Your Wi-Fi adapter may sometimes vanish from your list of devices. If you open the Device Manager, your Wi-Fi adapter is unavailable under Network Adapters. This issue affects both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. Your machine simply says that you need to plug in a network cable to get back online. Let’s explore how you can troubleshoot this annoying Wi-Fi issue.
What to Do If Your Wi-Fi Adapter Keeps Disappearing
Run the Network Troubleshooter
Suppose your wireless driver got corrupted, or you’re running an outdated driver version. In that case, the option to connect to a Wi-Fi network may disappear. Update or reinstall your driver, and check if you notice any changes. But since the Wi-Fi adapter is not visible under Device Manager, you can run the Network Troubleshooter to automatically fix wireless-related issues.
Go to Settings, select System, and scroll down to Troubleshoot. Then, select Other troubleshooters, and run the Network Adapter troubleshooter.
Scan for Hardware Changes
Even though the Wi-Fi option is not available, you can still scan for hardware changes. Open the Device Manager, right-click on Network Adapters and select Scan for hardware changes.
Go back to Wi-Fi and check if you can select your connection. Your computer should prompt you to enter your wireless password as if you’d never been connected to that network before. Enter your password and check if your device successfully connects to Wi-Fi.
Install Wi-Fi Adapter in Compatibility Mode
If the Wi-Fi adapter is still missing from your computer, go to your driver manufacturer’s website and download it on your computer. Then, right-click on the setup file and select Properties. Click on the Compatibility tab, run the program in Compatibility Mode, and wait until your machine installs the Wi-Fi driver.
For example, if your computer is equipped with an Intel wireless driver, go to Intel’s official webpage and download the correct driver for your hardware configuration.
Run the Winsock Reset Command
If the issue persists, try resetting your network settings and check if this method solves the problem.
To run this command, you need to log in with an admin account. Launch Command Prompt with admin privileges, and enter the netsh winsock reset command.
Hit Enter to run the command. Restart your computer, and check if your Wi-Fi adapter is available now.
If your Wi-Fi adapter is missing from your Windows computer, run the Network Adapter troubleshooter. Then, open the Device Manager and scan the Network Adapters section for hardware changes. If the issue persists, install the Wi-Fi adapter in compatibility mode, and reset your network settings.
Did you manage to solve the problem and restore your Wi-Fi functionality? Which method worked for you? Comment down below.