Windows 10 is the latest and greatest version of the Windows Operating System, but it is far, far from perfection. Among the many issues that Windows 10 users from all over the globe have faced is their networks adapters and their drivers not working in Windows 10. Some of the Windows 10 users affected by this issue simply don’t see their network adapters being listed in Device Manager, some of these users’ computers fail to recognize their network adapters and, in some cases, the network adapters don’t work even though they are recognized and are listed in Device Manager.
While this problem is most commonly known to affect Realtek network adapters, no network adapters are invulnerable to it. No matter what the case may be, a network adapter is not something you can live without because not having a functional network adapter means that you cannot connect to the internet either via WiFi or via an Ethernet connection. Well, fortunately for you, the following are the three most effective methods that you can use to try and fix network adapter and/or network adapter driver failure in Windows 10:
Method 1: Uninstall any and all third-party security programs
Many of the Windows users who were affected by this problem upon upgrading to Windows 10 found that the third-party security programs they had on their computer were the culprit behind their network adapters and their drivers not working. If that is the case with you, simply uninstalling any and all third-party security programs installed on your computer will get your network adapter and all of its drivers to start functioning again. It should be noted that you will have to uninstall all third-party security programs – from antivirus and anti-malware programs to firewall programs – in order for this solution to work.
Once you figure out that it works, you can reinstall the anti virus software from another known vendor such as AVG.
Method 2: Refresh your Windows 10 Computer
Among the many computer reset and recovery settings and features that come with Windows 10 is the refresh feature. Performing a refresh allows you to keep all of your valuable files and data and all of the built-in apps that came with Windows 10 but deletes any and all third-party apps that you downloaded onto your computer since upgrading it to Windows 10 and also resets all of your settings and preferences to their factory defaults. Refreshing your computer might quite possibly be the solution to your computer’s network adapter not working in Windows 10. To refresh a Windows 10 computer, you need to:
Open the Start Menu. Click on Settings.
Click on Update & Security.
Click on Recovery.
Click on the Get started button located under the Reset this PC
Click on Keep my files and allow your computer to be refreshed, and once it has, your network adapter and all of its drivers should start functioning the way they are meant to be.
Method 3: Remove and Reinstall Your Network Adapter
First of all take a note of the name of your network adapter if it is listed in the Device Manager. To see if it is listed, Hold the Windows Key and Press R. Type hdwwiz.cpl and click OK. Get to the Network Adapters tab and note down the name.
If it is not here, then check your system specifications using it’s serial # on the manufacturer’s website to see what it came with. see here (some examples) to identify it. Once you have the serial number; then check the manufacturer’s site. Easiest way to do this is to do a search query “model number driver download”. Once you’ve found the driver, you will need to somehow get it on the computer which is having the issue; you can either download it to a USB on another computer or write it to a disc so it can be copied to the computer in question. Once done, you would just need to double click the setup file to launch and install it but before you do that, uninstall the previous one installed.
You can right click on it and choose “Uninstall“. You may also be prompted to remove the driver package, it would be good to remove it so you can do a clean/fresh install of the new driver. DO THIS ONLY IF YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL IN LOCATING YOUR DRIVER.
You can also locate the driver on the same computer, if you can get connected to internet via Ethernet.