Destination Host Unreachable Ping Error Message

During my network engineer career, one of the common errors I received while troubleshooting connectivity issues is Destination Host Unreachable.

This error was the cause of my Internet connectivity problems most times.

The same can be true for you too. When you troubleshoot your connectivity problems, the chances of getting this ping reply are very high.

If you learn how to resolve this error by yourself, you can fix most of your Internet connectivity problems yourself. In this tutorial, I will explain everything about this error.

By the first part, you will learn the meaning of this ping reply.

The second part of this article explains the reasons to get the ping reply Destination Host Unreachable.

You will learn how to fix the Destination Host Unreachable ping error in the last part.

What does Destination Host Unreachable Reply Mean?

Before proceeding to the core of this tutorial, let me explain the meaning of this ping reply.

The Destination Host Unreachable error tells that the ping packets from your computer cannot find a route to the destination IP address(destination host).


Now you understand the meaning of this ping reply. However, to learn more about this error, you should ask yourself two questions.

  1. Who replied to your device this Destination Host Unreachable message?

  2. Why the ping packets from your computer failed to reach the destination address?


Let me answer the questions one by one. But before I explain the first question, you must learn how the ping operation works.

When you ping an address, this is how it works.

  • I am pinging to my blog by typing ping www.corenetworkz.com on command prompt.

  • Ping packets reach the default gateway

  • Checking the ARP table and Routing table

  • Finding a route to the Remote Gateway of the destination IP address

  • Remote Gateway forwards the ping packets to the destination host

  • Remote host reply with an acknowledgment

Can you tell me the potential sources for a Destination Host Unreachable reply from this ping workflow algorithm?

You can get this reply from two possible sources.

  1. Your Default Gateway

  2. Destination Gateway


How do you know whether the reply comes from your default gateway or remote gateway?

Well, it is simple. All you have to do is to analyze the ping reply carefully. Check the format of the message. Two types of error messages are common on Windows devices.
  1. Reply from x.x.x.x Destination Host Unreachable

    If you see the following format, check the IP address. Most of the time, X.X.X.X must be a remote gateway address. Which shows the error message you received is from the remote gateway.

  2. Destination Host Unreachable

    If you don't see an IP address in the error reply, your default gateway sends it.

Both error formats have different reasons. I will explain the reasons to get either format in the next part.

Reasons to Get the ICMP Error Destination Host Unreachable



Any one of the reasons listed below can get you to the ICMP Echo message Destination Host Unreachable.

  1. Your Default Gateway doesn't know the route to the destination IP address

  2. Packet Routing issue on Remote gateway

  3. The destination host might be down

  4. Loose Connection

  5. Wrong Firewall Settings

One of the frequent questions I received from our readers is whether this error is related to the Operating System like Windows error and Linux error?

The answer is no.

Analyzing the ICMP Echo Destination Host Unreachable

Let me explain why I received this ICMP Echo by analyzing a live example.

Here I send ping packets to the global DNS address 4.2.2.2 to troubleshoot the connectivity problem. The screenshot below shows the reply I received.
ICMP error message Destination Host Unreachable

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600] Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. C:\corenetworkz;ping 4.2.2.2 Pinging 4.2.2.2 with 32 bytes of data: Destination host unreachable. Destination host unreachable. Destination host unreachable. Destination host unreachable. Ping statistics for 4.2.2.2: Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss), C:\corenetworkz>


Which format is this? It is the second format of the Destination Host Unreachable error. Let me explain how to resolve this error.

How to Fix Ping Error Destination Host Unreachable?


If you do not want to go into the complexity of this ICMP Echo, you can follow the instructions below to resolve the Destination Host Unreachable Ping error message.

  1. Disable the firewall

    Aggressive firewall settings can cause the destination host unreachable error.

    To check whether the firewall is the reason for this issue, disable it on your computer.

    Try to access the Internet after disabling the firewall.

  2. Perform a Power Cycle in your Network

    • Switch off the devices on your network

    • Disconnect power cables from Modem and Router

    • Disconnect the Ethernet cables from Modem, Computer, and Router

    • Reconnect the power and ethernet cables

    • Power on the Modem and Router after one minute

  3. Disable IPv6 and Test the Connectivity

    Sometimes devices fell into the IP version conflicts. Different operating systems have different IP version priorities.

    Windows 10 prefer IPv6 to IPv4. The same is true for the major Linux variants like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, etc.

    However, sometimes devices fail to work properly with IPv6.

    Rarely it results in ICMP error messages. We can check it by disabling the IPv6 on your device.

    Let us check how to disable the IP Version 6 on a Windows 10 computer and test the issue.

    • Right-click on the Network Adapter at the system tray

    • Click on Open Network & Internet settings

    • Click on Change Adapter options

    • Right Click on the current connection and click properties

    • Uncheck the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)

    • Click OK

    • Reboot your Computer

    Once you reboot your computer, check for the connection.


About The Author:

Alex George is a Microsoft and Cisco Certified Network Engineer. He has been working as a network engineer for more than ten years.

His Professional Qualifications: CCNA, CCNP, and MCSE.

Comments

  1. Outstanding and simple article. Thank you.

    Michael D. Waters
    www.mdwaters.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:40 AM

    i dint like it..._|_

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ Anonymous

    Can you provide more details ? Is there any solution I forgot to mention here for the above error ?

    @ Michael

    Thanks for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very Helpful Article. I just disabled my Firewall as per you directed and next moment the error destination host unreachable disappeared. Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12:49 AM

    Thanks for the help

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Thank you so much. I usually get Destination Host Unreachable error message while ping to my server IP. Now I understand thanks

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous6:42 PM

    I just solved this problem across part of a network in which half of the workstations would receive this error message when trying to PING the server and half could successfully PING the server. In my case (after looking everywhere else first) this turned out to be a defective network switch!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous9:14 PM

    Pretty nice work mate, it would be better if you can post something which is limited to home networks and devices connected to it.
    Thanks you have ignited good info in my mind...thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous1:05 AM

    I remember this error message destination host unreachable but I completely forget when I saw it and what I was doing. Anyway it just disappeared from my computer without doing any. Now only I understand the real cause of this. Thanks..

    Toni

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think this error is something with my Firewall. I did exactly the same steps you mentioned and now it is fine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. David2:39 AM

    Thanks for your tutorial. Now I know why I am getting this.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous3:35 AM

    Will I get Destination host error message if I unplug the computer right after sending the ping command?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Siju George2:18 AM

    To get Destination host unreachable message, ping request from your computer should reach remote gateway.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I have connected a pfSense box on WAN, directly to a simple Linksys router on LAN. When I ping the Linksys from the pfSense box I keep getting A RANDOM MIX OF "Destination Host Unreachable", timeouts and fast normal responses (3ms). How is that possible?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Admin2:17 AM

    In order to check this issue, I request you to tell us the exact network diagram with IP addresses assigned to each devices.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous2:17 AM

    Ive already tried the power modem cycle many times but it still didnot work. Are there any other options?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Admin3:41 AM

    Have you disabled the firewall and check for the issue ?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous9:57 PM

    i connect the internet cable means my remote server if working .. but i use vm Vshpere means the destination host unreachable error will came.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I tried everything, still doesn't work

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Devry85225,

    Can you provide some more details ?

    1. Are you able to go online from other devices using the same network?

    2. Which device you are using and which OS?

    ReplyDelete
  22. yes this is very helpful.. my site http://www.vidyagyaan.com is not responded.

    ReplyDelete
  23. can you tell me about how to connect two mail servers with two routers to send the mail?

    ReplyDelete
  24. can you tell me about how to connect two mail servers with two routers for send the mail?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Another cause for Destination Host Unreachable can be a corrupt Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache. Symptoms - Internet accessible but local file server not. Solution - Delete/Refresh the ARP cache. This site had good instructions https://techjourney.net/clear-delete-and-refresh-arp-cache-entry/

    ReplyDelete
  26. @ Joe

    Thanks for adding your solution to this tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cctv in ping showing destination host unreacheable from 5days and video loss in screen showing and in command promt cmd it showing media disconnected please help and reply with reason

    ReplyDelete
  28. @ Unknown

    It is difficult to answer your question without knowing your network diagram. However, from the information you provided, you need to check the connection between your CCTV and the router.

    Media disconnected shows there is no connection to your CCTV. Is your CCTV connected to your network via cable or wireless?

    How do you assign IP address to your CCTV?

    ReplyDelete
  29. One of the best and simple explanations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ashok for your appreciation.

      Delete

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