Ethernet won't connect: how to fix it

Ethernet won't connect: how to fix it

Although most people use the WiFi connection to access the Internet, Ethernet is still a common way to connect devices in a network. In this article, we'll explain what to do if your Ethernet doesn't work.

Is it a router issue?

The first thing to do if your ethernet won't connect is to switch off the WiFi. This will show you if your ethernet is actually working since it won't display the WiFi connection in the notification area. Go to Open Network and Internet Settings > WiFi, and toggle it off. Then, make sure the ethernet is enabled. Go to Network and Internet Settings and find Local Area Connection. If you see Not connected/Disabled under it, right-click on it and select Enable. Then, wait for a few seconds, so the connection gets established. If it didn't help, plug your ethernet into another router port. If that fixes the problem, your router is likely defective.

Fix the router and modem

If the problem is related to your router or modem, try to fix them:

  • Switch them off and pull out all the plugs
  • After a few minutes reconnect them and switch on the modem, then the router.
  • Restarting your router and modem lets them remove all the possible bugs so after it, they should work fine. If they don't work, you can factory reset them.

Factory reset your router 

To factory reset your router, press and hold the reset button on it. When the lights start blinking, you can release the button. This should fix the problem.

Is it the ethernet cable issue?

If previous steps didn't fix the issue, try to change the ethernet cable and see if that helps. If not, the problem is most probably with the operating system or your PC's hardware.

Is it an OS or a hardware issue?

To find out if the operating system or hardware causes the problem, set up a Live Linux disc or flash drive and boot from that. If ethernet still doesn't work, the problem is most likely with the hardware. In this case, the best option is to take your PC to a professional. If it works, the problem is most likely with the operating system. Here's how to fix it.

  • Reinstall your ethernet drivers: Go to the Start menu > Search. Enter device manager and select it.

  • Expand the Network Adapters category and right-click on the ethernet adapter. Then, select Uninstall > OK.
  • Reboot your PC to reinstall the driver, and try to connect your ethernet cable again. It should work. 
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