If laptops are a need, Wi-Fi is a necessity. This is because your laptop will lose its most important feature, the internet, without an active Wi-Fi connection. However, what happens when you try to connect to the internet but Windows doesn’t show any network options? Is there a way to fix Windows 11 Wi-Fi networks not showing up? Let’s find out.
Before we start troubleshooting the issue, ensure the Wi-Fi option is enabled. Additionally, ensure your laptop is within the range of the router you’re trying to connect to. If the issue persists, use these 9 ways to fix the abovementioned issue on Windows 11.
1. Restart Windows and Router
When troubleshooting any Windows issue, it is always recommended to restart your device first. In this case, you can restart your Windows device and Wi-Fi router. This way, if the issue of Wi-Fi networks not appearing is due to a temporary glitch, this should fix it. Here’s how to do it on a Windows device.
Step 1: Go to the taskbar and click on Start.
Step 2: Here, click on the Power button.
Step 3: Click on Restart.
Simultaneously, either long-press the power button on your router or disconnect and reconnect the power cable. Once your Wi-Fi router and Windows 11 device restart, open the Wi-Fi options and see if the issue has been resolved. If not, start with the below-mentioned fix.
2. Forget and Reconnect Network
If you have been facing issues with Windows 11 not detecting a specific Wi-Fi network that was previously connected, try forgetting and reconnecting to it. This can also remove any networks that might have been known by a different name formerly. Follow the below steps to do it.
Step 1: Open Settings using the Windows + I key.
Step 2: Then, click on ‘Network & internet’.
Step 3: Here, click on Wi-Fi.
Step 4: Scroll down and click on ‘Manage known networks’.
Step 5: Go through this list and click on Forget in front of the relevant networks.
Step 6: Then, go back to the Wi-Fi page and click on ‘Show available networks’.
Step 7: Once the list expands, go to the relevant network and click on it. Then, click on Connect.
Step 8: Enter the Wi-Fi password and click on Next.
Your Windows 11 device should now connect to the selected Wi-Fi network.
3. Check if the Wi-Fi Adapter Is Enabled
To detect Wi-Fi networks, your Windows 11 device’s Wi-Fi adapter must be enabled. To check this, open the Control Panel and use the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ option. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Go to Search and type Control Panel. Then, open the Control Panel from the search results.
Step 2: Here, click on ‘Network and Internet’.
Step 3: Then, click on ‘Network and Sharing Center’.
Step 4: From the side options, click on ‘Change adapter settings’.
Step 5: Right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter and, if available, click on Enable.
Note: If you see the Disable option when right-clicking on the Wi-Fi adapter, it is already enabled. In that case, continue to the following method.
4. Run Network Troubleshooter
Capable of self-scanning and diagnosing issues, you can use the Windows troubleshooter to fix any network-related errors on your device. Once run, the troubleshooter will scan your device for any possible change or error and suggest ways to fix or resolve it. Follow the below steps to do it.
Step 1: Open Settings using the Windows + I key.
Step 2: From the menu sidebar, click on System.
Step 3: Here, click on Troubleshoot.
Step 4: Then, click on Other troubleshooters.
Step 5: Go to ‘Network and Internet’ and click on Run.
Once the network troubleshooter finishes diagnosing the issue, a list of possible solutions will be available on your screen. Apply those fixes and check again.
5. Check for Driver Updates
Network drivers help ensure your device stays compatible with all external network devices. And even though driver updates are usually installed automatically, you can check and install these updates manually. Do this if your Windows 11 laptop is still not showing available networks. Here’s how.
Step 1: Right-click on Start and click on Device Manager.
Step 2: Here, click on Network adapters.
Step 3: Once the options expand, right-click on your Wi-Fi driver.
Step 4: Click on Update driver.
Step 5: Then, click on ‘Search automatically for drivers’.
Windows will now search for updates related to the selected network driver online. If an update is available, install it and restart Windows. Then, check and see if Wi-Fi networks are visible on your device.
6. Perform a Network Reset
As the name suggests, performing a network reset on your Windows device will delete all network-related components like network adapters, drivers, third-party VPN inclusions, etc. Then, a default copy of your network drivers and adapters will be reinstalled. This will also delete any third-party app or service causing interference in your Windows 11 device.
Follow the below steps to do it.
Step 1: Use the Windows + I key to open Settings.
Step 2: From the menu options, click on ‘Network & internet’.
Step 3: Scroll down and click on ‘Advanced network settings’.
Step 4: Go to More settings and click on Network reset.
Step 5: Then, click on Reset now.
If prompted, click on Yes to start the reset process. Once done, open Wi-Fi settings and check if wireless network options are visible. If not, continue to the next fix.
7. Set Services to Automatic
Services help ensure your device’s processes work well, even in the background. While it is usually set to run automatically at device boot, you can manually set Services to automatic as well. Do this if you’ve been facing issues with Wi-Fi networks not appearing on Windows 11. Here’s how.
Step 1: Go to Search and type Service. Then, open the app from the search results.
Step 2: Here, scroll down and double-click on WLAN AutoConfig.
Step 3: Once the Properties window opens, click on the Startup type drop-down menu.
Step 4: Here, select Automatic.
Step 5: Then, click on Apply and OK.
This will set the WLAN services startup type to Automatic and close the window.
8. Reset TCP/IP and Flush DNS Cache
TCP/IP, also known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, helps your device communicate with other devices over the internet. However, a wayward setting or bug can prevent it from working properly, which might cause issues like Wi-Fi networks not showing up on Windows 11. In this case, you can reset TCP/IP on your Windows 11 device to its default settings. Here’s how.
Step 1: Go to the taskbar and right-click on Start.
Step 2: From the options, click on Terminal (Admin). If prompted, click on Yes.
Step 3: Here, click on the downward arrow and select Command Prompt.
Step 4: Now, type the below command and press enter to execute.
netsh winsock reset
Step 5: Then, type the following command and press enter.
netsh int ip reset
Once the command is executed, close the Command Prompt window and restart Windows 11. This will also help you flush the DNS cache on Windows 11.
9. Check for Windows Update
Windows updates can help fix issues like Windows 11 not detecting Wi-Fi networks, as they contain bug fixes and crucial driver updates. So, if you have been putting off installing the latest updates for your Windows device, it might be time to bite the bullet and install it. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Go to Search, type Windows Update, and open the Windows Update app from the search results.
Step 2: Here, click on ‘Check for updates’.
Once the update finishes downloading, use the on-screen options to restart your device and finish the update installation process.
FAQs About Windows Laptop Not Showing Networks
Enabling Airplane mode on any device will turn off all network connections, including Wi-Fi. So, if you wish to connect to a particular network, use Windows 11 Quick Settings to disable Airplane Mode. Then, check and connect to the desired Wi-Fi network.
Resetting your PC for issues like Wi-Fi networks not showing up on Windows 11 might be an overkill. However, if the issue persists, you can give it a go. For more information, check our explainer on resetting Windows 11.
Find Your Wi-Fi Network
We hope this article helped you fix Windows 11 Wi-Fi networks not showing up on your PC. Additionally, you can check our other article if you’re getting the ‘Windows could not start the WLAN AutoConfig Service’ error.
Last updated on 06 September, 2023
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.