- If you're wireless icon is missing, it might just be a case of uninspired taskbar settings that you can solve by choosing to Always show all icons in the notification area.
- But it can be more than that. Perhaps the wireless adapter drivers need to be reinstalled or perhaps other parts of your system are calling in sick. We have covered all the possible scenarios in the article below so make sure to check out our detailed solutions that will help you get back your Wi-fi icon in no time.
- Not a Wi-fi fan? Don't worry, we know that internet connection errors can appear on every connection type so we got your back when it comes to network issues on cable, wireless or via router/modem.
- If it's your OS that refuses to cooperate, do check our extensive hub dedicated to Windows 10 errors and help yourself to all the fixes you need.
Many of us access Internet by using a wireless connection, but Windows 10 users reported an unusual problem with Wi-Fi. According to them, the Wi-Fi icon is missing in Windows 10, so let’s see how to fix this little problem.
What can I do if my Wi-Fi icon is missing on Windows 10?
- Reinstall your wireless adapter drivers
- Turn off Wi-Fi Sense
- Change System icons settings
- Make sure that your wireless adapter appears in Device Manager
- Make sure that Airplane mode is turned off
- Restart Explorer
- Edit Group Policy
- Try to disable your network connection
- Perform full shutdown
- Check if the Wi-Fi icon is hidden
- Run the Internet Troubleshooter
- Clean boot your computer
- Create a new user profile
1. Reinstall your wireless adapter drivers
To fix this problem you’ll need to reinstall your wireless adapter drivers. To do that, first download the latest wireless adapter drivers for your device.
After that, you’ll need to uninstall your currently installed drivers by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + X to open Power User Menu and select Device Manager from the list.
- Locate your wireless adapter, right-click it and choose Uninstall from the menu.
- If available, select Delete driver software for this device and click OK.
- After doing that, restart your PC.
When your PC restarts Windows 10 will automatically install the default driver. If the default driver doesn’t work properly, try to install the wireless adapter driver that you already downloaded.
After the driver is reinstalled, the Wi-Fi icon should appear again.
2. Turn off Wi-Fi Sense
According to users, Wi-Fi Sense can cause Wi-Fi icon to become missing in Windows 10, but you can easily fix this issue by disabling Wi-Fi Sense. To do that, you need to follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app and go to Network & Internet.
- Go to Wi-Fi tab and click Manage Wi-Fi Settings.
- Locate Wi-Fi Sense and turn it off.
After doing that, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.
If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.
3. Change System icons settings
Sometimes your Wi-Fi icon might be missing because of your System icons settings. Using System icon settings you can select which icons will appear on your Taskbar so make sure that Network icon is enabled.
To do that, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app and go to System.
- Navigate to Notifications & actions tab and click on Turn system icons on or off.
- Locate Network icon and be sure that it’s turned on. If it’s not, turn it back on.
- Go back and click on Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
- Look for Network icon and be sure that it’s set to On.
After doing that, the Wi-Fi icon should always appear in your Taskbar.
If more than one icon is missing from your Windows 10 desktop, take a look at this guide to get them back.
4. Make sure that your wireless adapter appears in Device Manager
If the Wi-Fi icon is missing, you need to check if the Wireless Network Adapter appears in Device Manager. To do that, follow these steps:
- Open Device Manager.
- When Device Manager opens, click the Scan for hardware changes button.
- After doing that your wireless network adapter should appear along with the Wi-Fi icon.
Some users are also suggesting to remove WAN Miniport adapters from Device Manager, so you might want to try that as well.
5. Make sure that Airplane mode is turned off
According to users, this problem can appear if the Airplane mode is turned on, so be sure to check the status of Airplane mode. To turn off Airplane mode, do the following:
- Open the Action Center.
- Locate Airplane mode icon and click it to turn off Airplane mode.
Alternatively, you can turn off Airplane mode from Settings app by following these steps:
- Open the Settings app and go to Network & Internet section.
- Select Airplane mode tab and locate Airplane mode section. Be sure to set Turn this on to stop all wireless communication option to Off to disable Airplane mode.
Airplane mode will stop all wireless communication, so if your Wi-Fi icon is missing, be sure to check if the Airplane mode isn’t turned on.
If you’re having any Airplane mode errors, we recommend you to take a look at this article.
FAQ: Learn more about missing icons from taskbar
- Why are my icons not showing on my taskbar?
Right-click the taskbar and enter Taskbar settings -> Personalization. Select the icons and notifications that should appear on your taskbar and validate the action by pressing OK.
- How do I restore icons on my taskbar?
Right-click the taskbar and enter Taskbar settings -> Themes tab -> Desktop icons settings link. On this screen, you can choose all the icons that are supposed to appear on your desktop.
- How do I unhide taskbar icons in Windows 10?
Enter Taskbar Settings -> Personalization -> Select which icons appear on the taskbar (under Notification area) and check the option Always show all icons in the notification area.
The article continues on the second page. Make sure to check out all the solutions listed to guarantee a successful fix.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in August 2016 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.