By Delia / Last update March 16, 2022

Usually, Windows computers have a network icon on the taskbar that shows the network connection. However, some users found that the WiFi icon on the taskbar disappeared after upgrading to Windows 11. This could be because you do not have the required drivers installed on your system or the WiFi adapter is disabled. If you are experiencing similar problems, this article will help you to get back the WiFi icon on the taskbar.

windows 11

How to fix Windows 11 PC WiFi icon disappearing

If you can't find the WiFi icon on your Windows 11 PC, try restarting it once first. The disappearance of the WiFi icon may be caused by a random error and does not require you to do anything more. If the problem persists after restarting, then please continue to try the following methods.

1. Turn on the physical switch for WiFi

Many laptops have a built-in switch to enable/disable WiFi, which may usually be on the side of or around the keyboard.

Make sure this switch (if it exists) is turned on and check again to see if the Wi-Fi icon and settings reappear.

2. Make sure the Airplane mode is disabled

Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.

Select "Network & internet" from the tabs listed on the left.

Find the “Airplane mode” toggle and make sure it is disabled. Or you can turn on Airplane Mode first and then disable it.

airplane mode

If your WiFi icon disappears because Airplane Mode is enabled, the above steps should solve the problem.

3. Modify Group Policy

Press Windows + R to start the Run command.

Type "gpedit.msc" in the text field and press Enter to launch Group Policy Editor.

Navigate to “User Configuration”, then from the left navigation pane, select “Administrative Templates” > “Start Menu and Taskbar”.

Locate and double-click the “Remove the networking icon”.

group policy remove the networking icon

Check the “Disabled” check box, and then click OK to save the changes.

remove the networking icon disabled

4. Check the WiFi adapter

One of the most likely causes of this problem is that the WiFi adapter is disabled on the system. Therefore, go ahead and check if the adapter is enabled.

First, press Windows + R to open the Run window.

Type “ncpa.cpl” in the text box and press Enter to open Network Connections window, which will show all network adapters.

Find your WiFi adapter and make sure it is not disabled. If it is disabled, the adapter will be grayed out.

If so, right-click the adapter to “Enable” it. Wait for a while and then check if you can see the WiFi icon on the taskbar again.

enable wifi adapter

5. Restart or Reinstall the WiFi driver

One of the reasons you may be missing the WiFi icon is because you do not have the required drivers installed on your computer. In addition, if the installed WiFi drivers are not working properly, you will not see the WiFi icon on the taskbar. To resolve this issue, you can try rebooting or reinstalling the WiFi driver.

Search for and open "Device Manager" in the start menu.

From the list of drivers find "Network adapters", right click on your wireless driver and select "Disable device", disable it and then "Enable device".

If this does not solve the problem, select "Uninstall device" in the right-click menu, then reboot the PC and let Windows install the driver automatically. This may solve your problem, otherwise, you can visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest version for your device after uninstalling the driver.

reinstall wifi driver

6. Run Network Adapter Troubleshooting

Windows Troubleshooting is a built-in tool in Windows 11 that allows users to fix most problems they may encounter when using their PC. You can run Network Adapter Troubleshooting to fix missing Wi-Fi icons in Windows 11. Follow these steps to run Network adapter troubleshooter.

First, open the Settings app on your PC by pressing the Windows + I key combination.

Go to the "Troubleshoot" option on the right.

Now, click on "Other troubleshooters".

Here, find “Network Adapter” and click on the “Run” button next to it to execute the troubleshooter and see if it solves the problem of the disappearing WiFi icon.

run network adapter troubleshooter

Hope the above method can help you get back the WiFi icon in Windows 11 taskbar. If it still doesn't work, you may need to use some more powerful solutions, such as system restore, reinstall Windows 11, or check for hardware failure.