When using Google to search, regardless of your browser or operating system, sometimes the error message "your computer or network may be sending automated queries" will appear.
This error can stop you from accessing certain webpages and can require you to enter captchas multiple times to reset your search, which still may not always work.
Cause of Automated Queries Errors
Google's servers and search are set up so that if they receive many attempts at connecting, i.e. queries, from a single computer or network, this is flagged as possible automation.
If this detected, Google will temporarily restrict your use of search (and you may be unable to access certain webpages) to make sure other users don't experience slowdown.
Oftentimes, Google will ask, after this error is displayed, for the user to enter a captcha to prove that they are human and are not in fact sending automated queries from their computer or network.
How To Fix Automated Queries Errors
It's unlikely that your computer or network is actually sending out automated queries, and this error message is most often a glitch that can be solved with a few common solutions.
If you happen to be experiencing this error immediately after installing a certain program or downloading and opening a certain file, it's possible there is actually a program connecting to the internet without your knowledge. In this case, first try uninstalling the program to see if the issue remains.
Clear your browsing history. Regardless of what browser you're on, clearing your history is a great way to make sure the data your browser stores isn't causing any issues.
Try a different internet browser. Sometimes this issue can be caused by your browser itself. Attempting to search in a new browser will confirm if the problem is localized to one application.
If you don't receive the error message on another browser, uninstall and reinstall your initial browser; then, try searching again to see if you get an error.
Restart your computer. Many problems across devices are temporary issues that may be solved by a fresh boot from a powered-off state. Once back on your computer, try searching again.
Restart your router and modem. If the previous steps don't solve the issue, it's possible the problem isn't with your device at all and is instead an issue with your internet connection.
If you can otherwise access your internet without issue and the problem persists after a restart, the problem likely isn't with your network or internet connection.
Scan your computer for malware. Unless you frequent sketchy sites or download suspicious attachments, a virus popping up on your computer is unlikely, but a nefarious program or service can cause this error message to appear.
Once the scan completes and you remove any detected infected files, try searching again.
What To Do When All Else Fails
Computers are complicated pieces of technology, and many things can go wrong. However, whenever experiencing an issue, there's always a last resort: a system reset.
On Windows PCs, there's the Reset This PC feature, which allows Windows users to reinstall Windows without a disc and gives users the option to keep their personal files intact.
Mac users, as well as MacBook Air users, also have options to reset their computers. On Macs, you can choose to backup your system and then restore a reset computer from the backup.
While you are able to keep all your files even when you reset your computer, this is something of a nuclear solution that should only be attempted if all else fails.
While in the modern day backups are widely available and operating system developers give users the option to keep their files from one OS to the next, it's good practice to make sure you have an extra copy of any essential files on your computer, preferably stored in the cloud where they are not susceptible to hardware failures.