Windows OS

How to Fix “Network Adapter Missing” Error in Windows 10?

The network adapter is an essential part of the PC as it provides an interface to the PC and other devices in order to connect to a network. However, sometimes, Windows users encounter the “Network Adapter Missing” error, which restricts the user from accessing the internet. This particular error occurs when the network adapter disappears from the “Device Manager” or due to outdated and incompatible network adapter drivers.

This write-up will provide the solutions to resolve the network adapter missing issue in Windows 10.

How to Fix “Network Adapter Missing” Error in Windows 10?

To fix the “Network Adapter Missing” error in Windows 10, consider the following fixes:

Fix 1: Restart the PC

Restarting the PC is a basic approach and can resolve many issues. This is a very basic trick. Therefore, restarting the PC can resolve the conflicts in the software by giving it a fresh start.

Fix 2: Run “WWAN AutoConfig” Service

The WWAN AutoConfig service is allocated for mobile broadband devices. Initiating this service can also streamline the faced issue. For making this approach come into effect, consider the below-stated steps.

Step 1: Navigate to “Services”

Firstly, navigate to “Services” by typing “services.msc” in the Run box:

Step 2: Initiate the Service

In the Services, locate the “WWAN AutoConfig” service and double-click on it:

Here, configure the “Startup type” as “Automatic”. After that, hit the “Start” button to initiate the service and click on “Apply” to save the changes:

After starting the service, observe if the discussed issue is resolved now. Otherwise, proceed to the next fix.

Fix 3: Check for Windows Updates

Outdated Windows can also result in facing many issues, including the “Network Adapter Missing” error faced in Windows 10. Therefore, updating Windows can also resolve this issue.

Step 1: Navigate to “Update & Security”

Firstly, navigate to “Settings-> Update & Security”:

Step 2: Check for Windows Updates

In the following pop-up, click on the highlighted button to check for the updates and install them:

The below-stated progress window signifies that the updates will be searched and installed:

Fix 4: Disable Antivirus

Disabling the antivirus for some time span can also resolve the discussed issue. After doing so, restart the PC and observe if this approach was helpful. In the other scenario, move on to the next fix.

Fix 5: Execute Network Adapter Troubleshooter

The associated troubleshooter is assistive in fixing most of the issues. Hence, this is also an effective approach to cope with the missing “Network Adapter” error.

Let’s overview the following steps to run the network adapter troubleshooter.

Step 1: Navigate to “Additional troubleshooters”

In the “Update & Security” settings, switch to “Additional troubleshooters”:

Step 2: Initiate the Troubleshooter

Finally, hit the highlighted button to run the corresponding troubleshooter:

As a result, the problems related to the network will be detected and get fixed:

After performing all the steps, check if the encountered limitation is figured out.

Fix 6: Reset the Network

If the troubleshooter didn’t resolve the issue, try resetting the network, which will configure the network settings to the default settings. To do so, consider the below-listed steps.

Step 1: Navigate to “Network & Internet”

Firstly, open “Settings-> Network & Internet”:

Now, opt for the “Network reset” option:

Step 2: Reset the Network

Finally, hit the highlighted button to reset the network:

After doing so, observe if the “Network adapter” missing issue is streamlined now. Else, follow the next approach.

Fix 7: Update the Network Adapter Driver

Updating the network adapter driver is essential to improve the network’s reliability. Moreover, this approach also fixes the missing adapter issue.

Step 1: Open “Device Manager”

First of all, press the “Windows + X” shortcut keys and navigate to “Device Manager”:

Step 2: Update Network Driver

Here, expand the “Network adapters” option. Locate the particular network adapter. Right-click on it and opt “Update driver”:

Step 3: Install the driver

Now, opt for the highlighted option to search for the available driver and install it:

After the update is completed, check if the issue with the network adapter is still there. If so, try reinstalling the particular network adapter by following the next approach.

Fix 8: Reinstall Network Adapter Drivers

Reinstalling the malfunctioned network adapter driver can be an alternative approach to coping with this limitation. To do so, right-click on the particular network adapter and hit “Uninstall device”:

Restart the PC, and Windows will install the network adapter drivers again automatically.

Fix 9: Display Hidden Drivers

If there is an issue in locating your network adapter, follow the below-enlisted steps to make the network adapter visible.

Step 1: Show Hidden Devices

In the Device Manager, open the “View” tab and opt for “Show hidden devices”:

After doing so, check if your network adapter is visible now. Else, switch to the “Action” tab and opt for the “Scan for hardware changes” option, as follows:

After trying out this alternate approach, check out if the issue vanishes.


To resolve the “Network Adapter Missing” error in Windows 10, restart the PC, run WWAN AutoConfig service, check For Windows Update, disable antivirus, execute Network Adapter troubleshooter, reset the network, update the Network Adapter driver, reinstall Network Adapter drivers, or display hidden drivers. This blog stated the approaches to resolving the Network adapter malfunction in Windows 10.

About the author

Umar Hassan

I am a Front-End Web Developer. Being a technical author, I try to learn new things and adapt with them every day. I am passionate to write about evolving software tools and technologies and make it understandable for the end-user.