How to Fix a Missing Wi-Fi Option in Windows 11
Your Windows 11 computer may not show a Wi-Fi connectivity option due to various reasons. Corrupt Wi-Fi drivers, hardware issues, and even problems with the Windows OS can be the potential causes for this problem.
In addition, you may also notice frequent Wi-Fi connection drops. If so, here are a few troubleshooting steps to help you fix the Wi-Fi not working problem in Windows 11.
1. Run the Internet Connection Troubleshooter
Windows 11 provides built-in troubleshooters to fix common issues with computer peripherals and network devices. You can run the Internet Connection troubleshooter to scan the system for common problems and fix them automatically.
To run the Internet Connection troubleshooter:
- Press Win + I to open Settings.
- Open the System tab in the left pane.
- In the right pane, scroll down and click on Troubleshoot.
- Under Options, click on Other troubleshooters.
- Click the Run button for Internet Connections. Windows will launch the troubleshooter and show the issues for which Windows can troubleshoot.
- Click on Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet. The troubleshooter will scan the system for issues and recommend potential fixes. Apply the fixes and check for any improvements.
If the issues persist, run the Network Adapter troubleshooter. Here’s how to do it.
- Press Win + I to open Settings.
- In the System tab, go to Troubleshoot > Other Troubleshooters.
- Scroll down and click the Run button for Network Adapter.
- In the troubleshooter window, select All network adapters and click Next.
- Select the appropriate option and follow on-screen instructions. If available, apply the recommended fixes to restore your Wi-Fi connectivity.
2. Enable the Wi-Fi Adapter in Network Connections
Windows 11 will not display the Wi-Fi option if the Wi-Fi adapter is disabled. You can manually enable or disable the network devices in the Control Panel.
To enable Wi-Fi adapter:
- Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
- Type control and click OK to open the Control Panel. You can also search for the Control Panel in Windows search and open it from the search results.
- In the Control Panel, go to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
- Click on Change adapter settings to view all the installed network devices in the left pane.
- Right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter and select Enabled.
If it is already enabled, run the network diagnostic to troubleshoot the driver. To do this, right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter and select Diagnose.
Windows will scan the device for issues and recommend a potential fix. Click on Apply this fix to resolve the problem. If not, follow on-screen instructions to try additional recommendations.
3. Update Network Adapter Drivers
If you have recently performed an upgrade, Windows may not have the latest network drivers installed. Corrupt or glitchy network adapter drivers can also cause the Wi-Fi connectivity to malfunction. You can update the network adapter drivers to the latest version to resolve this problem.
To update network adapter drivers:
- Press the Win key to open Windows search. Type device manager and open it from the search result.
- In the Device Manager, expand the Network adapters section.
- Right-click on your Wi-Fi device. For example, Intel (R) Wi-Fi AX200 and select Update driver.
- Select Search automatically for drivers. Windows will scan for new drivers and install them if available.
- Close the Device Manager and check if the Wi-Fi option is restored.
4. Reinstall the Network Adapter Device
Additionally, you can also reinstall the network adapter device. This process will remove and then reinstall the network device drivers to fix the common issues.
To reinstall the network adapter device:
- Open Device Manager and expand the Network adapter section.
- Right-click on the Wi-Fi device and Uninstall device. Click the Uninstall button to confirm the action.
- Once uninstalled, click on Action in the Device Manager toolbar, and select Scan for hardware changes. Windows will scan for missing but connected devices and reinstall the necessary drivers.
5. Perform a Network Reset
Windows 11 offers a built-in option to perform a network reset. This process will remove and reinstall the network adapters. In addition, other networking components will reset to their default settings to fix problems triggered due to incorrect network configuration.
To perform a network reset:
- Open Settings and click on the Network & Internet tab in the left pane.
- Scroll down and click on Advanced network settings to view all network devices and the network reset option.
- Scroll down to the More settings section and click on Network reset.
- Click the Reset now button for Network reset. Click Yes to confirm the action.
- Once the reset is complete, you should have the Wi-Fi connection restored. However, you might need to reinstall and reconfigure other networking devices and software after the reset.
6. Check For Windows Updates
This is another fix for PCs with a fresh Windows installation. If you haven’t already, run the Windows Update tool to check for pending Windows and third-party vendor updates. These updates can contain bug fixes and essential drivers releases for the network devices.
To check for Windows 11 updates:
- Press Win + I to open Settings.
- Open the Windows update tab in the left pane.
- Click on Check for updates. Windows will take a few seconds to look for new updates. If available, download and install them and restart your PC to apply the changes.
- Next, on the Windows update page, click on Advanced options.
- Scroll down and click on Optional updates.
- Click on Driver updates to view all the available updates. Select any update from your system manufacturer and click Download & install. Restart your PC to apply the changes.
If the problem persists, consider going back to the previous version of Windows 11. This is particularly useful if the Wi-Fi connectivity issue occurs after performing an upgrade.
To do this, open Settings > System > Recovery. Under Recovery options, click the Go back button and follow on-screen instructions to restore the earlier version of Windows.
This feature, however, is time-sensitive and only available for ten days after performing an upgrade.
Restore the Wi-Fi Connectivity in Windows 11
Wi-Fi in Windows 11 can stop working for several reasons. However, you can often fix it using the built-in network troubleshooter. Additionally, reinstall or update the network drivers to fix the problem.
If the system still refuses to see your wireless network, check your Wi-Fi card for hardware issues. You can either replace the faulty Wi-Fi card or opt for a Wi-Fi dongle as a quick plug-n-play solution.
Wi-Fi USB adapters are an easy way to add Wi-Fi connectivity to any device. Here are some of the best Wi-Fi USB adapters.
About The Author