How To Fix Realtek Ethernet Drivers That Keep Disappearing


When the network adapter goes missing, connecting to the internet becomes difficult. Learn how to fix the Realtek ethernet driver disappearing from Windows 7 and 10.

The network adapter is responsible for transmitting data to and from devices. Therefore, it is essential to have it running. We’ve put together workable solutions to fix the Realtek LAN driver issue.

How To Fix Realtek Ethernet Driver Keeps Disconnecting Error?

Below we’ve mentioned some of the workarounds to troubleshoot the problem. Go through them one by one to find the right solution for you.

1. Restart PC

The most basic fix to troubleshoot any problem is to restart the laptop. Once the PC is rebooted try to connect to the internet. In addition, always check the Ethernet cable to fix any loose ends and unplug and replug it. If this doesn’t help, no worries, we have others fixes.

2. Unhide Hidden Drivers

Probably the network driver is missing; this is why it is not visible in the Device Manager. Follow these steps to view the network adapter:

  • Press Windows + X and select Device Manager from the context menu to open it.
  • Click the View menu > select Show hidden devices.

device manager show hidden device

  • Double click the Network adapters category. You should not be able to see the adapter.
    device manager network adapters
  • If it is still invisible, click Action > Scan for hardware changes.
    device manager scan device for hardware change

3. Detach the Battery From Laptop

If you use a laptop with a removable battery, try detaching and re-attaching them. When the battery is removed, the motherboard is forced to perform a soft reset of its settings. This might help fix the problem.

4. Temporarily Disable VPN and Antivirus

 To hide your digital footprints, if you use a VPN and an antivirus to protect PCs, try disabling them. After that, reboot your computer and see if it helps.

Related: How to Use a VPN and Why You Need One

If it helps, you can try enabling each one to find the culprit. Once you have narrowed down what was causing the problem, uninstall it to enjoy uninterrupted network connectivity.

5. Use Network Adapter Troubleshooter

 To fix different Windows-related issues, Windows 10 and 11 provide a list of built-in troubleshooters; you can fix network adapter issues using them.

To run it, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + I to open Windows Settings.
  • Click Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.
  • Under Find and fix other problems, select Network Adapter > Run the troubleshooter.
  • Follow on-screen instructions; this should fix the problem.

6. Reset Network

If the above steps don’t help reset the Network. This will restore network settings to default settings. To reset the network, here are the steps:

  • Open Windows Settings by pressing Windows + I.
  • Go to Network & Internet.
  • Click Status and navigate to Network reset > click Reset now.Network Reset

Note: To go online, re-enter login credentials after resetting the network.

7. Analyze Power Management Settings

When the battery on a Windows 10 laptop is low or battery saver mode is enabled,  it will disable some of the features. To modify these settings, check Power Management by following these steps:

  • Right-click the Windows Start menu > select Device manager.device manager 1
  • Double click the Network adapters list to Expand it.
    network adapters
  • Right-click your network adapter and choose Properties.
  • Click the Power Management
    Power management
  • Uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power > Apply > Ok.

8. Reset Winsock Settings

Winsock is a programming interface that helps determine how Windows network software uses its network services. If Winsock files get corrupted, the network adapter vanishes from Windows 10. To reset the Winsock data, follow these steps:

  • Open elevated Command Prompt with admin rights.
  • Type netsh winsock reset, press Enter.
  • Restart your PC or laptop to save the changes.

9. Clean Up Network Devices

If the above method didn’t work, follow these steps to clean up network devices:

  • Run Command Prompt as administrator.
  • In Command Prompt, type netcfg -d.
  • Restart your device and try to connect to the network.

10. Check Background Services

When Windows background service stops working, follow these steps to manage them:

  1. Press Windows + R > to open the Run window.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter key.
  3. Find WWAN AutoConfig.
  4. Right-click on it to check if the Service status is Running. If it is stopped, click Start to get it going.
  5. Set Startup type to Automatic.
  6. Click Apply > OK.
  7. Restart your device and check if the problem is fixed.

Writer’s Tip –

Update The Realtek Driver

Once the network connectivity is restored, we suggest updating the network adapter driver. Even though you can update the driver manually, it’s a tedious task. There’s a risk involved because mistakenly updating incorrect drivers will create issues. Therefore, we suggest using Advanced Driver Updater to update the Realtek driver to prevent you from facing them.

Related: How To Update Realtek Bluetooth Driver

Advanced Driver Updater will automatically identify your system and find its correct drivers. To use it, there’s no need to know the details of the operating system you are running.

You can update your drivers automatically with the FREE or the Registered version. The registered version helps update all outdated drivers in just 2 clicks, while the Free version allows updating single drivers.

  • Run the best driver updating software and click the Start Scan Now button.

advanced driver updater

  • To update the driver click the Update driver link next to the Realtek network driver. To update all outdated drivers, automatically click Update All.

advanced driver updater scan

updated outdated driver

  • Restart the PC to save changes.

Final Words

Hopefully, the methods above will help fix the Ethernet disappearing issue, and you will be able to restore network connectivity. If you have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to leave your comments.


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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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