How to Enable Disabled Wireless Adapter On Your Computer

If wireless adapter (wireless card) is disabled on a computer, it will not receive signals from wireless router or Access Point. Major reasons to get wireless adapters disabled are software conflicts, Latest windows update etc. This article explains how to enable automatically disabled wireless adapter on a computer. This step by step tutorial first explains how to turn on it from device manager. In most cases this solution works but if it doesn't you can proceed to further steps mentioned at the end of this guide.


Troubleshoot Local network Connectivity

1. Enable WiFi Adapter From Device Manager

This is the first step you must do when your WiFi card is disabled automatically on your laptop. You will get an option to turn on it back.
  1. Start Menu

    • Windows 7 & 8

      To go to Device Manager on Windows 7 laptop, right click on the Computer shown in Start menu and click on properties.
      Enable WiFi Windows 8

    • Windows XP

      Right click on My Computer and click on properties (XP).


      Now the system properties window will appear.

  2. Go to Device Manager

    • Windows 7

      In Windows 7, you can see the Device Manager link here.
      Device turned off


    • Windows XP

      1. Click on Hardware tab on system properties window.
        system properties

      2. Click on Device Manager

        To go to device manager we need to click on the device manager button. Now we can see all the hardware devices connected to the computer. To see the status of our wireless adapter click on network adapters.
        DM

  3. Enable Wireless adapter

    • To enable wireless adapter, right click on it and click on enable.


    • Now the wireless adapter is enabled.


In most cases, your laptop will start receiving WiFi. However, rarely some users complain, they face issues with enabling WiFi adapter on their laptop. If you too face such an issue, follow the instructions below.

Cannot Go Online
2: Enable Wireless Card From Network Connections

Another location to turn on disabled WiFi card is Network Connections. Here you will see all the network cards connected to your laptop. All you have to do it to right click on the card and click enable. To do this, follow the steps below.
  1. Go to Control Panel

  2. Click on Network and Sharing Center

    Select the icon view to see Network and Sharing center. Now you will see all the available wireless cards.
    Turn on WiFi card

3: Update Driver

If still the adapter is disabled on your computer, you should update the driver to enable it. To perform it, follow the steps below.
  1. Right Click on adapter in Device Manager

  2. Click on Update Driver Software
    Enable Ethernet card

4: Unplug the Card

If you are using a USB Wireless card, just unplug it and reconnect it after one minute. Sometimes it will enable the disabled WiFi card.

5: Disable Internet Security and Firewall

In many technology forums users complain the role of Internet Security programs like ZoneAlarm, Kaspersky Internet Security, Norton etc to disable the wireless adapter. After uninstalling them, their adapter started working fine. As a troubleshooting step I recommend you to disable the security programs installed and check for the issue.

6: Uninstall Driver and reinstall

If wireless adapter on your computer is still disabled, you should uninstall the driver and reinstall it. It will enable the disabled wireless adapter. To uninstall driver, follow the instructions below.

  1. Right click on adapter in Device Manager

  2. Click on Uninstall After uninstall the adapter driver, download the latest driver software from the adapter manufacturer's website and install it.

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55 comments:

Anonymous said...

THank you soooo much!! this helped me out soooo much and saved me a lot of moneyy!!!!!!!!

Siju George said...

It is happy to know this

Anonymous said...

thanks

Anonymous said...

so very helpful, in terms a non-technical person like me can understand - thank you!

(I'm bookmarking this site for sure)

greg said...

I show enabled, but my lower icon still shows wireless adapter is off.

Siju George said...

Ok you may right click on the Wireless adapter (as u said the lower icon )

Now you will get an option to enable. Please click on that to enable your wireless adapter.

Anonymous said...

is there any other way of getting to "properties" from right clicking "My Computer" ?

Anonymous said...

U are absolutely the best, thanks for making my day a whole lot better

Anonymous said...

I followed all the recommended steps, the PC tried to switch, but fell back into the disabled mode. I also re-installed and updated the intel software and driver and nothing works on my laptop

Siju George said...

You may uninstall the driver and reinstall (adapter driver ).

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I knew I had disabled the wifi (by accident) but wasn't sure how to re-enable it. This is crystal clear.

Anonymous said...

No "Wireless Connections" under Network Adapters. Only Realtek....... and 1394 Net Adapter. Not a single "wireless" thing. Do i need to buy Wireless Adapter and install it to enable this laptop wireless?

Siju George said...

In device manager, can you see any wireless adapter below Network Adapters ?

If not, your laptop seems have no wireless adapter (even built in adapter). Then you need to purchase a new wireless adapter for your laptop.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.. i clicked on disable(which unfortunately was so easy to find) and then was really struggled to enable it.. thanks to u

navyrose said...

The wireless says it is enabled but at the same time it shows that it is disabled. It was working just fine not to long ago then it just became disabled from the network.

ladyinpurple said...

Thank you for this article! It helped me!

Anonymous said...

THANKU THANKU THANKU THANKU THANKU... MAN U RESTARTED MY HEART!!

Anonymous said...

I have same problem but running Windows 7 so there is no 'my computer' icon to follow your procedure.

(And I'm really stupid.....)

Any advice would help; wireless connections have worked fine for a year - now they've just vanished!

Siju George said...

Hi,

Please click on Windows 7 start logo on the bottom right hand of the window. You can see the My Computer icon. After that please follow the steps provided here.

Anonymous said...

omg thk u so much!!@!@!@@! i really needed this and couldnt find out how to do it! thx again!

Anonymous said...

for the 1 who didnt have ny mycomp. logo. u need to go to start and then right click on mycomp.,nd select show on desktop.....now u have the logo nd can do the given steps.
thanx

Anonymous said...

hello, i followed your instructions and right clicked on network adapters, but the only options are 'scan for hardware changes' and 'properties' there is no option to enable?? i have tried everything but am not very good with computers! any help appreciated..thanks!

Siju George said...

Hi,

Can you tell us which Operating System you are using ?

You can use the command prompt utility "devcon" to enable wireless adapter from command prompt. To know more details please go through the link below.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, it worked immediately!
:)

Anonymous said...

Mine only says disable??? there is no enable option.

Anonymous said...

thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic - thank you!

Anonymous said...

OMG I've been trying everything for hours but this actually fixed the problem!!
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article! I was going crazy figuring out how to get my wireless access back.

vikram handa said...

sir iam unable to enable my adpter,how can i get it on?

Anonymous said...

Thanks

its very helpfull

Siju George said...

Hi Vikram,

Have you tried the steps mentioned in the article?

If still issue persists you may try to update wireless adapter driver.

Anonymous said...

You're a genius, thank you so much!!!

James said...

My problem was the firewall in my computer. I uninstalled the firewall boom the adapter start pick up wireless signals. Even in disabled mode the Firewall blocked the adapter from pick up signal. Thanks for mentioning this step in this article.

Anonymous said...

Can Firewall block adapter from being enabled ? I really doubt

Anonymous said...

Thank you.. brother...

Anonymous said...

Brother, is it the same way to enable WIFI adapter on Windows 8 computer?

Peter said...

I am using Netgear WIFI USB adapter. Can I turn on it by just following your steps?

Anonymous said...

To turn on USB adapter first you may unplugg and replugg it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Mate..

Anonymous said...

Thank you So much
Very helpful

Anonymous said...

Mine too

Anonymous said...

I get no option to enable

Siju George said...

@Anonymous

Can you tell me which all options you get while right click on the adapter ? Have you tried other workarounds ?


@Peter

You can follow the steps for Netgear WIFI USB adapter too.

Anonymous said...

I have a question?how can I enable my wireless connection on neo laptop?

Admin said...

Can you tell me the specific model number of your NEO Laptop ?

Anonymous said...

Hi i have tried the enable wireless connection option and it says it is already enabled. I have no light on my laptop to say it is on. Function, f2 (i have an Asus) doesn't work. I have tried repair the ATK package, all other function features work except this one. Help

Admin said...

If the wireless LED is not on it means wireless adapter is not functioning. Make sure wireless button is ON on your Asus laptop. Which wireless utility you are using to scan and connect wireless networks ?

Amir Ashraf Razak said...

Followed your instructions.. im using microsoft security essential..uninstall it.. bought new wireless adapter.. this is the 2nd time i bought it.. still doesn't show any network..

Alex George said...

@Amir,

Can you please give little more information on the issue.

1. Exact issue

2. Adapter model

3. Which wireless utility using

4. OS

bettyboopy said...

Amazing. Thanks for making it easy for the common person to understand and saving me a call/trip to geek squad

Stanley Godwin said...

Thanks man it helped me

Unknown said...

Very helpful. Thanks. alo1269@rediffmail.com

Sydney Cole said...

Flat fee and simple tech support is 25dollarsupport ask them to fix Wifi disabled