’s properties. Hopefully one of these fixes was helpful to you and now you can reconfigure your adapter properties as usual.

If you’re trying to access Ethernet network properties due to problems with your home network, there are other ways to fix a bad network and get online connectivity back.

Good luck with your troubleshooting!

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