Four Methods to Repair the “An Surprising Error Occurred” Error When Opening Ethernet Properties

You're sipping your chai tea on a Sunday to skim memes about Kim's black Met Gala dress, but you realize your internet isn't working. You go to check your connection and you get an error window saying "An unexpected error has occurred".

It can be incredibly annoying to receive a bug while trying to solve a bug, especially one that is so vague. Fortunately, you can use this guide to fix the unexpected error and get back online.

What is causing the Ethernet "an unexpected error has occurred" problem in Windows?

The most common causes of "" An Unexpected Error Occurred "when opening the Ethernet settings are a Windows build update or a change in the configuration of the network adapter. A Windows build update can cause some problems for your network drivers that your system However, if the problem is because you've changed the configuration of the network adapter, it's pretty easy to reset it.

How to fix "An unexpected error has occurred" problem in Windows

Whatever the problem, one of the following fixes should get you back online and help you regain access to Ethernet properties so you don't run into an "An unexpected error has occurred" error.

1. Reinstall the Ethernet driver

If your driver's configuration is screwed up, you can simply uninstall and reinstall the driver so that everything is reset to the default settings. This will likely resolve the "An unexpected error occurred" error.

Press Profit + r and type in devmgmt.msc to start the device manager. Expand the list of Network adapter and look for your ethernet adapter. In most cases it will have the word ethernet in its name. Right click on the driver and select Uninstall device.

Choose Uninstall when asked for confirmation.

Related: How to remove a network adapter in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Once your device disappears from the list, click on plot from the top band and choose Scan for hardware changes. Windows will reinstall the device while scanning. You can also just restart your PC and the driver will be reinstalled automatically.

Open the Network Connections window again and check whether you can now access the properties of the Ethernet adapter. If you can't, but your Device Manager window is open, don't close it yet.

2. Update the Ethernet driver

While you're at it, also try updating the driver. Even without the problem, it's a good idea to keep your drivers updated. If your driver has a compatibility problem with Windows, an update may fix it.

Right click on the ethernet adapter and select Update driver. The update wizard asks if you want Windows to automatically search for a driver or to search your computer for driver files.

Windows isn't that good at automatically finding an updated driver, so you can just go to the manufacturer's website and download the drivers for manual installation. Usually, searching for "XYZ driver download" or something similar will bring you to the download page.

If you've decided to try the automatic option, choose Search for drivers automatically and see if Windows can find the driver. If so, the wizard will guide you through the installation process.

Choose Search for drivers automatically if you want to take the manual route or the automatic option did not find the driver. In the next step, navigate to the folder where you saved the driver installation files. Proceed with the wizard and let the installation complete.

When you're done, restart your PC to see if the "An unexpected error occurred" is gone for good.

3. Use the built-in troubleshooting

Windows has a number of troubleshooters that can help you solve many problems with a single click. If the previous methods didn't work for you, it's time to give one of these troubleshooters a call to see if they can help you out.

Press Win + me to start the Settings app. Navigate to Update & security > Troubleshooting. Choose Additional bug fixes from the right pane and you will be taken to a list of troubleshooters. search for Network adapter Troubleshoot, click on it and choose Run the troubleshooter.

After you start troubleshooting, you need to select the adapter that you want to troubleshoot.

click Next Once you've chosen and let the troubleshooter identify the problems. If it finds a problem, it will automatically try to fix it. If it doesn't fix automatically, at least you'll find out what the problem is.

However, if no issues can be identified, try the next fix.

4. Deactivate IPv6

The traditional way of disabling IPv6 may not be an option here as you will not be able to access the properties of the network adapter. Fortunately, Windows offers an alternative that allows you to manipulate the configuration of various system components.

PowerShell allows you to configure your network adapter using cmdlets. You can use PowerShell to disable IPv6 for a specific network adapter without opening the network adapter's properties.

Press Profit + r, Type Power Shell, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated command prompt. Run the following command to verify that IPv6 is actually enabled for a specific network adapter:

Get-NetAdapterBinding -ComponentID ms_tcpip6

When verifying that IPv6 is enabled, also make a note of the exact name of the adapter, as it appears in this list, for which you want to disable IPv6.

Run the following command to disable IPv6:

Disable-NetAdapterBinding -Name "Adaptername" -ComponentID ms_tcpip6

Of course, change the "adapter name" to the actual name you just wrote down for the adapter.

When you're done, exit PowerShell and restart your PC to see if you still get an "An unexpected error occurred" when opening the Ethernet properties.

Punching the unexpected bug flat

It is difficult to control your network without accessing the properties of the network adapter. Hopefully one of these fixes worked for you and you can now reconfigure your adapter properties as usual.

If you've tried accessing Ethernet network properties because you are having problems with your home network, there are ways to fix a dodgy network and get back online.

Problems with the home network? 8 diagnostic tricks and fixes to try out

Are you having problems with your home network? Learn How to Troubleshoot Network Connectivity and Get Back Online!

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About the author

Arjun Ruparelia
(24 articles published)

Arjun is a trained accountant and loves researching technology. He likes to use technology to make everyday tasks easier and often a lot more fun.

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By Arjun Ruparelia

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