Several users complained about the Missing WiFi icon from the taskbar on their Windows 10 devices. If you are one such user and are wondering what to do next, we suggest following this guide till the end. In this article, we will discuss the underlying causes behind it and five methods that might help you to bring back the WiFi icon.
What causes the WiFi icon to disappear on Windows 10?
In most cases, this could be because of some minor change in setting and you may get it back by checking over the taskbar settings. If there isn’t any issue with taskbar settings, this must be occurring due to some corrupt device drivers, or internal glitches.
Access the network when Wifi icon is missing
When Wifi icon is not appearing on the taskbar, you may go to Control Panel > Network settings, and manually connect to the available network. In case you don’t want to try out this long method, you better fix the missing WiFi issue by following the tricks discussed in this post.
The working solutions are – Unhide the WiFi icon, Enable Network on the taskbar settings, or restart Windows Explorer. If the WiFi icon doesn’t show up even after this, make slight changes to the group policy or stop & start a few network-related services on your computer.
Missing WiFi Icon on Windows 10 Taskbar Solutions
If you are not able to view the WiFi icon on the taskbar’s notification panel, follow these five simple troubleshooting methods –
1] Unhide the WiFi icon
The taskbar follows a simple algorithm to show only those icons that are necessary. It is possible that the WiFi icon is still there just not appearing on the taskbar. To confirm this, all you need is to hit the upward-facing arrow key on the taskbar. If you do find the WiFi icon hiding here, just drag and drop it to the taskbar.
In case you don’t find the Network icon residing here, follow the advanced troubleshooting solutions below –
2] Re-enable the Network on the Taskbar
By default, Windows provides you an option to choose icons that ultimately appear on the taskbar. There is a possibility that you have intently hidden this icon sometime back on your device. To confirm the current status of WiFi, open the taskbar settings, and see if this has been restricted to appear on the taskbar. Here’s how to proceed –
- Right-click anywhere on the taskbar and choose Taskbar Settings.
- Head over to the right side and locate the”Turn system icons on or off” link.
- When you find this link, click over it and check if the network icon stays disabled or enabled.
- If the network toggle switch is turned off, slide the same to turn it On. Doing so will activate the missing WiFi icon on the taskbar. Otherwise, keep the settings as they are and try out the next solution.
3] Restart Windows File Explorer
If you still don’t get back the WiFi icon on the taskbar, try restarting Windows Explorer. Many a time, this problem occurs due to some corruption inside the File explorer itself. Here’s how to perform this task –
- Use Ctrl + Shift +Esc to launch the Task Manager window. By default, this will opens on the Processes tab.
- Here, right-click on the Windows Explorer option and hit the End Task button.
- In general, you will see only one instance of Windows Explorer running on your device. In case, you do see multiple instances, right-click on each one of them and choose the “End task” option on all of them.
- When you perform this task, your taskbar will automatically fade from the bottom.
- Now, go to the File menu on the taskbar and select Run new task.
- Type explorer.exe at the void and hit OK to restart the Windows Explorer.
You may now look for the missing WiFi icon on the taskbar. If this still doesn’t show up, try the next workaround.
4] Modify Group Policy to show Missing WiFi on the Taskbar
A disabled network policy on the group editor may also trigger WiFi to not show up on the taskbar. In such cases, all you require is to re-enable this policy in order to get back your missing network icon. To do so, follow this simple procedure –
- Right-click on the Windows icon and select Run.
- Type “
gpedit.msc” at the void and press Enter.
- On the group policy editor window, browse to –
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar
- Jump to the right pane and double-click the Remove Network Connections from Start Menu.
- Subsequently, mark the enabled radio button and press Apply then OK.
- Restart Windows and when you sign back in, check whether the WiFi icon appears on the taskbar or not.
5] Update the wireless network adapters
If you haven’t updated your wireless network adapters, they must have become obsolete causing this issue on your device. To resolve this issue, you must update the existing drivers to their latest versions. Here’s how to upgrade the outdated drivers on your computer –
- Hit the Start Menu and type “
devmgmt” in the search field.
- Double-click the top result to launch the Device Manager.
- Click the “>” icon left of network adapters to expand this section.
- Right-click on the wireless drivers and hit Update driver from the context menu. See the Snapshot below –
- On the succeeding window, choose to search automatically for drivers.
- The system will look for an upgrade to the existing wireless network online. Make sure to connect to an active internet having good net connectivity speed. This will automatically download and install the patch in case it finds any.
Restart your computer to incorporate the above changes. The WiFi icon should appear on the taskbar if they got disabled due to a buggy network driver.
|Note: If the online search doesn’t reveal any wireless adapter, this implies you are on the latest wireless network version.|
How do I Stop and Restart the Network services
If the above method doesn’t help to upgrade your network adapters, make sure to stop and restart the following network services on the Services window. Here are the essential services that require a fix –
- Press Win + S to launch the Search UI.
- Type “services” in the text field and press Enter to open the Services window.
- Scroll down and locate the following services –
Plug and Play
Remote Procedure Call
Remote Access Connection Manager
- Right-click on each one of these services separately and hit the Stop button.
- Restart your computer to implement these changes. From the next logon, re-open the Services window and restart the recently stopped services.
Now, check if doing this resolves the Missing WiFi icon from Taskbar in Windows 10.
I hope, the above solutions indeed help to solve this problem and bring back the WiFi icon on the taskbar. If you are still having issues with the Wireless Network, drop a message in the comment section.