How to Fix Ethernet Driver Issues in Windows 11/10

Although Wi-Fi adapters have become more advanced in recent years, Ethernet is still the fastest and most convenient connection for a desktop. There have been reports from some users that the device has poor internet speed when connected to a network via Ethernet cables. The problem occurs when an Ethernet connection that is normally functioning fails to connect to the network port. In case you also experience a similar issue on your Windows 11 PC, this post may help you.

How to Fix Ethernet Driver Issues in Windows 11

What causes Ethernet Driver Issues on Windows 11?

An Ethernet network with poor connectivity may occur for several reasons. Listed below are a few key points:

  • Obsolete, Corrupted, or damaged ethernet driver
  • Problems in the network itself
  • Hardware issues

Now that you have a rough idea of what possibly could have gone wrong, let’s dive into the solutions that may find and fix the underlying causes. 

How to solve Ethernet Driver Issues in Windows 11

Before you proceed to the solutions, check if your device meets the following preliminary checks –

  • Check if the ethernet cable is connected properly to its port at both places i.e. Monitor/Laptop, and from where it is originating. If you find it loose, unplug it then replug it tightly. Many a time, worn and torn ethernet cable may also cause connectivity issues, so ensure it as well. 
  • Go and check if the ethernet driver is enabled inside Device Manager or not. You may find its setting by visiting the path below –
Device Manager > Network adapters > Ethernet driver
    • Right-click on it, and check what you get under the Context menu. If it is “Disable device”, then your driver is working alright. Otherwise, hit the option – Enable device.

Restart your PC – Though this is not a real solution, it works wonders more than you can count for it. So, if you haven’t rebooted your PC, try giving this a shot and check if this solves the issues that you are struggling with. 

Only when the network connectivity issue still occurs, try the below set of solutions one after another.

1] Reset Network Adapter Settings

Many a time, ethernet stops working simply because of some network-related issues. So, it is better to reset the network and check if this solves the problem that you were struggling with. Here’s how you may reset the network adapter on Windows 11 PC –

  • Open the Settings app by pressing WinKey +I.
  • Select Network & Internet on the left pane.
  • Switch to the right pane, and hit Advanced network settings.

Advanced Network settings

  • Click Network reset under the section – ‘More settings’.

Network reset - Ethernet Driver Issues

  • Click the button – “Reset now” bedsides Network reset.

Ethernet driver issues - Network reset

  • A confirmation will appear asking you whether you want to proceed with this, hit Yes.

confirm network reset

  • The whole network resetting process will take a few minutes, so wait accordingly. 

2] Run Network Adapter Troubleshooter

In most cases, ethernet stops working due to some network-related problems. So, before you take a look in that direction, try troubleshooting the network adapter. Heading this way, the system will diagnose and address the root cause. Here’s how you may perform this task –

  • Press WinKey + X, and select Settings.
  • Click System and head over to the right pane.
  • Scroll down to Troubleshoot and click upon it.
  • Hit Other troubleshooters next.

Other Troubleshooters Windows 11

  • Scroll down to Network Adapter and hit Run.

Run Network adapter - Ethernet Driver Issues

  • When it asks to select the network adapter that you want to diagnose, select ‘Ethernet’, and hit Next again.

Select Network Adapter

  • Let the system complete the network troubleshooting and keep following the on-screen instructions.
  • The system will try to identify the root cause and solve that automatically. 
  • Once the troubleshooting completes, restart your PC

3] Install Optional Updates

If the network connectivity is all good on your device, the problem may lie within the driver itself. With Windows 10 onward, Microsoft has enabled an optional update setting inside Windows update. Go and check if such an update is pending on your computer. To install optional updates on your device, do the following –

  • Press Win + I to invoke Settings.
  • Select Windows Update on the left pane, and hit “Check for updates.
  • Searching for available updates may take some time, so wait accordingly.
  • When the search part is over, check if you can see a link – optional updates.
  • If indeed you find such a link, click over it.
  • Subsequently, mark the checkbox left of “Available patches”, and hit Download & Install
  • Lastly, reboot your PC so that changes made come into effect.

4] Update Ethernet drivers 

Though Windows update is effective in looking for pending updates effectively, this may sometimes fail as well. This is where Device Manager may help to update the ethernet drivers. To do so, follow the below guideline –

  • Right-click on the Windows icon and select Device Manager.
  • When it opens up, locate and click to expand Network adapters.
  • Right-click on the Intel (R) ethernet adapter, and hit the option – Update driver.
  • Choose the option – Search automatically for drivers next.
  • The system will then look for any specific update to this and if available, the same gets downloaded and installed automatically.

Restart your PC and when it does, check if the ethernet works alright on your device. 

5] Manually download and install Ethernet drivers

If you couldn’t find an update to the ethernet adapter following the above way, try this alternative approach. In this method, you need to manually visit the PC manufacturer’s official site, and download the ethernet latest driver update from there.

This method will be of any help only when you know the exact version of ethernet running on your device. This is because if you don’t, you may end up installing the same driver again and again. Here’s how to check any driver via Device Manager –

  • Open Device Manager and expand Network adapters.
  • Right-click on the ethernet driver, and hit Properties.
  • Go to the Driver tab and you may see the current version running on your computer.
  • Now that you know the exact ethernet version, go to the manufacturer’s site, and see if it provides any update to this. 

For your ease, we have listed out the most famous PC Manufacturer’s homepages –

HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Acer

MSI, Samsung, Sony Vaio

  • Download a patch update only when its version is higher in number as compared to the one that you find on the Properties window. 
  • If it is higher in number, this must be an update to the one running on your computer. Download it, and when it completes, double-click on it.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to update the existing ethernet adapter.
  • At last, restart your PC so that changes made come into effect from the next logon. 

When your PC reloads, check if you can now connect to the network using the ethernet. I hope this guide helps you to resolve the obsolete ethernet and hence the network connectivity issues. 

Tip: If you are facing update, activation, or driver issues on your Windows PC, try RESTORO PC Repair Tool. This software will scan your device for potential issues and resolve them automatically.

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