Ethernet Adapter not Showing: Fix it With 7 Simple Methods

Updating the network adapter is often a quick solution

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Outdated network adapter drivers often trigger this problem, but our guide will provide valuable solutions.
  • Simple glitches may cause the error, and it is recommended to reconnect the ethernet cable as this may be an easy fix.
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Device Manager lists all the essential hardware components for diagnostic purposes. However, some users have reported that the Ethernet adapter is not showing in Device Manager, and they cannot access the Internet.

If there’s no Ethernet controller in the Device Manager, it probably means it’s disabled. If you haven’t disabled the adapter manually, it can happen due to a power surge which can cause the network component to be disabled.

This article discusses what to do if you see no Ethernet adapter in Device Manager.

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Why is my Ethernet adapter not showing up?

We have gathered a few things that may trigger this Ethernet adapter issue. The leading causes include the following:

  • A disabled device – This may be the most fundamental issue since if Ethernet is disabled on your computer, you may not expect to be able to use it.
  • Power issues – The Ethernet adapter can automatically get disabled due to a power surge or other power-related reasons.
  • Network card issues – It could be because you have installed an older network card driver on your computer.
  • Bad connections – The Ethernet cable may have been improperly connected for some users.

Regardless of what causes these problems, it would be best if you successfully fixed them using the solutions we recommend below.

How can I fix the Ethernet adapter if it’s not showing?

Before venturing into any of these solutions, we recommend the following if you can’t find the Ethernet adapter in the Device Manager:

  • Restart your computer
  • Reconnect the Ethernet cables
In this article

1. Show hidden devices

  1. Press Windows + R, type devmgmt.msc, and hit Enter.
  2. Click the View menu and select Show hidden devices.
  3. Once done, restart the computer, expand the Network adapters section and observe if you can see your Ethernet drivers.

2. Reset Winsock

  1. Click the Start menu, type cmd, and select Run as administrator.
    ethernet adapter not showing
  2. Now type the command below and hit Enter.
    netsh winsock reset
  3. Exit the command prompt and restart your computer.

3. Clean up network devices

  1. Click the Start menu, type cmd, and select Run as administrator.ethernet adapter not showing
  2. Now type the command below and hit Enter.
    netcfg -d

Once done, restart your computer and verify whether the Ethernet port is still not showing in the Device Manager if that’s the case, head to the next solution.

4. Change power management settings

  1. Press Windows + R, type devmgmt.msc, and hit Enter.
  2. Right-click on your network adaptor and select Properties.
    ethernet adapter not showing
  3. Click on the Power Management tab and uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
    ethernet adapter not showing

5. Enable the ethernet adapter

  1. Press Windows + R, type control panel, and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to the path below:
    Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center
  3. Click on Change Adapter Settings from the left pane.
  4. Right-click on your ethernet adapter and select Enable.

6. Reset BIOS

  1. Press and hold Shift while restarting the computer.
  2. Press the Function key before the computer restarts, enabling you to enter BIOS (Varies by manufacturer).
  3. Look out for Load Setup Defaults, Load factory Defaults, Reset to Default, Standard CMOS Features, Load Setup Defaults, Clear BIOS Settings, or something similar.
  4. Navigate to Save and Exit using the Arrow keys and then hit Enter. 

The LAN card may be defective if your Ethernet is not showing up in Device Manager, even after following all the steps. You can either replace the card or get a USB ethernet adapter.

Please let us know what fix helped you resolve the issue in the comments below. Also, remember to leave there any other questions or suggestions that you may have.

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