Fix: WiFi adapter not working in Windows 10

7 minute read

Various software and hardware-related problems may occur after the upgrade to Windows 10. One of these problems is the problem with WiFi adapter. Namely, some users reported that their computers weren’t even able to detect and recognize the WiFi adapter, which worked fine in Windows 8 or Windows 7. So, I prepared a couple of solutions for this, and I hope at least one of them will help.

But first, here are some similar issues you can also resolve with the solutions presented below:

  • Windows 10 no WiFi option – Sometimes, the WiFi button in the taskbar may not even be there. Nevertheless, you can still use the same solutions to resolve this problem.
  • Windows 10 WiFi adapter missing – If your computer fails to recognize the adapter, you won’t be able to see it in the Device Manager.
  • Windows 10 WiFi disconnects frequently 
  • Windows 10 no WiFi option in settings –  Just like it’s the case with the taskbar, the WiFi option may also disappear from its Settings page.
  • Windows 10 WiFi connected but no internet – This one’s the worst. When everything seems right, but you just can’t connect to the internet. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to resolve this with the solutions presented below.

What to do if WiFi adapter stops working

Table of contents: 

  1. Use the Network troubleshooter
  2. Perform a registry tweak with Command Prompt
  3. Reset TCP/IP stack
  4. Update network drivers
  5. Change the adapter settings
  6. Reinstall the network adapter
  7. Reset your adapter
  8. Update the router firmware
  9. Switch to the Maximum Performance Mode
  10. Make sure nothing disrupts Wi-Fi signal

Fix: WiFi adapter doesn’t work in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Use the Network troubleshooter

The first thing we’re going to do is also the easiest one. We’re simply going to run the network troubleshooter and let it do the job for us. Here’s how to run the network troubleshooter in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Updates & Security Troubleshoot. 
  3. Select Internet Connections, and go to Run the Troubleshooter. 
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions and let the process finish.
  5. Restart your computer.

If the network troubleshooter failed to resolve the problem, move on to another workaround.

Solution 2 – Perform a registry tweak with Command Prompt

Users who faced the problem with WiFi adapter in Windows 10 reported that this fix solved the problem in most cases. So, here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button and choose Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter:
    • netcfg –s n
  3. This command will show a list of network protocols, drivers and services. Check if DNI_DNE is in the list, if it is, than you have a problem
  4. If DNI_DNE is listed, in the same command prompt window enter the following line and press Enter:
    • reg delete HKCRCLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /fnetcfg -v -u dni_dne

This should solve the issue, but if you receive an error 0x80004002 after entering the command, than this value is either not in the registry, or need to be deleted slightly different. So here’s what to do, if you receive this error code:

  1. Go to Search, type regedit and open Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the following path:
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3}
  3. Delete DNI_DNE if it still exists

Solution 3 – Reset TCP/IP stack

If previous two solutions didn’t get the job done, you can try with resetting TCP/IP stack. To do that, you’ll also need to enter a few command lines into command prompt. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

    1. Right-click on Start Menu button and choose Command Prompt (Admin)
    2. Enter the following lines into Command Prompt and press Enter after each one:
      • netsh int ip reset
      • netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
      • netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
      • netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
    3. Restart your computer and see if you’re able to connect to WiFi now

Solution 4 – Update network drivers

Since you can’t download anything using your current internet connection, go and download the necessary drivers from another computer or using another network. To get the most suitable drivers, go to your network adapter manufacturer’s website, and search for the drivers for your network adapter. Download the drivers, move them to your computer, and begin the installation process. Hopefully, a fresh set of network drivers will resolve the problem.

Update drivers automatically

If you don’t want the hassle of searching for drivers on your own, you can use a tool that will do this for you automatically. Of course, as you’re not able to connect to the internet at the moment, this tool won’t be useful. However, once you get online, it will help you to keep all your drivers up to date, so you won’t be in this situation anymore.

Tweakbit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus) will help you update drivers automatically and prevent PC damage caused by installing the wrong driver versions. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Here is a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
  2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
    scanning proccess of Tweakbit driver updater
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    Automatically Update complete
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Solution 5 – Change the adapter settings

The next thing we’re going to do is changing the adapter settings (read: disable the TCP/IPv6 protocol). Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Properties of the Network Adapter and look for a wireless adapter that is currently running.
  2. Search for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) under the options that show up and uncheck IPv6 to disable it.
  3. Click on OK and restart the computer to enforce the changes you made.

Solution 6 – Reinstall the network adapter

If installing the right driver didn’t get the job done, let’s try to uninstall the network adapter first. Here’s how to uninstall the network adapter in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Search, type devm, and open Device Manager.
  2. Find your network adapter.
  3. Right-click your network adapter, and go to Uninstall.
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Now, go on and install the network adapter driver once again, as shown above.

Solution 7 – Reset your adapter

Resetting your network adapter can do wonders. As cliche as it sounds. So, find that little button on the back of your adapter, and press and hold it. Wait for a couple of minutes for the signal to get back, and try to connect to the internet once again.

Solution 8 – Update the router firmware

This one’s tricky. Yes, updating your router firmware may resolve the problem, but it’s by no means a simple procedure. So, your best bet is to check your router’s user manual for additional instructions on how to update it. Just bear in mind that if you don’t update the router properly, you can damage it permanently. So, proceed with extra care.

Solution 9 – Switch to the Maximum Performance Mode

Some users reported that setting your computer to the Maximum Performance mode actually helps you to resolve the WiFi adapter issues. So, it won’t hurt if we try.

Here’s how to set your computer to the Maximum Performance mode in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Search, type power management, and open Power & Sleep.
  2. Under Related Settings, go to Additional Power Settings. 
  3. Once the Power Options window opens, locate your current plan and click Change plan settings.
  4. Go to Change advanced power settings.
  5. Locate Wireless Adapter Settings and set the Power Saving Mode to Maximum Performance.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save changes.

Just keep in mind that the Maximum performance mode will put some extra pressure on your device, so your laptop battery might last shorter.

Solution 10 – Make sure nothing disrupts the Wi-Fi signal

Some appliances and hardware not related to your computer can disrupt the Wi-Fi signal. For example, it’s known that microwave weakens the signal. So, make sure you don’t have any appliances that can possibly disrupt the signal near your router.

If you didn’t manage to solve the problem after performing all of these solutions, check our article about internet problems in Windows 10 , and you’ll maybe find the solution there.

In case you have any comments, questions or suggestions, just let us know in the comments down below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness

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