12 Ways To Fix If Ethernet Driver Is Not Working

When you have problems with the ethernet cable or its settings, it will stop working. It may even show the message that says something like Windows could not find a driver for your network adapter and so on. You don’t need to worry. Troubleshooting this problem is not a big deal. It won’t take much of your time.

Here, I will guide you through a list of fixes that you can apply to solve the problem. Let’s dive straight into it!

Connect the Ethernet Cable to Other Ports on the Router

You can change the port to which your ethernet cable is connected to the router. It will help if the currently connected port has malfunctioned or is faulty.

Check the Cables

The ethernet cable might be broken, and it may be causing the issue. You can take another piece of cable and test it to see if it solves the problem.

Restart the Computer

Restarting helps solve many problems most of the time. Any temporary glitches and bugs in the software are flushed after restarting. Restart your computer to see if it fixes the issue with the ethernet driver.

Run the Network Troubleshooter

Network troubleshooter is a tool that diagnoses if there is any issue in the network connection. The troubleshooter also addresses issues with ethernet drivers. Follow these steps to run it:

  1. Open Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot
  2. Click on Additional troubleshooters and then select Internet connections.
    additional troubleshooters
  3. Click the Run the troubleshooter button.
    run the troubleshooter
  4. It will find and fix any problem with the ethernet connection.

Reset the Network Adapters

Resetting the network adapters will revert any changes made to the network adapters to the original settings. It will probably solve the issue with the ethernet driver. Follow these steps to reset the network adapters:

  1. Open Settings > Network & Internet
  2. Navigate to the Status option in the left pane.
  3. Please scroll down to the Network Reset option and click it.
    network reset option
  4. On the next page, click the Reset Now button.
    reset now button

Your network settings are now reset. Check to see if the problem persists.

Update the Network Drivers

Sometimes, outdated drivers can also cause the issue. Update the network adapters driver following these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Double click to expand the Network Adapters and then find your ethernet device. It is generally mentioned as “Realtek PCIe.”
  3. Right-click over it and select the Update driver option.
    update realtek PCIe driver
  4. In the next window, select Search automatically for updated driver software.

It will download and install if there are any updates available. If you have drivers with you, select Browse my computer for driver software and proceed further.

Enable Ethernet Connection From Network Connections

Your ethernet connection may sometimes be disabled, which creates the issue. To re-enable it:

  1. Open the Run dialog box. Type ncpa.cpl and hit Enter to open Network Connections windows. 
  2. Right-click on the Ethernet block and click the Enable option if it is disabled.
    enable ethernet

Note: You can also uninstall the driver and restart your PC from the device manager, following the steps mentioned in the previous method. Uninstalling and restarting the PC will reinstall the driver and fix the bugs in the device.

Reset the Network Configuration

Faults in the network configuration also cause issues in the ethernet connection. Flushing the DNS solves the issue most of the time. So, follow these steps to flush the DNS:

  1. Open the command prompt as an administrator and type the following commands:ipconfig /flushdns 
    ipconfig /release 
    ipconfig /registerdns 
    ipconfig /renew
  2. Consider pressing Enter key after each of these commands.flushdnscommands
  3. Also run these two commands. It will reset the TCP/IP protocols and solve any kind of socket errors.
    netsh int ip reset
    netsh winsock reset netsh-winsock-reset-and-ip-reset

Use Google DNS

Using Google DNS makes the connection more secure and reliable. It can sometimes fix issues with the ethernet driver as well. Follow these steps to configure Google DNS:

  1. Open Network Connections by typing ncpa.cpl in the Run dialog box.
  2. Right-click on your ethernet device and click Properties.
  3. Under the Networking tab, click the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option and then click the Properties button.
    properties of tcp ipv4
  4. In the properties window, check the Use the following DNS server addresses option and set Preferred DNS server to 8.8.8.8 and Alternate DNS server to 8.8.4.4
    preferred and alternate dns servers
  5. Save changes, and you are done.

Change Power Management Settings

The power management settings might be saved such that the PC may turn off the ethernet device to save the power. It will certainly cause the issue. Follow these steps to change the power management settings:

  1. In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. It will open Device Manager windows.
  2. Please navigate to the Network Adapters option and double-click on it to locate your ethernet driver. Right-click on the driver and select the Properties option.
  3. In the Properties window, go to the Power Management tab and uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option.
    power management settings
  4. Save changes and restart the computer.

Use netcfg -d Command

If your system cannot locate the network adapter, the netcfg -d command helps you discover it. It is also one of the working methods to solve the issue of ethernet drivers. To accomplish this, type netcfg -d command in the Command prompt, and that’s all. Restart your device to see if it solves the problem.
netcfg -d command

Auto Start the WLAN AutoConfig Service

Some background services running in Windows may prevent ethernet services from starting. You should set the WLAN AutoConfig service to start automatically so that Windows can recognize your ethernet adapters. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Services app by searching services.msc in the Windows search box.
    wlan auto config option
  2. Scroll down to find the WLAN AutoConfig service. Double click on it, and under the General tab, set Startup type to Automatic.
    startup type automatic
  3. Save the changes and exit.
  4. Reboot your PC.

The missing adapters should now be available. Check to see if it solved the problem.

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