Windows Can't Detect Network Adapter
Windows Can't Detect Network Adapter

Windows Did Not Detect a Properly Installed Network Adapter

If your Windows computer is not detecting a network adapter, it can hinder your ability to connect to the internet or network. There are several potential causes and corresponding solutions:

  1. Driver Issue:
    • The most common cause of this issue is a problem with the network adapter driver. Drivers enable communication between your computer and hardware devices. If the network adapter driver is outdated or corrupt, your computer may not recognize the network adapter.
    • Solution: Update the network adapter driver through Device Manager. Right-click on the Start button, select Device Manager, expand Network Adapters, right-click on your network adapter, and choose Update Driver Software​​​​.
  2. Hardware Issue:
    • A damaged or improperly installed network adapter may not be recognized by your computer.
    • Solution: Check the hardware by opening Device Manager, expanding Network Adapters, right-clicking on your network adapter, selecting Properties, and checking the Device Status under the Details tab. If the device is not properly installed, you may need to reinstall the network adapter​​.
  3. Software Issue:
    • Malware infections can interfere with network adapter drivers.
    • Solution: Scan for malware using a third-party antivirus program or Windows Defender Security Center​​.
  4. Network Issue:
    • Problems with your router or network settings can prevent detection of your network adapter.
    • Solution: Reset your network settings by going to Settings > Network & Internet > Status and clicking on Reset Network under Network Reset​​.
  5. Power Management Settings:
    • Incorrect power management settings can lead to the adapter being disabled to save energy.
    • Solution: Go to Device Manager > Network Adapters, select your Wi-Fi adapter, and in the Power Management tab, uncheck the option “Allow the computer to turn off the device to save energy.” Then, in the Advanced tab, disable any energy-saving options​​.
  6. Improperly Installed Drivers:
    • Incorrectly installed network drivers can cause detection issues.
    • Solution: Uninstall and then reinstall the network adapter drivers. Access Device Manager, expand Network Adapters, right-click your network adapter, select Uninstall Device, and then restart your computer. Windows will automatically reinstall the driver​​.
  7. Additional Troubleshooting Steps:
    • Scan for Hardware Changes: In Device Manager, select Network Adapter and click Actions > Scan For Hardware Changes. This can re-enable a disabled network adapter​​.
    • Fast Startup Issues: Disable Fast Startup in your BIOS or UEFI settings, as it can interfere with the boot process and network adapter detection​​.


By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue of Windows not detecting a properly installed network adapter. If these solutions don’t work, the problem may require professional technical support.


  1. What causes Windows to not detect a properly installed network adapter?
    • Common causes include driver issues, hardware problems, software conflicts, and network issues.
  2. How do I access Device Manager to update or reinstall drivers?
    • Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager. In Device Manager, find Network Adapters to update or reinstall drivers.
  3. Can malware affect network adapter detection?
    • Yes, malware can interfere with network adapter drivers and prevent proper detection.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

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