Network connection issues in Windows 10

Network connection is the most common problem on windows 10 devices / tablets. If you’re having problems getting connected to a network and can’t connect to the Internet, here are some things you can try in Windows 10.

Things to try first

Try these things first to help you fix or narrow down the connection problem.

  • Check out Why can’t I get online? and try some of the basic troubleshooting steps mentioned there.
  • Generate a wireless network report. This report can help you diagnose the problem, or at least provide you with more information to give to others who might be able to help.
  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
  2. At the command prompt, type netsh wlan show wlanreport.

This creates an HTML file that you can open in your web browser from the location listed under the command prompt. For more info about the network report and how to analyse it, see Analyse the wireless network report in Fix Wi-Fi problems in Windows 10.

  • Make sure it’s not a problem with your cable modem or Internet service provider (ISP).
  1. If it is, contact your ISP. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
  2. At the command prompt, type ipconfig.
    Look for the IP address listed next to Default gateway. Write down that address if you need to. For example: 192.168.1.1
  3. At the prompt, type ping  and press Enter. For example, type ping 192.168.1.1 and press Enter.

The result should be something like this:

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1: Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds: Minimum = 4ms, Maximum = 5ms, Average = 4ms
If the ping is successful and you see results similar to the results above, but can’t connect to the Internet on your PC, there may be a problem with your modem or Internet service provider (ISP).

Update the network adaptor driver

An outdated or incompatible network adaptor driver can cause connection problems. If you recently upgraded to Windows 10, it’s possible that the current driver was designed for a previous version of Windows. Check to see if an updated driver is available.

1. In the search box on the task-bar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
2. In Device Manager, select Network adaptors > the network adaptor name.
3. Press and hold (or right-click) the network adaptor, and then select Update Driver Software > Search automatically for updated driver software. Follow the steps, then select Close.
4. After installing the updated driver, select the Start  button > Power > Restart if you’re asked to restart, and see if that fixes the connection issue.

If Windows can’t find a new driver for your network adaptor, visit the PC manufacturer’s website and download the latest network adaptor driver from there. If your PC can’t connect to the Internet, you’ll need to download a driver on a different PC and save it to a USB flash drive, so you can manually install the driver on your PC. You’ll need to know the PC manufacturer and model name or number.

To manually install the network adaptor driver

Do one of the following, depending on what kind of file you downloaded from the PC manufacturer’s website:

• If you downloaded an executable (.exe) file, just double-click the file to run it and install the drivers. That should be all you need to do.
• If you downloaded individual files, and at least one file has a .inf file name extension and another has a .sys extension, do the following:

1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.

2. In Device Manager, select Network adaptors > the network adaptor name. (If it’s not listed there, check in Other devices.)

3. Press and hold (or right-click) the network adaptor, and then select Update Driver Software > Browse my computer for driver software.

4. Select Browse > select the location where the driver files are stored > OK.

5. Select Next > follow the steps to install the driver > Close.

6. After you’ve updated the driver, select the Start  button > Power > Restart if you’re asked to restart, and see if that fixes the connection issue.

Roll back the network adaptor driver

If you were connected before and recently installed a new network adaptor driver, rolling back your driver to a previous version might help.

1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.

2. In Device Manager, select Network adaptors  > the network adaptor name.

3. Press and hold (or right-click) the network adaptor, and then select Properties.

4. In Properties, select the Driver tab, select Roll back driver, then follow the steps.

If the button is unavailable, that means there’s no driver to roll back to.

5. After rolling back to the previous version of the driver, select the Start  button > Power > Restart if you’re asked to restart, and see if that fixes the connection issue.

If Windows can’t find a new driver for your network adaptor, visit the PC manufacturer’s website and download the latest network adaptor driver from there. If your PC can’t connect to the Internet, you’ll need to download a driver on a different PC and save it to a USB flash drive, so you can manually install the driver on your PC. You’ll need to know the PC manufacturer and model name or number.

Uninstall the network adaptor driver and restart

If the previous steps didn’t work, try to uninstall the network adaptor driver, and then restart your computer and have Windows automatically install the latest driver. Consider this approach if your network connection stopped working properly after a recent update.

Before uninstalling, make sure you have drivers available as a backup. Visit the PC manufacturer’s website and download the latest network adaptor driver from there. If your PC can’t connect to the Internet, you’ll need to download a driver on a different PC and save it to a USB flash drive, so you can install the driver on your PC. You’ll need to know the PC manufacturer and model name or number.

1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.

2. In Device Manager, select Network adaptors > the network adaptor name.

3. Press and hold (or right-click) the network adaptor, and then select Uninstall > Delete the driver software for this device check box > OK to confirm you want to uninstall it.

4. After uninstalling the driver, select the Start  button > Power > Restart.

After your PC restarts, Windows will automatically look for and install the network adaptor driver. Check to see if that fixes your connection problem. If Windows doesn’t automatically install a driver, try to install the backup driver you saved before uninstalling.

Use network reset to reinstall network devices

Using network reset should be the last step you try. Consider using it if the steps above don’t help to get you connected.

This can help solve connection problems you might have after upgrading from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10, as well as fix problems where you can connect to the Internet, but not to shared network drives. It removes any network adaptors you have installed and the settings for them. After your PC restarts, any network adaptors are reinstalled, and the settings for them are set to the defaults.

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