What if Windows 10 is showing Ethernet icon instead of Wi-Fi in taskbar?

By ivan.diskin | January 13, 2019 |

greater than 2 minutes

Why does Windows 10 show the Ethernet icon instead of the Wi-Fi icon? If you’re experiencing this issue, don’t sweat it. Today’s article offers different solutions to help you fix it.

By default, every time you connect to a wireless network, the Wi-Fi icon appears on the taskbar. However, sometimes you may notice that the Ethernet icon shows up instead of the Wi-Fi icon.

Other times, Windows 10 will display the wireless icon instead of the Ethernet icon even when your PC is connected via the Ethernet cable. If this happens, try one of the solutions provided below.

Solution 1: Restart Windows (File) Explorer

Restarting Windows Explorer allows you to fix taskbar issues without having to restart your PC. It is a simple process that will take you less than a minute. Follow these steps to restart Windows Explorer.

  1. Open Windows Task Manager by right-clicking the Start Menu and clicking Task Manager. Similarly, right-click on an empty space on the taskbar and click on Task Manager. You can also use the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Depending on how the Task Manager window opens, you might have to click on ‘More Details’ located at the lower left corner.
  3. Under the Processes tab at the top, scroll to the Windows Explorer and right-click it.
  4. Click Restart to restart the File Explorer

If you don’t find the Windows Explorer option in the Task Manager, open any folder on your PC.

  1. Close the Task Manager window and check if Windows 10 is now displaying the correct icon.

Solution 2: Modify the network icon

Right-click the Start Menu and click Settings. Go to Personalization > Taskbar.

  1. Scroll down to the Notification area and click ‘Select which icons appear on the taskbar.’
  2. Navigate to the Network icon and turn it off. Wait a few seconds and turn the icon back on.
  3. Now check if the icon appears on the taskbar.

Solution 3: Turn Wi-Fi on and off

  1. From the Start Menu, follow the path: Settings > Network & Internet.
  2. Navigate to the Wi-Fi link and click to turn it off. Wait a few seconds before clicking on the Wi-Fi button to turn it back on.

If this doesn’t work, go on to solution 4.

Solution 4: Restart your PC

If none of the above solutions solve the problem, try restarting your PC. Remember to save your work and close all running applications before rebooting your computer.

The Wi-Fi icon should now appear at the system tray on the taskbar.

Solution 5: Update your Wi-Fi Driver

If all the solutions fail, reinstalling Wi-Fi driver is sure to restore your device back to normalcy. An outdated network adapter driver can cause problems with your Wi-Fi and Ethernet icons. To prevent hardware and device conflicts on your PC, drivers need to be updated regularly.

To ensure compatibility, you must know the model of the Wi-Fi adapter on your PC. However, the process of identifying the driver model might be complicated for most people.

Luckily, with Driver Updater, you get a simple yet effective solution to all your driver issues.

Not only does it detect missing or outdated drivers, but it also updates them to the latest recommended versions.

We understand how frustrating being unable to connect to the internet can be. We hope this information will help fix the issue of Windows 10 showing the Ethernet icon instead of the Wi-Fi icon.

Good luck and let us know which solution worked for you.

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