When you need network connectivity for an urgent assignment, there is nothing more frustrating than when you can’t connect to the internet. The Windows “problem with wireless adapter or access point” error message is one of the most annoying signs of this, mainly because it doesn’t indicate where users should begin troubleshooting.
When you run Windows Network Diagnostics after seeing that you can’t access your wireless network normally, you will usually get the message “Problem with wireless adapter or access point.”
Relax as it’s easy to fix. As you read on you will find out the tried and tested solutions to your problem in this post.
What does the Problem with Wireless Adapter or Access Point Mean?
The Windows Network Diagnostics box may display the issue with the wireless adapter or access point. This message informs you that your Windows computer or device was unable to connect to the internet due to a wireless adapter problem.
Your computer can connect to a wireless network, or Wi-Fi, via the Wireless adaptor. A Wifi adaptor is already included in the laptop. To access the internet wirelessly while using a desktop PC, you might need a different wireless adaptor.
The access point is a device that sends a Wi-Fi signal and connects to a router using a LAN wire. You can quickly connect to the internet via a single network over a great distance by using an access point.
What Causes Problems with Wireless Adapter or Access Point Error message
Some of the causes of the problem with wireless adapters or access points are:
- OS is interacting with the access point.
- There is an issue with the access point’s ability to connect user devices to the network (like your Windows device).
- Corrupted network driver.
- Faulty drivers.
- There’s an issue with the router.
- The software is misinterpreting the connection.
- The wireless adapter was not configured properly.
- Outdated network driver.
- Hardware like the wireless card is not being activated properly.
- Corrupted system file.
- Faulty wireless adapter/access points.
- The network is not being properly broadcast.
This problem mostly affects some particular laptop models if the laptops primarily use wireless networks, this is not surprising. It mostly affects HP, Dell, Toshiba, Asus, Lenovo, and Acer computers.
Now that you know some of the causes of the error message you get while trying to connect to the internet on your PC, then the next thing to do is to find lasting solutions to them.
How to Fix a Problem with Wireless Adapter or Access Point
There are a huge variety of connectivity problems that could result in this error, but the most frequent ones have been listed above. However, before trying out any major fixes, ensure you restart your internet connection or router.
Here’s how to fix them below:
Ensure that the Wireless Adapter is On
A simple and quick first step in troubleshooting is to determine if your Wifi adapter is off or if you left Airplane Mode activated. Not only is it wise to eliminate this possibility as soon as possible, but you’d be astonished at how frequently this turns out to be the problem’s root cause.
Disconnect and Reconnect to the Wireless Network
Your device may occasionally only require a second attempt to connect to the network.
Since it’s easy for the portal page to get dropped or not load properly, this is especially typical when the network of the access point you’re connected to includes a landing page that requires visitors to sign in.
Restarting offers it a second chance to deliver the landing page, allowing you to sign up and continue.
Restart Network Adapter
It is most likely that the network adapter is faulty once you receive this message. At times, something as simple as a restart will solve this problem. You can restart your network adapter by following these steps.
- Click on the Windows + R key to open Run.
- Enter ncpa.cpl to open Network Settings.
- Right-click on Wi-Fi and select Disable.
- Wait for a few minutes and right-click on Wi-Fi and choose Enable.
Once the Wi-Fi adapter starts, then you can connect to a network to see if the computer can access the internet or not.
Reset Network Configuration
You may also try resetting the Network Adapter if you still see the error message after doing so. A network adapter’s reset function restores all network-related functions and settings to their default values.
The DNS and TCP stack can both be reset together with the network adapter. Either through Command Prompt or the Windows settings, you can reset the network setup. Below are steps to perform a network reset:
From Windows Settings
- Click on Windows + I key to open Settings.
- Go to Network & Internet>> Advanced network settings >> Network reset.
- Now, click on Reset.
From Command Prompt
All of your network adapters, including Wi-Fi and LAN, are reset when you reset the network from the Command Prompt. Therefore, you can disregard any error warnings that you may come across.
- Tap on the Windows + R key to open Run.
- Enter cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as Administrator.
Type the following command and press Enter after each command:
- Netsh winsock reset: resets component which handles network requests
- Netsh int ip reset: resets registry values inside SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Performance
- Ipconfig/flushdns: Clears DNS information
- Ipconfig/release: clears network adapter settings
- Ipconfig/renew: reconfigures networking configuration
- Ipconfig/registerdns: Reregisters DNS information
Once you run all these commands, ensure to restart your computer and check if it fixed the issue.
Forget the Wireless Network and connect again from the beginning
This is useful, especially if you have had a network saved for a long time, but it has since changed its network encryption or some other characteristics. To forget the wireless network, follow the steps below:
- To forget a network, tap on the WiFi icon on the tray menu.
- Then, click on the right arrow icon on WiFi.
- Right-click on the connected network and select Forget network.
- Now, try to reconnect to the said network to check if the issue has been fixed or not.
Reboot your Access Point
Your Windows 10 device may be operating properly, but the router or access point that is hosting the network may have at some point reached a failure status.
Power cycling the router will provide your access point with the best opportunity to start over and re-establish its proper operational configuration.
Update the Wireless Drivers
Drivers for wireless interfaces are updated frequently to introduce new capabilities or fix broken functionality.
Missing these updates could prevent Windows 10 from correctly operating the device’s network interface.
By using Device Manager and the guidelines below, you can update your Windows 10 drivers manually.
But before then, check all your drivers now in 3 easy steps:
- Download DriverFix (verified download file).
- Click on Start Scan to locate all problematic drivers.
- Tap on Update Drivers to get the new versions and avoid system glitches.
Now update the wireless drivers by following the simple steps below:
- Click on Windows and X at the same time to pop up Start Menu and select Device Manager.
- Expand Network Adapter, and right-click on your network adapter by selecting Update Driver.
- Click on Search automatically for drivers and check if the system locates a new one.
- Finally, restart your PC.
Has the problem with wireless adapter or access point been solved? If not, you can proceed to the next fix.
Renew your IP address
Resetting the underlying IP connection and updating the IP address can fix any typical IP-related problems.
Disable Antivirus Software
Disabling your antivirus software can protect your computer from online and offline malware threats. However, if antivirus software notices even a minor potential risk, it immediately stops the process that is responsible for it.
In the same way, wireless connections work. You can try disabling your antivirus and reconnecting it to the internet to see if that fixes the problem with the wireless adapter or access point. You can an alternative antivirus if the disabled antivirus software is the cause of the issue.
You can use the wired connection
If none of the options above has worked for you, try and connect your PC directly to the router via a LAN cable. You can try connecting to the internet via a cable connection as the problem is with the wireless adapter.
If you are still unable to fix the problem with wireless adapter or access point error message, then you can go ahead to contact your Internet Service Provider. ISPs will be far more knowledgeable about the state of your network. The ISP may be able to resolve your problem thanks to its extensive resources.