Fix: Realtek Ethernet adapter doesn’t work after Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and driver troubleshooting. When he's not tackling... Read more
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Microsoft released the Anniversary Update two weeks ago, but complaints about various issues caused by the second major update for Windows 10 keep coming in. Latest reported problem that bothers some users who installed the Anniversary Update is the problem with Realtek Ethernet.

Namely, a few users said that once they installed the Anniversary Update, they just lost internet connection from their Realtek Ethernet adapter. So in this article, we’ll try to find a cause, and a possible solution for this issue.

What to do if Realtek Ethernet adapter stops working after the Anniversary Update

Solution 1 – Update drivers

Usually, the first solution for hardware-related problems is updating drivers, and that’s what we’re going to try in this case, as well. There’s a chance that your old Realtek drivers simply don’t go along with the Anniversary Update, which prevents you from connecting to internet.

To update your Realtek Ethernet drivers, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type device manager, and open Device Manager
  2. Find your Realtek Ethernet dervice, right-click on it, and select Update driver software…
  3. If any updates are found, wait for the wizard to fininsh installation
  4. Restart your computer

Once your driver is updated, try to connect to internet, and see if anything’s different. However, if all your drivers are update, but you’re still unable to connect, try some of the solutions listed below.

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Solution 2 – Update Windows

Since Realtek is a big company with a lot of users, it occasionally provides updates through Windows Update. So, if you weren’t able to solve the problem by updating your drivers manually, try running Windows Update.

If you notice that a Realtek driver is available to download through Windows Update, download the update, finish the installation, and restart your computer. But if you didn’t receive an update for your Realtek Ethernet driver via Windows Update, try other solutions from this article.

Solution 3 – Uninstall Driver

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Another driver-related solution. If updating your Realtek Ethernet driver didn’t fix the problem, try with reinstalling. Users who faced problems with Realtek Ethernet driver before said that this solution worked quite well for them, so you can also give it a try.

In case you’re not sure how to reinstall your Realtek Ethernet driver, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type device manager, and open Device Manager
  2. Find your Realtek Ethernet dervice, right-click on it, and select Uninstall
  3. Wait for the wizard to uninstall your driver
  4. Restart your computer
  5. Once your driver is fully uninstalled, get back to Device Manager
  6. Click on ‘Scan for hardware changes’
  7. You computer will recognize that Realtek Ethernet driver is missing, and it will automatically download it

As we said, some people confirmed this as a proper solution for our problem, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you. If you’re still unable to connect to internet with your Realtek Ethernet adapter after performing all these driver-related solutions, try some of the workarounds listed below.

Solution 4 – Antivirus

Conflict between the Anniversary Update and a certain antivirus program can cause various issues in Windows 10. We already reported about some problems caused by antivirus programs in Windows 10 version 1607, so it could easily be the case with Realtek Ethernet, as well.

In case you tried all the solutions from above, try disabling your antivirus program, and see if you’re now able to connect to internet.

Solution 5 – Try solving other network problems

If absolutely none of the solutions from this article helped you address the issue with Realtek Ethernet adapter in your Windows 10 computer, you should try some advanced solutions for networking problems. Some time ago, we wrote a massive article with numerous fixes and workarounds for various internet problems in Windows 10, so check it out, and you may find a proper solution.

That’s about it, we hope at least one solution from our article(s) helped you deal with the Realtek Ethernet adapter problem. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, just let us know in the comments below.

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