How Do I Enable My Disabled Wireless Adapter?

A wireless adapter, sometimes called a wireless network card or Wi-Fi card, is a device that allows a computer to connect to wireless Internet signals. Wireless adapters are common in laptop computers, but some desktops also have wireless adapter cards. If your computer cannot access any wireless networks, your wireless adapter may be disabled. Enabling a disabled adapter is a simple process, though you may need to wait some time before the adapter starts picking up wireless signals again.

Hand with laptop computer with USB cords
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Step

Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Administrative Tools," and then "Computer Management."

Step

Select "Device Manager," and then double click on "Network Adapters."

Step

Right click on your wireless adapter (it should have "wireless," "Wi-Fi," or something similar in its name) select "Properties," click on the "Driver" tab and then select "Enable."

Step

Wait a minute or two before connecting to a wireless network. It will take the card a little while to start up after being enabled and pick up all the available wireless signals.