Websites that come under attack are often the target of a DDoS attack. DDoS is a distributed denial of service that happens if a website is accessed one-too-many times in a very small span of time. Think of it as a restaurant that gets a sudden influx of too many people and is unable to serve and/or seat them all. It has to turn people away and a website, when it’s at capacity, becomes inaccessible to users.
Your computer or network may be sending automated queries
Websites have lots of checks in place to prevent themselves from being the target of a DDoS attack. If an IP address accesses a website repeatedly within a small timeframe, you may see a CAPTCHA or similar check to slow down the queries coming in from your system.
If you’re trying to Google something or you’re visiting a website, and you see the ‘Your computer may be sending automated queries’ message, it means your computer, and by extension, you, have accessed a website too many times. It’s triggered a defense mechanism that will slow you down and have you prove that you’re not a bot or it may refuse to display the website at all.
Automated queries – how to fix them
To fix the ‘Your computer may be sending automated queries’ message appearing constantly, try the following.
1. Remove extensions
If you haven’t been accessing a website frequently enough to be blocked from accessing it directly, your extensions may be to blame. You may have installed an extension that is malicious. The quickest way to resolve this is to disable them all.
- Open your browser.
- Go to the extensions manager.
- Disable all extensions.
- Browse normally and the message should go away.
2. Disable network monitoring tools
If you’re using a network monitoring tool to keep an eye on the incoming and outgoing network requests, it may be interfering with your connection to a website. Try disabling it. The app itself may not be malicious but the website may still flag it as suspicious and try to slow down your access to the website.
3. Scan your system
If an extension or a network monitoring tool isn’t to blame, it’s possible an app you installed on the system is sending requests. Malware often installs itself covertly on systems and uses these systems to send lots and lots of requests to a website that is being targeted.
- Open Windows defender.
- Go to Virus and threat protection.
- Click Scan options.
- Select Full Scan and click Scan Now.
- Allow the scan to complete and remove all infected items.
- It’s also a good idea to scan the system with the free version of Malware Bytes and remove all infections.
4. Delete cookies
Cookies are small files that websites save on your system. They normally expire after a small amount of time but some cookies are not refreshed. If a cookie is malicious or just too old, it may be causing problems with your browsing session.
- Open your browser.
- Go to the browser’s settings.
- Look for the clear history option.
- Select cookies and delete them all.
5. Connect to a different network
There may be a problem with the network you’re using to connect to the internet. Changing the network can fix the ‘Your computer may be sending automated queries’ problem.
Some websites trigger the “Your computer may be sending automated queries” message even if you’ve only been visiting them sparingly over a long period of time. Anything that seems like unusual traffic tends to be blocked but if you see this message often, and only for a particular website, it’s possible the website has problems of its own. If you see it for a more popular website such as Google, you should run a full system scan and consider clean installing whichever browser it is you use.