How to Fix: No WiFi After Windows 10 Upgrade

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'Sisi' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

After I upgraded to Windows 10, I can no longer connect to my wireless network. However, when I connect my laptop to my router using a ethernet cable, it works fine. How can I get my wireless network to work again? "

My response:

There's a lot of reasons that the WiFi won't work after upgrading to Windows 10. The top two reasons are that the driver for your wireless network adapter needs to be updated, or it's possible that Windows 10 does not support your wireless adapter. With that said, I'll describe a systematic approach to resolving this issue below.

How to Fix: No WiFi After Windows 10 Upgrade

  1. The first thing to do is to ensure that your WiFi adapter is working in Device Manager. To do so: click Start, then type in "this pc" (no quotes); wait for This PC to appear, then right click it and select Properties. The System window will appear; on the left side, click Device Manager. Scroll through the list until you see Network Adapters.

    If the device is working properly, Device Manager won't report any issues. In that case you can skip to Step #2 below.

    If there is a problem with one of your networking devices, Device Manager will place a yellow exclamation mark next to the driver. You can find out what is wrong with the device by double clicking on the icon with the yellow exclamation mark, and the error will be listed under the Device Status heading. If you see something like "The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)," then you will need to update the driver. You can click the "Update Driver" button and hope Windows will find one online - however, in most cases you will have to visit the laptop manufacturer's website to see if there is an updated driver for your device specifically for Windows 10. If not, you may be able to install a network driver for Windows 8 (if one is available); if not, then try one for Windows 7. I have personally used drivers for Windows 7 on Windows 10 and it worked fine, but your mileage may vary.

    Note: please be careful when searching for drivers online the Internet. There are a lot of scam websites designed to trick you into purchasing a "driver" for your device. The truth is that you should never, ever have to pay for a driver because drivers are free to begin with. If you are not sure how to update your driver, you are welcome to contact me for remote desktop support - simply send me an email with your request.

    On that note - if you are unable to locate a driver at all, you may need a temporary workaround, such as using a USB nano WiFi adapter. These devices plug into your USB port on the laptop and will allow you to connect to your router. There are several such adapters available through Amazon.com - one of the ones I use is the Edimax 150mps Wireless N. It is super tiny and won't protrude, which means it won't be easily dislodged, or run the risk of damaging your USB port. If you need to connect super long distances then you will want one that has an antenna attached.
     
  2. Assuming there are no issues with your driver, the next thing to do is to ensure that your WiFi adapter is turned on. On some laptops there is a WiFi toggle switch that allows you to turn the WiFi on or off. Other laptops require you to press the FCN (function key) plus some F key (F5, for example) to toggle the WiFi. If your adapter was turned off, go back to Step #1 again to make sure that there are no issues with Device Manager.
     
  3. The next thing to do is click on your available networks and see if your WiFi adapter is picking up any radio frequencies. To do so, left click the network icon next to the tray bar and review your network connections. The icon should look like radio waves (like this) or a square box that looks like an ethernet jack (like this). If the adapter is turned on and working, you should be able to select a WiFi connection from the available networks. At this point you may need to re-enter in your WiFi password to connect to your primary network. If you see is an airplane icon (like this), you will need to disable the airplane mode by selecting a WiFi connection.

Hopefully by now you should have been able to find out what is wrong with your device - whether it's lack of driver, or perhaps it wasn't turned on or configured to connect to your network. If you still cannot get it to work, you are welcome to contact me for remote desktop support, described next.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head or if you need help troubleshooting your wireless connection, I can help via remote desktop support. You will need to connect your machine through a wired connection so that I am able to access the device by remote. In that case, please send me an email briefly describing your problem and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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Comments

kitekrazy's picture

I thought I would have get rid of hardware devices but this is where Windows 10 works for me. I have a device that was unsupported after XP and the Vista 64 beta drivers work in Windows 10.

IrvS's picture

I had a similar problem on a friends laptop I helped put W10 on. It was running W7 and his wireless worked fine (N speed, Toshiba L775). Upgraded to W10 and it never connected on boot-up. Found Atheros W10 drivers and it still didn't work? Properties said it failed to start? Occasionally with disabling/enabling it did work though. Assumed the on-board Atheros was the problem. Went out and bought a new USB Netgear. It couldn't be found during install? Checked USB socket and it was fine? Tried new s/w for install, same problem...

I then remembered the original built-in Wifi (atheros) could see my router's SSID. I tried connecting to it and it did? Weak signal but it did connect?

Why??? Then I looked at the WiFi setting on his Arris. Then I saw the security that was set on the router, the router default, WPA/WPA2-PSK(TKIP/AES), which it said was the 'most compatible'. OK, set it to WPA2-PSK(AES)which mine is, and lo and behold, the Wifi worked fine. Something had to change in W10 that made this necessary I guess and it wouldn't work with the other security setting.