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What Are the Common Causes of Socket Error 10054?

Alex Newth
Alex Newth

Computers are rife with potential errors and, of all of them, socket error 10054 is one of the easier ones to fix. This error is usually caused accidentally when the user shuts down the software or closes the connection while the computer is attempting to connect with a server. More serious causes of this error are the Internet connection suddenly dropping or a proxy server disabling server connections. As with all errors, the firewall also could be acting up and causing the connection to break.

The overall reason why this socket error occurs is because the server connection has been broken by something outside the server. Most of the time, this is an action caused, either purposefully or accidentally, by the user. When 10054 manifests, as with other errors, the first thing that the user should do is to temporarily disable the firewall, because firewalls sometimes break good connections, thinking they are bad.

Socket error 10054 often means a lost internet connection.
Socket error 10054 often means a lost internet connection.

If the problem occurred because of an accidental or manual shutdown of the program, then this will be even easier to fix than the firewall method. Sometimes, when a user is attempting to connect to a server, he or she will close the program. This may be because he no longer needs to connect to the server or because the program was closed mistakenly. In this instance, he can just start the program again and the connection should work.

A failed internet connection may be caused by a faulty router.
A failed internet connection may be caused by a faulty router.

A break in the Internet connection also can cause a socket error 10054. As with the program, this can occur manually. If the user is not at fault for breaking the Internet connection, he should check the modem, router, and any internal device connecting to the Internet to ensure they are working. Manually resetting the device and calling the Internet service provider (ISP) can help get the Internet back online. In more serious cases, the device may have to be repaired or replaced.

Another reason for this error is that the user is using a proxy server to mask his computer address. This happens if the server is attempting to connect to the computer’s inherent address, and not the proxy server. If this occurs, the user can manually tell the server to connect to the proxy and not directly to the computer. Otherwise, the connection will keep breaking.

Discussion Comments


Socket error 10054 while trying to send email is commonly because of a port problem. The port is like a door to connect an IP and if you are knonking the wrong door you get socket error 10054. For example for you are trying to connect on port 25 but you should on port 587.


@SkyWhisperer - I've never gotten any of the socket errors mentioned here, but I did get an error for SMTP when I changed Internet providers and tried to access my new mail server.

It was a simple enough fix however. All I needed to do was go in and change my settings for SMTP and POP server. Your provider will give you this information.


@allenJo - I’d like to add one note to the issue of the proxy server. It’s true that in general you want the proxy server disabled.

However, sometimes you have software that needs a proxy server to perform some of its functions. For example, I have a free anti spyware application. Every now and then I have to connect to their website to update the application with new spyware signatures.

However, when I first tried to do the update, I got a socket error 10061. I went on the Internet and did a search on this error, and it basically means that the host refused the connection.

Digging deeper, I found out that my program used a proxy server. I was, however, able to go into the application’s settings, and make changes so that it could use the proxy server with my firewall settings. I believe that I had to make changes to my firewall settings as well.


@allenJo - I’ve never gotten that error message on my computer. However, I did once get a socket error 10060.

In my experience, this error had nothing to do with a virus or a firewall or anything of the sort. It had to do with corrupt Windows systems files.

Basically, over time I had installed so much software on my computer that some of the systems files in the Windows folder got corrupted. This can happen, because a lot of applications will write to the windows systems directory.

Further, if you uninstall the application, they have to remove files from the windows system directory. Corruption can happen if you do this too much.

I went to a website that explained the error message to me and I downloaded a tool that did a scan of my system. It found out which files were missing, then helped to reinstall those files from my Windows CD.


My Internet connection was down some time ago and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was causing the problem.

I was getting the infamous Winsock error 10054. I did everything I could think of to resolve the problem. I checked my firewall settings. I checked for viruses. I reinstalled the virus scanner. I rebooted the computer – everything.

Finally I called the cable company. They checked, and confirmed that I was receiving an Internet signal, so there was nothing wrong on their end. Finally the guy asked me to check my Internet Explorer browser and see if there was a check mark by the option for “Proxy server.”

Sure enough, there was. He told me to disable it, which I did. The Internet was back working again. He told me that apparently a virus had attacked my machine and checked that Proxy Server option, giving me that error.

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    • Socket error 10054 often means a lost internet connection.
      By: Syda Productions
      Socket error 10054 often means a lost internet connection.
    • A failed internet connection may be caused by a faulty router.
      By: vladimirs
      A failed internet connection may be caused by a faulty router.