ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) service not starting in Windows 10

It all started after I got the Windows 10 Fall Creators update. The Internet sharing from my main desktop PC to the LAN stopped working.

I am using a Desktop with Windows 10 Pro, connected to Internet and having three LAN cards. Two of them are connected to two different Internet connections and the third one is connected to a switch. The switch is used to form a LAN with some desktops and laptops connected to it. I used to share the Internet connection from one of the LAN adaptors connected to Internet and this was made available to the rest of the LAN using the switch. All this setup was working perfect for me (for setting up a small LAN with number of PCs sharing internet connection)

All in a sudden after the Windows update the Internet sharing stopped working, and started throwing error while enabling ‘Internet Sharing’.

Symptom

  1. Open Properties of network adaptor and open Sharing
  2. Tick the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection It shows a dialog similar to this (since Internet sharing was enabled earlier for another adaptor).

 

  1. Close the dialog if it appears and then press Ok
  1. Now it shows an error saying ‘An error occurred while Internet Connection Sharing was being enabled. (null)’.

 

After several restarts, I opened Services (services.msc) and found out that the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service is frozen with the status “Starting“.  It’s Startup type is set to Automatic. I tried many solutions found online but none of them helped me to make this service running.

If the above symptoms match your issue or if you are not able to get ICS running on Windows 10, then this solution will surely help you.

Solution

 

  1. Go to Services (services.msc) and Open Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service by double clicking on it. Change the startup type to Disabled and save and close the window.

  1. Restart Windows.
  2. Go to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Defender > Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  3. Click on the Firewall & Network protection option

  1. Click on Advanced settings link
  2. Click on Export Policy link in the right side panel, and save the Firewall policies into a (.wfw) file. This step is optional and is only required if you have set firewall policies which you want to restore later.

  1. Click on Restore Default Policy option and click Yes to restore the firewall policies.

  1. Go to Services (services.msc) again and Open Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service by double clicking on it. Click on Start button to start the service. Voila! your ICS service is started and is running now. Don’t forget to change the startup type to Automatic and save and close the window.

  1. Import Firewall policies back if required.

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