In the modern day and age, having a stable internet connection is everything. Due to this, it’s often a great idea to become familiar with how your computer connects to the internet. And what you can do to fix it whenever it is disconnected. Computers connect to the internet by way of a network adapter. This is usually built into the computer, on a network interface card. It can be connected to the internet with an Ethernet or a Wi-Fi connection. Whether you are just installing a network card, removing one or updating drivers, this article is sure to help.
How to Troubleshoot Network Adapter in Windows 10?
Windows 10 allows you to configure the following network adapters settings through two options. You can either do it easily through the Device Manager or through Control Panel.
- Enable or disable the network adapter
- Install or uninstall
- Update its related drivers
- Looking at properties settings and
- Scanning for hardware changes (only possible through Device Manager)
We will explain the settings through Control Panel. To start off with, we will need to open the Control Panel. Search “Control Panel” in the Cortana search box. It should come up with a result towards the top that you can then just click to open the control panel.
Disable Network Adapter
From the Control Panel, we need to click on “View network status and tasks” under the “Network and Internet” heading. This should redirect you to here:
In the “Active Networks” section, you will need to click the hyperlink beside “Connections”. If you have a wireless connection then you should be seeing the name of your Wi-Fi network here. If you have a wired connected then it should be showing as Ethernet or LAN accordingly.
Once you click on the active connection, it will open a window displaying status of your connection.
Now all we must do to disable it, is to click the “Disable” button. Remember Windows will not ask you to confirm, your active internet connection will be disconnected once clicked on the disable button.
Enabling the Network Adapter Back
Go back to network sharing center and click on the “Change adapter settings” option on the right sidebar. You will see all the network adapters, right click on the required adapter and enable the connection again.
Diagnose Network Connection
Click on the “Diagnose” button to troubleshoot the network connection problems. You can follow the Windows network diagnostics wizard to identify the problem in your connection.
Network Properties Settings
As you can see in the above screenshot, the properties settings for the network adapter is accessible through a button labelled “Properties” beside the “disable button”.
Clicking this button will open a window that will allow you to configure different elements of the network properties like clients, services and protocols.
As a further continuation of the above sections, you may install and uninstall related elements and software supporting your network adapter. These buttons are available in the “Wi-Fi Properties” window shown below which can be opened by clicking on the “Properties” button from “Wi-Fi Status” window.
You will then need to select the item that you wish to install in the subsequent menu, which may require a disk. By clicking install, you can choose to add a Client, Service or Protocol to the adapter.
The uninstall button works in much the same way. Select what you wish to uninstall, and then press the uninstall button. However, it is important that you are careful about what you choose to uninstall, as you might cause your network adapter to loose Clients, Services or Protocols that it needs to correctly operate.
Updating Drivers of Your Network Adapter
In the above connection properties window, you can select “Configure” button shown under the network adapter to configure the settings of your network adapter. You will see many tabs and go to the “Drivers” tab to update the adapter driver files.
All that’s left to do now is to press the button labelled “Update Driver…”. You will be prompted to select the driver software either by searching automatically on internet or updating manually from your PC.
Uninstall Network Adapter Completely
Click on the “Uninstall” button under “Driver” to completely uninstall the device from your computer. You only need to do this if it is not working and you have the installation disk for reinstalling it again. Remember your internet connection will stop without the network adapter.
Sometimes you will notice the internet connection is getting disconnected, especially when opening the computer from sleep or running into low battery. By default Windows will turn off the network adapter when the computer is in sleep and power saver mode. You can disable this power saver option to have a continuous network connection. Navigate to “Power Management” tab of you network adapter properties. Disable the checkbox “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.
Now your network adapter will never get disconnected and hence you will have uninterrupted internet connection.
Scan for Hardware Changes
Whether you have updated the drivers, or disabled and enabled or uninstalled and installed the network adapter, the first thing required is to do the scanning for hardware changes. This will ensure the device is updated and work properly. Search for Device Manager using Cortana search box and open your Device Manager. Select the correct adapter under network adapters section and right click on it.
Click on the “Scan for hardware changes” to update all the changes done to the network adapter.