Windows can’t find a driver for your network adapter? We got the fix

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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Some users have stated in forums that they can’t connect to the web when Windows can’t find a network adapter driver.

The Network Adapter troubleshooter they try to fix the issue with displays this error message: “Windows could not find a driver for your network adapter.” Consequently, that troubleshooter doesn’t fix the issue and the users can’t connect to internet.

These are some resolutions that might fix the “Windows could not find a driver” network adapter error.

What to do if Windows could not find a driver

1. Reset the Router

You’ll be surprised how often resetting the router fixes internet connectivity in Windows. That will establish a new connection with the ISP and reset it to its default factory settings. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Turn off the router, unplug it a few minutes and then plug it again.
  2. Then turn the router back on. Thereafter, press the reset button on the router with a paperclip for about 15-30 seconds.

2. Open Alternative Windows Troubleshooters

Ok, the Network Adapter troubleshooter doesn’t provide a resolution for fixing the connection! However, there are a couple of other Windows troubleshooters that might still fix connection.

For example, the Internet Connections troubleshooter is one closely linked with the network adapter. The Hardware and Devices troubleshooter might also come in handy for fixing connected device errors.

This is how users can open those troubleshooters in Windows 10.

  • Open Cortana by pressing the Windows key + Q keyboard shortcut.
  • Input ‘troubleshoot’ in the search box.
  • Select Troubleshoot to open the Settings app as in the snapshot directly below.

  • Select Internet Connections and click Run the troubleshooter to open the window shown in the snapshot below.

  • Select the Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet option.
  • To open the other troubleshooter, select Hardware and Devices. Then press the Run the troubleshooter button to open the window shown directly below.

  • Thereafter, the troubleshooters might provide some resolutions that users can select an Apply This Fix option for.

3. Reinstall the Driver for the Network Adapter

The “Windows could not find a driver” error message highlights that the issue might be due to the corrupted network adapter driver. Alas, users can’t attempt to fix this issue by updating the driver without a connection.

However, reinstalling the network driver might be a potential remedy. Follow the guidelines below to reinstall the network adapter driver.

  • First, open the Run accessory by pressing its Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  • Enter devmgmt.msc in Run and click OK to open the window shown in the snapshot directly below.

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  • Double-click the Network adapters category to expand it as shown directly below.

  • Then right-click your network adapter to select the Uninstall device option.
  • Select an Uninstall option on the dialog box window that opens to confirm.

  • Thereafter, select the Scan for hardware changes option shown below to reinstall the default driver.

4. Roll Windows Back to a Restore Point

The System Restore utility might provide a resolution for the “Windows could not find a driver” error for users who can select a restore point that predates the time the issue arose.

Users can usually roll back Win 10 by a month. System Restore will undo system changes after the selected restore date. Users can roll back Windows as follows.

  • Open Windows’ Run accessory.
  • Enter ‘rstrui’ in the Open text box, and select the OK option.

  • Click Next to open the list of system restore points.
  • To expand the list, select the Show more restore points option.

  • Select a restore point.
  • System Restore uninstalls software installed after a selected date. Users can click the Scan for affected programs option to check what software gets removed.

  • Then click Next, and select the Finish option.

5. Check the Power Management Setting for the Network Adapter

  • The “Windows could not find a driver” error can also be due to a Power Management setting that turns devices off when selected. To check that setting for the network adapter, open the Device Manager window.
  • Expand the Network adapters category on the Device Manager window.
  • Right-click the network adapter and select Properties to open the window in the shot directly below.

  • Then select the Power Management tab on that window.

  • Deselect the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option if it’s selected.
  • Select the OK option to close the window.

Some of those fixes might resolve the “Windows could not find a driver” error to re-establish a net connection. Check out this post for some more general troubleshooting tips for fixing internet connectivity in Windows 10.


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