Troubleshoot network adapter problems

If you can't connect to a network, there might be a problem with your network adapter. Here are some common reasons for network adapter problems and related solutions.

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The network adapter is disabled.

To enable the adapter:

  1. Open Network Connections by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, clicking Network and Sharing Center, and then clicking Manage network connections.

  2. Right-click the network adapter icon, and then click Enable. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

The network adapter needs to be reset.

To reset the adapter:

  1. Open Network Connections by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, clicking Network and Sharing Center, and then clicking Manage network connections.

  2. Right-click the network adapter icon, and then click Disable. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Right-click the adapter icon again, and then click Enable. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

The adapter is now reset. Try connecting to the network again, or run Network Diagnostics to verify that your network adapter is now working correctly.

Open Network Diagnostics by right-clicking the network icon in the notification area, and then clicking Diagnose and repair.

The network adapter driver is missing, isn't working, or is out of date.

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

If you reset your network adapter and you still can't connect to a network, you might need to update the adapter driver. (Updating the driver can solve the problem of missing or failed drivers, as well as outdated ones.) To update your network adapter driver, follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Device Manager. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. Double-click Network Adapters, right-click your adapter, and then click Properties.

  3. Click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver.

    If Windows cannot find the driver on your computer and you do not have a connection to the Internet, you might need to contact the network adapter manufacturer or your computer manufacturer to get the driver. Check the information that came with your network adapter or your computer to see if you have a disc that contains the drivers.

Once you've updated the driver, try connecting to the network again, or run Network Diagnostics to verify that the adapter is updated.

Open Network Diagnostics by right-clicking the network icon in the notification area, and then clicking Diagnose and repair.

The network adapter needs to be replaced.

If you've tried resetting the network adapter and updating the drivers, and Network Diagnostics indicates that there is still a problem with your network adapter, try replacing the adapter. Buy a new network adapter and install it in your computer by following the manufacturer's instructions, or have a service technician replace the adapter for you.