14 Fixes For Wi-Fi Adapter Not Working in Windows

If your Wi-fi goes down, it can be quite infuriating. Do you know what’s worse? Having a wireless network but not being able to connect to it. We decided to address this issue since it is becoming quite common these days. This article will help you connect to a wireless network if your Wi-Fi adapter not working, on the Windows 10 Operating System (OS).

Why am I not able to connect to a Wifi network?

Wireless Adapter

This issue is mostly reported to have been experienced by laptop users, but the causes for the users not being able to connect to a wireless network can also affect a Microsoft Windows PC. These are the possible factors that can affect your computer and prevent it from gaining internet access through a wireless connection

  1. The Windows Operating System (OS) is corrupt or outdated.

Old versions of the OS can be of no use to you. It is always recommended to have the latest version of Windows to remove and/or avoid bugs in the system.

  1. The Router is placed in an inconvenient position.

If your router is placed far from the device or in a place with many signal interruptions, your wi-fi networks may be too weak for the computer to detect it and so it will not be able to connect with the network.

  1. The Wireless Network Adapter drivers are corrupt or outdated.

Old drivers are not as competent as new drivers. You have lesser network problems with the most recent driver software that controls your hardware drivers. This is not just for the Network Adapter driver, but for all the drivers on your computer. 

  1. The Windows Defender Firewall is blocking wireless network access.

The Windows Firewall is a tool that filters everything that comes in and goes out of the computer, through a network connection. If this is preventing access to the internet, you may not be to connect to a network or the connected network will not have internet access.

  1. Wi-Fi is not turned on.

The simplest mistake which anyone can make regarding this issue is not having the Wi-Fi feature disabled. You will have to turn it on if it isn’t.

  1. Wi-Fi connectivity is not enabled on your device. 

If the Wi-Fi device is disabled, you will not be able to connect with the disabled network adapters. 

Techniques to resolve the WiFi adapter not working issue on Windows 10

It is important to analyze if the wi-fi connection issue is with only one device or all connectable devices. Connect with a different device to check if your internet connection is working properly on it. If it does not, you might want to contact the internet service provider. If only one device is faulty, do as the following methods tell you.

  1. Check for any wireless network hindrances
  2. Download the latest network drivers
  3. Download the newest router firmware
  4. Unhide the hidden devices on the Device Manager
  5. Troubleshoot the Network
  6. Reset the network’s TCP/IP stack
  7. Reset the adapter settings to default
  8. Reset the Winsock settings
  9. Enable the Maximum Performance Mode
  10. Change the Wireless Network Adapter settings configuration
  11. Delete the DNI_DNE
  12. Remove and Reinstall the problematic network adapter
  13. Disable the wireless card
  14. Factory Reset your device
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Fixing the Wi-Fi adapter not working issue on Windows 10

Check for any wireless network hindrances

A number of factors can stop you from connecting to your wireless network. If your modem is not placed correctly, you will not receive a good signal and we don’t want that. Move your modem to a place that is close enough to your device and without any barriers. You might need the help of an internet provider or the company which set up your internet connection. 

You can also check the network firewall and the network adapter window in the Control Panel to see if there are blocks set on your network and if the wireless network adapter is disabled.

Download the latest network drivers

  1. Open Device Manager through the Quick Link menu (Windows + X) or the search space on your taskbar.
  2. Click on the Network Adapters section to expand it and right-click on the Wireless Network Adapter that is not working.
Network Adapter section in the Device Manager window
  1. From the context menu, select the Update driver option to launch the Wireless Network Adapter update wizard dialog box.
  2. Select Search automatically for driver updates for your system to scan itself for newer driver software.

If newer software is available, it will be shown to you and will be installed after you agree with the prompt.

Download the newest router firmware

Every wireless router has specific firmware for functioning and most of them have interface applications, domains, or IP addresses that can be used to change advanced router settings. This is what will help check the firmware version and update it, These settings will be different for every interface.

 Users will have to access this interface and navigate to the settings where they can update the necessary software. If you had a user manual for the router, it should contain details about this.

Unhide the hidden devices on the Device Manager

  1. Launch the Device Manager tool with the help of the search bar in your taskbar or the Quick Link menu (Windows + X).
  2. Click on the View menu in the menu bar, which is at the top part of the window.
  3.  Choose the Show hidden devices option from this menu to reveal all the devices hidden in the Device Manager window.
Scan for hardware changes option for the Network Adapter section pop-up
  1. Right-click on the Network Adapters section and select the Scan for hardware changes option in the context menu.

If any new network adapter appears, open its properties by double-clicking on it and selecting the Properties menu. Here, you can check if the hidden network adapter is functioning normally or not.

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Troubleshoot the Network

  1. Bring up the Windows settings application by pressing the Windows key and the I key on your keyboard, at the same time. 
  2. Go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional Troubleshooters > Network Adapter
Network Troubleshooter option in the Additional Troubleshooters page
  1. Press the Network Troubleshooter and then select, Run this Troubleshooter
  2. When the Network troubleshooter opens, follow the on-screen instructions to check what’s wrong with your network adapter.

Once the troubleshooting is complete, the OS will fix the issue with minimal or without any assistance from the user. If the network troubleshooter does not fix the issue, you can do it manually.

Reset the network’s TCP/IP stack

  1. Launch the Command Prompt tool by searching for it in the search space and selecting Run as Administrator or by navigating through the Start menu, right-clicking on the Command Prompt tool, and selecting Run as Administrator. It is important to run it as the system administrator in order to make configurational changes in your Wireless network adapter. 
  2. Type in and run these commands by pressing the Enter key, one at a time. 
netsh int ip reset
netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled

Reset the Wireless Network Adapter

This step is quite easy. Take a thin object, like a pin or a toothpick, and use it to push the small reset button, which is, typically, located at the back of the router. Hold it for about 10 seconds and pull it out.

This will reset your network adapter and maybe, this will fix the issue for you. Be cautious while doing so, as you could dislodge the power cord or smaller components.

Reset the network’s Winsock settings

  1. Open the Command Prompt window as the system administrator. 
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter on your keyboard to execute it.
netsh winsock reset
  1. After the reset command is complete, reboot your system to apply these changes. 

Enable the Maximum Performance Mode

  1. Open the Start menu and type in “Power Plan” in the search space. In the search result window, click on the Edit Power Plan option, at the top.
  2. Press the Change advanced power settings link to open the Power Options window.
  3. Navigate to the Wireless Adapter Settings section and click on it.
  4. Select the Setting link and choose Maximum Performance

This step is recommended if the computer is on Power Saving mode.

Change the network settings configuration

  1. Search for Network Connections in your search box and open the best result. You will be taken to a window with all the network connections (wireless networks and ethernet) your Windows 10 PC has ever been connected to.
  2. Double-click on the problematic wi-fi connection and click on the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) checkbox in the network properties window.
The Internet Protocol Version 6 checkbox
  1. Select Ok to close the window and then, restart your PC to apply this adjustment.

Delete the DNI_DNE

  1. Launch the Command Prompt tool with administrator privileges, as we are making changes in the system.
  2. Type in “netcfg -s n” and press Enter. You’ll see a list of network connection-related drivers and tools.
  3. Look for the DNI_DNE inside this list and if it is available, copy and paste the following command inside the script window and execute it with your Enter key.
reg delete HKCRCLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /fnetcfg -v -u dni_dne
  1. As an alternate method, you can open the Registry Editor (regedit) and delete the DNI_DNE in this directory:
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HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/ CLSID /{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3}

Remove and Reinstall the problematic wireless network adapter

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager to launch the Device Manager window.
  2. Expand the Network Adapters category and find your dysfunctional wireless network adapter. 
  3. Right-click on it and select the Uninstall device option from this pop-up menu.
Network Adapters context menu with the Uninstall Device option
  1. Press the Uninstall button, when the confirmation window appears on your screen.
  2. Reboot your system and download the certain driver from the internet or by right-clicking on the Network Adapter section and selecting Scan for Hardware changes.

Disable the Wi-Fi card on your system and Re-Enable it

  1. Launch the Network Connection page through the Control Panel or by easily searching for it and opening the first result.
  2. Right-click on the internet connections that are causing network problems and select Disable from the context menu. This will disable the wireless network adapter/card and it will turn gray.
The Network Connections window with an open Wi-Fi context menu
  1. Right-click on it again and now, choose Enable. You’ll be able to connect to the network again. 

Factory Reset your device

  1. Press the Windows and I key or go into the Start menu click on the gear icon to open the Windows Settings application.
  2. Go into the Update & Security tile > Recovery tab > Get Started button in the Reset this PC section.
Recovery page in the Windows 10 settings window
  1. You will be asked to choose if you wish to keep your files and or delete them. Choose one of these two options.
  2. Then, select if you want to download the OS again and keep it. This will initiate the resetting process. 

This will set all your settings configuration back to default and you should be able to connect to a wireless network again.

If your Wireless Network Adapter does not still work after these steps, consult with a professional about these problems. They will be able to look into it and replace any hardware, if necessary, to repair network problems

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my WiFi card not working?

A WiFi card might not work when it suffers from physical damage, corrupt driver software, incompatible operating system, weak signal, outdated router firmware, or the wifi feature could be disabled. 

How do I know if my wireless adapter is broken?

The main symptom that you will notice if your wireless adapter is broken is that you will not be able to connect to the wireless network. You may also experience frequent disconnecting from the network. If there was physical damage, you might be able to see damages.

Can a WiFi card go bad?

Yes, a WiFi card can go bad, when it has been through physical stress or wear over a period of time. This will affect the network connection between the internet and your devices. 

How do I reset my wireless card?

Use a pin or a toothpick to push the reset button, inside a tiny hole at the back of your router and hold it for around 10 seconds to reset your wireless connection. Do not use a thin, brittle object as it can break and get lodged in the hole.