Someone might want to spend less time on an activity when there are other things they would rather be doing, but the activity fulfills some necessary function that prevents them from changing their behavior (e.g., going to work when they would prefer to stay home). Alternatively, a person might want to reduce time spent on a highly preferred or habitual activity because they find themselves unable to manage their behavior, as in overeating or chronic procrastination. This registered report compared internet use by people who wanted to reduce the amount of time they spend on the internet with internet use by people who did not. Eight hundred nineteen respondents completed a self-report measure of problematic internet use, the Young Diagnostic Questionnaire (YDQ), and an indirect functional assessment of behavioral factors that motivate internet use, the Preliminary Internet Consequences Questionnaire (ICQ-P). People who reported wanting to reduce internet use were more likely to have YDQ scores ≥5 than people who did not. They also had higher total ICQ-P scores and endorsed ICQ-P items related to negative reinforcement (i.e., escape from or avoidance of demands, social interaction, and thoughts or feelings) more than people who did not want to reduce their internet use. There were no group differences in endorsement of any positive reinforcement factors. Taken together, group differences support the theory that excessive unwanted internet use is a problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement.