Windows 11 – How to Uninstall and Reinstall WiFi Drivers?

If you encounter network problems and suspect that the WiFi driver is the cause, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the driver to resolve the issue. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly uninstall and reinstall WiFi drivers in Windows 11.

Uninstalling the WiFi Driver:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “devmgmt.msc” and click OK to open Device Manager.
  3. In Device Manager, expand the “Network adapters” section.
  4. Right-click on the wireless driver and select Properties. The driver may be labeled as Intel or another manufacturer, depending on your computer.
  5. In the Properties window, make note of the WiFi adapter name and driver version (optional, but helpful for manual reinstallation).
  6. Click OK to close the Properties window.
  7. In Device Manager, click on View > Devices by connection. This will display all devices associated with the driver.
  8. Right-click on the driver package “oem20.inf” (or “netwtw08.inf”) for the WiFi device and choose “Remove Driver.”
  9. Select the option to “Uninstall this driver software from any devices it is installed on” and “Delete the driver software for this device.”
  10. Click Remove to uninstall the driver. The process may take a few seconds to complete.

This will successfully uninstall the WiFi driver without removing the WiFi adapter. Windows will temporarily switch to using generic Microsoft wireless drivers.

WiFi
WiFi – photo: Pixabay

Reinstalling the WiFi Driver:

There are two methods to reinstall the WiFi driver: using Windows Updates or manually downloading it from the manufacturer’s website.

Method 1: Reinstalling via Windows Updates

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the “Windows Update” tab in the left pane.
  3. Click on “Check for updates.” Windows will scan for missing system updates, including the wireless driver update for your WiFi adapter. Wait for the installation to complete.

Method 2: Manually Reinstalling from the Manufacturer’s Website

  1. Visit the manufacturer’s website (e.g., Intel’s Download Center) in your web browser.
  2. Search for your specific WiFi adapter model number.
  3. From the search results, select the appropriate driver package for Windows 10 and Windows 11.
  4. Click the Download button to download the WiFi driver package.
  5. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

After reinstalling the driver, you should have the latest version of the WiFi driver on your PC. To verify the driver version, open Device Manager, right-click on the WiFi adapter, select Properties, and go to the Drivers tab.

Windows is proficient at automatically managing system driver requests. However, there are times when it becomes necessary to uninstall and reinstall the WiFi driver for troubleshooting purposes. The process involves utilizing Device Manager to uninstall the driver and then reinstalling it through Windows Updates.

If the network problem persists, you can try using the built-in troubleshooter or perform a network reset to resolve the issue.

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