How to Turn On the Wireless Network on a IBM ThinkPad R51

Many laptops have physical switches to enable or disable their internal wireless adapters, but the Lenovo ThinkPad R51 does not. Therefore, if you have purchased a secondhand ThinkPad R51 and the previous owner disabled the wireless adapter, this could leave you without an obvious way to turn it back on. To turn the ThinkPad R51's wireless adapter on and off, you will need to utilize a keyboard shortcut.

Keyboard Shortcut

Step 1

Push and hold the "Fn" key in the lower-left corner of the keyboard.

Step 2

Push the "F5" key at the top of the keyboard. The wireless indicator light should now be on.

Step 3

Release both keys. If these steps did not turn the ThinkPad R51 wireless adapter on, it may be disabled in the Windows Device Manager. Continue to the next section.

Device Manager

Step 1

Press the Windows and "R" keys simultaneously. The computer displays the "Run" dialog box.

Step 2

Type "devmgmt.msc" and press "Enter." This displays the Device Manager on all versions of Windows that the ThinkPad R51 is compatible with.

Step 3

Double-click the "Network Adapters" heading.

Step 4

Right-click the icon for the wireless adapter, and select "Enable."

Step 5

Close the Device Manager.


The wireless adapter for the ThinkPad R51 is an optional component. If you cannot enable the wireless adapter using the steps in this article, your computer may not have a wireless adapter installed. If you are positive that a wireless adapter is installed, download and reinstall the device drivers from the Lenovo support website (see Resources).

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