USB Wi-Fi Adapter Not Working – How to Fix The Issue

Learn how to troubleshoot the USB wireless adapter not working properly on Windows 10.

A stable internet connection is a must for lag-free web surfing, meetings, and more. Due to several reasons, many users face USB Wi-Fi adapters not working correctly. The post explains different ways to troubleshoot the Wi-FI USB adapter issue.

Reasons for Wi-Fi Adapter Not Working

– Wi-Fi is disabled
– Faulty Windows Updates or outdated Windows
– An older version of Network driver
– Corrupt network settings
– The router is placed far from the device
– Windows Firewall is blocking the network access

How To Fix USB Network Adapter Not Working on Windows 10

A USB Wi-Fi adapter helps in a faster internet connection. However, if it is giving issues when connecting to the internet, follow these basic troubleshooting steps:

  • Turn off Airplane Mode.
  • Restart Wi-Fi Router.
  • Download the latest router firmware. If the above did not help, follow the methods given below:

Method 1 – Make Sure There are no Wireless Network Hindrances

You may be unable to connect to your wireless network for various reasons. If your modem is not correctly positioned, you will not obtain a decent signal, which is something you do not want. Therefore, move your modem to a location near your device and remove the obstacles.

Method 2 – Run Windows Troubleshooter

  • Right-click on the Windows logo and select Settings.

  • Click Update & Security.
  • Click Troubleshooter option > Additional troubleshooters > Network Adapter > Run the troubleshooter.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen and complete the process.
  • Restart the PC to save changes.

Method 3 – Download The Latest Network Drivers

3.1 Manually Update Network Adapter Driver

  • From Windows Quick Menu (Windows + X), select Device Manager.
  • Double click the Network Adapter section > right-click wireless network adapter that is giving issues > select Update driver.
  • Select Search automatically for driver updates.

If an update is available, it will be downloaded and installed.

However, if this doesn’t sound like fun and you are looking for a more direct approach, we suggest using a driver updater tool. Using it, you can update drivers, take a backup of old drivers, exclude incompatible drivers, and can even schedule driver updates. To use it, follow the steps below:

3.2 Update Network Driver Adapter Automatically

  • Download and install Advanced Driver Updater.
  • Click Start Scan Now to scan the PC for outdated drivers.

  • Update the network driver by clicking Update drivers. However, if you are a paid user, you can update all drivers using the Update All button.

  • Restart PC to apply changes.

Method 4 – Change Adapter Settings

  • Head to Network card properties.
  • Find the working wireless card.
  • Look for Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and uncheck IPv6.
  • Restart the PC to apply changes.

Method 5 – Unhide Hidden Devices in Device Manager

  • Open Device Manager (Windows + X > Device Manager)
  • Click the View menu > select Show hidden devices.
  • Right-click Network adapters > Scan for hardware changes.

  • If you see any new network adapter > double-click on it > Properties > Driver tab and see if it is working fine or not.

Method 6- Reset Wireless Adapter

This is the most straightforward fix. To reset the adapter, press the reset button, or using a thin object, press the reset button. Hold it for 10 seconds and restart the router.

Method 7 – Switch to Full Power Mode

If the PC runs with Power Saving mode, use the below method to switch to full power mode.

  • Type Power Plan in the Windows search box.

  • Click Change advanced power settings

  • Double-click Wireless Adapter Settings > double-click Power Saving Mode > select Maximum Performance.

  • Click Apply > Ok to save changes.

Method 8 – Reinstall Network Adapter

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  • Type devmgmt.msc< hit the enter key.
  • Go to the network adapter, double click to expand it, and find the network adapter.
  • Right-click > select Uninstall > restart the PC.
  • The default network adapter will now be reinstalled.

Method 9 – Reset TCP /IP

  • Run elevated Command Prompt. (Type command prompt in Windows search > right-click Run as administrator.
  • Type the following commands:
    netsh int ip reset
    netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
    netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
    netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
  • Now try to connect.

Method 10 – Reset Winstock Settings |

  • Run Command Prompt as administrator
  • Enter the following command :

netshwinsock reset

  • Wait for the command to run < restart the system to apply changes and see if it helps.

Method 11 – Delete DNI-DNE

  • Run Command Prompt as administrator.
  • Type netcfg -s n and press Enter.
  • You will get a list of network connection-related tools and drivers. Search for DNI_DNE.
  • If available copy paste the following commandreg delete HKCRCLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /fnetcfg -v -u dni_dne and click ok.
  • Restart PC.

Method 12 – Disable and Re-enable Wireless Card

  • In the Windows search bar, type network connections.
  • Right-click the Wi-Fi connection giving issues > select Disable.

  • Wait for a while. Again right-click on it and select Enable.

Wrap Up

This will set all settings to default, and you will be able to fix the problem. Even after following this, if nothing works, please get the hardware checked. We hope you like the information we’ve shared and were able to fix the issue.

Recommended :

How to Download Apple Mobile Device USB Driver for Windows 11,10,8,7
How To Update USB Drivers On Windows 11 & 10?
How to Fix “MTP USB Device Driver Failed” Problem for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

— Update: 16-03-2023 — found an additional article Fix Wi-Fi Adapter Not Working/Not Available: 9 Easy Tips from the website for the keyword wifi adapter not working on windows.

Find out everything you need to fix the problem

Various software and hardware-related issues may occur after a Windows update. One of these problems is that the Wi-Fi adapter is no longer working for some users.

Many reported that their computers couldn’t detect and recognize the wireless network adapter, which worked fine before, and, as a result, they couldn’t connect to any network. But, don’t worry, we have plenty of solutions for this problem.

Why is my Wi-Fi adapter not working?

Let’s see some common reasons for this issue:

Article post on:

  • Malfunctioning drivers – Especially after an OS update, you can encounter problems with the drivers that are not working correctly. Updating the drivers, as listed below, will solve the issue.
  • Improper settings – Some adaptor settings may have changed without warning, which can affect its functionality.
  • The adapter is damaged – Although highly unlikely, if the problem coincides with a drop of your laptop, you might consider that this component is damaged.

What are other common Wi-Fi adapter issues?

Here are some similar issues reported by our users that you can also resolve with the fixes presented below:

  • Windows 10 Wi-Fi adapter missing, not showing, not working – If your computer fails to recognize the adapter, you won’t see it in Device Manager.
  • My Windows 10 Wi-Fi disconnects frequently – If your connection is unstable, one of the solutions below will fix that too.
  • Windows 10 has no Wi-Fi option in settings  Just as with the taskbar, the Wi-Fi option may also disappear from the Settings page.
  • Windows 10 Wi-Fi connected but no Internet – This one’s the worst – when everything seems right, you just can’t connect to the Internet. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to resolve this when applying the solutions presented below.
  • Realtek Wi-Fi adapter not working – It is possible that the inability of your Wi-Fi adapter to function is attributable to the fact that its driver was recently removed.
  • The Wi-Fi adapter stopped working – On certain laptops, the Wi-Fi may be turned on and off using either a dedicated hardware button or a set of keys on the keyboard.
  • No Wi-Fi adapters available Cisco AnyConnect – In the NAM section of the Anyconnect client, the message No network adapters appears.
  • No Wi-Fi adapters available in Windows 11 – Start the Network Adapter troubleshooter on your Windows PC if you can’t find your Wi-Fi adapter on that machine.
  • Wi-Fi adapter not showing in Device Manager – If the wireless adapter still does not appear in Device Manager, you may use the System Restore point to roll back to a previous state in time when the wireless device was functioning normally.

How do I fix Wi-Fi adapter issues on Windows?

In this article

Here are a few quick tricks we recommend you try first:

  • Restart the computer.
  • Make sure there are no devices in the vicinity that interrupt the functioning of the Wi-Fi adapter or the router. If you find any, remove them.
  • Install the latest version of Windows if there are any pending updates.

In case none work, head to the solutions listed next.

1. Update the network drivers (Internet needed)

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Click on the Network adapters section, locate the Wi-Fi adapter, right-click on it and select Update driver.
  3. Now select Search automatically for drivers.
  4. If the system finds a new driver, it will be installed, and you will be prompted for a restart.

Updating the driver will work only if you have an Ethernet cable connection besides your Wi-Fi. If unavailable, download the necessary drivers on another computer or device and run the setup on the affected PC.

To make this process faster, we suggest using driver updater software to update all drivers on your PC automatically.

2. Use the built-in troubleshooter

When you’re encountering issues with your Wi-Fi adapter on your PC, a reliable option is the Internet Connections troubleshooter to identify and eliminate the source of the problem.

1. Press the Windows key + I to open Settings, then head to Updates & Security.

2. Select Troubleshoot from the left pane and click on Additional troubleshooters.

3. Select Internet Connections and click the Run the troubleshooter button.

4. Follow further on-screen instructions and let the process finish.

5. Restart your computer.

3. Reset network adapters

  1. Right-click on the Start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).

  2. Type or paste the following lines into Windows Powershell and press Enter after each one:
    netsh winsock reset netsh int ip reset ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew

Once done, restart the computer and verify whether the Wi-Fi adapter is still not working

4. Perform a registry tweak with Command Prompt

  1. Type Command Prompt in the search bar and click on Run as administrator.
  2. Paste the following line and press Enter: netcfg –s n
  3. This command will show a list of network protocols, drivers, and services. First, check if DNI_DNE is on the list; if it is, you have a problem.
  4. If DNI_DNE is listed, type the following commands and press Enter:
    reg delete HKCRCLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /f netcfg -v -u dni_dne

This should solve the issue, but if you receive the error 0x80004002 after entering the command, this value needs to be deleted slightly differently.


Here’s what to do if you receive this error code:

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

5. Change the adapter settings

  1. Click on the Start button, type control panel, and then click on the relevant search result.
  2. Go to the top right corner and change the View by option to Large icons.
  3. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click on Change adapter settings.
  5. Right-click the wireless adapter and select Properties.
  6. Search for Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6), and uncheck the option to disable it.
  7. Click on OK and restart the computer to enforce the changes you made.

6. Reinstall the network adapter

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Device Manager from the list.
  2. Click on the Network adapters section to expand it.
  3. Right-click your network adapter and select Uninstall device.
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer, and Windows will automatically install the best available drivers for the device.

7. Reset your router

  1. Look for the Reset button at the back of the device.
  2. Press and hold it for more than 10 seconds until the SYS led starts flashing quickly, and release the button.

Resetting the router can do wonders, as cliche as it sounds. Though the steps to reset the router are different for each manufacturer, every router usually has a reset button. So, find the instructions for your manufacturer and get done with the process.

8. Update the router firmware

  1. Use an Ethernet cable to connect the router to your PC.
  2. Visit your router’s manufacturer’s website.
  3. Locate your model on the list.
  4. Download the latest firmware version for your model.
  5. Open your web browser and type the IP address or the router’s link (as an example, our router’s IP address is, but yours may be different).
  6. Now enter the username and password provided by the manufacturer (available in the manual or on the bottom of the device) or the ones you set.
  7. Navigate to the Firmware section and find the Choose file or Browse button to let you add the firmware you’ve downloaded.
  8. Wait for the process to finish, and do not interrupt it at any cost.

For more information, we suggest that you visit our guide on how to update your router firmware guide.

9. Switch to the Maximum Performance mode

  1. Press Windows key + S and enter power plan. Now click on Choose a power plan.
  2. Once the Power Options window opens, locate your current plan and click Change plan settings.
  3. Go to Change advanced power settings.
  4. Expand Wireless Adapter Settings, and set the Power Saving Mode to Maximum Performance.
  5. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Just keep in mind that the Maximum Performance mode will put some extra pressure on your device, so your laptop battery may drain more quicker. But, it should, in all likelihood, fix the problem with the Wi-Fi adapter.

What do I do if the Wi-Fi adapter is not working on Windows 11?

  1. Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Locate your wireless adapter from the list and double-click it to open its Properties.
  3. Navigate to the Power Management tab and disable Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

If you’re still having problems, visit our guide on what to do if Wi-Fi disappears in Windows 11 for more solutions.

How do I avoid Wi-Fi connection problems?

1. Choose a less crowded channel

  1. Open your router’s configuration page.
  2. Navigate to the Wireless section.
  3. Select your network and choose a different channel for it.

2. Move between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

If you have a dual-band router, switching between the two frequencies can be a good idea.

You can usually find the frequency settings in the Wireless Settings menu on your router, just like in the image above.

Just like we mentioned before, they may differ on your device. Therefore, feel free to consult the manual of your device.

3. Remove unwanted devices

You might have forgotten that you gave the router password to some friends, especially neighbors who may still connect to your Wi-Fi network.

To get them off your network, go into your router’s settings, look for connected devices, and delete the ones you don’t recognize.

4. Upgrade your device (change the Wi-Fi card)

The Wi-Fi card or adapter is usually embedded in your motherboard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use an external one.

If you conclude that your one is not working correctly, you can use a new Wi-Fi adapter that will fit your needs better.

5. Get the right router for your needs

When talking about your home network, ensure that the router can provide signal coverage wherever you are in the house.

If the connection fails from time to time, it’s either a problem with the router itself or the signal power to your device.

You can even choose one of the best routers with an internal antenna but remember to stay with your device within range.

6. Keep your drivers updated

As you’ve read in our guide, drivers can cause a lot of mess when it comes to Wi-Fi adapters, and not only, so it’s recommended that you regularly update the network drivers.

7. Pick the correct Wi-Fi hotspot

Although it may sound hilarious, sometimes we can connect to another network by mistake, a slower or a more crowded one.

That is why, when you encounter an Internet connection problem, you first need to ensure that you have the correct link from the ISP and that your router or access point is working correctly.

After that, check if other devices can connect to the Wi-Fi network; if they do, you can conclude that there might be a problem with your device.

Should I use a 5GHz or 2.4GHz wireless network?

5GHz networks offer incredible speed and less latency, so if you want a fast connection with low ping, this is the better option.

However, 2.4GHz offers a better range, and its signal is better at penetrating through obstacles, such as walls. Also, remember that many devices aren’t fully compatible with 5GHz networks.

As a basic rule, troubleshoot the most common possible issues and gradually move on to the more complex ones.

Once you have managed to fix things, find out how to boost the performance of a Windows PC for a better experience.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

— Update: 19-03-2023 — found an additional article [SOLVED] Windows 10 wireless adapter missing from the website for the keyword wifi adapter not working on windows.

Your wireless network adapter is missing on your Windows 10 PC? Don’t worry! Although it is frustrating, you’re not the only one to experience this issue. Many Windows 10 users have recently reported the very same issue. More importantly, you should be able to fix it pretty easily…

Try these fixes

Here’s a list of fixes that have fixed this issue for other Windows 10 users. You don’t have to try them all. Just work your way through the list until you find the one that does the trick for you.

  1. Show the hidden devices in Device Manager
  2. Run the network troubleshooter
  3. Update the driver for your wireless network adapter
  4. Reset the Winsock settings
  5. Replace your network interface controller card

Fix 1: Show the hidden devices in Device Manager

Your wireless network adapter may be hidden in Device Manager. If you’re not sure, follow the instruction below to show the hidden devices in Device Manager:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and X at the same time. Then select Device Manager. You’ll be prompted for permission. Click Yes to open Device Manager.
  2. In Device Manager, click View and select Show hidden devices.
  3. Click Network adapters to select it. Click Action and click Scan for hardware changes.
  4. Double-click Network adapters to expand the list. See if your wireless network adapter (usually the adapter whose name contains the word “wireless”) appears among the list.

If your adapter appears shows up on the list, double-click on it to open its properties window. See if the adapter is working properly.

If your wireless network adapter doesn’t appear among the list, or if the adapter is not working as expected, don’t worry! Try the next fix, below.

Fix 2: Run the network troubleshooter

The built-in network troubleshooter in Windows 10 is a useful tool to resolve network issues. You can follow the instruction below to run the network troubleshooter:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and type network troubleshooter. Then select Identify and repair network problems in the list of search results to run the network troubleshooter.
  2. The network troubleshooter will automatically detect the network problems on your PC. You just need to follow the steps in the network troubleshooter and see if this issue can get fixed.

See if your wireless network adapter appears. If not, try the next fix, below.

Fix 3: Update the driver for your wireless network adapter

A missing or corrupted driver may be the root of this issue. Try updating the driver for your wireless network adapter to see if you can resolve it.

There are two ways to update the driver for your wireless network adapter: manually and automatically.

Manually update the driver for your wireless network adapter – You can update it manually by going to the manufacturer’s website, and searching for the latest driver for your wireless network adapter.


Update the driver for your wireless network adapter automatically – If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your network driver manually, you can, instead, do it automatically with Driver Easy. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. Driver Easy handles it all.

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers. 
  3. Click Update next to your wireless network adapter to automatically download the correct version of its driver, then you can install it manually. Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (This requires the  Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All. You get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee).

Fix 4: Reset the Winsock settings

Winsock is a programming interface and supporting program in Windows operating system. It defines how Windows network software should access network services. If its data went wrong, this issue may occur.

In this case, resetting Winsock data may resolve this issue, because resetting Winsock data is helpful for dealing with some network connection issues. Here is how to do it:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows Logo Key and R at the same time to open the Run dialog. Type cmd and press CtrlShift and Enter at the same time to run Command Prompt as administrator. You will be prompted for permission. Click Yes to run Command Prompt.
  2. In the Command Prompt, type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
  3. Restart your PC to complete the reset.

See if your wireless network adapter appears in Device Managers.

Fix 5: Replace your network interface controller card

If your wireless network adapter doesn’t appear in Device Manager after you tried all the fixes above, it’s time to consult the manufacturer of your PC for further support, since the worst case of this issue could be the problem of your NIC (network interface controller) card.

Hopefully one of the fixes above resolved this issue for you. Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions or suggestion.

  • network issues
  • Windows 10


Article post on:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *