Desperate times call for desperate measures, and such is that moment when your internet connection does not work, and every troubleshooting idea you had seems to fail. When such a situation occurs, the last resort action you can take is to reset your network adapter(s). Although you have to set everything again afterward, making the network card go back to its default settings can help you solve network connectivity problems. The latest versions of Windows 10 offer an easy way to reset network adapters and, in this guide, we show you how this is done:
NOTE: The features shared in this article can be found in Windows 10 Anniversary Update or newer. If you do not know your Windows 10 version, read this tutorial: What version, edition and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?
IMPORTANT: Because resetting your network adapters means that their configuration goes back to their defaults, before you begin, go through all your important network settings and write them down, so you know how to set each one afterward. An effect of the network reset is deleting all known WiFi networks. Here is a guide to learn your WiFi password in Windows 10, when you forget it.
How to reset all networks adapters in Windows 10
Open Network & Internet settings in the Settings app.
The fastest way to do that is to right-click or long press on the network icon in your notification tray and choose "Open Network & Internet settings." The network icon looks different if you have an active wired connection (the top image below) or a wireless one (the bottom). The menu that opens up is the same. Choose Open Network & Internet settings.
On the left side of the Network & Internet settings window, make sure that you are in the Status category. Then, on the right, scroll until you reach the bottom of the settings list. There, you should see a link called "Network reset." Click or tap on it.
The Settings app opens a view called Network reset, where you are told that "This will remove then reinstall all your network adapters, and set other networking components back to their original settings. You might need to reinstall other networking software afterwards, such as VPN client software or virtual switches."
If you are okay with all that and you want to go ahead with resetting your network adapters, click or tap Reset now.
Windows 10 asks you to confirm that you want to reset your network adapters. If you do, click or tap Yes.
If you went ahead and chose to reset your network adapters, Windows 10 informs you that your computer or device is about shut down in 5 minutes. Close the notification and save anything you are working on before this timer expires.
Note that, if you do not want to wait those 5 minutes, you can also reboot your Windows 10 computer or device manually. The result is the same.
After your Windows 10 reboots, all your network adapters are reset and need to be reconfigured again. This also includes setting whether you want your Windows 10 device to be discoverable by other devices on your network.
Did you reset your network adapters?
Resetting your network adapters in Windows 10 is not complicated, and it only requires a couple of clicks (6 to 10, depending on how you go about it). However, even if it is easy to run a Windows 10 network reset, it might not be just as easy to reconfigure your network connections again so that everything works as it should (it does reset the WiFi). Before going ahead with this, make sure that there are no other troubleshooting options for solving your network connectivity problems. If you have questions, do not hesitate to leave us a comment in the section below.