How to remove ‘The Hosted Network Couldn’t Be Started’ error?

September 25, 2020 |

greater than 7 minutes

If you’re here, you must be asking yourself, “Why am I getting the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error message?” If it’s your first time seeing this error, we bet you’re eager to know what a hosted network is. Well, Windows 10 allows you to create a virtual network, also known as a hosted wireless network or a virtual access point, on your PC for other wireless devices to connect to. The feature was introduced in Windows 7 and allows you to easily create a Wi-Fi hotspot using the Command Prompt.

However, the process is not as smooth for everyone. Sometimes when trying to start a hosted network in the Command Prompt using the command netsh wlan start hostednetwork, you may stumble upon the following error message:

‘The hosted network couldn’t be started. The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.’

What Causes the ‘The Hosted Network Couldn’t Be Started’ Error?

The most obvious reasons that could trigger the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error message when using the Command Prompt to turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot include the following issues:

  • An outdated Wi-Fi driver
  • A faulty device or corrupted/missing Wi-Fi driver
  • An incompatible Wi-Fi driver

How to Fix the ‘The Hosted Network Couldn’t Be Started’ Error in Windows 10

Before you start making changes to your system, here are a few suggestions worth trying out:

  • Reboot your computer first and check if the issue is resolved. Often, minor system glitches can cause your PC to act up, and simply restarting the computer fixes those glitches.
  • Try starting the hosted network with administrator privileges. Here’s a quick guide:
    • Press the Win + S shortcut and type cmd into the Windows Search box.
    • Choose “Run as administrator” in the right pane to launch “Command Prompt” with elevated rights.
    • Execute the command netsh wlan start hostednetwork.
  • Check if your Wi-Fi is enabled. If you’re using a Windows laptop, make sure that the Wi-Fi button is pressed and that your wireless connection is working. If, for instance, airplane mode is enabled without your knowledge, you won’t be able to establish an internet connection.

If you still encounter the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error, try the solutions below.

Solution 1: Check If Your Operating System Supports Hosted Networks

Not all Windows versions can run wireless hosted networks. Windows 7 Starter Edition, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and other older Windows versions don’t support hosted networks.

Only computers running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 10 support wireless hosted networks. If your computer was originally running any of the earlier versions of Windows, then your Wi-Fi device is probably not compatible with a virtual access point or hosted network. Users who built their PCs from scratch could also be facing incompatibility issues.

To check if your Windows computer supports a hosted network, follow the procedure below:

  1. Open the Quick Link menu using the Win + X keyboard shortcut and select “Command Prompt (Admin)”. If the option isn’t available, press the Windows logo on your keyboard, type in cmd and select “Run as administrator” in the right pane.
  2. In the “Command Prompt” window, execute the command netsh wlan show drivers.
  3. Navigate to the part that says “Hosted network supported” and check if the setting says “Yes”. If it says “No”, then your computer hardware doesn’t allow the creation of wireless hosted networks.

Important note: If the option says “No”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your computer hardware cannot support the creation of hosted networks. Other factors, such as a faulty Wi-Fi card device, can also contribute to the “No” message when you execute the command above.

If your computer allows you to create hosted networks yet it’s showing the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error message, then the issue lies elsewhere. Keep trying the fixes below until you find the fix that works for you.

Solution 2: Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi Hardware

You can use the Windows troubleshooting feature to try and fix wireless network adapter issues. To proceed, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press the Win + I keyboard shortcut and select Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  2. Click “Network Adapter” to highlight it and select “Run the troubleshooter”. Windows will commence the troubleshooting process and ask you to choose the network adapter to diagnose.
  3. Select “Wi-Fi” and click “Next”.
  4. If the troubleshooter finds any issues, follow the instructions provided to fix them.

If this doesn’t resolve the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error, move to the next fix below.

Solution 3: Check If the Microsoft Hosted Network Virtual Adapter Is Working Properly

If the Microsoft Hosted Network Virtual Adapter is disabled, then you might run into the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error message. To enable it, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press the Win + X shortcut and select “Device Manager”.
  2. Open the “View” tab and click on the “Show hidden devices” option.
  3. Expand “Network adapters”.
  4. Locate “Microsoft Hosted Network Virtual Adapter”, right-click on it and select “Enable device”.
  5. Close all open applications and reboot Windows.

Open the Command Prompt and try starting your hosted network to check if you encounter the error message again. If you do, go for the next solution below.

Solution 4: Update Your Network Adapter Driver

If you upgraded to the latest version of Windows, chances are that the previous drivers are not compatible with the new operating system, hence the error message. If that’s the case, updating your Wi-Fi card drivers could resolve the issue.

Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Press the Win + R shortcut, type msc into the “Run” box and hit “Enter”.
  2. Find “Network adapters” from the list and click on it to expand it.
  3. Locate your wireless/Wi-Fi device, right-click it and select “Update driver”.
  4. Choose the first option that says “Search automatically for updated driver software” to let Windows search for a compatible driver for your Wi-Fi card device.

You’ll most likely see the message “Windows has determined that the best driver for this device is already installed”. In that case, click the “Search for updated drivers on Windows Update” link to install the latest drivers along with pending Windows updates. Once the process completes successfully, restart Windows and try starting the hosted network via the Command Prompt again. If the error hasn’t been fixed, try a third-party driver updating tool.

Your Windows device can only run smoothly if all the device drivers are working properly. This means that you need to update all your device drivers to avoid running into various PC errors. We recommend using Auslogics Driver Updater, a dedicated program that not only makes the process of updating your device drivers easy and fast but also updates all of the available device drivers simultaneously with just a single click.

Once installed, Auslogics Driver Updater initiates a scan to determine the types of drivers installed on your PC. It then creates a backup of the current drivers before updating them with the latest versions directly from the manufacturers’ websites. The backup is important in case you run into problems with the new drivers. What’s more, with Driver Updater, the process is automatic and highly effective.

Solution 5: Reconfigure the Power Management Settings

The “Power Management” feature allows your computer to turn off devices in your system to save power. In some cases, this can cause issues, such as the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error. Try disabling the feature to check if it resolves the problem. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Using the Win + X shortcut, open “Device Manager”.
  2. Find “Network adapters” and expand it.
  3. Locate your wireless/Wi-Fi adapter and double-click it to open its “Properties” window.
  4. In the “Properties” window, open the “Power Management” tab and uncheck “Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power”.
  5. Click “OK”.
  6. Restart your PC and try creating a virtual network.

Did this fix remove the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error? If not, try the next solution.

Solution 6: Modify Your Wireless Adapter’s Properties

According to some users, changing the wireless adapter’s properties fixed the error. To try that, follow the instructions below:

  1. Launch “Device Manager” using the Win + X keyboard shortcut.
  2. Expand “Network adapters” and double-click your Wi-Fi adapter to open its “Properties” window.
  3. Switch to the “Advanced” tab and choose “HT mode” under the “Property” list.
  4. Click the dropdown list under “Value:” and choose “Enabled”,
  5. Click “OK”.

Execute the command netsh wlan show drivers in the Command Prompt and check if “Hosted network supported” says “Yes”. If it does, the error is fixed.

Solution 7: Reinstall the Wi-Fi Driver

If you’re still getting the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error message, you could try uninstalling and reinstalling your Wi-Fi driver to repair broken or corrupted temporary files in the driver’s folder.

To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Win and R keys simultaneously, type msc into the “Run” box and click “OK”.
  2. Once the “Device Manager” window opens, expand “Network adapters”.
  3. Right-click your Wi-Fi driver and select “Uninstall device”. This operation will remove the Wi-Fi device from your PC.
  4. Restart Windows.

Windows will detect the missing device and automatically install it. Your Wi-Fi driver should now be fixed, and you should be able to create a hosted network without further errors. If Windows fails to detect the missing device after the reboot, open the Device Manager and click the “Action” tab. Select “Scan for hardware changes” to trigger Windows to perform the scan and, hopefully, install the missing device.

Keep Your PC Free of Malware

Malware infection can corrupt files in the folder associated with your Wi-Fi device. Malware attacks are nasty and tend to leave PCs damaged and vulnerable to future attacks. That’s why we recommend using an aggressive malware removal tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware. The program checks every section of your operating system, especially the most targeted areas like your registry, system memory, and auto-start items, to ensure that no suspicious items exist.

Auslogics Anti-Malware is designed to work alongside your main antivirus program to provide maximum security against malware infections. Considering the stealth nature of some types of malware, we recommend running regular scans to remove any suspicious items that might have infiltrated your system without your knowledge or permission.

If malware was responsible for the ‘The hosted network couldn’t be started’ error, then removing it should fix the problem and allow you to create a virtual network.

Do you have additional information regarding how to remove the “The network couldn’t be started’ error in Windows 10? We welcome your views and contributions via the comments section.

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