Full Fix: Proxy won’t turn off on Windows 10/11

by Vlad Constantinescu
Vlad Constantinescu
Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Vlad might have a degree in Animal Husbandry and Livestock Management, but he's currently rocking anything software related, ranging from testing programs to writing in-depth reviews about them.... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Using a proxy server can be a great way to protect your privacy and connection security. But sometimes, your proxy can get stubborn and refuse to turn off.
  • If that ever happens, don't fret. We managed to identify a series of causes for this issue, as well as several methods that might work as a charm.
  • Visit our Network & Internet section to discover more easy-to-follow networking guides.
  • Check out our Proxy Hub for more user-friendly proxy guides and tips & tricks.

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Many turn to proxy servers to protect their online privacy, but what if your proxy won’t turn off?

Not being able to disable your proxy off could signal a serious underlying problem, and can even be a sign of malware.

Time after time, various users reported proxy issues, such as:

  • Proxy server keeps turning on Windows 10 – in this case, you might not be able to turn your proxy off, as it can keep switching back on
  • Windows 10 proxy settings keep changing, won’t save – most likely occurs due to registry problems
  • Can’t change proxy settings Windows 10 – often happens if your user profile is corrupted
  • Proxy settings, server won’t turn off – occurs whenever certain services aren’t running
  • Proxy won’t stay off, disable – can happen for a bunch of reasons, but we’ve got some quick fixes right below

Proxy won’t turn off in Windows 10, what to do?

Run a full system scan

As we briefly explained above, not being able to turn off proxy can be a sign of malware infection.

This is by far the worst case scenario, so you’ll want to act quickly if you notice that your proxy won’t turn off.

Therefore, a full system scan is in order. Even if it won’t detect anything, you can at least rule out this scenario and try other suggested methods.

Here’s how to perform a full system scan with Windows 10’s built-in security software:

  1. Press the Win key on your keyboard
  2. Type security
  3. Select Windows Security from the Start Menu
  4. Go to Virus & threat protection
  5. Click the Scan options button
  6. Select the Full scan option
  7. Click the Scan now button
  8. Wait for the scan to come to an end

If you’re not entirely satisfied with Windows’ built-in security features, check out the best antivirus software for your Windows 10 PC.

Edit your registry

  1. Press Windows Key + R
  2. Type regedit and press Enter or click OK
    Windows 10 proxy settings won't save
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings
    Can't change proxy settings Windows 10
  4. Double-click the ProxySettingsPerUser DWORD
  5. Set its value to 1

In case the DWORD isn’t available, right-click the right pane, choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it ProxySettingsPerUser.

Now double-click it and set its value to 1.

Some users also suggest making the following changes in the same location:

  • Change ProxyEnable value to 0
  • Change ProxyHttp1.1 value to 0
  • Remove ProxyOverride key
  • Remove ProxyServer key

Many users reported that this solution worked in their case.

On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that modifying the registry is a risky procedure, especially if you have no experience with the RegEditor.

Check if your proxy has been disabled properly

  1. Open the Settings app (use the Win Key + I combination)
  2. Navigate to the Network & Internet section
    Proxy won't stay off
  3. Go to the Proxy category
  4. Disable all options in the Proxy section
    Proxy server keeps turning on Windows 10

This might sound like the equivalent of restarting your computer when something goes wrong.

However, you have no clue how many times users complain about things not working without actually starting them.

With that in mind, kindly check if you properly turned off your proxy before panicking about it refusing to disable.

Check if any apps or services run on port 8080

Apparently, other applications might be using port 8080 on your system, and this could sometimes cause proxy issues.

For that reason, we’re going to do a quick check-up and see if there are any apps on your system running on port 8080.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Launch Command Prompt as administrator
    Windows 10 proxy settings keep changing
  2. Type the following command: netstat -abno | findstr LISTENING | findstr :8080
  3. Check if any apps on your system run on port 8080

Reportedly, ISUSPM.exe frequently uses port 8080. Thus, in order to fix your proxy issues, you need to disable it.

It’s quite easy to do so, too. Just follow these steps:

  1. Launch Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc)
  2. Locate the ISUSPM.exe process
  3. Right-click it and choose End task from the menu
    Proxy settings, server won't turn off
  4. Navigate to this path on your PC: C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesInstallShieldUpdate
  5. Locate ISUSPM.exe
  6. Rename it to ISUSPM-old.exe

Now you just have to restart your PC and the problem with proxy should be gone.

Create a new user account

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Head over to the Accounts section.
    Proxy server keeps turning on Windows 10
  3. Now choose Family & other people
  4. Click Add someone else to this PC
    Windows 10 proxy settings keep changing
  5. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information
    Can't change proxy settings Windows 10
  6. Click the Add a user without a Microsoft account button
    Proxy settings won't turn off
  7. Type a username and a password for the new account
  8. Click Next
    Proxy won't disable

Sometimes your user account can get corrupted, and as you can see, it can cause a wide range of issues.

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If this is the case, you might be better off creating a new account than trying to recover your old, corrupted one.

After doing so, switch to the new account and check if the problem still persists.

If everything is alright, you can start moving your personal files from your old account and delete the corrupted account once you’re done.

Enable WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service

Sometimes your proxy not turning off problem may be caused by certain services on your system.

To be more specific, WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service, or better yet, its absence, could be the one responsible for this issue.

Naturally, in order to fix it, you just have to start this service.

This is quite simple to do if you follow these steps:

  1. Press Win Key + R on your keyboard
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter or click OK
    Proxy server won't turn off
  3. Locate WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service
  4. Double-click it
    Proxy won't disable
  5. Click the Start button, then the Apply and OK ones

Check if the issue is still present after starting the service.

Obviously, if you notice that the service was already running when you arrived to it, this method doesn’t apply to you and you can skip it.

Disable your browser’s proxy settings

In some instances, you might be able to fix this problem simply by disabling your proxy settings in your browser.

This process is different for each browser, however it shouldn’t be too complicated, regardless of the browser you use.

What you need to do is access open the Settings page in your browser, locate the Proxy section and make sure everything is disabled.

Note that you may need to start your browser as an administrator in order to apply the changes.

After disabling all proxy settings from your browser, check if the problem still persists. If it does, try restarting your PC and check once more.

Use a VPN

  1. Buy a premium VPN plan (we recommend PIA)
  2. Download the VPN to your PC
  3. Install and launch the VPN client
  4. Log into your account
  5. Connect to any server you prefer
  6. Enjoy secure, anonymous browsing

Many times proxy servers are the preferred choice instead of VPNs, because, let’s face it, proxy servers are usually free.

However, using a VPN could boost your connection in terms of privacy, security, and even speed if you’re lucky enough.

Private Internet Access, for instance, has an outstanding network of over 22,000 servers (and counting) that you can choose from.

More so, it won’t log any of your online activity details, so you can rest assured knowing that your privacy is in good hands.

PIA also offers SOCKS5 and Shadowsocks proxy support, so you can always use those in addition to standard VPN features.

On the downside, using a VPN won’t automatically disable your proxy, so you might want to try our suggestions above before installing a VPN.

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As it turns out, sometimes your PC may refuse to turn off the proxy server connection, and that can happen from a bunch of reasons.

However, we believe we managed to identify most (if not all) of them and offer effective methods to solve this issue, regardless of its cause.

If you did manage to disable proxy on your system, it would be a wise decision to invest in a trustworthy VPN service such as PIA.

It offers greater privacy and security features, minus all the hassle that a proxy server comes with.

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