9 Ways To Fix Windows 10 Not Showing Wi-Fi Networks

Wi Fi networks Not showingWi Fi networks Not showing

If you have a problem with Windows 10 not showing Wifi networks in the available networks list, it can be due to several issues.

There are several solutions to this problem. We discuss 9 ways to fix Windows 10 not showing Wifi networks in this article.

Restart the WiFi network adapter

Network adapter caches have been known to cause problems in the network’s performance in Windows 10. Sometimes they need to be cleared or reset in order for them to perform as usual.

  1. Right-click on the WiFi icon in the Notification Tray in the bottom-right corner of the screen, and click on open network and internet settings.
    open network settings
  2. Under Advanced network settings click Change adapter options.
    change adapter options 1
  3. Now a network connections window will popup. Right-click the WiFi network adapter and click disable on the context menu.
    disable adapter
  4. Wait for about 5 seconds, right-click the disabled WiFi network adapter again, and now click Enable.

The network adapter has now been restarted, without rebooting the computer. Check to see if the issue has been resolved.

Reset the computer network

Previously we had discussed restarting the network adapter, but now let us see how we can reset the entire computer network configuration. Resetting refers to reverting all the settings back to their original state, hence any VPN configurations might need to be re-done as they will be deleted after performing this step.

  1. Navigate to the following:
    Start Menu -> Settings -> Network & Internet
  2. Now scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on Network Reset.
    network reset
  3. On the confirmation screen, click reset now, and the computer will not reboot.

This will first uninstall your network adapters and then reinstall them again, using the same drivers, and revert all settings back to the way they used to be. Check if the WiFi tab is now displaying the available networks or not. If not, continue down this thread to look for alternate fixes.

Also check out: Reset network settings in Windows 10

Run the network troubleshooter

Windows 10 comes with a nifty utility to troubleshoot the different features and components. It can also be used to troubleshoot any problems the users are facing with their networks.

  1. To run the troubleshooter, navigate to the following:
    Start Menu -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot -> additional troubleshooters
  2. From here, click on the following two troubleshooting options, and then click on Run the troubleshooter:
  3. Go through with the troubleshoot window and perform any necessary suggested actions to fix the problem.

This should fix any known misconfigurations of the adapters which are preventing your computer from discovering new networks.

Enable Network Discovery on Private network profile

Windows 10 now only allows its users to enable Network Discovery on private network profiles. However, there is a workaround to enable it on other profiles as well, which will be discussed later.

Network Discovery allows the computer to be discovered by other devices on the same network, including the router. Hence this could be a problem why WiFi networks won’t display on your computer.

  1. Navigate to the following location to enable Network Discovery on Windows 10:
    Start Menu -> Settings -> network & Internet -> Network & Sharing center -> Change advanced sharing settings
  2. Expand the Private network profile, under Network Discovery, select Turn on network discovery, and also check the box next to Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices.
    turn on network discovery private
  3. Click on Save changes.

Now check if the issue has been resolved.

Enable Network Discovery on other network profiles

The Windows 10 settings do not allow its users to enable Network Discovery when they are connected to insecure networks. However, as mentioned before, there is a way to enable Network Discovery on all networks. This can be achieved by creating a rule through a firewall, using the Command Prompt.

  1. Open the Command Prompt with Administrative rights by searching for it in the Start Menu, and then launch it by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Enter shortcut keys. Here is how you can always run Command Prompt in Administrative mode.
  2. Now enter the following command:
    netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Network Discovery" new enable=Yes

Once the command executes, close the Command Prompt and check if the error has been eliminated. If not, then Network Discovery might not be the problem.

Update network adapter driver

Drivers are what run the hardware through the operating system and let the two communicate with one another. There is a chance that the driver may have been corrupted, or is simply not compatible with the update that you have recently installed on your Windows 10.

First, you need to check what adapter your computer is hosting in order to download the right driver.

  1. Open Run and type devmgmt.msc to launch the Device Manager.
  2. Now expand Network Adapters and look for the device name.
    device name
  3. Now navigate to the manufacturer’s website, look for a matching network adapter, and download its latest available driver.
  4. Once downloaded, return to the Device Manager and right-click the network adapter, then click update driver from the context menu.
    update driver context menu
  5. In the update driver popup window, click on Browse My Computer for drivers and then navigate to the downloaded driver.
    browse for driver

Once the driver is updated, your problem of not being able to view the available networks should go away. If not, proceed to the following steps:

Run dependency services

The visibility of WiFi networks in the vicinity depends upon several services in which the Operating System is running. We must ensure that they are up and running on your device as well.

  1. Type in services.msc in Run to view the Services.
  2. Now double-click on Network Location Awareness and set the Startup type as automatic from the drop-down menu:
    automatic services
  3. Click on Apply and Ok.
  4. Now set the Startup type for the following services as mentioned beside them, just as the one above:
    • Network List Service –> Manual
    • Network Event Log –> Automatic
    • Windows Update –> Manual

When done, check to see if the issue is still there.

Remove outdated VPNs

This step is only for those who have any old and outdated VPNs configured on their machines, as it might be a reason why the WiFi won’t display any available networks.

First, you need to check if you have any such VPN configurations.

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing in cmd in Run.
  2. Enter the following command:
    netcfg -s n
    This command will list all the network adapters, network protocols, and services currently running on your computer.
  3. Check to see if the list includes DNI_DNE entry. If it does, it means you have an outdated VPN on your computer which needs to be removed.
  4. Now run the following command to remove its existence from the System Registry.
    reg delete HKCR\CLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /va /f
    Note that you should create a system restore point before messing around in the registries.
  5. Now enter the command:
    netcfg -v -u dni_dne
  6. Reboot the computer.

You should now be able to view and connect to any WiFi network in your vicinity.

Install any pending updates

If the issue still remains, you should simply restart the computer to install any pending updates which might be altering the behavior of your Operating System. Simply check for updates by navigating to the Start Menu -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Check for updates. If any are downloaded and installed, restart the computer and you’re done!

Sometimes even the simplest of things can be the reason for a system malfunction. Which one of these fixes worked for you?

If you liked this post, Share it on:
Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

Get Updates in Your Inbox

Sign up for the regular updates and be the first to know about the latest tech information