My wi-fi doesn’t work after upgrading Windows 8 to Windows 8.1

Discriminating users usually pause before pressing the update button.  Experience tells us that every update introduces changes that may potentially break something on the computer; therefore, smart users have developed a disposition that stalls before pressing update.

But, seriously, what could go wrong with a Windows 8.1 upgrade?

Everyone is talking about it and even your disinterested friends who couldn’t care less about tech stuff are claiming that Windows 8.1 was a game changer for them.

So you Googled around and read all about the Windows 8.1 features but for some reason after upgrading to Windows 8.1, your stupid wireless adapter is disjointed and won’t connect to the internet.

Bingo on your last guess.

This is a known issue and fortunately it’s pretty straightforward to fix but there’s a caveat:

You’ll probably find a wide array of Windows drivers for your Wi-Fi adapter dispersed across the internet; however, if you install any of these it may not actually address the problem.  That’s because we need to set our network adapter back to the pre-Windows 8.1 driver not the latest Wi-Fi driver.

Counter intuitive?

Yup, the more I use Windows the more I realize just how paradoxical it can seem.

Let’s open the Device Manager to get started.

Press Windows Key + x + m then double click your Wireless Adapter under Network Adapters and click the Update Driver… button under the Driver tab.

Windows 8.1 Update Driver Device Manager

Alternatively, you may  have the option of simply right-clicking the Wireless Adapter directly from the Device Manager and choosing Update Driver Software…

Windows 8.1 Update Driver Software

Click Browse my computer for driver software

Browse my computer for driver software

Pick that big ol’  button: Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

Make sure you uncheck Show compatible hardware so you can see the full driver list (not just the one’s compatible with Windows 8.1).  We need the old ones so unchecking is the smart thing here.

Update drivers software select network adapter

Select the appropriate driver from the list and you should be good to go!

That’s all there is to it.  If you’re Wi-Fi returns but has only has limited connectivity check out a little post I wrote up to address that.

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: ,
  • Thomas Brown

    How do you just simply add a Wi-Fi ?

    • Hey Thomas, I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Are you looking to add a wireless adapter to your computer or connect to an existing Wi-Fi network such as through a public hotspot?

      • Thomas Brown

        Start your laptop, Vonnie. Connect to a Wi-Fi. Why would I be wanting to add a wireless adapter Vonnie ?

  • kcabmi

    Brilliant. Just upgraded my wife’s Asus laptop and it wouldn’t connect to our main wifi. Your instructions were bang-on for fixing the problem. Thanks

  • Iram Flores

    my wifi network drivers or bluetooth driver dont show up in device manager

  • Madison Almeda

    So, I followed the steps above but I wasn’t quite sure what manufacurer to choose so I picked one that I thought was correct, but I wasn’t 100% sure. Restarted my computer and now it’s saying there is no wireless connection whatsoever and it won’t even show my wireless adapter under my network connections list. How do I fix this??

  • DirtClub

    Thank you!

  • misterfuntimes

    Can anyone please help me find out what driver I need? I have a Lenovo computer.

    • randomtwist

      For me I changed to: 1×1 11b/g/n wireless LAN M.2 Adapter and my internet began working again. I found this driver by following the steps here and choosing REALTEK as the manufacturer during the last step. I left the Family Control alone.

  • teyenc

    So I did exactly everything that just happened here… and I don’t even have a list of available connections anymore…. what did I do wrong?? Is there a way to fix this now?

  • disqus_1ycT3DGggI

    Thanks vonnie! Your instructions restored my wireless connection after a MS 8.1 “upgrade”
    MS is a loose canon…..argh!

  • Linda Downunder

    Vonnie – you’re the one! Thanks so much for the help – first driver was incorrect but success on the second one! I was pulling out my hair!

  • chen

    This did not work for me. My computer did an windows 8 update and this problem happened. I have tried so many fixes and none have worked. Is there anything else I can do?

  • I REALLY NEED HELP WIN8. ACER ASPIRE V5-431 : CAN’T TURN ON WIFI & BLUETOOTH / AIRPLANE MODE: OFF/ SETTING->WIRELESS : BUTTON GREY OUT.

  • GiV ty

    Saying thanks. I followed your instructions and the wireless light turned from yellow to white. Fast and easy.

  • Monochrome in Technicolor

    I had issues after Microsoft forced the Windows 8.1 update on my Windows 8.0 HP Pavilion laptop.
    I would need to reset my wireless adapter each time I navigated to a new web page.
    The problem ended up being an Avast! Internet Security module.
    I disabled Secure DNS in ‘Active Protect’ and solved all connectivity issues.

  • Billy Wilson

    I tried what Vonnie had suggested, but there were too many drivers to choose from. I went in to device manager, right clicked on my wireless adaptor, chose update driver software, choose browse my computer , let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer, and I left the check mark in , show compatible software. That way I only had to choose from 2 drivers and I chose, Broadcom, which is my adaptor, and not the Microsoft driver. Finally after much headache and performing a system restore after the first time of upgrading to 8.1, my wireless works. Microsoft keeps screwing with and upgrading to new operating systems, it seems when they get one that works correctly they are not satisfied. There was nothing wrong with XP or windows 7 in my opinion. Hopefully windows 10 will be a good one

  • Tugsuu Gsg

    I don’t see any adapters in the first place what to do?

  • Grace Agustin

    First driver didn’t fix it. 2nd one did. Thanks!

  • Kieran

    Can some help me I have a aver aspire 6935g and i updated it to windows 10 pence it finished it said I was connect to the internet then when I go onto the Internet it says I’m. Not connected I try to update my drivers and it will not work it will just fail so i am now using a laptop with absolutely no internet and you can’t use windows 10 without internet it’s impossible

  • Briana Avant

    How do I know what driver is right? Someone please help. I’m so confused and I don’t understand technology at all

  • Debi Myers

    I recently downloaded windows 10 from windows 7 and now my wifi adapter isnt working what can i do to fix it…ive updated all drivers and software but still wont come on

  • dani

    I couldn’t connect to my wi-fi after upgrading to Windows 10 and this fixed my issue, thanks a lot!!

  • Terry Allen

    I had this problem when I upgraded from windows 8 to 8.1 and your solution worked, and I had to come back to do it again after upgrading windows 8.1 to windows 10, Thank you!

    In my situation, I had to select Broadcom multiband adapter for my Envy and that is what worked for me.

  • Rocco van der Veer

    Hi Vonnie, I have had this problem with a windows 8.1 tablet and a Windows 10 laptop. So first of all I can confirm this problem also occurs on Windows 10, after your fix problem solved! Thanks a million!