1.Restart and Check Connections

Try some quick fixes, like restarting your PC or laptop, and then check if you can find the network adapter now. Also, if you have already connected the Ethernet cable, you must unplug it and plug it back in.

2. Show Hidden Drivers in Windows 10

The network adapter may simply be missing because it is not displayed in the Device Manager. This is how to make the network adapter visible:

  1. Right-click Start > Device Manager.
  2. Open the View menu and click Show hidden devices.
  3. Expand the Network adapters list and check if the adapter is now visible.
  4. If the adapter is still missing, click Action > Scan for hardware changes.

3. Remove the Battery From Your Laptop

If you use a PC or your laptop doesn’t have a removable battery, skip this solution. When you remove the battery, you will force the motherboard to reset its settings by software, which may be enough to solve your problem. If your laptop has a removable battery, turn it off and remove the battery for a few seconds. Then put it back in place and turn on your laptop.

4. Turn Off Antivirus and VPN

If you use VPN on your device, try turning it off or even uninstalling it. Then restart your laptop or PC and check for any discrepancies. In addition, please turn off the antivirus software or check for available updates.

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5. Run Network Adapter Troubleshooter

Windows 10 provides a helpful troubleshooting list, so it’s no wonder you can use one of these tools to troubleshoot various network adapter problems. Follow the steps below to run the network adapter troubleshooter:

  1. Right-click Start and select Settings, or use the Win + I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Head to Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.
  3. Below the Find and fix other problems, select Network Adapter > Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow the displayed instruction.
How to Fix a Missing Network Adapter in Windows 10

6. Use the Network Reset Tool

If the troubleshooter does not solve the problem, you can try a network reset. This will restore all network settings to the default settings without disturbing your data. Please follow the steps below to reset your network:

  1. Open Settings, then head to Network & internet.
  2. Select Status and scroll down to Network reset.
  3. Select Reset now.
How to Fix a Missing Network Adapter in Windows 10

Note: After resetting the network, you will have to reinstall the VPN or any virtual switches you are using.

7. Check Your Power Management Settings

If you are using a laptop, Windows 10 will disable some of its features when the battery is low or when the power saving mode is enabled. Follow the steps below to verify the power management settings:

  1. Right-click Start > Device manager.
  2. Expand the Network adapters list.
  3. Right-click your network adapter and select Properties.
  4. Open the Power Management tab.
  5. Uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
  6. Click Apply > OK to save the changes.
How to Fix a Missing Network Adapter in Windows 10

8. Reset Winsock Settings

Winsock is a programming interface and support program used to determine how Windows network software uses its network services. If there is a problem with the Winsocks file, your network adapter may disappear from Windows 10. Here is how to reset Winsock data:

  1. In the Start menu search bar, search for command prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. Within the Command Prompt window, type netsh winsock reset. Then, press Enter.
  3. Restart your PC or laptop to save the changes.

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9. Clean Up Network Devices

If the above method doesn’t work, you can use the command prompt to clean up network devices as follows:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run window.
  2. Into the Run window, type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt as administrator.
  3. In Command Prompt, type netcfg -d.
  4. Restart your device and check if you can discover the network adapter.

10. Check Windows 10’s Background Services

The network driver may be missing because the background service stopped working properly. Please follow the steps below to manage it manually:

  1. In the Start menu search bar, search for services and select the Best match.
  2. In the Services menu, locate and open WWAN AutoConfig.
  3. Check if the Service status is Running. Otherwise, click Start to get it going.
  4. Set Startup type to Automatic.
  5. Click Apply > OK to save the changes.
  6. Restart your device and check if the missing driver is now available.

Get Back Your Network Driver

If you lose your network driver, don’t worry, there are many solutions available. As we discussed, you can try turning off the VPN or antivirus software and checking the power settings. Furthermore, Windows 10 also has some troubleshooting tools that you can use.