Cannot access any website on Internet Explorer or Chrome (Solved)

I got a call from a guy that was referred to me by one of my clients. He told me he cannot access his gmail on any browser (Internet explorer, chrome, etc) yet his internet connection is working fine. This was in fact a laptop using Windows 10.

I love working remotely, so my first suggestion was to direct him to one of the free remote desktop applications, so that he can download and install it. This is when we discovered that its not only gmail that cannot open, but also other websites. We scheduled a call-out the following day and when I got there I confirmed internet access was fine, all setting look fine but one thing surprised me. This laptop was running three anti virus softwares, Bitdefender, Mcafee and Avast. I disabled them one by one and found out that was actually the cause of websites being blocked from access.

Likely Cause

Unknowingly installing anti virus while installing some software from the internet. When downloading and installing softwares from the internet, you will usually be presented with some options to install other softwares. Usually many people just go ahead and click “next”, “next”, “install”, “finish”. Without reading and noticing to uncheck the options to install the additional softwares.


Uninstall the other two anti virus softwares. In this case, Bitdefender and Mcafee were uninstalled.  Yes, it was that simple, I suggested to the owner to choose one antivirus to use and that solved the issue.

This was the easiest and agreed upon solution, I know it is possible to run more than one anti virus software on a computer and still be able to access websites.
One of the ways of doing that is to disable web protection or shield, depending on what the anti virus calls it. There definitely other ways to solve this but any time you face this issue, do check in programs and features to see if you are not running many anti virus applications.

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