How to enable, update, and reset your network adapters

Document created by shaw-fraser on Jun 5, 2012Last modified by shaw-jody on Nov 8, 2017
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This article will explain how to enable, update, and reset your computer's network adapter on both Windows and Mac operating systems. You will need to do this if you are unable to connect to the Internet because the network adapter installed on your computer is not functioning properly. To resolve the issue with your network adapter and re-establish your Internet connection, please select your operating system from the list below.

 

 

Did You Know

 

You can run a ping test to determine the status and speed of your Internet connection using a website's domain name or IP address. If you are unable to ping both a website's domain name and IP address, this would indicate that there is no active connection present and that you will need to troubleshoot your Internet connection.

 

Learn More: How to Run a Ping Test (Windows)How to run a Ping Test (Mac OS) 

                                                                                                                                                                                      
Windows 10 instructions

Continue reading for instructions on how to enable, update, or reset your network adapter on your Windows 10 computer.

 

  1. Right-click the Start menu button at the bottom left corner of your Desktop screen.
  2. Select Device Manager. The Device Manager window will appear and will show you a full list of the components that are installed on your computer, including the keyboard and mouse. 

    Windows 10 Device Manager

  3. Select Network Adapters. In this list, you will have a LAN Network Adapter, which allows your computer to connect to the Internet while plugged into the modem with an Ethernet Cable, and you may also have a Wireless Network Adapter. Determine if your Internet-related issue is occurring while you are directly connected to the modem, or only through wireless, then find the appropriate network adapter in the list.

    Windows 10 Device Manager Window

  4. Right-click on this driver and you will be presented with a list of options, including Properties, Enable or Disable, and Update.
  5. First, select the Update option from this list and allow the update manager to run and install any new versions of the driver. If no updates can be found, or this has not resolved the issue, you can right click on the driver again and then select Disable, wait a few moments, and then choose Enable, which will reset the driver.
  6. Once completed, you can reconnect to your network and test the connection again.

Related: Windows 10 Overview 

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Windows 8 instructions

Follow these instructions for how to enable, update, or reset your network adapter on your Windows 8 computer: 

 

  1. Navigate to your Desktop by selecting the Desktop app from your start screen, or by pressing the WINDOWS key.Windows Key
  2. Right-click on the bottom left corner of your Desktop screen to bring up your advanced Start menu.
  3. Select Device Manager. The Device Manager window will appear and will show you a full list of the components that are installed on your computer, including the keyboard and mouse.

     

    Windows 8 Device Manager

     

  4. Select Network Adapters. In this list, you will have a LAN Network Adapter, which allows your computer to connect to the Internet while plugged into the modem with an Ethernet cable, and you may also have a Wireless Network Adapter. Determine if your Internet-related issue is occurring while you are directly connected to the modem, or only connected through wireless, then find the appropriate Network Adapter in the list.
  5. Right-click on this driver and you will be presented with a list of options, including Properties, Enable or Disable, and Update.

     

    Windows 8 Device Manager Window Properties

     

  6. First, select the Update option from this list and allow the update manager to run and install any new versions of the driver. If no updates can be found, or this has not resolved the issue, you can right click on the driver again and then select Disable, wait a few moments, and then choose Enable, which will reset the driver.
  7. Once completed, you can reconnect to your network and test the connection again.

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Windows 7 instructions

Learn how to enable, update, or reset your network adapter on your Windows 7 computer by following these instructions: 

 

  1. Start by clicking on your Start Orb Start Orband then find the Search Programs and Files option at the bottom of the window that appears.
  2. Enter Device Manager into this search field and then press the enter key. The Device Manager window will appear and will show you a list of the components that are installed on your computer, including the keyboard and mouse.

     

    Windows 7 Device Manager

     

  3. Select Network Adapters.
  4. Find Network Adapters on the list and then click the arrow icon located to the left of it, which will expand the category to show you all of the network adapters that are currently installed on your computer. You may see more than one device listed. In this list, you will have a LAN Network Adapter, modem with an Ethernet cable, and you may also have a Wireless Network Adapter. Determine if your Internet-related issue is occurring while you are directly connected to the modem, or only connected through wireless, then find the appropriate network adapter in the list.

     

    Windows 7 Device Manager Window Net

     

  5. Right-click on this driver and you will be presented with a list of options, including Properties, Enable or Disable, and Update.
  6. First, select the Update option from this list and allow the update manager to run and install any new versions of the driver. If no updates can be found, or this has not resolved the issue, you can right click on the driver again and then select Disable, wait a few moments, and then choose Enable, which will reset the driver.
    Windows 7 Device Manager Update
  7. Once completed, you can reconnect to your network and test the connection again.

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Windows Vista instructions

If you have a Windows Vista computer, follow the instructions below to learn how to enable, update, and reset your network adapter.

 

  1. Start by clicking on your Start Orb Start Orband then find the Start Search option at the bottom of the window that appears.
  2. Enter Device Manager into this search field and then press the enter key. The Device Manager window will appear and will show you a full list of the components that are installed on your computer, including the keyboard and mouse.

     

    Windows Vista Device Manager

     

  3. Select Network Adapters.
  4. Find Network Adapters on the list and then click the arrow icon located to the left of it, which will expand the category to show you all of the network adapters that are currently installed on your computer. You may see more than one device listed. In this list, you will have a LAN Network Adapter, which allows your computer to connect to the Internet while plugged into the modem with an Ethernet cable, and you may also have a Wireless Network Adapter. Determine if your Internet-related issue is occurring while you are directly connected to the modem, or only connected through wireless, then find the appropriate network adapter in the list.

     

    Windows Vista Device Manager Window

     

  5. Right-click on this driver and you will be presented with a list of options, including PropertiesEnable or Disable, and Update.
  6. First, select the Update option from this list and allow the update manager to run and install any new versions of the driver. If no updates can be found, or this has not resolved the issue, you can right click on the driver again and then select Disable, wait a few moments, and then choose Enable, which will reset the driver.
    Windows Vista Device Manager Update

     

  7. Once completed, you can reconnect to your network and test the connection again.

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Windows XP instructions

The following steps will explain how to enable, update and reset your network adapter on your Windows XP computer.

 

  1. Click on the Start menu, select Settings, and then select Control Panel.

     

    Windows XP Control Panel

     

  2. Select the System tool.

     

    Windows XP System

     

  3. Choose the Hardware tab and open the Device Manager.

     

    Windows XP Device Manager

     

  4. Find Network Adapters on the list and then click the arrow icon located to the left of it, which will expand the category and show you all of the network adapters that are currently installed on your computer. You may see more than one device listed. In this list, you will have a LAN Network Adapter, which allows your computer to connect to the Internet while plugged into the modem with an Ethernet cable, and you may also have a Wireless Network Adapter. Determine if your Internet-related issue is occurring while you are directly connected to the modem, or only connected through wireless, then find the appropriate network adapter in the list.
  5. Right-click on this driver and you will be presented with a list of options, including PropertiesEnable or Disable, and Update.
  6. First, select the Update option from this list and allow the update manager to run and install any new versions of the driver. If no updates can be found, or this has not resolved the issue, you can right click on the driver again and then select Disable, wait a few moments, and then choose Enable, which will reset the driver.

     

    Windows XP Update

     

  7. Once completed, you can reconnect to your network and test the connection again.

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Mac OS instructions

Enable, update, or reset your network adapter on your Mac OS computer by following these steps:

 

  1. Navigate to the WiFi AirPort icon at the top of your desktop.

     

    Mac OS X WiFi AirPort

     

  2. Click on the WiFi AirPort icon and a drop-down list should appear with options such as Turn Wi-Fi OffJoin Other Network..., and Open Network Preferences...
  3. From this list, click Turn Wi-Fi Off, then wait a full minute.
    Mac OS X WiFi Off

     

  4. Repeat this process to Turn Wi-Fi On.
    Mac OS X WiFi On

     

  5. Once completed, you can reconnect to your network and test the connection again.

Related: How to run a Traceroute (Mac OS) 

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Additional information

LAN Network Adapters are listed with a description of the connection, including the model of the adapter, as well as the speed. An example of a LAN Network Adapter: Intel® 82579 LM Gigabit Network Connection

 

 

Wireless Network Adapters will often contain the terms WiFi, wireless, WLAN, or 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n. An example of a Wireless Network Adapter: Intel® 82579 LM Gigabit Network Connection

Related: WiFi Connectivity Troubleshooting 

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