Solved: A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken

By: Milan Stanojevic
7 minute read

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The Internet is a major part of our lives, and we use it on daily basis. Unfortunately, problems with Internet connection can occur, and users reported A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error message on Windows 10.

“A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken” error, how to fix it?

A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error can appear on almost any PC, and it can prevent you from connecting to the Internet. Speaking of network adapter problems, these are some of the most common problems that users reported:

  • A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Lenovo, HP laptop, Acer, Sony Vaio, Asus, Toshiba – This problem can appear any device, and users reported this issue on almost every laptop brand. If you’re having this problem, you might be able to fix it using one of our solutions.
  • A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Windows 7, 8.1 – This error can also appear on any version of Windows, but even if you don’t use Windows 10, you should be able to apply most of our solutions to Windows 8.1 and 7.
  • Wireless capability is turned off a network cable is not properly plugged in – This is a variation of the main error, but you can fix it simply by changing your network configuration settings.
  • A network cable is unplugged – Sometimes you might get this error message on your PC. If that happens, be sure to reinstall your network adapter and check if that solves the issue.

Solution 1 – Check your antivirus

A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Lenovo

Sometimes your antivirus tool can interfere with your network connection and cause A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error to appear. To fix this problem, check your antivirus configuration and try to disable your firewall or other features temporarily. If that doesn’t help, you might have to uninstall your antivirus.

If removing the antivirus solves the problem, we would encourage you to switch to a different antivirus solution. There are many great antivirus tools available on the market, but the best are BullGuard, Bitdefender, and Panda Antivirus. All these tools offer great protection, and they are fully compatible with Windows 10, so feel free to try any of them.


Solution 2 – Install the latest drivers

This issue can appear if the network adapter doesn’t have the necessary drivers installed, but you can easily fix that by installing the drivers from the CD that you got with your network adapter. Alternatively, you can also download the drivers directly from the manufacturer if you wish to do so. Usually, the manufacturer will have the latest drivers, so it might be better to you use them instead.

Updating drivers manually is very annoying and can permanently damage your PC (by downloading the wrong driver versions), so we recommend you to download TweakBit’s driver updater tool (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.


Solution 3 – Unplug your PC

Few users reported that you can fix this problem on your laptop by unplugging all cables. After disconnecting all cables and devices, remove your laptop’s battery and leave your laptop for a while. After turning your laptop back on, the network issues should be fixed.


Solution 4 – Check if wireless is enabled

On many laptops you have to turn on the wireless adapter by pressing the wireless button or by using the keyboard shortcut. If this problem appears on your PC, be sure that Wi-Fi is enabled on your laptop. To enable Wi-Fi just use the Fn+F5 shortcut or press the Wi-Fi button on your laptop.


Solution 5 – Reinstall your network adapter driver

If you’re having this problem, you can fix it by reinstalling your network adapter driver. To do that follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager.
    A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Windows 8.1
  2. Locate your network adapter, right-click it and choose Uninstall device.
    Wireless capability is turned off a network cable is not properly plugged in
  3. If available, check Delete driver software for this device and click OK.

After you uninstall the driver, restart your PC. Windows 10 will automatically install the default driver, and you can continue using it if it works for you. If you have issues with the default driver, we suggest that you download and install the latest drivers for your network adapter.


Solution 6 – Check if the network adapter is disabled in BIOS

Few users reported that this issue was caused because the network adapter was disabled in BIOS. To fix this problem, you need to enter BIOS and check if your network adapter is enabled. For more details on how to enter BIOS and how to enable the network adapter, be sure to check your motherboard manual.


Solution 7 – Replace your Ethernet cable

If this problem still occurs, you might want to replace your Ethernet cable. Before purchasing a new cable, you should test the same cable on a different PC to see if it works. If the problem occurs on two or more different devices, be sure to replace your cable.


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  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).


Solution 8 – Restart / reset your router

A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Windows 7

In some cases, this error can appear if your router configuration isn’t correct, and in order to fix this problem we advise you to restart your router. To do that, just turn the router off and turn it back on and check if the problem appears again. If the issue still persists, you might have to reset your router. To see how to properly reset your router be sure to check your router’s instruction manual.

If you’re still having issues with your hardware or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool (100% safe and tested by us) to fix various PC problems, such as hardware failure, but also file loss and malware.


Solution 9 – Run the network troubleshooter

Windows comes with many troubleshooting applications that can fix common problems on your PC. These applications are simple to use, and according to users, they might be able to help you with A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error. To use a troubleshooter on Windows 10, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter troubleshoot. Select Troubleshoot from the list of results.
    Wireless capability is turned off a network cable is not properly plugged in
  2. List of available troubleshooters will appear. Select Internet Connections and click Run the troubleshooter button.
    A network cable is unplugged
  3. Now follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Once the troubleshooter is finished, check if the problem is resolved. If this troubleshooter can’t fix the problem, you can also try running Hardware and Devices, Incoming Connections, and Network Adapter troubleshooters.


Solution 10 – Replace your network adapter

According to users, sometimes A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error can appear if your network adapter isn’t working properly. According to users, they managed to fix the problem simply by replacing their wireless adapter, so be sure to try that.

If you’re not tech-savvy, you can also purchase a wireless USB adapter and check if that solves your problem. Keep in mind that hardware replacement should be your last solution, so we strongly advise to try all of our solutions before you decide to purchase a new Wi-Fi adapter.


Solution 11 – Change your adapter’s duplex

If you’re getting A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error, you might be able to solve the problem simply by changing your adapter’s settings. According to users, sometimes your duplex setting can interfere with your network and cause this issue to appear. However, you can easily fix that problem by doing the following:

  1. Open Device Manager and double-click your network adapter.
    A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Lenovo
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and select Speed/duplex settings. Now change the Value from Auto Negotiation to 100Mb Full Duplex or 1Gb Full Duplex. After doing that, click OK to save changes.
    A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken Windows 7

Auto Negotiation is the best and default option, but if this doesn’t work for you, you might want to try using different duplex values. With some older network adapters you might have to use some other available value, so feel free to try other values as well.

A network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken error can be troublesome, but you can usually fix this problem by updating your drivers or by changing your network settings.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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