Slow computer due to proxy auto-detect

While on vacation, my laptop (which is a Windows 10 machine) stayed off, almost entirely; save for some miscellaneous banking, news, etc. A week prior to returning to work, I performed all the updates necessary to get my computer back “up to speed”. Unfortunately, one of these  updates caused a big hit to network performance and subsequently the overall performance of my computer (since most of my work involves some form of internet connection). My colleague and I (mainly him) finally determined what the problem was; it’s simple, and stupid.

Here are the symptom’s:

  • When first starting my computer up (from a sleep), Chrome would indicate that it was offline for up to several minutes; alternatively, it would say it could not resolve the host name.
  • Slack would occasionally go offline and come back online.
  • Running Network Troubleshooting would report “Windows Could not Automatically Detect Network’s Proxy Settings”.
  • Things got real bad when my outlook started freezing up, asking me to login to my MS account again (and failing to login).

The solution: After poking around Internet Explorer’s connection settings (specifically the “proxy” settings), we discovered that in a recent update, Windows now has a second set proxy settings. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy, and ensure that “Automatically detect settings” is turned off. I’m still ensure why this needs to be off… This contradicts the similar setting under Internet Explorer’s “Connections” settings. However, it did fix the problem, and Network Troubleshooting no longer reports the error message I was previously seeing.

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