How to turn off proxy server Windows 8. We explain how to change your network settings in Internet Explorer. (See also: What's the best web browser?)

A proxy server is an intermediary between your computer and the internet, often used to hide your real location and allow you to access websites that would otherwise be blocked. The popular Hola! Unblocker browser add-on is a proxy that lets you, for example, watch US Netflix even if you're in the UK.

If you're having trouble connecting to the internet via Internet Explorer, it's possible that it has been set to use a proxy server. To change this, launch IE, click on the cog at the top-right corner and choose Internet Options from the menu.

Then, click on the Connections tab, then the LAN settings button. A new window will open where you can untick the 'Use a proxy server for your LAN' option. Make sure the 'Automatically detect settings' box is checked (as in the image above) and then click OK, then OK again.

You might have to reboot your PC or laptop for the changes to take effect.

Sometimes, after a reboot, you'll find that your settings have been undone and they have returned to using a proxy server. This usually indicates the presence of malware of some description, although some people have reported that the change is made by their internet security software.

In any case, you can try several things (not necessarily in this order):

  • Temporarily disable the firewall provided as part of your internet security software (not all include one)
  • Run a scan for malware using your anti-virus or other security software
  • Download Malwarebytes (free version) and check for and remove malware
  • Use a different web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome and see if it fixes your problem

If the worst comes to the worst, you might have to back up all your documents and media, then reinstall Windows (here's how). It's usually unnecessary to do so, but it is virtually guaranteed to solve the problem.