7 ways to troubleshoot if your IP address has been temporarily blocked from accessing a website

1 year ago 198
  • Your IP address might be blocked on a website if you try logging in too many times or if you're suspected of being a spammer.
  • You can wait 24 hours if the ban was temporary, or check to see if you've been blacklisted by checking a public list.
  • You can also get around being blocked by changing your IP address or using a VPN.

While most users shouldn't see this error very often, it's always possible that a website you are trying to reach will block your IP address, preventing you from reaching it. There are a number of reasons this can happen — you might have tried to log in too many times or you violated the site's terms of service (such as posting unapproved content). But it might also be something that's not your fault, such as if your computer's IP address gets included in a ban of a set of IP addresses because you are a suspected spammer. 

There are a handful of ways to investigate and solve this problem, unblocking your IP address so you can complete whatever you were doing online. Here are seven of the best ways to fix your connections when your IP address has been temporarily blocked. 

Wait it out

It's common for a website to block IP addresses temporarily. If you attempted to log in too many times with the wrong credentials, for example, you might be banned or blocked for 24 hours, after which you can try again. You can check the website's terms of use for information, or just wait a day. 

If you looked for details on why your IP address is blocked in the website's terms of use and didn't see anything, you can reach out to the webmaster — especially if it's a smaller website that actively engages with its users. The webmaster might be able to tell you exactly why your IP address is blocked and what you can do to remedy the situation. 

See if your IP address is blacklisted

Many websites subscribe to publicly available IP address blacklists. These lists are often compiled from known spammers, and blocking the addresses can help keep unwanted users away from their websites and prevent spamming abuse. Your IP address could have been accidentally included in one of these blacklists, though. The good news is that you can check at a page on WhatIsMyIPAddress — just click Check IP Address. Your IP address is automatically filled in, and the site will report if it appears on any of these lists. 

Checking IP address blacklists at WhatIsMyIPAddress.

You can see if you've been added to an IP address blacklist at WhatIsMyIPAddress. Dave Johnson

Update your computer

A software update may help as well. If you aren't running the latest version of Windows, a security vulnerability could lead you to be exposed to malware that can cause your IP address to be blocked. Click Start and then type "update." In the search results, click Search for updates and see if there are any updates waiting — if so, install them and reboot. Wait a day and try to access the website which had blocked you. 

Check for malware

It's always a best practice to run antimalware software on your computer, but it's especially important if a significant event like getting your IP address blocked occurs. This is a red flag that your computer might have been hacked and is being used to send spam or conduct Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Even if you wiat 24 hours and the ban lifts, you might be blocked again soon after unless you fix the underlying problem. The bottom line: use antimalware software to scan your computer and take any action that's needed. If you use Windows, click Start and type "security," then click Windows Security when you see it appear in search results. Click Virus & threat protection, and perform a Quick scan

Windows 11 Virus & threat protection.

Run your computer's antimalware checker to see if that might be a factor in your IP ban. Dave Johnson

Change your IP address

Of course, the most direct way to get around an IP block is to actually change your IP address. Doing this is easier than it sounds; if you change your network or location, you automatically get a new IP address. If it's an option, change your Wi-Fi network. You can also reboot your internet modem, which should generate a new IP address for your computer when it restarts. 

Use a VPN

If you are unable to change your IP address and the other troubleshooting steps didn't help, you have one last option at your disposal: You can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN hides your IP address and lets you connect to websites with an IP address that appears to be coming from another location. It's commonly used to provide additional privacy and security, but it can also be used to help you circumvent an IP block. 

Dave Johnson

Freelance Writer

Dave Johnson is a technology journalist who writes about consumer tech and how the industry is transforming the speculative world of science fiction into modern-day real life. Dave grew up in New Jersey before entering the Air Force to operate satellites, teach space operations, and do space launch planning. He then spent eight years as a content lead on the Windows team at Microsoft. As a photographer, Dave has photographed wolves in their natural environment; he's also a scuba instructor and co-host of several podcasts. Dave is the author of more than two dozen books and has contributed to many sites and publications including CNET, Forbes, PC World, How To Geek, and Insider.

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