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Troubleshoot and Fix Windows 10 Network Adapter Not Working Issues

January 29, 2024

Network adapter issues can disrupt Windows 10’s connectivity, causing inconvenience and productivity loss. This article provides a technical explanation of these problems, offering precise troubleshooting steps and solutions. We’ll delve into the classification of common network adapter issues, their potential causes, and effective methods to resolve them. This information is essential for any user seeking to maintain optimal system performance and uninterrupted internet access.

What are the Common Causes of Network Adapter Issues in Windows 10?

Network adapters serve as an integral component in establishing and maintaining internet connectivity for any Windows 10 system. However, these adapters occasionally encounter issues that can disrupt your connection or make it completely inaccessible. Understanding the common causes of these problems is the first step toward effective troubleshooting and resolution. This article will delve into five prevalent issues associated with network adapters in Windows 10: network adapter driver problems, network connection problems, Wi-Fi adapter issues, network reset errors, and physical connection problems.


Network Adapter Driver Problems

The network adapter driver is the software that allows your operating system (Windows 10) to communicate with your network hardware. If the driver is outdated, incompatible, or corrupted, it could lead to connection problems. For instance, you may experience slow connections, intermittent disconnections, or a complete loss of connectivity. Regularly updating your drivers can help prevent such issues. However, if problems persist, you might need to reinstall the driver or revert to a previous version that worked correctly.


Network Connection Problems

Network connection problems can stem from various sources, including faulty router configurations, incorrect IP settings, or software conflicts. Sometimes, antivirus programs or firewalls can interfere with your network connection, causing issues such as limited connectivity or no internet access. Troubleshooting these problems typically involves checking your network settings, resetting your router, or temporarily disabling your firewall or antivirus program to see if it resolves the issue.


Wi-Fi Adapter Issues

Wi-Fi adapter issues are common in Windows 10 and can cause problems ranging from not being able to connect to a network to having a weak or unstable connection. These issues could be due to outdated Wi-Fi drivers, improper power settings, or hardware failures. Resolving these issues can involve updating the Wi-Fi drivers, adjusting the power management settings for the adapter, or, in severe cases, replacing the Wi-Fi adapter.


Network Reset Errors

Sometimes, performing a network reset can resolve persistent network issues. However, you may encounter errors during this process, such as the inability to perform the reset or issues reestablishing your network settings afterward. These errors could be due to system glitches or underlying software conflicts. To resolve these issues, you might need to perform a system restore or use the Windows 10 Troubleshooter tool to identify and fix the problem.


Physical Connection Problems

Physical connection problems usually occur when there’s an issue with the Ethernet cable or the ports on your computer or router. The cable might be damaged, or the ports might be dirty or faulty. These issues can prevent your computer from establishing a wired connection to the network. To troubleshoot, you can try using a different Ethernet cable, cleaning the ports, or connecting to a different port on your router.


In conclusion, understanding these common causes of network adapter issues in Windows 10 can help you diagnose and resolve internet connectivity problems more effectively. Always remember that if you’re unsure or uncomfortable performing any of these steps, it’s best to consult with a professional or seek assistance from your IT department.


How to Run the Network Troubleshooter in Windows 10?

Windows 10 comes with a built-in Network Troubleshooter tool designed to identify and resolve common network issues automatically. This tool can be instrumental in diagnosing problems related to network adapters, Wi-Fi, and other network services. The following sections will provide a step-by-step guide on five methods to access and run the Network Troubleshooter in Windows 10. These methods include using the built-in troubleshooter tool, accessing the troubleshooter through the Control Panel, running the network adapter troubleshooter, accessing the troubleshooter from the settings menu, and running the troubleshooter from the command prompt.


Using the Built-in Troubleshooter Tool

  1. Click on the start button and then select the settings option (represented by a gear icon).
  2. In the settings menu, choose “Update & Security.”
  3. In the left-hand pane, select “Troubleshoot.”
  4. On the right-hand side, scroll down and click on “Internet Connections” or “Network Adapter,” then select “Run the troubleshooter”.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to identify and resolve the network issues.

Accessing the Troubleshooter through the Control Panel

  1. Open the Control Panel by typing “Control Panel” into the search bar and selecting it from the list.
  2. In the Control Panel, go to “System and Security”.
  3. Click on “Security and Maintenance”.
  4. Then click on “Troubleshooting”.
  5. Under “Network and Internet,” select the type of problem you’re experiencing, then click “Next.” The troubleshooter will now run and attempt to identify and fix any issues.

Running the Network Adapter Troubleshooter

  1. Press the Windows key and type “Troubleshoot”.
  2. Select “Troubleshoot settings” from the list.
  3. In the Troubleshoot settings window, scroll down to “Network Adapter” and click on it.
  4. Click on “Run the troubleshooter”. The troubleshooter will now scan your system for any network adapter issues and attempt to fix them.

Running the Network Troubleshooter from the Settings Menu

  1. Click on the Windows icon and select “Settings”.
  2. In the settings menu, navigate to “Network & Internet.”
  3. On the Status tab, under “Change your network settings,” click on “Network troubleshooter”.
  4. Follow the prompts to let Windows diagnose and fix the network problem.

Running the Troubleshooter from the Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + X and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the list to open an elevated command prompt.
  2. In the command prompt, type msdt.exe /id NetworkDiagnosticsWeb and press Enter.
  3. The Network Troubleshooter will now open and attempt to diagnose and fix any network issues.

By familiarizing yourself with these methods, you can quickly and efficiently diagnose and resolve the most common network issues in Windows 10. Remember, if the Network Troubleshooter doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to explore other troubleshooting steps or consider contacting a network professional for further assistance.


What Steps Can You Take to Fix Network Adapter Not Working Issues?

Network adapters are crucial components that facilitate connectivity between your computer and the internet. However, like any other piece of hardware, network adapters can sometimes fail or experience issues that disrupt this connection. When your network adapter is not working correctly, it can be a significant hindrance, especially in today’s digital age, where most tasks are performed online. This guide will systematically walk you through five potential solutions that can help resolve these issues: disabling and re-enabling the network adapter, updating network adapter drivers, restarting the network adapter, performing a network reset, and checking for Windows updates.


Disabling and Re-enabling the Network Adapter

Disabling and then re-enabling the network adapter can often resolve minor glitches or temporary issues with the device. This process essentially forces the system to reinitialize the network adapter, which can clear up any transient problems affecting its operation.


  1. Open Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting it from the menu.
  2. Expand the “Network adapters” section.
  3. Right-click on your network adapter and select “Disable device.”
  4. Wait a few seconds, then right-click on the adapter again and select “Enable device.”

Updating Network Adapter Drivers

Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause issues with the network adapter. Ensuring that your network adapter drivers are updated can help solve these issues.


  1. Open Device Manager and expand the “Network adapters” section.
  2. Right-click on your network adapter and select “Update driver.”
  3. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the prompts to complete the update process.

Restarting the Network Adapter

Restarting the network adapter is another simple solution that can resolve temporary issues.


  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center by right-clicking on the network icon in your system tray and selecting it.
  2. Click on “Change adapter settings”.
  3. Right-click on your network connection and select “Disable”.
  4. Wait a few seconds, then right-click on it again and select “Enable.”

Performing a Network Reset

A network reset can help resolve more serious issues by removing and then reinstalling all network adapters and setting other networking components back to their original settings.


  1. Open Settings and navigate to “Network & Internet”.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Network reset”.
  3. Click on “Reset now” and confirm your decision. Your PC will restart.

Checking for Windows Updates

Sometimes, issues with the network adapter can be resolved by installing the latest Windows updates, which may include updates to the system’s networking software.


  1. Open Settings and navigate to “Update & Security”.
  2. Click on “Check for updates”. If any updates are available, they will be downloaded and installed automatically.

By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and potentially resolve network adapter issues in Windows 10. However, if the problem persists after trying these methods, it may be necessary to consult with a professional or contact your device manufacturer’s support team for further assistance.


How Do You Resolve Network Adapter Problems Using The Device Manager?

Device Manager is a versatile and powerful tool in Windows operating systems, known for its ability to manage hardware devices. One of the critical components it can control is the network adapter, a device crucial for establishing and maintaining internet connectivity. When issues arise with the network adapter, Device Manager becomes an invaluable resource for diagnosing and resolving these problems. In the following sections, we will explore several procedures that can be executed within Device Manager to address network adapter issues, including updating drivers, disabling and re-enabling the adapter, uninstalling and reinstalling the adapter, managing adapter properties, and troubleshooting network adapter issues.


Updating Network Adapter Drivers through Device Manager

Device Manager allows users to update network adapter drivers, which can resolve issues stemming from outdated or corrupted driver software.


  1. Open Device Manager and expand the “Network adapters” section.
  2. Right-click on the problematic network adapter and select “Update driver.”
  3. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the on-screen instructions.

Disabling and Re-enabling the Network Adapter from Device Manager

Sometimes, a simple disable and re-enable of the network adapter can cause minor issues or glitches.


  1. Under “Network adapters” in Device Manager, right-click on the network adapter.
  2. Select “Disable device”. Wait for a few moments.
  3. Right-click on the adapter again and select “Enable device.”

Uninstalling and Reinstalling the Network Adapter

In some cases, uninstalling and then reinstalling the network adapter through Device Manager can rectify persistent issues.


  1. In Device Manager, right-click on the network adapter under “Network adapters” and select “Uninstall device”.
  2. Confirm the uninstallation. After the process is complete, restart your computer.
  3. Upon restart, Windows will automatically detect and reinstall the network adapter.

Managing Network Adapter Properties through Device Manager

Device Manager allows users to manage various properties of the network adapter, which can be helpful in resolving specific issues.


  1. Right-click on the network adapter in Device Manager and select “Properties.”
  2. Navigate through the tabs (General, Driver, Details, and Events) to view and modify various settings as needed.

Troubleshooting Network Adapter Issues from Device Manager

Device Manager offers a built-in troubleshooting feature that can help diagnose and resolve network adapter problems.


  1. Right-click on the network adapter in Device Manager and select “Properties.”
  2. Click on the “General” tab and check the device status. If there is an issue, Windows will typically provide a code or brief description of the problem.
  3. Based on the provided information, users can search for specific solutions or follow the suggested steps to resolve the issue.

By leveraging the capabilities of Device Manager, users can effectively diagnose and resolve a variety of network adapter issues in Windows 10. However, if these methods do not rectify the problem, it may be necessary to consult with a professional or seek further technical support.


What Are the Best Practices for Troubleshooting Network Adapters Not Working in Windows 10?

Network adapters are critical components that enable computers to connect to a network and access the internet. However, like any hardware, they can occasionally experience issues that disrupt this connectivity. These disruptions can range from minor inconveniences to significant obstacles, particularly in environments where online access is essential. Therefore, understanding how to troubleshoot network adapter issues in Windows 10 is of paramount importance. This guide outlines several best practices for addressing network adapter problems, including regular maintenance, driver updates, preventive measures, seeking professional help for complex issues, and understanding the impact of these issues on overall system performance.


Performing Regular Network Adapter Maintenance

Regular maintenance is a fundamental practice in ensuring the longevity and reliability of your network adapter. This includes checking for physical damage, ensuring the adapter is correctly seated in its slot, and cleaning dust or debris from the adapter and its surrounding area. Additionally, regularly restarting your computer can also clear temporary software issues that may affect the network adapter.


Keeping Network Adapter Drivers Updated

Drivers are software components that enable your operating system to communicate with hardware devices like a network adapter. Keeping these drivers updated is crucial as outdated or corrupt drivers can cause the network adapter to malfunction. Use the Device Manager in Windows 10 to check for driver updates regularly, ensuring your network adapter operates with the latest driver software.


Taking Preventive Measures to Avoid Network Adapter Issues

Preventive measures can help avoid network adapter issues before they occur. This can include practices such as avoiding potential physical damage to the adapter, using reliable antivirus software to protect against malware that could harm the adapter and preventing the installation of unverified software that could interfere with the network adapter’s functionality.


Seeking Professional Help for Complex Network Adapter Problems

While many network adapter issues can be resolved with basic troubleshooting steps, some problems may require professional assistance. If you’ve attempted to resolve the issue without success, consider seeking help from an experienced technician or your device’s manufacturer. They possess the knowledge and tools to diagnose and repair complex network adapter issues.


Understanding the Impact of Network Adapter Issues on Overall System Performance

Network adapter issues can have a significant impact on the overall performance of your system, mainly if your activities largely depend on network connectivity. Recognizing this can help prioritize the resolution of network adapter issues and minimize disruptions to your workflow or leisure activities.


By following these best practices, users can proactively manage and resolve network adapter issues in Windows 10, ensuring consistent and reliable network connectivity. However, remember that some problems may require professional assistance, and it’s essential to seek help when necessary.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What instigates the issues with the Windows 10 network adapter not functioning correctly?

A: Factors such as an outdated network driver, misconfigured network settings, and network card malfunctions can cause the Windows 10 network adapter to stop working properly.

Q: What are the recommended steps to troubleshoot Windows 10 network adapter malfunction?

A: Solutions include disabling and re-enabling the network adapter, assessing network settings, updating the network adapter drivers, and rebooting the computer.

Q: Why are up-to-date network drivers in Windows 10 significant?

A: The latest network drivers ensure optimal compatibility and performance of the network adapter, mitigating issues and enhancing overall network efficiency.

Q: How can I disable and subsequently re-enable the network adapter in Windows 10?

A: In the Device Manager, locate the network adapter and right-click for options. Select ‘Disable’, wait momentarily, then right-click again to ‘Enable’.

Q: What remedial actions can I take if my network adapter malfunctions on Windows 10?

A: Implement troubleshooting steps such as updating network drivers, diagnosing network issues in Windows, or performing a system restore to a point where the network adapter functioned appropriately.

Q: What methods are recommended to rectify a non-functional wireless network adapter on Windows 10?

A: Ensure the adapter is enabled in network settings, update network drivers, or reboot the computer allowing Windows to detect and rectify issues automatically.

Q: Will an upgrade to Windows 11 potentially alleviate network adapter problems in Windows 10?

A: Upgrading to Windows 11 may resolve network adapter issues, as this newer version offers enhanced compatibility and updated features for networking components.

Q: How can I update the network driver of my network adapter in Windows 10?

A: Update the network driver by downloading and installing the latest version from the manufacturer’s website or use the device manager to find and install the newest driver.

Q: What should I do if my wired network adapter is not functioning in Windows 10?

A: To rectify a non-functional wired network adapter in Windows 10, verify the network card, ensure correct network settings, and update the network drivers.

Q: How can I evaluate the network adapter status to ascertain the cause of the problem in Windows 10?

A: Inspecting the properties of the network adapter within the Device Manager and looking for error messages or warnings helps determine the cause of the network adapter issues.



  1. Fix Wi-Fi connection issues in Windows – Microsoft Support: This resource from Microsoft provides a comprehensive guide on troubleshooting Wi-Fi connection issues in Windows, including actions such as running network commands and checking network adapter compatibility.
  2. Network Adapter Suddenly Stops Working – Answers Microsoft: A community-based forum where users discuss various issues related to network adapters, including sudden stoppages, with solutions provided by experienced users and Microsoft support staff.
  3. Fix network connection issues in Windows – Microsoft Support: Another helpful resource from Microsoft that provides a step-by-step guide on fixing network connection issues in Windows using built-in tools and settings.
  4. How to Fix a Missing Network Adapter in Windows 10 – MakeUseOf: An article providing solutions for missing network adapters in Windows 10, including methods like showing hidden drivers and restarting internet connections.
  5. [Fixed] Network Adapter Not Working on Windows (2024) – Driver Easy: This blog post offers various fixes for network adapter issues, discussing methods like revealing hidden hardware, updating network adapter drivers, and performing a power reset.
  6. Fix Ethernet connection problems in Windows – Microsoft Support: This support page from Microsoft guides fixing Ethernet connection problems in Windows, including uninstalling and reinstalling network adapter drivers.
  7. Network Adapter Not Working? 12 Things to Try – Help Desk Geek: An informative resource offering twelve potential solutions for non-functional network adapters, such as confirming the adapter’s functionality, checking the device manager, and scanning for hardware changes.
  8. Troubleshooting Network Problems – Windows Hardware Dev Center: An official Microsoft guide for developers that provides in-depth information on how to troubleshoot network problems in Windows.
  9. How to reset your network adapter’s software to default – Netgear: A guide from Netgear, a renowned manufacturer of networking hardware, which explains how to reset a network adapter’s software to default settings.
  10. How to fix Windows 10 May 2020 Update problems – TechRadar: An article discussing common problems users may encounter after updating to Windows 10 May 2020 Update, including network adapter issues, and providing solutions to these problems.