Reinstalling a wireless network driver (with pictures)

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Reinstalling a wireless network driver (with pictures)
Reinstalling a wireless network driver (with pictures)

An outdated or damaged wireless driver (a driver) can prevent your PC from connecting to the Internet. If the wireless driver is the culprit, reinstalling it will get you back online in no time. First you download the latest version of the driver using a fixed internet connection. After that, you can safely uninstall the current driver in Device Manager so that you can perform a clean install.


Part 1 of 3: Downloading the driver

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 1

Step 1. Connect the computer to a wired internet connection

If you don't have access to the internet via WiFi, first go online via an Ethernet cable from the LAN port of your computer to the LAN port of your router.

Macs do not use wireless drivers. If you are having problems with your Mac, read the wikiHow article on solving common computer network problems on a Mac

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 2

Step 2. Press ⊞ Win+S to open the search bar

To find the best driver for your wireless card, you will need to know the name of the wireless card. You can find this information through Device Manager.

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 3

Step 3. Type


in the search bar and press ↵ Enter.

Device Manager will then appear on the screen.

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 4

Step 4. Click "Network Adapters" in the list of devices

A list of all network adapters on the computer opens, including one with the word "wireless" in its name.

If you can't find a network adapter named 'Wireless', right click on each driver and select 'Properties'. The wireless card should be listed as 'Wireless card' or 'Wireless card' under 'type'

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 5

Step 5. Go to the 'Driver' or 'Driver' tab

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 6

Step 6. Write down the wireless adapter name and version

The name of the wireless adapter can be found at the top of the 'Driver' tab.

An example of a wireless card is 'Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235'

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 7

Step 7. Go to the 'Support' or 'Support' section of the wireless card manufacturer

Here you will find links to download drivers for your device.

For example, if your wireless card is an Intel, go to and click 'Support'

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 8

Step 8. Find the name of your wireless card

This is the name you wrote down earlier. Once you have found the wireless card, click on the link to go to the product page.

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 9

Step 9. Download the drivers for your version of Windows

You may need to click a link labeled "Download," "Software," or "Drivers" to find the download links.

  • Most manufacturers offer drivers in an '.exe' file, which makes them extra easy to download and install.
  • Save the download in a location you can remember, such as the Downloads folder or on the Desktop.

Part 2 of 3: Removing the current driver

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 10

Step 1. Return to Device Manager and open the "Network Adapters" list

Now you are going to prepare to uninstall the current driver.

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 11

Step 2. Right click on the wireless card under 'Network adapters' and then click on 'Properties'

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 12

Step 3. Go to the 'Driver' tab and click on 'Remove'

A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your choice.

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 13

Step 4. Click 'OK' to confirm

The wireless card entry will now disappear from the 'Network adapters' list.

Part 3 of 3: Installing the driver

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 14

Step 1. Double click on the.exe file you downloaded

This should launch the setup program that will install the wireless drivers.

If the file ends in '.zip' instead of '.exe', right click on the file and select 'Extract All'. Select a folder to extract the files and click 'Extract'. Finally, double click on the.exe file in the folder you selected

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 15

Step 2. (If there is no.exe file) then click on the 'Action' menu at the top of the Device Manager and select 'Scan for hardware changes'

Device Manager will now search the computer for hardware that does not have drivers installed.

  • If the driver is not found, Windows will install it automatically. To confirm that a new driver has been installed, open the list of network adapters and look for the listing of your wireless adapter.
  • If a driver is not found, you may be asked to indicate in which folder the driver files are located. Go to the directory where you extracted the zip files and click 'OK' or 'Install'.
Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 16

Step 3. Follow the directions to install your drivers

The screens will differ depending on your system and wireless card, but usually you will have to agree to the manufacturer's terms and conditions before an install button is shown.

If the installer asks to restart the computer after the installation is complete, click on 'OK' or 'Restart'

Step 4. Unplug your wired LAN connection from the device

To test the connection, remove the Ethernet cable from your computer's LAN port. This ensures that you are testing the correct connection.

Reinstall Wireless Drivers Step 18

Step 5. Connect to your Wi-Fi network and go to

If the drivers were the culprits, you should now be able to access the wikiHow website using your wireless connection.

  • Restart your computer if the connection still fails. Then open Device Manager to run 'Search for hardware changes' again.
  • If you're still having connectivity issues, it may not be driver related.


  • Many Internet connection problems can be resolved by unplugging and reconnecting the power cable from the back of the router or wireless access point. This is called an 'Energy Cycle'.
  • If Windows is set to update automatically, your wireless drivers should be up to date.
  • Try to stay as close to the router/wap ('wireless access point') as possible.

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