- If you can't get online through Wi-Fi because Windows 10 can't find any Wi-Fi adapters, run some initial checkups to determine the root of the problem. It's usually due to faulty router or computer settings.
- Use this long but easy step-by-step guide to fix Wi-Fi connectivity issues and restore Internet access on your PC, laptop, or tablet. Start by checking your Wi-Fi drivers.
- Join our Wi-Fi Troubleshooting Hub to repair additional wireless problems.
- Discover more Internet and Network Solutions for your computer.
Even if you were previously able to join a wireless network connection but can’t anymore, it’s likely an issue that you can easily resolve at the software level to regain Internet access.
So, before looking to buy a new Wi-Fi adapter for your Windows desktop, laptop or tablet, follow the intuitive troubleshooting guide below.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running Windows 10 on an HP, Lenovo, Asus, or other computer brand since these solutions are universal.
Before proceeding, we suggest using a second device to read these instructions. It should be connected to the Internet, just in case you temporarily lose web access on your primary Windows 10 computer.
What can I do if Windows 10 can’t find any Wi-Fi networks or adapters?
Run initial checkups
Before taking a hands-on approach, it’s essential to identify the root of your missing Wi-Fi network.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Temporarily switch from Wi-Fi to Ethernet (wired) mode to see if you have any Internet access. If you don’t, contact your ISP.
- Try to connect to Wi-Fi by using another device in your household, like a smartphone. It doesn’t matter if it runs Windows 10 or another operating system.
- Move closer to the router. If you have a dual-band router with 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks, try to connect to the 2.4GHz network since it’s made for long-range connections.
- If you have a switch or a button on your laptop that toggles wireless mode, turn it on.
- If you have an external Wi-Fi adapter, make sure it’s plugged into your computer unit. Try using a different USB port in case a specific port is faulty.
- Check if Windows 10 has Wi-Fi turned on
- Right-click the Start button and select Network Connections
- Click Wi-Fi
- Set Wi-Fi to On
- Disable Airplane mode on your tablet or notebook
- Go to Network Connections
- Click Airplane mode
- Set Airplane mode to Off
- Set Wi-Fi to On
- Reboot your router
- Press and hold the power button
- Wait for at least 30 seconds
- Press the power button again to turn it back on
- Access your router admin panel and check if wireless radio is enabled
Roll back the Wi-Fi adapter driver
If you recently updated your network driver the manual way, you might have accidentally installed the wrong version, which is not compatible with your Windows 10 device.
However, if your computer created a backup of the previous network driver, you can restore it using Device Manager.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and select Device Manager
- Expand the Network adapters menu
- Right-click your Wi-Fi adapter and go to Properties
- Select the Driver tab
- Click Roll Back Driver* and follow the on-screen instructions
*If the Roll Back Driver button is greyed out, it means that you don’t have a backup of the previous network driver. So, you can skip this step.
Reinstall the corrupt Wi-Fi adapter driver
If your Wi-Fi network driver isn’t compatible with the adapter, you have to get rid of it and allow Windows 10 to automatically install the correct version for your computer.
- Go to Device Manager and expand the Network adapters menu
- Right-click your Wi-Fi adapter and select Uninstall device
- Click Uninstall to confirm
- Open the Action menu and select Scan for hardware changes
- Restart your computer
Discover more easy solutions if your Wi-Fi adapter doesn’t work on Windows 10.
Correctly update your Wi-Fi adapter driver
It’s generally a good idea to update all your drivers to the latest version, in order to avoid device functionality issues.
And that certainly applies to your Wi-Fi interface, too. Try this:
- Head over to Device Manager and extend the Network adapters menu
- Right-click your Wi-Fi adapter and select Update driver
- Click Search automatically for updated driver software
- Follow the on-screen instructions
Normally, this should work. But most users receive The best driver software is already installed error instead, even though newer driver versions are available for download.
If you’re experienced enough to handle this problem on your own, then visit your manufacturer’s website and download the correct Wi-Fi card version. It must be compatible with your Windows 10 PC.
Once downloaded, return to Device Manager, select the Browse my computer for driver software instead of Search automatically for updated driver software, and follow the instructions.
However, if you’re not skilled enough, you risk deactivating all Internet access on your computer. For rookies, we recommend using an automatic driver updating tool, such as DriverFix.
Wrapped in a super-intuitive interface, DriverFix automatically detects all obsolete drivers on your system, not just the network drivers.
It also finds the newer, compatible versions on the web, without asking for your intervention. You just have to select which driver to update (or all).
DriverFixUse this simple tool to auto-update all your drivers and restore Wi-Fi access on your Windows 10 PC.
Run the network adapter troubleshooter
Windows 10 has an integrated troubleshooting tool designed to automatically identify and resolve network connectivity problems on your device.
You can’t rely on it to detect elaborate issues, but it’s free and already comes with your operating system, so it can’t hurt to give it a shot.
- Press the Win key, type troubleshoot, and select Troubleshoot settings
- Scroll down and select Network Adapter
- Click Run the troubleshooter
- Select your Wi-Fi adapter and click Next
- Apply any fixes recommended by Microsoft
If the Windows Troubleshooter isn’t working properly, check out our easy guide.
Disable your faulty VPN
If not used properly, a VPN can affect your Wi-Fi connection, whether we’re talking about a VPN connection you manually added to Windows or a commercial VPN service that auto-configures network settings.
For instance, if you have multiple VPNs installed, each with its own TAP drivers, this could cause network connectivity issues due to software conflicts. If you connect to the VPN, you might even lose Wi-Fi.
Another good example is the VPN kill switch. It’s an advanced feature provided by some VPN solutions, designed to turn off your entire network access if the VPN connection drops.
However, some kill switches are extremely severe. They forget to restore Internet access after you disconnect from the VPN and even after exiting the VPN app.
If you’re keen on protecting your online privacy by using a VPN (which we strongly encourage), consider investing in a premium VPN service that won’t mess up your Internet routing.
And we can’t think of a better example than Private Internet Access. It quickly connects and disconnects from VPN servers, leaving your Wi-Fi connection untouched.
It also has a kill switch that works correctly because it restores Internet settings after you’re no longer using the VPN service.
More about PIA:
- Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, routers
- 10 simultaneous device connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
- Pay with a credit card, PayPal, or crypto
Private Internet AccessUse a reliable VPN like PIA to protect your online privacy without compromising your Wi-Fi settings.
Run a full virus scan on your computer
Some malware agents are sneaky enough to infiltrate your machine and disable Internet access. The best course of action is to run a full system scan to find and eliminate any pests.
Windows Defender does a pretty good job. It’s free and already built into Windows 10, so you can give it a shot. But it might not detect zero-day threats.
If you’re looking for an expert antivirus solution, check the line of superior security products owned by Bitdefender.
BitdefenderRun a full system scan on your Windows 10 PC to identify stubborn malware agents that disable your Wi-Fi access.
Temporarily disable your firewall
If your firewall has strict rules, it might not allow any Internet access to protect you from incoming attacks.
And it could be the reason why you can’t identify any Wi-Fi networks on your Windows 10 PC.
Here’s how you can temporarily deactivate it:
- Press the Win key, type firewall, and select Check firewall status
- Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off
- Set Private network settings to Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)
- Do the same for Public Network Settings
- Click OK
Try to connect over Wi-Fi now. If it works, it means that your firewall is the culprit.
But you can fix it by restoring firewall settings to default:
- Press the Win key, type firewall, and select Firewall & network protection
- Click Restore firewalls to default
- Click Restore defaults to confirm
If you have a third-party firewall on your Windows 10 PC, which overrides the Defender Firewall, adapt the steps above accordingly.
For example, antivirus solutions can block Internet access if they have a real-time protection engine with a built-in firewall set to a severe threat level.
To summarize, if you can’t find any Wi-Fi networks on your Windows 10 PC, laptop or tablet, get started by running initial checkups to determine the cause of the problem.
You can roll back, reinstall or update the Wi-Fi driver, run the network adapter troubleshooter, deactivate any faulty VPN, and run a full computer scan to check for malware.
It’s also a good idea to temporarily disable your firewall and restore its settings to default.
Did you fix your Wi-Fi issue using the solutions above? Did we forget to add an important step? Let us know in the comment section below.