The error “Windows could not find a driver for your network adapter” occurs when the computer is unable to locate and interact with the driver which is meant to link the OS and the networking hardware. This error condition comes forward mostly when you run the troubleshooter on the network adapter not working.
We have listed all the different workarounds available to solve this issue. Start with the first one and work your way down.
Tip: You should also check for third-party software such as VPN’s or networking applications. They are known to cause problems.
Solution 1: Re-installing Drivers
The easiest workaround to solve this error message is to install the drivers using the installation package. This solution requires another PC or laptop with a working internet connection through which you can download the drivers from the official manufacturer’s website.
- Using another system, navigate to the manufacturer’s website and download suitable network drivers according to your hardware. You can search all the different network drivers available by typing in your computer’s or laptop’s model.
- Once you are done downloading the drivers, copy them to an external USB device and plug it into the computer where the error message is popping.
- Now, you can update the drivers in two ways. You can either run the installation file directly or use the device manager as shown below.
- Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter.
- Once in the device manager, expand network adapters and locate your Ethernet hardware. Right-click on it and select “Uninstall device”.
- Windows might pop up a UAC confirming your actions. Press Yes and proceed. After uninstalling the driver, right-click on any empty space and select “Scan for hardware changes”. Windows will now automatically detect your hardware and install the default drivers. Reboot your computer and check if the problem got solved.
If rolling back drivers don’t do the trick, we can try installing latest drivers. Here we will use the drivers you just downloaded.
- Open device manager, right-click on your Ethernet hardware and select “Update driver software”.
- Select the second options “Browse my computer for driver software”. Browse to the driver you downloaded and install it accordingly. Reboot your computer and check if the adapters work as expected.
Solution 2: Performing a System Restore
If the above method doesn’t work, it is worth a shot restoring back before any latest Windows 10 updates were installed on your computer. If you don’t have a last restore point, you can install a clean version of Windows. You can use the utility “Belarc” to get all your licenses saved, backup your data using external storage and then perform a clean install.
Note: This method is most viable in cases where the networking hardware fails to work after an update or after installing an application.
Here is the method on how to restore Windows from the last restore point.
- Press Windows + S to launch the start menu’s search bar. Type “restore” in the dialogue box and select the first program which comes with the result.
- Once in the restore settings, press System Restore present at the beginning of the window under the tab of System Protection.
- Now a wizard will open navigating you through all the steps to restore your system. You can either select the recommended restore point or choose a different restore point. Press Next and proceed with all the further instructions.
- Now select the restore point from the list of options available. If you have more than one system restore points, they will be listed here.
- Now windows will confirm your actions for the last time before it starts the system restore process. Save all your work and backup important files just in case and proceed with the process.
You can learn more about system restore to gain more knowledge about what it does and what are the processes involved.
- Once you have restored successfully, log into the system and check if the error at hand got fixed.
If you don’t have any restore points or if the system restore doesn’t work, you can do a clean install of Windows using bootable media.