How to Enable Disabled Wireless Adapter On Your Computer

If your computer stopped receiving the wireless signal, one of the reasons is the disabled wireless adapter. If the Wireless adapter (WiFi Card) is turned off, it cannot receive signals from the WiFi hotspots and Access Points.

This tutorial explains how to turn on a disabled WiFi adapter on a Windows Laptop.

It also teaches you, What should you do when your WiFi adapter is disabled? To fix the WiFi card issues on your laptop, follow the instructions below.

This article covers the solutions to fix WiFi problems on all Windows versions like Windows 8, Windows 7, etc. Let us start with the quick fix to enable Wireless Adapter on Windows 10.

How to Enable WiFi Adapter in Windows 10 Laptop?

To enable the disabled wireless card on a Windows 10 computer, follow the instructions below.

  1. Type Device Manager on the Windows 10 search bar and click to open it

  2. Check for the wireless adapter under the Network Adapters

    You can see the Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless AC 3168 adapter is disabled in the Device Manager.

  3. Right-click on the disabled wireless adapter and click to the enable device option

1. Enable WiFi Adapter From Device Manager

The first step you must do when you found your wireless card disabled automatically is to access the Device Manager.

In Device Manager, you can turn it back on.

  1. Start Menu

    • Windows 7 & 8

      To go to the Device Manager on Windows 7 laptop, right-click on the Computer shown in the 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 the Hardware tab on the system properties window.
        system properties

      2. Click on Device Manager

        To go to the device manager, we need to click on the device manager button.

        Here you can see all the hardware devices connected to the Windows XP computer.

        To see the status of the wireless adapter, click on network adapters.

  3. Enable Wireless adapter

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

    • Now the wireless adapter is enabled.

Once you have completed the above steps, your Windows 7 and XP computers will start picking the WiFi signals.

If the issue persists, I suggest you visit the solutions provided in the link below.

I Cannot Go Online

2: Enable Wireless Card From Network Connections

We can turn on the disabled WiFi card from the Network Connections window.

On the Network Connections window, you can see all the network cards installed on your laptop.

All you have to do is to right-click on the card and click the Enable button.

Follow the instructions provided below to activate the WiFi card on your PC.

  1. Go to Control Panel

  2. Click on Network and Sharing Center

    Select the icon view to see the 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 the 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, unplug it from your PC and reconnect it after one minute.

After you have reconnected it to the USB port, check for the issue.

5: Disable Internet Security and Firewall Applications
In many technology forums, users complain about the role of Internet Security programs like ZoneAlarm, Kaspersky Internet Security, Norton, etc.. in disabling the wireless adapter automatically.

After uninstalling the security program, the adapter started working.

As a troubleshooting step, I recommend you to disable the security programs installed and check for the issue.

6: Uninstall Driver and reinstall

If the 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 the driver, follow the instructions below.

  1. Right-click on the adapter in Device Manager

  2. Click on the Uninstall driver option.

  3. After uninstalling the adapter driver, download the latest driver software from the adapter manufacturer's website and install it.

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  1. Anonymous5:35 PM

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

  2. It is happy to know this

  3. Anonymous7:14 PM


  4. Anonymous7:47 AM

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

    (I'm bookmarking this site for sure)

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

  6. 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.

    1. Anonymous2:12 PM

      I get no option to enable

  7. Anonymous5:51 AM

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

  8. Anonymous10:41 AM

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

  9. Anonymous8:10 PM

    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

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

  11. Anonymous3:11 PM

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

  12. Anonymous9:54 AM

    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?

  13. 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.

  14. Anonymous11:03 AM

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

  15. 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.

  16. Thank you for this article! It helped me!

  17. Anonymous3:14 AM


  18. Anonymous2:04 AM

    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!

  19. 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.

  20. Anonymous5:52 PM

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

  21. Anonymous9:35 AM

    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 u have the logo nd can do the given steps.

  22. Anonymous9:10 AM

    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!

  23. 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.

  24. Anonymous10:35 AM

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

  25. Anonymous8:22 AM

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

  26. Anonymous1:24 PM

    thank you, thank you, thank you!

  27. Anonymous1:49 AM

    Fantastic - thank you!

  28. Anonymous2:10 PM

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

  29. Anonymous5:13 AM

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

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

  31. Anonymous8:41 PM


    its very helpfull

  32. Siju George12:13 AM

    Hi Vikram,

    Have you tried the steps mentioned in the article?

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

  33. Anonymous2:09 PM

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

  34. 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.

  35. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Can Firewall block adapter from being enabled ? I really doubt

  36. Anonymous7:50 AM

    Thank you.. brother...

  37. Anonymous9:44 AM

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

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

  39. Anonymous6:03 AM

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

  40. Anonymous3:58 AM

    Thanks a lot Mate..

  41. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Thank you So much
    Very helpful

  42. Siju George1:03 AM


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


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

  43. Anonymous6:37 AM

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

  44. Admin3:42 PM

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

  45. Anonymous9:53 AM

    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

  46. 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 ?

  47. 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..

  48. @Amir,

    Can you please give little more information on the issue.

    1. Exact issue

    2. Adapter model

    3. Which wireless utility using

    4. OS

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

  50. Thanks man it helped me

  51. Very helpful. Thanks.

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

  53. Thank you so much... Indeed very helpful...


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