3 Easy Ways to Update Network Drivers in Windows 11

Updating your network drivers is crucial, just like with any other driver

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
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Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • You can update Windows 11 network drivers by manually downloading them from company websites and installing them.
  • Windows 11’s Device Manager utility enables you to either manually or automatically install new network drivers.
  • Third-party driver updater software can also come in handy for updating Windows 11 drivers for network adapters and other devices.
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Network drivers in Windows 11 are required for the computer’s network adapters. Your PC’s network adapter is the device needed for Internet connectivity. Wireless network adapters’ drivers are also known as Wi-Fi drivers.

Drivers facilitate communication between Windows 11 (or any other OS) and internal and external hardware devices. Companies regularly update drivers for their hardware devices.

Therefore, the original drivers that came with your PC will get outdated.

Windows 11 doesn’t include any new utility for updating device drivers. Therefore, there isn’t any new way you can update network drivers in the latest OS.

However, you can still easily update adapter drivers in Windows 11. In our article today, we will teach you how to update the network drivers.

Do I really need to update my PC’s network driver?

Updating the driver for the network adapter can enhance both its performance and reliability. For example, an antiquated network driver might reduce the download speed on your desktop or laptop.

For the sake of faster download speed, it’s worth updating a network adapter’s driver. Furthermore, connectivity issues will more likely arise on a PC with an outdated network adapter driver.

If you can’t connect to the Internet, you won’t be able to download a new driver to fix that issue. So, it’s best to update your computer’s network driver when you can do so to forestall connection inconveniences.

How to install network adapter driver Windows 11 without Internet?

Without a doubt, our computer and operating system will not function normally if we do not have the appropriate drivers installed.

Before we go any further, you need to be aware that the installation of drivers on Windows 11 may be performed with or without an Internet connection.

It is essential to have up-to-date drivers because, in the event that they become corrupted or otherwise inoperable, hardware may become unresponsive or malfunction.

In addition to this, they conceal the fundamental workings of your hardware devices, so enabling you to make use of an incredibly user-friendly interface.

We prepared a dedicated article on how to manually install your drivers, which we recommend you check out as the first two solutions do not require an Internet connection.

How can I update my PC’s network driver in Windows 11?

1. Use Device Manager

  1. Press the Windows key and X simultaneously to open a menu that includes some handy shortcuts.
  2. Click the Device Manager shortcut to open that utility in Windows 11.
    Device Manager windows 11 network driver
  3. Double-click Network adapters to expand the device list for that category.
  4. Then right-click your Internet network adapter there and select the Update driver context menu option for it. You can do this for any Ethernet driver in Windows 11 as well.
    Update driver option windows 11 network driver
  5. Select the Search automatically for drivers option to initiate a Windows search.
    Search automatically for drivers option windows 11 network driver
  6. If the updater utility detects a better driver, wait for Windows to install it.

2. Use the Windows Update Service

1. Open the Start menu by clicking on the Start button on the taskbar.

2. Click on the Settings app pinned to the Start menu.

windows settings app

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3. Next, click the Windows Update tab on the left of Settings.

4. Select Advanced options on the Windows Update tab.

windows update advanced options

5. Click Optional updates within Advanced options.

optional updates windows update

6. If a network adapter driver is listed within the optional updates, select its checkbox.

7. After, press the Download & install button.

If you are not fan of using Device Manager to update your network adapter drivers, you can instead use the Windows Update Service. It is also a built-in tool, and it is responsible for keeping your device up to date.

From the Windows Update Service menu, you can scan for, download and install new updates for your network adapter driver at any time.

Note icon
NOTE
To check for new updates, you’ll need to press the Check for updates button in Settings.

3. Manually update your PC’s network adapter driver

  1. Open a web browser in Windows 11 and search for your network adapter’s driver provider website, which will be the manufacturer’s site. For example, Intel provides the drivers for Intel network adapters.
  2. Then open the manufacturer’s website and click the link for the driver download section of the website. It is usually found under Support.support-intel network driver windows 11
  3. Select the network adapter (or wireless) product category.
  4. Then enter the name of your network adapter, as specified within Device Manager, in the website’s device search box.
  5. Click the Download option for your network adapter’s latest driver package listed on the website, which must be compatible with your Windows 11 platform.
    Intel network driver download page windows 11 network driver
  6. Thereafter, select a folder to download the driver package to and click the Save button.
  7. When you’ve downloaded the driver package, click File Explorer’s taskbar button.
    The File Explorer button windows 11 network driver
  8. Open the folder you saved the driver package in.
  9. Double-click the driver package’s EXE file to open its installer window.
  10. Then go through the installer window’s instructions to install the network driver. You can do this for any network controller in Windows 11 that you need to be updated.
Note icon
NOTE
Some driver packages have a CAB format. If you download a driver with a CAB format, you’ll need to extract its ZIP archive first. Then select the Browse my computer for drivers option in Device Manager’s Update Drivers utility to install it.

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How do I reinstall network drivers in Windows 11?

  1. Right-click the Start icon and select Device Manager.device-man-w11 network driver windows 11
  2. Expand the Network Adapters section, right-click on your network drivers, and select Uninstall device.unisntall-driver network driver windows 11
  3. Reboot your PC to reinstall the drivers automatically. That’s it!

How can I enable (or disable) automatic driver updates in Windows 11?

Windows 11 will automatically download and install some device drivers if configured to do so. You can enable automatic driver downloads with device installation settings. This is how you can do that in Windows 11.

  1. Press Windows then type device installation settings within the search box. Click Change device installation settings to open that window.change-device network driver windows 11
  2. Select the Yes option on the Device installation window if it’s not already selected. Or you can select No if the opposite is true.
    Device installation settings windows 11 network driver
  3. Press the Save changes button to confirm.

Bear in mind that enabling automatic updates doesn’t mean Windows Update will update all device drivers on your PC. However, it will at least update the more essential device drivers.

So, there are numerous ways you can update your computer’s network driver. Choose whatever method you prefer for updating the network adapter and other device drivers.

Connectivity issues will less likely arise on your PC if you keep its network adapter driver up-to-date with the above methods. It’s best to update network drivers to prevent connection issues from arising in the first place instead of waiting for them to happen.

Even more, driver problems occur while playing games such as Minecraft and BattleField. Check out this dedicated guide on solving outdated drivers’ errors on Windows 11.

Have the above procedures worked for you as well? Let us know in the comments area below.

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