I'm Getting an Unreachable Response From a Ping

I'm Getting an Unreachable Response From a Ping thumbnail
Confirm your router's configuration if you receive error messages when you ping.

Pinging a computer is a way to check if a computer is online and connected. You cannot ping a device that is not connected to your network, or via the Internet unless it is online. For local area networks, a router between the computer sending the ping signal and the one receiving the ping signal will stop the ping from being sent. This isn’t the only cause for getting an unreachable response from a ping.

  1. Pinging Another Computer

    • If you cannot ping a computer on your local area network, you first need to ensure you put the correct computer name or Internet Protocol address in the screen command window. If you use the wrong name or address, the system won’t find it because it is incorrect. Always double check the name or address before sending a ping request. Confirm the configuration of your local area network router and check for errors.


    • The device or computer that you are trying to reach must be on the same subnet as the computer making the request. Routers, hubs or gateways between the two computers may cause an “unreachable” error to occur. The other reason you may receive an unreachable error is that the local hosts file may not be updated properly. The ping process uses Internet Control Message Protocol, or ICMP to communicate with a computer. Windows uses the LMHost file to store and update a computer’s “NetBIOS” computer name and Internet Protocol address.

    Ping Won’t Work

    • If pinging a computer doesn’t work, check to see if the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol settings are correct. Tying in the wrong TCP/IP settings will cause the computer to not communicate the way it needs to when pinging. These settings are accessible from the control panel of your computer in the Network Settings and Local Area Connection settings. Not all organizations allow their computers to be “pinged,” so they add a block to the return ping, so a ping or trace may not work on all networked systems, including pinging across the Internet.

    Destination Not Reachable Message

    • Sometimes the error message that is sent back when you ping another computer is “destination is not reachable.” This happens when you ping an outside computer and the gateway or the router the other computer uses doesn’t have the correct network IP address. The other reason is the gateway simply doesn’t know where to send the response. Sometimes renewing dynamic host configuration protocol will allow the computer to respond to the ping. This works when you are configuring your own local area network.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

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