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Having constant access to the internet is more than a convenience—it’s a necessity. That’s why it can be particularly frustrating when the WiFi option mysteriously disappears from your Windows 11 taskbar. This issue can disrupt your workflow, hinder communication, and leave you feeling disconnected. However, there’s no need to panic.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to troubleshoot and resolve this common problem. Whether you’re a tech novice or an experienced user, our easy-to-follow instructions will help you quickly restore your WiFi connectivity and get back online in no time.
Does WiFi Option Appear on Windows 11 Taskbar by Default?
Yes, the Wi-Fi option typically appears by default on the Windows 11 taskbar. This Wi-Fi icon, located in the system tray (also known as the notification area), allows users to easily view their network status, connect to available networks, and access Wi-Fi settings.
When the operating system is functioning properly and the Wi-Fi adapter is enabled and working, the Wi-Fi icon should be visible. If it’s missing, it could indicate an issue with the Wi-Fi adapter settings, driver issues, or other system-related problems that need to be addressed.
1. Re-Enable the WiFi Adapter
If you’re not seeing the Wi-Fi option In Windows 11, it could be because the Wi-Fi adapter is turned off. Fortunately, you can easily enable or disable network devices through the Control Panel. Here’s how to do it:
- Press the Win + R keys on your keyboard to bring up the Run dialog box.
controlin the Run dialog and click OK. This will open the Control Panel. Alternatively, you can use the Windows search feature to find and open the Control Panel.
- Once in the Control Panel, go to ‘Network and Internet’ and then to ‘Network and Sharing Center’.
- In the Network and Sharing Center, click on ‘Change adapter settings’ to view all installed network devices listed in the left pane.
- Locate your Wi-Fi adapter, right-click on it, and select ‘Enable’ if it is disabled.
- If your Wi-Fi adapter is already enabled but not working properly, you can diagnose the issue. Right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter again and choose ‘Diagnose’.
- Windows will then check the Wi-Fi adapter for any problems and suggest possible fixes. If a fix is recommended, click on ‘Apply this fix’. If the issue persists, follow any additional on-screen instructions for more troubleshooting options.
By following these steps, you should be able to resolve issues with a missing Wi-Fi option on your Windows 11 device, ensuring your network connection is up and running smoothly.
2. Download and Install the Latest WiFi Driver
Another effective solution for fixing a missing Wi-Fi option on your Windows 11 is to download and latest device driver for WiFi hardware. The old device driver might be fully compatible with the Windows 11 OS. That’s the reason why we need to manually update the WiFi driver.
- Open the Device Manager on your computer. You can do this by searching for ‘Device Manager’ in the Windows search bar.
- In the Device Manager, find and expand the ‘Network Adapters’ section. This will show you a list of network devices on your system.
- Locate your Wi-Fi adapter within this list, right-click on it, and choose ‘Update Driver’ from the context menu.
- In the next window, select the ‘Browse my computer for drivers’ option. This allows you to manually select the driver you wish to install.
- Then, choose the ‘Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer’ option. This will display a list of compatible drivers installed on your system.
- From the list, select the first driver (which is typically the most appropriate one) and click ‘Next’. The Device Manager will now begin the installation of the selected driver.
- After the installation is complete, restart your computer and check if the Wi-Fi option is now visible and functioning correctly.
By following these steps, you should be able to successfully install the Wi-Fi driver and restore the Wi-Fi connectivity option on your Windows 11 system.
3. Do a Network Reset
If you’re encountering issues with your Wi-Fi connectivity on Windows 11, utilizing the operating system’s built-in network reset feature can be an effective solution. This function will remove and then reinstall your network adapters, as well as reset other networking components to their default settings. It’s a useful tool for addressing problems stemming from incorrect network configurations.
Here’s how to perform a network reset on Windows 11:
- Open the ‘Settings’ app on your Windows 11 computer. You can do this by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the gear-shaped Settings icon.
- In the Settings menu, click on the ‘Network & Internet’ tab, which you’ll find in the left-hand pane.
- Scroll down within this section until you see the option for ‘Advanced network settings’. Click on it to access detailed network device information and the network reset option.
- In the ‘Advanced network settings’ section, continue scrolling down to the ‘More settings’ area. Here, you’ll find the ‘Network reset’ option.
- Click on ‘Network reset’. A new window will appear, confirming your intention to reset the network.
- In this confirmation window, click on the ‘Reset now’ button to initiate the network reset process. You’ll need to confirm this action by clicking ‘Yes’ when prompted.
After completing the network reset, your Wi-Fi connection should be restored. However, it’s important to note that you may need to reinstall and reconfigure other networking devices and software, as these settings are often returned to their default state following a network reset. This process is an effective way to troubleshoot and resolve common network issues in Windows 11.
4. Turn on the WLAN Auto Config Service
The WLAN AutoConfig service in Windows 11 plays a vital role in managing your wireless network connections. If you’re experiencing issues with your Wi-Fi, ensuring this service is running can be a key step in troubleshooting. Here’s how to check and restart the WLAN AutoConfig service:
- Press the Win + R keys on your keyboard. This will open the Run dialog box.
services.mscin the Run dialog and click OK. This will open the Services snap-in, where you can manage various system services.
- n the Services window, scroll down and find the ‘WLAN AutoConfig’ service. Check to see if it’s running. If it’s not running, you’ll need to start it.
- Right-click on ‘WLAN AutoConfig’ and select ‘Properties’. In the Properties dialog, find the ‘Startup type’ drop-down menu.
- In the Startup type drop-down, select ‘Automatic’. This ensures that the service will start automatically whenever Windows starts, reducing the likelihood of Wi-Fi issues in the future.
- If the service is not currently running, click ‘Start’ to begin the service.
- After making these adjustments, click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ to save the changes.
By ensuring that the WLAN AutoConfig service is set to start automatically and is running, you can improve the stability and reliability of your Wi-Fi connection on your Windows 11 device. This is an essential step in maintaining a consistent and trouble-free wireless network experience.
5. Install New Update on Windows 11
Ensuring your PC is up to date is crucial, especially if you’ve recently installed a fresh version of Windows. Running the Windows Update tool can help resolve Wi-Fi connectivity issues by installing the latest Windows updates and essential drivers from third-party vendors. Here’s how to proceed:
- Press Win + I to open the Settings application.
- In the Settings menu, select the ‘Windows Update’ tab located in the left pane.
- Click on ‘Check for updates’. Windows will search for any available updates. If updates are found, download and install them. Once installed, restart your PC to apply these changes.
- Go back to the Windows Update page and select ‘Advanced options’.
- Scroll down and click on ‘Optional updates’.
- Here, select ‘Driver updates’ to see available updates specific to your system’s hardware. Choose any relevant updates from your system manufacturer and click ‘Download & install’. After installation, a restart of your PC is recommended to apply these changes.
In case you don’t have a wired internet connection, consider using your smartphone’s tethering feature to access the internet and perform these updates.
If the Wi-Fi issue still persists after these updates, you might consider reverting to a previous version of Windows 11. This can be particularly helpful if the problem started after an update. To do this:
- Go to Settings > System > Recovery.
- Under Recovery options, find the ‘Go back’ button and follow the on-screen instructions to return to an earlier version of Windows.
Remember, the option to revert to a previous version is time-sensitive and typically available for only ten days after an upgrade. However, in Windows 11, you can extend this period to 60 days, giving you more time to decide if the current version meets your needs.
FAQs about Wi-Fi Missing in Windows 11
Why is my Wi-Fi option not showing in Windows 11?
The Wi-Fi option might not show up due to various reasons, including disabled Wi-Fi adapter, outdated or corrupt network drivers, or issues with Windows system settings.
How can I enable the Wi-Fi adapter if it’s disabled in Windows 11?
To enable the Wi-Fi adapter, open the Control Panel, navigate to ‘Network and Internet’ > ‘Network and Sharing Center’, click on ‘Change adapter settings’, right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter, and select ‘Enable’.
What should I do if updating the Wi-Fi driver doesn’t fix the issue?
If updating the driver doesn’t resolve the problem, try performing a network reset by going to Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced network settings > Network reset and clicking ‘Reset now’.
Can Windows Update help in fixing the missing Wi-Fi option?
Yes, running Windows Update can help as it installs the latest OS updates and drivers which might include fixes for network-related issues.
How do I check if the WLAN AutoConfig service is affecting my Wi-Fi connectivity?
Open ‘services.msc’, locate the WLAN AutoConfig service, and ensure it’s running. If it’s not, set its startup type to Automatic and start the service.
Is it possible to revert to an earlier version of Windows 11 if Wi-Fi issues persist?
Yes, you can revert to a previous version by going to Settings > System > Recovery and selecting the ‘Go back’ option. This is available for 10 days after an upgrade, extendable to 60 days in Windows 11.
Video：Fix Wi-Fi Icon Not Showing Problem on Windows 11
The Bottom Line
It could be a big pain if you could not find the WiFi option on your Windows 11 computer. However, with the right approach and a bit of patience, these challenges can be easily overcome. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ve not only fixed the immediate problem but also armed yourself with valuable knowledge for future troubleshooting. Remember, staying connected is key in our digital age, and ensuring seamless access to your WiFi network is an essential part of that. If you encounter any further issues or have additional questions, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance or explore more of our tech solutions. Stay connected, stay informed, and keep exploring the digital world with confidence!