Ralink WiFi Adapter not Working: 3 Solutions to Fix it

Simple yet effective fixes to get your WiFi adapter working again

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If your Ralink WiFi adapter is not working, it might be because of your power management settings.
  • One quick way to solve this problem is to enable and re-enable your adapter in BIOS.
  • You can also solve this problem by reinstalling your adapter device.
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Multiple users have been complaining on various forums the Ralink WiFi adapter is not working. This problem can get even more severe, sometimes leading to the dreaded BSOD.

Fortunately, it is an issue that can be easily fixed with the correct information, such as the one in this comprehensive guide.

Below are some of the factors that can cause the Ralink WiFi adapter not to work:

  • Faulty driver: In some cases, the Ralink RT3290 not detecting WiFi issues can be due to an outdated or broken driver. The solution to this is to reinstall or update your network driver.
  • Wrong power setting: Sometimes, you might face this issue because your adapter has been set to turn off when your PC needs to save power. You need to change the power setting in Device Manager.

1. Re-enable the adapter in BIOS

1.1. Access the BIOS

  1. Access your PC BIOS.
  2. Now, go to Memory > System Configuration > Inbuilt devices to disable the embedded WiFi.
  3. Log back into your PC, press the Windows key + I, and select Update & Security.
    update and ralink wifi adapter not working
  4. Next, click the Check for updates button and install all available updates.
    check for
  5. Go to the official website to download the latest Ralink driver.
  6. Go back into BIOS and re-enable the embedded WiFi.

After doing this, proceed to the next 1.2 below.

1.2. Disable the WiFi adapter in Safe Mode

  1. Boot into your PC and press the Windows key + I, and select Update & Security.
    update and ralink wifi adapter not working
  2. Select Recovery in the left pane and click the Restart now button under Advanced startup.
    restart now
  3. Now, navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
    startup settings ralink wifi adapter not working
  4. Click the Restart button.
  5. When your PC restarts, select Enable Safe Mode.
    enable start
  6. From here, press the Windows key + X and select Device Manager.
    device manager ralink wifi adapter not working
  7. Next, double-click the Network adapters option and right-click your WiFi adapter.
  8. Choose the Disable device option.
    disable device
  9. Now, click the Yes button to confirm the action.
  10. Finally, reboot your PC normally.

After booting into your PC, move to the last step to complete your WiFi adapter’s revival.

1.3. Update driver

  1. Go to Device Manager and expand the Network adapters option.
  2. Right-click your disabled WiFi adapter and select Update driver.
    update driver ralink wifi adapter not working
  3. Now, select Browse my computer for drivers.
    browse my
  4. Click the Browse button.
    browse ralink wifi adapter not working
  5. Now, choose the driver you downloaded and click OK.
  6. Wait for the process to complete.
  7. Finally, enable the device again and restart your PC.

If the Ralink RT5390r 802.11bgn or RT3290 WiFi adapter is not working, disable the WiFi adapter in BIOS and complete the update process in Safe Mode.

You can download Ralink’s latest WiFi drivers from here and make sure you save them to a proper location.

Expert tip:


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Be sure to use a dedicated tool, such as Fortect, which will scan and replace your broken files with their fresh versions from its repository.

Dedicated software is also a safe option to update your drivers because it has a technology that scans your computer for all outdated drivers and instantly finds the latest and correct updates from its considerable vault.

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2. Change power settings

  1. Open Device Manager and expand the Network adapters option.
  2. Right-click your adapter and select Properties.
  3. Now, click the Power Management tab at the top.
  4. Finally, uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power and click the OK button.
    power management

Sometimes, the Ralink WiFi adapter not working issue can be due to the power saving feature of your PC. You need to disable this feature to solve the problem.

3. Reinstall the adapter

  1. Launch the Device Manager and expand the Network adapters.
  2. Right-click your WiFi adapter and select Uninstall device.
    uninstall device Ralink WiFi adapter not working
  3. Now, check the Delete the driver software for this device box and click Uninstall.
    uninstall button
  4. Next, click the Scan for hardware changes icon at the top.
    scan for Ralink WiFi adapter not working
  5. Finally, if you have the latest Ralink driver on your PC, update it following the steps in solution 1.3.

Sometimes, the Ralink WiFi adapter not working can be down to issues with your network adapter driver. Reinstalling the adapter should solve the problem.

We have reached the end of the guide on fixing the Ralink WiFi adapter not working issue. All you need is to follow the steps carefully; the case should be history.

If the USB WiFi is not detected on your PC, check our detailed guide to solve the problem.

Feel free to let us know the solution that helped you solve this problem in the comments below.

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