How to get back online after a Windows 10 update breaks your internet

How to get back online after a Windows 10 update breaks your internet

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Windows 10 won’t connect to the internet after an update? Use these tips to fix the problem.

Although Microsoft pushes regular updates for Windows 10 to address security vulnerabilities and enhance the overall performance, many times, updates are also known to introduce more problems rather than solving them.

Usually, one of the most common issues after installing a quality update is related to internet connectivity. For example, slow speeds or intermittent loss of Wi-Fi connectivity or connection loss using a wireless or wired connection causing problems connecting to the internet and network resources, such as shared folders and printers.

Whatever the case might be, if you’re having trouble accessing the local network or internet, after a recent update of Windows 10, there are many ways that Microsoft recommends to fix the issue.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through several ways to resolve common network connection problems after installing an update on your computer.How to fix common network problems after update on Windows 10How to fix connectivity using Network troubleshooterHow to reset network stack using Command PromptHow to reset network adapter using SettingsHow to update network adapter driver using Device ManagerHow to install network adapter driver using Device ManagerHow to rollback network adapter driver using Device ManagerHow to uninstall network adapter driver using Device ManagerHow to disable security apps to fix network problems on Windows 10How to uninstall recent update to fix network problems on Windows 10How to fix common network problems after update on Windows 10

When your computer is experiencing network problems after installing a quality update, some basic troubleshooting steps can help you get back online quickly.Restart device

Usually, a simple restart can resolve many common problems, including networking issues.

To restart a computer, use these steps:Open Start.Click the Power option.

Select the Restart option

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Once you complete the steps, open the web browser and confirm you can connect to the internet by trying to load a website.

If the network status shows that the computer is connected, and you can’t open a specific website, then try loading a different site as the problem could be that particular website.Check network settings

The next steps will confirm that there is no connection problem between the computer and router using Command Prompt.

To check if the current network configuration on Windows 10 is working, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Command Prompt and click the top result to open the console.

Type the following command to determine the IP address of the router and press Enter:

ipconfig

Confirm the “Default Gateway” address, which should be the address of the local router

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Quick tip: In home networks, the router’s address is usually 192.169.1.1 or 192.168.2.1. However, depending on your router, Internet Service Provider (ISP), or custom configurations, the address could be different.

Type the following command to confirm the router is reachable and press Enter:

ping ROUTER-IP

This example tests the connection to a router with the 192.168.1.1 address:

ping 192.168.1.1

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In the command, remember to change the 192.168.1.1 for the IP address of your router.

Quick tip: You can also use the ping 127.0.0.1 command to test if the networking stack is installed correctly and working on your computer.Confirm successful replies without packet loss in the output.

After you complete the steps, if no packets were lost, the connection to the router works, indicating that the problem could be the Internet Service Provider or the connection between the router and ISP.

You can also try to connect to the same network using your phone or another computer. If it’s possible to connect to the internet with a different device, then the problem is the computer.Reconnect Wi-Fi connection

If you have a laptop with a wireless connection, it could be a problem with the adapter or signal, which you may be able to fix by reconnecting to the network.

To restart a wireless connection, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Network & Internet.

Click on Wi-Fi.

Quick tip: If the Wi-Fi section is missing, Windows 10 isn’t detecting the wireless adapter.

Turn off the Wi-Fi toggle switch.

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© Provided by Windows CentralTurn on the Wi-Fi toggle switch.

Click the Show available networks option.

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© Provided by Windows CentralSelect the wireless network.

Click the Connect button

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Quick tip: Nowadays, many routers allow wireless connections using two band frequencies, including the 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which will appear as separate networks. If you see both networks, you can try connecting with a different frequency to see if that resolves the problem. You can use this guide to learn even more ways to connect to a wireless network on Windows 10.Type the wireless password (if applicable).Click the Next button.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to connect to the network and the internet. If your laptop includes a physical button, make sure to turn it on as well.

If you usually connect to the network with a Wi-Fi adapter, you can also create a report of the wireless connection history, which can help to diagnose the problem.Renable network adapter

Although it’s rare, sometimes, updates can inadvertently change settings without your consent. For example, an update may enable or disable the network adapter or features like Airplane mode.

If you can’t find the network adapter in the Settings app, there might be a problem with the driver, or the adapter is currently disabled.

To renable an adapter on Windows 10, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Network & Internet.Click on Status.

Under the “Advanced network settings” section, click the Change adapter options link.

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Right-click the Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter and select the Enable option.a screenshot of a cell phone

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After you complete the steps, the adapter will enable and reconfigure automatically.Disable Airplane mode

If Airplane mode is enabled, you won’t be able to connect to the network. In the case that the update turned on the feature automatically or you enable this feature by mistake, you need to make sure it’s disabled.

To turn off Airplane mode on Windows 10, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Network & Internet.Click on Airplane mode.

Turn off the Airplane mode toggle switch.a screenshot of a cell phone

© Provided by Windows Central(Optional) Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, the connection to the internet will reestablish.Recreate Wi-Fi profile

On Windows 10, the wireless connection settings (such as authentication, security type, and others) are saved in a profile. If you have problems connecting to a network, it could be that the profile was corrupted during a system update.

To resolve this problem, you can remove and recreate the profile using these steps:Open Settings.Click on Network & Internet.Click on Wi-Fi.

Under the “Wi-Fi” section, click the Manage known networks option.a screenshot of a cell phone

© Provided by Windows CentralSelect the wireless network with the problem.

Click the Forget button

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© Provided by Windows CentralClick the network icon from the notification area in the taskbar.Select the wireless network with access to the internet.

Click the Connect button

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© Provided by Windows CentralConfirm the network security key.Click the Next button.

After you complete the steps, use the web browser to confirm the internet is working again.Restart router

As part of the basic networking troubleshooting steps, you also want to restart the router to resolve common connectivity issues.

If the router is causing problems, you can restart it with these steps:Locate the router.Unplug its power cord.Wait at least around 60 seconds.Reconnect the power cord.

Once you complete the steps, wait three to five minutes for the router to restart and check the connection.Ping to test connection

Usually, launching a web browser and trying to load a website can confirm that the internet is working. However, you can also use the ping command to check the connection more reliably.

To check network connection with the ping command, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Command Prompt and click the top result open the console.

Type the following command to test connectivity and press Enter:

ping google.com

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Quick tip: We’re using “Google.com” as an example, but you can use any online service to test the connection, for instance, “Bing.com.”Confirm successful reply without packet loss in the output.

Once you complete the steps, if you see four replies without packet loss, it indicates that the internet connection is working as expected.

If you’re using an Ethernet cable, it’s also good to try a different cable and port on the switch or router to eliminate the possibility of problems with those components.How to fix connectivity using Network troubleshooter

If you recently installed a cumulative update and can no longer connect to the network, you can use the troubleshooter to diagnose and repair common problems.

To use the Network troubleshooter on Windows 10, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Update & Security.Click on Troubleshoot.

Under the “Recommended troubleshooting” section, click the Additional troubleshooters option

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Under the “Get up and running” section, select the Internet Connections troubleshooter.

Quick note: On Windows 10 version 1909 and earlier, the option is available within the Troubleshoot page.

Click the Run the troubleshooter button.a screenshot of a social media post

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Select the Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet option.a screenshot of a social media post

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Select the Try these repairs as an administrator option (if applicable).a screenshot of a cell phone

© Provided by Windows CentralContinue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, the troubleshooter will run and fix any connectivity issues.How to reset network stack using Command Prompt

In the case that the troubleshooter is unable to resolve the problem, you should try resetting the TCP/IP stack and clearing any DNS information on Windows 10.

To reset the network stack with Command Prompt, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

Type the following command to reset the component that handles network requests and press Enter:

netsh winsock reset

Type the following command to reset the internet protocol stack and press Enter:

netsh int ip reset© Provided by Windows Central

Type the following command to clear the current networking configuration and press Enter:

ipconfig /release

Type the following command to reconfigure the network settings and press Enter:

ipconfig /renew

Type the following command to clear the DNS information cached and press Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns© Provided by Windows CentralRestart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, launch the web browser and confirm the internet is working.How to reset network adapter using Settings

Windows 10 also includes an option to reset all the network adapters to fix networking problems, whether you use Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection after installing a cumulative update, or any time you cannot access the network.

To reset all the network adapters, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Network & Internet.Click on Status.

Under the “Advanced network settings” section, click the Network reset option.© Provided by Windows Central

Click the Reset now button.© Provided by Windows CentralClick the Yes button.

After you complete the steps, the computer will restart automatically, and on reboot, you should now be able to connect to the internet.

The tool will reset all the network adapters installed on your computer to their factory defaults, which means that you’ll need to re-enter the password to connect to a wireless network. Also, you’ll need to reconfigure other networking software, such as VPN clients, if applicable.How to update network adapter driver using Device Manager

Sometimes, an older version of the network adapter driver can cause compatibility issues with a newly available update for Windows 10.

To install the latest update of a network adapter, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.Expand the Network adapters branch.

Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Update driver option.© Provided by Windows Central

Click the Search automatically for update driver software option.© Provided by Windows CentralContinue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, if a newer update is available, it’ll automatically download and install.

Of course, if you can’t connect to the internet, you’ll need to download the driver manually from your manufacturer support website using another computer. Then save the driver package on an external drive and use the manufacturer instructions to proceed with the installation (see steps below).How to install network adapter driver using Device Manager

If it’s not possible to update the driver using Windows Update, you’ll need to install the network adapter manually.

In the case that the manufacturer support website doesn’t offer instructions, unzip the driver package, and use these general steps:Open Start.Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.Expand the Network adapters branch.

Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Update driver option.© Provided by Windows Central

Click the Browse button.© Provided by Windows CentralSelect the folder where you unzipped the driver filesClick the OK button.Check the Include subfolders option.Click the Next button.Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, confirm the internet is working again by trying to load a page with a web browser.How to rollback network adapter driver using Device Manager

If you notice issues after installing a driver update, you can try rolling back the older version of the network driver to resolve the networking problem.

To restore a previous version of a driver on Windows 10, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.Expand the Network adapters branch.

Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Properties option.a screenshot of a cell phone

© Provided by Windows CentralClick the Driver tab.

Click the Roll back driver button.a screenshot of a cell phone

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Quick tip: If the button isn’t available, then it means that the OS doesn’t have a backup of the driver.Click the OK button.Select a reason why you’re rolling back (select any option).Click the Yes button.Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, open any web browser, and try loading different web pages to confirm the problem is resolved.How to uninstall network adapter driver using Device Manager

When the Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter stops working after applying a system update, it could indicate that the driver got corrupted, or the quality update may have introduced unwanted changes. In this situation, you can uninstall the driver manually, and then, Windows 10 will automatically reinstall the adapter again.

To remove a network adapter driver, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.Expand the Network adapters branch.

Right-click the problematic network adapter and select the Uninstall device option

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Click the Uninstall button

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© Provided by Windows CentralRestart your computer.

After you complete the steps, Windows 10 should automatically detect and reinstall the driver again, fixing the network problem.

If the system can’t find the appropriate driver, you may need to use the previous steps to download and install the network adapter manually.How to disable security apps to fix network problems on Windows 10

Sometimes, the antivirus or firewall may prevent you from reaching the internet. You can quickly find out if a security app is causing problems by temporarily disabling it and trying to connect to the internet.

These steps will only disable the Windows 10 security features. If you use a different security solution, make sure to consult your manufacturer support website for more specific details.Disable antivirus

To temporarily disable the Microsoft Defender Antivirus on your device, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.Click on Virus & threat protection.

Under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.

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Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch.a screenshot of a cell phone

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Once you complete the steps, confirm you can load “Bing.com” or “Google.com” on your computer.

You can always revert the changes by restarting your computer, or turning on the Real-time protection toggle switch on step No. 5.Disable firewall

To temporarily disable the Microsoft Defender Firewall, use these steps:Open Start.Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.Click on Firewall & network protection.

Click the network with the “active” label.a screenshot of a cell phone

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Turn off the Microsoft Defender Firewall toggle switch.a screenshot of a cell phone

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After you complete the steps, confirm if you can load sites like “Google.com” or “Bing.com.”

To re-enable the firewall, you can use the same steps, but on step No. 5, make sure to turn on the Microsoft Defender Firewall toggle switch.How to uninstall recent update to fix network problems on Windows 10

Other times, you may lose network connectivity or experience related networking issues on Windows 10 if your computer receives a buggy update through Windows Update. In this situation, you can uninstall the update to fix the problem until Microsoft releases a new update that permanently fixes the problem.Uninstall quality update

To uninstall a problematic update on Windows 10, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Update & Security.Click on Windows Update.

Click the View update history button.a screenshot of a cell phone

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Click the Uninstall updates option

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© Provided by Windows CentralSelect the most recent update causing networking problems.

Click the Uninstall button

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© Provided by Windows CentralClick the Yes button.Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will roll back to the previous build when there was no Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter problem.

After uninstalling the update, the system shouldn’t install the same update until the next quality update becomes available through Windows Update.Uninstall feature update

If the problem started happening after installing a new feature update (such as the May 2020 Update), you might want to roll back to the previous version to resolve the issue.

Important: Although rolling back to a previous version is a non-destructive process, it’s recommended to create a temporary full backup of your PC in case something goes wrong. Also, the option to rollback is only available during the first ten days after upgrading. After this time, you won’t be able to undo the changes, unless you re-install the version you want using a clean installation.

To uninstall a feature update, use these steps:Open Settings.Click on Update & Security.Click on Recovery.

Under the “Go back to a previous version of Windows 10” section, click the Get started button

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Check any of the reasons available

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© Provided by Windows CentralClick the Next button.

Click the No, thanks button

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Click the Next button

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Click the Next button again

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Click the Go back to earlier build button.a screenshot of a cell phone

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After you complete the steps, the device will revert to the previous version when the network was working correctly.

What steps helped you fix your network connection problem on Windows 10? Tell us in the comments.More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Computer Tips