Solved – Netgear Wireless Adapter Problems in Windows 


Are you facing issues with the Netgear wireless adapter? If so, you are not alone. Many users have reported facing issues with the Netgear wireless adapter. If you, too, are facing similar issues like – 

  • Netgear Wi-Fi adapter won’t work on their PC.
  • Netgear Wi-Fi adapter not turning on
  • Netgear Wi-Fi adapter not detected 
  • Netgear wireless adapter is not connecting. 

You are at the right place. Here, we discuss why this happens and how to fix the problem. 

Usually, when a Netgear USB WI-Fi adapter is plugged into the PC, it is detected within 15 seconds, and you get a notification indicating that the adapter is detected and the adapter LED should turn on. However, when this does not happen, you face the following issues with the Netgear Wi-Fi adapter:

  • LED will not light up on the adapter.
  • “Found New Hardware” wizard does not come up.
  • Installer cannot detect the adapter

This post will explain how to fix these issues and get the Netgear Wi-Fi adapter working. 

What causes Netgear Wi-Fi to stop working issue

  • The operating system does not support the Plug & Play feature. 
  • The USB port or PCI slot is faulty. 
  • The extension cable (if being used) to connect the USB adapter might be faulty. 
  • The adapter drivers are incompatible with the Operating system.

How do you fix the Netgear USB Adapter not working on Windows?

Netgear Wi-Fi adapter has a minimum system requirement. Therefore, when you face adapter issues, check whether it meets the requirements. 

  • You must be running Windows 10 and higher version
  • You should have a USB 2.0 port

How to enable the Netgear wireless adapter on a PC?

You first need to download the Netgear adapter software to install a Netgear Wi-Fi adapter. Alternatively, you can install a standalone network adapter driver. Once downloaded and installed, connect the Netgear Wi-Fi adapter to a USB port and then connect to the wireless network with the help of the NETGEAR software or Windows configuration tool.

Best Ways to Fix Netgear Wi-Fi adapter not detected – Windows

  1. Ensure your system meets the minimum system requirements. 
  2. You should have the latest Windows update installed. 
  3. Restart your computer or try the adapter on an alternate PC. 
  4. Uninstall any antivirus software, as it might interrupt the detection process. 
  5. Install the latest Netgear adapter driver. The easiest way to update the adapter driver is to use Advanced Driver Updater, a driver updating tool that detects outdated drivers and shows compatible updates.

Read the full review of Advanced Driver Updater.

  1. Try using an alternate USB port or PCI slot to connect the adapter.
  2. Try another device.
  3. Without using an extension cable, directly connect the adapter.
  4. Change power settings.
  5. Restart the WLAN AutoConfig service.
  6. If you still have an issue with the adapter, contact NETGEAR support.

Basic Fixes

  • Connect the adapter directly

If you use an extension cable to connect the USB Wi-Fi adapter, connect it directly to your computer. If the PC detects it, you know the cable or the cradle you use to connect the adapter is faulty. 

  • Use a different USB port

Try using an alternate USB port to connect the USB Wi-Fi adapter. If the adapter works fine on it, then the USB port is faulty. 

  • Unplug other USB devices

If several USB devices are connected to your computer, try disconnecting them, as some PCs don’t have the power to connect multiple USB devices. Now, try connecting the Wi-Fi adapter and see if it helps.

Advanced Fixes

1. Download the latest software for your adapter and update the Netgear driver

You can download the latest Netgear USB Wi-Fi adapter software from the official Netgear Download Center.

However, if this seems like a lot of work, you can use a third-party driver updating software called Advanced Driver Updater. Using it in no time, you update the driver. To use it, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Advanced Driver Updater.
  2. Click Start Scan Now to perform the scan.start scan using advanced driver updater
  3. Review scan results and update Netgear Wi-Fi adapter driver. 

Note : You can update only one driver at a time with the trial version. To update all the outdated drivers, you need to upgrade the software. Once you activate it using the license key, you can update all drivers with a click.

     4. Restart the PC to apply changes, and that’s it.

For more information, read How to Update Drivers On PC.

2. Update Microsoft Windows

If you haven’t updated Windows in a while, an outdated Windows can also cause the adapter not to work. To update Windows, follow these steps: 

  1. Press Windows + I to access Windows settings. 
  2. Click Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates.Windows Update selected in system settings
  3. Download and install the updates.Download and Install update
  4. Restart the PC to apply changes. 

Now try to use the adapter it should work. 

3. Basic Run Network Adapter Troubleshooter

  1. Press Windows + I to open Windows settings. 
  2. Click System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.Choose Network Adapter Troubleshooter
  3. Locate the Network Adapter troubleshooter and click the Run button. 
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the task to be completed.

Now, try using the adapter and see if it helps.

 4. Uninstall Netgear wireless driver

  1. Press the Win+X and select Device Manager from the context menu. 
  2. Double-click the Network adapters category and look for the Netgear wireless adapter.
  3. Right-click on the adapter > choose the Uninstall device option.Right-clicked on adapter choose Uninstall device option
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the driver.
  5. Restart the PC and reconnect your Netgear USB network driver. Windows will now detect the missing driver and reinstall it.

5. Change power settings

The Netgear adapter might stop working due to the misconfigured power settings. Therefore, follow these steps to tweak the settings.

Disable USB selective suspend:

  1. Press Windows + R > type control > press the Enter key. 
  2. Go to the Hardware and Sound > Edit power plan option in the Control Panel.
  3. Click on the Change advanced power settings button.
  4. Expand the USB settings > USB selective suspend setting option.
  5. Disable both On battery and Plugged in.USB selective suspend setting option 
  6. Click Apply > OK to save changes.

Disable the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option:

  1. Press Windows + X and select Device Manager from the context menu.
  2. Expand the Network adapters category. 
  3. Look for a USB Netgear wireless adapter device.
  4. Right-click > and select the Properties option.
  5. Next, click the Power Management tab > uncheck the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” checkbox.Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power checkbox 
  6. Press OK to save settings. See if this helps. 

6.  Start/restart the WLAN AutoConfig service

When the WLAN AutoConfig service is disabled or not running, you also face issues with the Wi-Fi adapter. To fix it, restart the WLAN AutoConfig service.

  1. Press Windows + R > type services.msc > click OK.
  2. Look for the WLAN AutoConfig service and double-click on it.
  3. Next, to start the service, hit the Start button > set Startup type to Automatic.

    WLAN AutoConfig Properties Window
  4.  Press OK and exit the window. 

7. Temporarily disable antivirus

The security program you use to protect your PC can interfere with detecting Netgear wireless adapter. Therefore, to ensure that is not the case, temporarily disable your antivirus > reconnect your USB network adapter > and check if the problem is fixed.

Once the network adapter is detected, you can enable the antivirus.

8. Change the channel settings for the Netgear adapter

If nothing has worked so far, try altering Netgear adapter channel settings

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. 
  2. Type ncpa.cpl and press the Enter key. Type ncpa.cpl
  3. In the Network Connections window, right-click the Netgear network > Properties.
  4. Click the Configure button > Advanced tab > scroll to WZC IBSS Number Channel.
  5. Choose channels 1, 6, or 11 from the right drop-down menu and confirm changes.
  6. Click the OK button.

Final Words

Hopefully, using these steps, you can fix the Wi-Fi adapter issues you face because of outdated drivers, OS compatibility issues, power management settings, and other reasons.

Recommended : 

Why Can’t my PC Connect to the Internet, But Other Devices Will

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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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