Network adapter not working Windows 11

A network adapter or network interface controller (NIC) needs a proper driver to communicate with your computer and enable internet access. The same thing applies to Wifi adapters as well. But sometimes after the Windows 11 update, you may notice WiFi Option Disappeared or the Network Adapter not working. Few users report, NO wifi option under Network & Internet or Network Adapter Error Code 31 and prevent internet access on Windows 11. Well outdated or incompatible wifi/network adapter driver is the common reason why network adapter not working on Windows 11.

Similarly, if you are getting Network Adapter Error Code 31 it means Windows has determined that the driver for the device is incorrect or missing.  Again incorrectly configured network settings and problems with the hardware device also cause Network Adapter Error Code 31 or the network adapter is not working on Windows 11. This issue can frustrating, and prevent internet access, Don’t worry; here this article discusses how to troubleshoot network adapter problems on your Windows 11.

Network Adapter Error Code 31

Malfunctioning drivers for network or wifi adapter is the primary reason behind this problem and you need to update or reinstall the driver for Wifi or network adapter with the latest version to fix the problem. Again running the built-in troubleshooter for network adapter, automatically diagnose and fix problems related to network adapters.

Sometimes restart Windows 11 help fix network adapter error code 31 and restore internet access. When you restart your computer, it wipes up system memory, shuts down any background processes or programs, clears temporary glitches to fix minor problems on your computer.

Check your network adapter

Sometimes due to bugs, driver incompatibility or any other issue, the network adapter has been hidden so you won’t see it in the device manager.

  • Press Windows key + X and select device manager,
  • Click on view then select Show hidden devices.

Show Hidden Devices on Device manager

  • Next, click on the Action menu then select Scan for hardware changes.

Scan for Hardware changes

  • Now check if the network / Wifi Adapter is visible there. If yes expand the network adapter, right-click on wifi or ethernet option then select update driver.
  • Click on search automatically for drivers and follow on-screen instructions.

Update Network adapter

  • Or you can download the latest network or wifi adapter driver for Windows 11 from the manufacturer’s site and install it to bring back the missing network adapter.

Run Network Adapter Troubleshooter

A Problem with the network adapter is another common reason why getting error code 31 or the internet not working on Windows 11. Run the built-in network troubleshooter automatically diagnose and fix common problems related to network adapters on Windows 11.

  • Press Windows key + I to open the settings app
  • Go to the system then troubleshoot and click on other troubleshooters,
  • Now click Run next to the network adapter, then select the adapter to diagnose.

Network adapter troubleshooter

This will perform a series of checks to identify any issues with your network adapter and fix any issues, including resetting the network adapter, reinstall the driver, changing network settings and more.

Once the network diagnosis is complete, reboot Windows 11 and check if the network adapter is visible and Internet access is restored.

Reinstall the Network Driver

Well if you are still having problems with internet access due to network adapter error 31, try to uninstall and reinstall the network adapter driver with the latest version.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select the device manager
  • This will display all devices and peripherals connected to your computer
  • Locate and expand the network adapter option, right-click on Wifi/ethernet adapter select uninstall.
  • Click uninstall again when it prompts for confirmation, once done Reboot your PC

  • Usually, when you restart your PC the default network adapter driver installs automatically.
  • You can check or update the same on the device manager, Well if the default driver is not installed, visit the device manufacturer’s official site to download the Network adapter driver for Windows 11 and install it.
  • Also If you’re not comfortable updating the driver manually, you can use a driver update tool like Driver Easy or Driver Booster to automatically find and install the latest driver for your network adapter.

Note – If the network adapter error 31 started after a recent driver update, then you should try the Rollback driver option

Perform Network reset

If the above solutions didn’t fix the problem, you should perform a network reset on Windows 11. This will remove and reinstall the network drivers and other networking components to their default settings. And most of time fix Internet and network problems on Windows 11.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select settings
  • Go to Network & Internet in the left pane, then Click on Advanced network settings.
  • Here under more settings click on the Network reset option, then Click on Reset now
  • Network reset windows 11When it prompts for confirmation, click Yes to reset your network settings
  • Confirm network resetYour PC will restart, reset or restore network settings to its factory default.
  • Once done check if the network error 31 is gone and Internet access is restored on your computer.

Perform a system restore

If the Network error 31 on Windows 11 started occurring after a recent software installation or system update, you can try performing a system restore to a previous point in time when the network adapter was working correctly. If system protection is enabled on your computer Windows automatically creates a new restore point before installing an update, or new software takes place.

  • Press the Windows key + R, type rstrui.exe and click ok to open the system restore window,
  • click Next to view all the available restore points. Additionally, check the Show More Restore Points option to view older restore points
  • Now Select the most recent restore point and click Next.
  • And finally, click next and Tap on the “Finish” button, this will restart your Windows 11 for the System Restore process.

System restore confirm

If you only experience problem internet access on Windows 11, ensure the network cable is connected properly on both the computer and router end. If you are connected to wifi network check the wifi signal or take your laptop closer to wifi router to fix such issue.

Well If you are connected to VPN network and find the Internet not working check and apply the solutions listed here.

In addition, ensure that your computer has all the latest Windows 11 updates installed to make it error free.

Now I am sure and confident that applying the above solutions fix the Internet connection problem on Windows 11.

Also read:

Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.