PC Not Showing Wi-Fi Option: How to Fix It? (18 Methods)

3
3

The PC may not show the Wi-Fi option, and there are lots of reasons why that might happen. However, this is not a major issue and can be resolved by any user without requiring much technical expertise.

Well, this means that, if you face such a situation, there is no need to worry because you are at the right place to find some easy fixes and effective remedies to it. Simply continue reading.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • More often than not, simply restarting and power cycling the modem and router can fix the issue of the Wi-Fi option not showing on the PC.
  • In order to ensure privacy, sometimes in the network settings, the Wi-Fi connection may be hidden. Use the SSID and other details to fix it.
  • Finding and removing interference from microwaves, fluorescent lights, security cameras, wireless video game consoles, and walls may fix it.
  • Altering the Wi-Fi channel number may also resolve the issue as it will remove the interference with other wireless devices.
  • Checking with the ISP is a good idea, as you may not know about area-wide service issues or the defect in their equipment causing the issue.

Why Does a PC Not Show the Wi-Fi Option?

There can be one too many reasons for your Wi-Fi option not showing up on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC, such as issues with the ISP, or Internet Service Provider, with the router, or with any other device that is related to it.

A few other strong reasons for a Wi-Fi connection being invisible on the PC are:

  • The system may not be within the permissible range of the router, which is usually anywhere between 30 feet and 50 feet, depending on the make and model of the router.
  • The signal may not be sent properly due to an improper setting or configuration of the router. Also, if there is a power failure or you have unplugged the system, it may not be restored properly.
  • If the network adapter is disabled or turned off, it would prevent it from being detected by the PC, even after restarting your computer system.
  • The corrupted drivers in the network adapter may need updating so that they are in sync with the system and are detected.
  • A virus existing on the device may also prevent it from showing up on the PC. A quick scan, removing the virus and restarting may resolve the issue.
  • Sometimes, such issues can be caused by interference from other objects, such as thick walls, large appliances, and any other wireless devices.
  • Just as any hardware issues can cause this problem, so can issues with the operating system and Windows profile installed on the computer system.
  • The Wi-Fi card itself may be faulty enough to cause such an issue, and, in that case, it will need to be replaced.

Fix PC Not Showing Wi-Fi Option

How to Fix a PC Not Showing the Wi-Fi Option?

Perhaps the best and smartest way to fix the issue of the Wi-Fi option not showing on your PC is by doing some physical checks and eliminating the lacunas, starting with the basics such as whether or not the device is turned on and the cables are connected properly.

Now, if that does not work, here is the list of common and easy fixes to make the Windows PCs show the Wi-Fi option.

Method 1: Adjusting Personalization

The computer system will not be able to show the Wi-Fi option if the network and system icons are not set properly in the first place.

In such a situation, making the required adjustments in the personalization is a good option.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Click on the Start menu
  • Click on the gear icon

Click on the gear icon

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on the Personalization option

Personalization option

  • Click on Taskbar in the left-hand side panel

Click on Taskbar in the left-hand side pane

  • Scroll down to the Notification area
  • Click on the option ‘Turn system icons on or off’

Turn system icons on or off

  • Check that the slide button beside the Network icon is On

Network icon is On

  • Go back to the earlier window
  • Click on the first option in the Notification area saying ‘Select which icons appear on the task bar’
Read Also:  Hard Drive Clicking: How to Fix This Issue?

Select which icons appear on the task bar

  • Look for the Network icon and slide the button to turn it On

Look for the Network icon

The missed Wi-Fi icon will be now back on your PC.

Method 2: Restarting Windows Explorer

If the above method did not bring the Wi-Fi icon back on the Taskbar, there may be issues in the Windows Explorer process.

Therefore, fixing it will be your primary concern and for that you will need to open and work on the Task Manager.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Right-click on the blank area on the Taskbar
  • Click on the Task Manager option

Task Manager option

  • Go to the Processes tab in this window
  • Look for the process called Windows Explorer
  • Select it
  • Click on the Restart button

Click on the Restart button

Close the window and check whether or not the issue is fixed.

Method 3: Disabling ‘Remove Network Icon from Start Menu’

If none of the above steps were able to fix the issue, then the Remove Network Icon from the Start Menu may be enabled, which may be preventing the PC from detecting and showing the Wi-Fi option on the Taskbar.

Therefore, in that case, disabling this function would be a good move to resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Start menu once again as before
  • Go to Run

Go to Run

  • Type the command gpedit.msc on the box
  • Click the OK button

gpedit.msc

  • It will open the Local Group Policy Editor
  • Look for User Configuration in the left side panel
  • Click on the option Administrator Templates
  • Select Start Menu and Taskbar
  • Look for the option ‘Remove Network icon from Start Menu’ in the right-side panel in the Extended window
  • Double-click on it

Remove Network icon from Start Menu

  • Click on the circle beside Disabled on the left
  • Click on the Apply
  • Click on OK
  • Close the window

  • Restart your computer

This should resolve the issue.

Method 4: WLAN Auto Configuration Service

Often, the WLAN or Wireless Local Area Network may be disabled or set to manual by default, which will cause this issue as well.

So, you will need to make sure that it is enabled at all times so that the Wi-Fi option is detectable on your PC.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Start menu as before
  • Type in Services in the box
  • Click on the app and Run as administrator

WLAN Auto Configuration Service

  • Locate WLAN AutoConfig in the Services window
  • Right-click on it
  • Select Properties

Locate WLAN AutoConfig

  • Change the startup from Manual to Automatic, if it is not
  • Click on the Start button to run the service
  • Click on Apply
  • Click on the OK button

Manual to Automatic

This might resolve the Wi-Fi issue.

Method 5: Update the Wi-Fi Driver

Often, the Wi-Fi driver may be outdated and cause such an issue. Therefore, update the driver now, and from time to time, in order to make the Wi-Fi option visible on your PC.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Right-click on the Start button
  • Choose Device Manager

Update the Wi-Fi Driver

  • Look for the Network adapters option
  • Look for your wireless card or anything that says ‘wireless’
  • Right-click on it
  • Select the Update driver option

Look for the Network adapters

  • Click on Browse my computer for drivers

Browse my computer for drivers

  • Click on Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer
  • Click on the Next button

Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer

  • Wait for the process to complete
  • Click on the Close button when you see Windows has successfully updated your drivers.

Windows has successfully updated your drivers.

Check if the problem is resolved.

Method 6: Reinstall Wireless card of the Network Adapter

If the wireless card of the system is corrupted, quite naturally the PC will not be able to detect the Wi-Fi option.

So, in such a situation, the updated version should be reinstalled by downloading it from the website of the manufacturer.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Like in the previous method, open Device Manager
  • Go to Network adapters
  • Expand it to open the list of wireless drivers
  • Find your wireless driver
  • Right-click on the wireless card
  • Click on Uninstall to confirm the action

Go to Network adapters

Now, you will have to reinstall the network adapter device once it is uninstalled in the following way:

  • On the Device Manager window
  • Go to Network adapters
  • Right-click on the network wireless card
  • Click on Scan for hardware changes

Scan for hardware changes

You may also do it by clicking on Action in the toolbar at the top of the window.

When you confirm the action, Windows will scan for all the connected devices that are connected but not showing up. It will then install the necessary drives to resolve the issue.

Method 7: Change Power Management

The power setting sometimes may cause this issue as well. Therefore, making some tweaks in the power management settings may also bring back the Wi-Fi option in the Windows PCs.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Once again, open up Device Manager
  • Go to the Network adapters list
  • Double-click on the wireless card or right-click on it and then click on Properties
  • Go to the Power Management tab
  • Uncheck the option box saying ‘Allow this computer to turn off this device to save power’
  • Click on the OK button
Read Also:  Fix Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter Not Working

Go to the Power Management tab

See if the Wi-Fi icon can be seen on the right-hand bottom corner of the taskbar.

Method 8: Tweaking the System Configuration

There may be some services that may not be enabled in your system which may also prevent the Wi-Fi from being detected by the PC. Enabling all of them in the System Configuration may resolve the problem.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Type System Configuration in the Search box
  • Click on Run as administrator

System Configuration app

  • Go to the Services tab on the window
  • Enable all the options in this window
  • Click on the Apply button
  • Then click on the OK button

Tweaking the System Configuration

  • Select Restart

Select Restart

This will make the Wi-Fi option visible on your system again.

Method 9: Enabling the Wi-Fi Device

Sometimes, the Wi-Fi device may be disabled, and may be the reason for the Wi-Fi to remain undetected by the computer. You should enable it to make it visible.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Click on the Internet icon on the right-hand corner of the taskbar
  • Click on Open Network and Sharing Center
  • Click on Change adapter settings on the left side panel of the new window
  • Select Wi-fi option
  • If it is written Disabled there, click on the button that says ‘Enable this network device’
  • Wait for it to be enabled

Check whether the Wi-Fi option is visible.

Method 10: Simple Troubleshooting in the Update and Security

If the Wi-Fi option is not visible on the Taskbar of your computer, there may be some simple yet hard-to-find issues within.

In such a situation using the built-in troubleshooter to detect and fix the issue will be of great help in making the Wi-Fi icon visible on the taskbar.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Start menu
  • Select Settings as before
  • Click on the Update and Security option

Update and Security option

  • Click on Troubleshooter on the left side panel
  • Click on Advanced troubleshooters

Click on Advanced troubleshooters

  • Look for Network Adapter in the new window
  • Click on it
  • Click on Run the troubleshooter

Run the troubleshooter

When the troubleshooting process is complete, restart the PC and check whether or not the Wi-Fi is detected.

Method 11: Changes in BIOS Setup

The issue of Wi-Fi not showing up on the PC may be the result of some improper settings in the Basic Input Output System or BIOS setup.. It is needless to say that these are required to be checked and changed accordingly.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Update and Security option in Settings as before
  • Look for Recovery in the left side panel
  • Click on it
  • Look down and click on Restart now

Look for Recovery

  • Wait until it restarts
  • Now, click on Troubleshoot

click on Troubleshoot

  • Click on Advanced options

Click on Advanced options

  • Click on UEFI Firmware Settings

UEFI Firmware Settings

  • Click on the Restart button

Click on the Restart button

  • Go to the BIOS setup

BIOS setup

  • Go to the System Configuration tab on the BIOS window using the right arrow keys on your keyboard
  • Press Enter

Go to the System Configuration

  • Go to Boot Options under the System Configuration tab
  • Press Enter

Go to Boot Options

  • Look at the Internal Network Adapter Boot, which is disabled
  • Select Network Adapter under UEFI Boot Order
  • Do the same under Legacy Boot Order
  • Press Enter

Internal Network Adapter Boot

  • Go to Save and Exit
  • Select Yes on the box saying ‘Exit Saving Changes?’

Exit Saving Changes

  • Press Enter

This will fix the issue.

Method 12: Enable SSID Broadcast for Wi-Fi

The SSID or Service Set Identifier broadcast is also very important for the Wi-Fi to show up on your computer system, and therefore, it should be enabled so that the network is visible in the list.

However, be informed that the particular interface may differ from one user to another, but in spite of that the general steps are pretty much the same.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Find out the IP address, username and password of the wireless router (it should be printed on the router itself or you may check the manual)
  • Open a browser on a PC that has an internet connection
  • Type the IP address in the address bar
  • Press Enter
  • Type the username
  • Type in the password
  • Click on Login

You will find the webpage of your router

  • Go to Wireless
  • Click on Wireless Settings
  • Check the box beside Enable SSID broadcast
  • Click on the Save button
  • Restart your computer
  • Reconnect the Wi-Fi network

Method 13: Switch off Airplane Mode

If the Airplane mode is switched on by default or for any other reason, it will prevent the Wi-Fi option from being visible on the Taskbar and work properly.

Therefore, you will need to disable it to fix the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Settings app as before
  • Select the Network and Internet option
  • Click on the Airplane mode tab
  • Change and disable ‘Turn this on to stop all wireless communication option to Off’
Read Also:  Wi-Fi Router Overheating: How to Fix This Problem?

Switch off Airplane mode

This will bring back the Wi-Fi option.

Method 14: Shutdown Completely

Often, improper shutting down of the computer system may cause a lot of issues in the next startup, which includes the Wi-Fi option not being visible in the Taskbar.

Therefore, if you want to resolve the issue, instead of turning your PC off from the power button, perform a complete shutdown using the Command Prompt.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Search bar
  • Type cmd in the search box
  • Press Enter
  • Select the Command Prompt app
  • Choose Run as administrator

Select the Command Prompt app

In the Command Prompt window, enter the command shutdown /p and hit Enter.

If you still find the Wi-Fi option to be invisible when you restart, find out whether it is hidden or not in the following ways:

  • Go to the right-hand side of the Taskbar
  • Look for the top arrow
  • Press it to show Hidden icons

show Hidden icons

Now, there can be two situations here. For example:

  • If the Wi-Fi icon is visible, simply press the left key on your mouse and drag the icon to the Taskbar. It will remain there permanently.
  • If, on the other hand, it is missing, the other fixes are to be tried.

Method 15: Clean Boot

Invisibility of the Wi-Fi option on the taskbar may be a result of an incompatible driver. If that is the case, then a clean boot may be a useful fix.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the System Configuration as you did in Method 8
  • Go to the Services tab
  • Select the option that says Hide all Microsoft services check box
  • Click on Disable all

Clean Boot

Open Task Manager

  • Select each item in it
  • Click Disable

Click Disable

  • Close the Task Manager
  • Go back to the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box once again
  • Click on the OK button

Once done, restart your PC and the Wi-Fi icon should be back now.

Method 16: New User Profile

Even a corrupted user profile may cause the Wi-Fi icon not to show up in the Taskbar on your computer. In that case, creating a new user profile will be a smart move to fix the problem.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Start
  • Select Settings as mentioned earlier
  • Select Accounts

Select Accounts

  • Choose Family & other users
  • Choose ‘Add someone else to this PC’

Add someone else to this PC

  • Enter a new user name
  • Type in a new password and password hint
  • Click on Next

More often than not, this solution will resolve the issue.

Method 17: Network Reset

The entire network settings may not be proper and cause the Wi-Fi option to be invisible on your PC.

Well, an easy and useful fix to this issue is to use the built-in Network Reset feature in Windows.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Settings as before
  • Go to the Network & Internet tab in it

Network & Internet tab

  • Scroll down to find Advanced network settings
  • Look for the Network reset option
  • Select it

find Advanced network settings

  • Click the Reset now button

Click the Reset now button

Click on Yes to confirm the action and when it does, the Wi-Fi icon will be restored.

Method 18: Reset Network Stack and Device

In the modern versions of Windows, the network stack and device setting may also cause this problem. An easy fix to this issue is to use the Windows Terminal.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Press the Win + X keys together
  • Select Windows PowerShell or Terminal (Admin) from the WinX menu

Select Windows PowerShell

  • When prompted by the User Account Control, click on Yes

When the Windows Terminal appears, run all of the following commands in precise order, even if there are errors in their execution.

The commands to run are:

  • netsh int ip reset
  • netsh advfirewall reset
  • netsh winsock reset
  • ipconfig /flushdns
  • ipconfig /release
  • ipconfig /renew

All these commands will ensure that the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is reset, and they will also restore the advanced firewall settings.

When it has completed executing all of these commands, restart your PC and check whether or not the Wi-Fi option is back.

Conclusion

Wi-Fi is a great and very useful technology today which offers mobility to the users. Therefore, it is important that it is always available.

However, if at times it does not show up on your PC, it is not a big deal. Now that you know multiple fixes for it after reading this article, you too will corroborate the same.

About Dominic Chooper

AvatarDominic Chooper, an alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), possesses a profound expertise in the realm of computer hardware. Since his early childhood, Dominic has been singularly passionate about delving deep into the intricate details and inner workings of various computer systems. His journey in this field is marked by over 12 years of dedicated experience, which includes specialized skills in writing comprehensive reviews, conducting thorough testing of computer components, and engaging in extensive research related to computer technology. Despite his professional engagement with technology, Dominic maintains a distinctive disinterest in social media platforms, preferring to focus his energies on his primary passion of understanding and exploring the complexities of computer hardware.

Previous articleWhy Do You Need Two Monitors for Gaming?
Next articleHow to Fix PC Not Showing All Cores?
Dominic Chooper
Dominic Chooper, an alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), possesses a profound expertise in the realm of computer hardware. Since his early childhood, Dominic has been singularly passionate about delving deep into the intricate details and inner workings of various computer systems. His journey in this field is marked by over 12 years of dedicated experience, which includes specialized skills in writing comprehensive reviews, conducting thorough testing of computer components, and engaging in extensive research related to computer technology. Despite his professional engagement with technology, Dominic maintains a distinctive disinterest in social media platforms, preferring to focus his energies on his primary passion of understanding and exploring the complexities of computer hardware.
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments