Wi-Fi, it’s safe to say, permeates every aspect of our existence. It’s there when we wake up, when we have dinner, some say its waves are interfering with our very brains. In short, Wi-Fi is important, and when it stops working on Windows, it can feel like our lives grind to a halt.
We’ve gathered some fixes for a faulty or broken Wi-Fi connection on Windows 10.
The Obvious Stuff
First of all, are other devices connecting to your Wi-Fi network without issue? If they are, then read on as your problem must be related to your Windows PC. If not, then your problem could be related to your router, and the first port of call should be to turn it off then on again.
Is your Wi-Fi switched on (Settings -> Network & Internet -> WiFi)?
In the Wi-Fi menu, you can also click “Manage known networks,” get Windows to “Forget” the network you’re trying to connect to, then reconnect to it again.
All that failing, here are the more advanced fixes.
Restart Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter
A lot of people with a faulty Wi-Fi connection have reported the problem stems from the Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter. This is responsible for turning Windows into a Wi-Fi hotspot, however, so bear in mind that disabling this to fix your Wi-Fi will also disable the Portable Hotspot function.
Go to “Device Manager” (search for it in the Start menu search bar), then once you’re there, click “View -> Show hidden devices.”
Scroll down to Network adapters, right-click “Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter,” then “Disable device.” Reboot your PC, and you’re done.
Disable Power Management on Wi-Fi
While you’re in the Device Manager, you can also try disabling power management for the wireless network adapter that’s having trouble. In Device Manager under Network adapters, look for the the adapter with the word “Wireless” or “Wi-Fi” in it (this will vary depending on the make of your card), then right-click it and click Properties.
In the new window click the Power Management tab and untick the “Allow the computer to turn off this device” box.
Reset Network Settings
A little simpler, and with no negative side effects, you can reset the network settings in Windows. This will uninstall and reinstall all your system’s network drivers, hopefully removing any issues they had.
To do this, just go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Status -> Network reset.”
Restart Wireless NIC in BIOS
This one won’t be possible for everyone, as different motherboard manufacturers have different options available in the BIOS, but it’s worth a try.
To enter your BIOS, repeatedly press either the Del, F8, F10, or F2 key (this may vary) as your PC is booting. If Windows starts up, you’ve done it wrong and need to reboot and try again.
Once you’re in the BIOS, look for a menu called something like “Power Management,” under which you should find an option called Wireless, Wireless LAN or similar. Disable this, reboot your PC, then enter the BIOS again and re-enable it.
The no-WiFi issue on Windows is a multi-headed beast that can be hard to pin down, but if the problem does indeed stem from the software or drivers on your PC (and not, say, a dying Wi-Fi adapter or router issue), then the above fixes should be enough to help you.