How To Fix Windows 10 Wi-Fi Icon Missing Issue

There are usually two ways that you can connect your Windows 10 computer to the internet. You can do this using an ethernet cord or by using a wireless connection via Wi-Fi. Connecting using Wi-Fi is the most popular way to access the internet today as it frees your computer from wires. There are however instances when certain issues can occur when using a wireless connection. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Wi-Fi icon  missing in Windows 10 issue.

Fix Wi-Fi Icon Is Missing In Windows 10

Before performing the recommended troubleshooting steps for this particular problem I suggest that you try restarting your computer first. This will refresh the operating system as well as remove corrupt temporary data and is quite effective in fixing most software related issues.

There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging from a corrupted driver to a setting issue. Listed below are the troubleshooting steps you need to do to fix this problem.

Reinstall the wireless adapter drivers

The first thing you will need to do in this case is to reinstall the wireless drivers of your computer. Make sure that you have the exact driver of your driver saved in your computer as you will need this.

Uninstall the wireless driver adapter

  • Open Start.
  • Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  • Expand the Network adapters branch.
  • Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Uninstall device button.
  • Click the Uninstall button.
  • Restart the computer.

Install the wireless driver adapter

  • Open Start.
  • Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  • Expand the Network adapters branch.
  • Right-click the adapter with the problem and select the Update driver option.
  • Click the Browse my computer for driver software option.
  • Click the Browse button.
  • Select the folder where you saved the driver files
  • Click the OK button.
  • Check the Include subfolders option.
  • Click the Next button.
  • Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

Check if the Wi-Fi icon now appears.

Turn off Wi-Fi Sense

One factor that can cause the Wi-Fi icon to disappear is if Wi-Fi Sense is enabled which is why you should try to turn this setting off.

  • Open the Settings app and go to Network & Internet.
  • Go to Wi-Fi tab and click Manage Wi-Fi Settings.
  • Locate Wi-Fi Sense and turn it off.
  • Restart your computer.

Check if the issue still occurs.

Change the system icons setting

There’s a possibility that this problem is caused by a system icon setting that is disabled.

  • Open the Settings app and go to System.
  • Navigate to Notifications & actions tab and click on Turn system icons on or off.
  • Locate Network icon and be sure that it’s turned on. If it’s not, turn it back on.
  • Go back and click on Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
  • Look for Network icon and be sure that it’s set to On.

Check if the Windows 10 Wi-Fi icon missing issue still occurs.

Turn off airplane mode

If the airplane mode of your computer is enabled then it won’t be able to connect to any Wi-Fi network.

  • Open the Action Center.
  • Locate Airplane mode icon and click it to turn off Airplane mode.

You can also do this from the settings app.

  • Open the Settings app and go to Network & Internet section.
  • Select Airplane mode tab and locate Airplane mode section. Be sure to set Turn this on to stop all wireless communication option to Off to disable Airplane mode.

Check if the problem still occurs.

Run the Internet Troubleshooter tool

Windows 10 has a built-in tool that can help fix connectivity related problems and this is the Internet Troubleshooter tool. Try running this tool and see if it can fix the problem. To access this tool go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshooter > select and run the Internet Troubleshooter. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the scan and then restart your computer.

Disable your antivirus

Sometimes the problem can be caused by the antivirus software installed in your computer. To check if this is what’s causing the problem you should turn off your security software.

If you are using Windows Security

  • Select Start  – Settings  > Update & Security  – Windows Security – Virus & threat protection > Manage settings
  • Switch Real-time protection to Off.

If you are using Avast

  • Search for the Avast icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Avast shields control.
  • Locate the options to disable the program – the options are to disable it for 10 minutes, an hour, until the computer is restarted or permanently (until you yourself turn it back on). Select whatever option suits you best and use it to disable the program.

If you are using AVG

  • Search for the AVG icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Temporarily disable AVG protection.
  • Choose how long you want AVG to be turned off and whether you want AVG to disable its Firewall too.
  • Click on OK to disable the antivirus program.

If you are using McAfee

  • Search for the McAfee Antivirus icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Exit.
  • You should see a dialog box warning you that McAfee‘s protection will be turned off. Click on Yes in this dialog box to disable the antivirus program

Try to check if the problem still occurs.

Perform a clean boot

Try running Windows 10 with only the necessary services. This will allow you to check if a corrupted driver or a third party application is causing the problem.

  • Hold the Windows Key and press R.
  • Type msconfig and click OK in the Run dialog box.
  • Choose the Services Tab, then put a check on Hide All Microsoft Services and select Disable All.
  • Click Apply, and Click OK. This prompts you to restart; choose Restart Later.
  • Hold the Windows Key and Press R.
  • Type msconfig and click OK.
  • Choose Start Up and select Open Task Manager.
  • At the last field called Start-Up Impact disable all the ones with High Impact.
  • Reboot your system and it will start up in the clean boot mode.

If the issue does not occur in clean boot then the problem could be caused by a software installed in your computer. Start by enabling one service at a time in the same manner and stop when the high CPU usage comes back. You should reinstall the service or application that is causing the problem.

To undo the clean boot

  • Open Start.
  • Search for msconfig and click the top result to open the System Configuration experience.
  • On the General tab, select the Normal startup option.
  • Click the Services tab.
  • Check the Hide all Microsoft services option.
  • Click the Enable all button.
  • Click the Startup tab.
  • Click the Open Task Manager link.
  • On the Startup tab, select each item and click the Enable button.
  • Close Task Manager.
  • Restart your computer.

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