Windows 10 network fix optionsSource: Windows Central

Although Windows 10 receives new updates regularly to improve the overall performance and patch security vulnerabilities, sometimes updates can cause more problems rather than solving them.

For instance, many times after installing a new cumulative update, one of the most common problems you may encounter is internet connection issues, such as intermittent loss or slow connection speeds of Wi-Fi connectivity, or completely loss of connectivity whether you're using a wireless or wired connection, which will prevent you from connecting to network drives as well as accessing the web.

However, if you're having trouble connecting to the internet, or accessing the local network, after a recent update of Windows 10, there are a number of ways that Microsoft recommends to fix the issue on your computer.

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In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to resolve common network connection problems after installing an update on your device.

How to perform basic network troubleshooting on Windows 10

When your device is experiencing network problems after installing a quality update, some basic troubleshooting steps can help you to get back online quickly.

Restarting computer

You'd be surprised the times that a simple reboot can fix many problems on Windows 10, including networking issues.

To restart your computer, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Click the Power button.
  3. Select the Restart option.

    Windows 10 restart optionSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, launch your web browser and confirm whether or not you can connect to the internet.

Checking network configuration

If you can't get to the internet, the next step is to confirm that there's not a connection problem between your device and the router using Command Prompt.

To check the current network configuration on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt and click the top result open the console.
  3. Type the following command to find out the TCP/IP address of the router and press Enter:

    ipconfig

  4. Confirm the "Default Gateway" address, which is the address of your local router.

    Quick tip: Usually, this address is 192.169.1.1 or 192.168.2.1, but depending on your router, Internet Service Provider (ISP), or if you updated the settings manually, then the address will be different.

  5. Type the following command to confirm the router is reachable and press Enter:

    ping ROUTER-IP

    This example tests the connection to a router with the 192.168.1.1 address:

    ping 192.168.1.1

    Command Prompt ipconfig and ping commandsSource: Windows Central

    In the command, remember to change the 192.168.1.1 for the IP address of your router.

    Quick tip: You can also use the ping 127.0.0.1 command to test that the networking stack is working on your computer.

  6. Confirm successful reply without packet loss in the output.

After you complete the steps, if no packets were lost, and you can't still connect to the internet, it could be a problem with the router or ISP.

Restarting Wi-Fi connection

If you're using a laptop with a wireless connection, it could be a problem with the adapter or signal, which you may be able to fix by restarting the device and reconnecting to the network using these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Wi-Fi.

    Quick tip: If the Wi-Fi section is missing, then it means Windows 10 isn't detecting the wireless adapter.

  4. Turn off the Wi-Fi toggle switch.

    Windows 10 disable Wi-FiSource: Windows Central

  5. Turn on the Wi-Fi toggle switch.
  6. Click the Show available networks option.

    windows 10 show wireless networks optionSource: Windows Central

  7. Select the wireless network.
  8. Click the Connect button.

    Windows 10 connect Wi-Fi optionSource: Windows Central

    Quick tip: You can use this guide to learn even more ways to connect to a wireless network on Windows 10.

  9. Type the wireless password.
  10. Click the Next button.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to connect to the network and the internet.

If you're connecting to the network using a Wi-Fi connection, you can also create a report of the wireless connection history, which can help to diagnose the problem.

Disabling Airplane mode

Although you may not use Airplane mode, an update can sometimes change settings without your permission, or you can enable it by mistake quite easily. If you can't connect to the internet, make sure that this mode is disabled.

To turn off Airplane mode, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Airplane mode.
  4. Turn off the Airplane mode toggle switch.

    Windows 10 disable Airplane mode optionSource: Windows Central

  5. (Optional) Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, the connection to the internet should be reestablished.

Restarting router

In addition to all the basic troubleshooting steps outlined above, restarting your router can also fix many connectivity issues.

If you believe the problem is the router, you can restart it using these steps:

  1. Locate the router.
  2. Unplug its power cord.
  3. Wait around 60 seconds.
  4. Reconnect the power cord.

Once you complete the steps, allow three to five minutes for the router to restart, and double-check your connection.

How to fix connectivity using Network troubleshooter

If you recently installed a cumulative update, and you can no longer connect to the network, you can use the troubleshooter to quickly diagnose and repair common problems.

To run the Network troubleshooter on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Under the "Get up and running" section, select the Internet Connections troubleshooter.
  4. Click the Run the troubleshooter button.

    Windows 10 network troubleshooterSource: Windows Central

  5. Select the Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet option.

    Windows 10 troubleshoot internet connection optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Select the Try these repairs as an administrator option (if applicable).

    Windows 10 apply network fixes optionSource: Windows Central

  7. Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, the troubleshooter will run and fix any connectivity that it finds.

How to reset network stack using Command Prompt

In the case the troubleshooter can't resolve the networking problem, you should try to reset the Windows 10 TCP/IP stack and clearing any DNS information on your computer.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to reset the feature that handles network requests for apps and press Enter:

    netsh winsock reset

  4. Type the following command to reset the internet protocol stack and press Enter:

    netsh int ip reset

    Windows 10 netsh reset Winsock and Int IP commandsSource: Windows Central

  5. Type the following command to clear the current networking configuration and press Enter:

    ipconfig /release

  6. Type the following command to reconfigure the network settings and press Enter:

    ipconfig /renew

  7. Type the following command to clear the DNS information cached on your device and press Enter:

    ipconfig /flushdns

    Windows 10 ipconfig renew and flushdns commandsSource: Windows Central

  8. Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, open your web browser to confirm the internet is working again.

How to reset network adapter using Settings

On Windows 10, you can also use the "Network reset" feature to fix Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity problems after installing an update or at any time that you can't connect to the network.

To reset the network adapters on your device, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Status.
  4. Under the "Change your network settings" section, click the Network reset option.

    Windows 10 network status settingsSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Reset now button.

    Windows 10 network reset optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Yes button.

After you complete the steps, the device will restart automatically, and on reboot, you should now be able to connect to the internet.

The tool will reset all the network adapters installed on your computer to their factory defaults, which means that you'll need to re-enter the password to connect to a wireless network, and you may need to reconfigure other networking software depending on your requirements.

How to update network adapter driver using Device Manager

An older version of the network adapter driver can cause compatibility issues with a new recently available update of Windows 10.

To update the network adapter to the latest driver, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Expand the Network adapters branch.
  4. Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Update driver option.

    Device Manager update driver optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Search automatically for update driver software option.

    Device Manager download driver from Windows Update optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, if an update is available, it'll download and install it on your computer.

Of course, if you can't connect to the internet, you'll need to download the driver manually from your manufacturer support website using another computer. Then save the driver package on an external drive and use your manufacturer documentation to install the driver (see steps below).

How to install network adapter driver using Device Manager

In the case that it was not possible to update the driver using Windows Update, you'll need to install the network adapter manually.

If the support website doesn't have any instructions, unzip the driver package, and use these general steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Expand the Network adapters branch.
  4. Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Update driver option.

    Device Manager update driver optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Browse my computer for driver software option.

    Device Manager select driver update manually optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Browse button.

    Device Manager search driver location optionSource: Windows Central

  7. Select the folder where you unzipped the driver files
  8. Click the OK button.
  9. Check the Include subfolders option.
  10. Click the Next button.
  11. Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, use your web browser to verify you have a working internet connection.

How to rollback network adapter driver using Device Manager

If the problem is related to a driver update rather than a Windows 10 update, you should be able to roll back the old version to resolve networking problems.

To roll back a previous version of the driver, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Expand the Network adapters branch.
  4. Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Properties option.

    Device Manager driver properties optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Driver tab.
  6. Click the Roll back driver button.

    Device Manager rollback driver optionSource: Windows Central

    Quick tip: If the button isn't available, then it means that the system doesn't have a backup of the driver.

  7. Click the OK button.
  8. Select a reason why you're rolling back (you can select any option).
  9. Click the Yes button to confirm.
  10. Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, open your web browser and try to load different web pages to confirm the problem is resolved.

How to uninstall network adapter driver using Device Manager

In the case that the network adapter (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) stopped working after applying a new update, then it could be that the driver has been corrupted, or the update might have added some unwanted changes. If this is the case, you can uninstall the driver manually, and then allow Windows 10 to reinstall the driver again automatically.

To remove the network adapter driver, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Expand the Network adapters branch.
  4. Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Uninstall device button.

    Device Manager uninstall driver optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Uninstall button.

    Confirm driver uninstall optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, Windows 10 will reinstall the driver again automatically, fixing the networking problem.

If the system isn't able to reinstall the driver, you may need to use the previous steps to download and install the network adapter manually.

How to disable security apps to fix network problems on Windows 10

Sometimes, the antivirus or firewall may prevent you from connecting to the internet. You can quickly find out if your security apps are the problem by temporarily disabling them and trying to connect to the internet.

Turning off antivirus

To temporarily disable the Windows Defender Antivirus on your device, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  4. Under the "Virus & threat protection settings" section, click the Manage settings option.

    Windows Security antivirus settingsSource: Windows Central

  5. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch.

    Windows Defender Antivirus real-time protection optionSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, see if you can load Bing.com or Google.com on your computer.

You can always revert the changes by restarting your computer, or turning on the Real-time protection toggle switch on step No. 5.

Turning off firewall

To temporarily disable the Windows Defender Firewall, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Firewall & network protection.
  4. Click the network with the "active" label.

    Windows Defender firewall settingsSource: Windows Central

  5. Turn off the Windows Defender Firewall toggle switch.

    Windows Security disable firewall optionSource: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, confirm if you can load sites like Google.com or Bing.com.

If you want to re-enable the firewall, you can use the same steps, but on step No. 5, make sure to turn on the Windows Defender Firewall toggle switch.

These steps will only disable the Windows 10 security features, if you're using different security software, make sure to consult your manufacturer support website for more specific details.

How to uninstall recent update to fix network problems on Windows 10

Finally, other times, you may lose network connectivity or may experience other networking issues if your device installs a buggy update. If this is the case, you can uninstall the update to fix the problem until Microsoft releases a new update that fixes the problem permanently.

To uninstall a problematic update on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the View update history button.

    Windows 10 update history optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Uninstall updates option.

    Windows 10 uninstall update optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Select the most recent update causing networking problems.
  7. Click the Uninstall button.

    Windows 10 uninstall update optionSource: Windows Central

  8. Click the Yes button.
  9. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will roll back to the previous build when there was not a Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter problem.

After uninstalling the update, the system shouldn't try to install the same update until the next quality update becomes available through Windows Update.

What steps helped you fix your network connection problem on Windows 10? Tell us in the comments.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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