Some Windows users have complained that their system tray or action center WiFi option is missing or absent. The taskbar typically has a network icon that displays the network connectivity. Usually, not having the necessary drivers installed on your system results in a missing WiFi icon issue. Additionally, if your computer’s WiFi adapter is disabled or broken, you won’t see the WiFi symbol on your taskbar. This post will share how you can fix the missing WiFi option in Windows.
Symptoms of the Missing WiFi Option
- No WiFi option in the Windows Settings or Control Panel: You may not find an option to turn on your WiFi through Windows Settings or Control Panel.
- No WiFi icon in the system tray: We usually use the system tray on the taskbar to turn on or off a WiFi connection, which is missing from the system tray.
- Unable to connect to a WiFi network: When you try to connect to the available WiFi, your PC cannot connect.
Possible Causes of the Missing WiFi Option
- Driver issues: Update the WiFi drivers so that the Windows WiFi adapter runs on the most recent version possible, as there may be an issue with the adapter’s driver.
- Hardware problems: If your computer’s WiFi adapter is malfunctioning or disabled, you cannot see the WiFi icon on the taskbar. Wireless network drivers that are missing, out-of-date, or damaged can also cause the problem. Usually, these drivers are incompatible with the hardware or the operating system.
- Incorrect settings or configurations: If the settings and configurations of the WiFi are not appropriately set in Windows Settings or Control Panel, then the WiFi option can go missing.
Fix: Missing WiFi Option in Windows
Given below are some of the methods that can fix the missing WiFi option in Windows 11/10
- Check for Function Key or Hardware Key (It Usually Turns off WiFi)
- Restart the PC
- Check the Hardware to Ensure the WiFi Adapter Is Properly Connected
- Update or Reinstall the WiFi Driver (OEM)
- Reset the Network Settings
- Check for Any Available Windows Updates
- Use the Built-in Troubleshooter
Make sure to use an administrator account to execute these suggestions.
1] Check for Function Key or Hardware Key (It Usually Turns off WiFi)
Some laptops have Function or Fn keys that can turn on and off WiFi (F1-F12). Some laptops have Fn and F12 keys used to turn on and off WiFi, showing an orange LED when it is off and a blue LED when it is on and checking whether the WiFi option has returned.
Also, quite a few modern computers, particularly laptops, come equipped with a built-in switch to turn WiFi on or off. It is usually found around the keyboard or on the side. Once the switch has been located, ensure it is on and check whether the WiFi symbol and settings have returned.
2] Restart the PC
This method is simple: Restart your PC and check whether the WiFi option comes back. Press the power button of your PC for a total of 60 seconds count, release it, wait for about 5 seconds, and turn on your PC. Login to your account, and check whether the WiFi icon appears.
3] Check the Hardware to Ensure the WiFi Adapter Is Properly Connected
In this method, you must check the hardware to ensure the WiFi adapter is inserted into the PC slot or the USB port. So, check if it is inserted correctly and whether it can be detected in Windows Device Manager.
If the WiFi option is missing on your PC, it might be because of a corrupt WiFi driver.
Since your WiFi is not working, you can download the drive from another PC, copy it to a Flash Drive, and install it on your PC. You should download it from OEM’s website. You can also download OEMS software (e.g., Asus offers Asus’s Armory Crate) to access and download all the necessary drivers.
If you do not have an Ethernet cable, you can use your phone connected via USB and turn on USB tethering.
5] Reset the Network Settings
There is a built-in option to reset the network in Windows. Network adapters will be uninstalled and reinstalled throughout this operation. In addition, to resolve issues brought on by improper network configuration, other networking components will be reset to their default settings. This is how you reset the network settings on your Windows PC:
- Press Windows key + I to open Windows Settings and click on Network & Internet from the left pane.
- Scroll down and click on Advanced network settings.
- Under More Settings, click on the Network reset option.
- Click on the Reset now button next to Network reset. Click on the Yes button to confirm the action.
It would be best to have your WiFi connection back after the reset. However, following the reset, you might need to reinstall and configure other networking hardware and software.
6] Check for Any Available Windows Updates
Run the Windows Update program to see if there are any pending updates from Microsoft and other manufacturers if you have not already. These updates may include important system device driver releases and bug fixes. So, this is how you check for updates on your Windows PC:
- Press the Windows key + I to open Settings and click on the Windows Update option from the left pane.
- Click the Check for updates and Install now buttons if updates are available.
- You can check if any updates are available for your WiFi by clicking on Advanced options.
- Under Additional options, click Optional updates and check whether any updates are available for your WiFi driver. If so, update.
7] Use the Built-in Troubleshooter
Windows OS has built-in troubleshooters to handle problems with network devices and computer peripherals. Run the Internet Connection troubleshooter to automatically diagnose and fix common issues with the system, like the missing WiFi option.
- Press the Windows key + I to open Windows Settings > System. When the page opens, scroll down and click on the Troubleshoot option.
- From the Troubleshoot page, click on the Other troubleshooters option.
- From the list of troubleshooters, scroll down, and click the Run button next to the Network Adapter troubleshooter.
- The Network Adapter troubleshooter will run a scan and after the scan is over, click on the WiFi option and the Next button.
The troubleshooter will run a scan. Please wait for it to finish the scan and follow the on-screen instruction to fix any persisting issues.
There are various reasons why WiFi in Windows can cease functioning. However, the built-in network troubleshooter can frequently be used to resolve problems. It would be best to reinstall or upgrade the network drivers to solve the issue.
If the computer still doesn’t recognize your wireless network, look for hardware problems with your WiFi card. You have two options: swap out the problematic WiFi card or choose a WiFi dongle as a simple connector. I hope this article helps you resolve the issue!