WiFi Works But Not Ethernet: Solving the Wired Connection Conundrum

Lindsay Hayes

If you're having trouble with your Ethernet connection even though WiFi works, try updating your Ethernet drivers and check if your cable is plugged in correctly. This should do the trick in most cases.

I recently found myself in a similar situation when I moved into a new apartment and tried to set up my internet connection. Turns out I had damaged my Ethernet cable while moving around boxes.

However, faulty cables are not the only reason for the 'WiFi works but not Ethernet' issue that tends to pop up from time to time. Over the years, I've discovered various solutions to resolve this problem and I'll discuss them in this article.


How to Fix the "WiFi Works But Not Ethernet Connection" Issue?

You can start by checking the connection between your computer, modem, and WiFi router. If the WiFi connection is working well from the same router, but the Ethernet is not, there could be various reasons for it.

Turned On White Switch Hub

1. Check the Ethernet Cable

One of the most common reasons for the internet connection issue is a faulty Ethernet cable. To check if the Ethernet cable is the issue, make sure that:

2. Update Ethernet Drivers

Outdated or corrupted Ethernet drivers can cause problems with your connection. To update the network drivers, follow these steps:

How To Find Which Ethernet Network Adapter You Have?

If you're not sure which network adapter is installed on your computer, you can follow these steps to confirm and check:

On Windows:

On Mac:

Ethernet Cables Maze Connected to Switch

3. Check the Advanced Network Settings

Another reason for the network connection issue could be a disabled Ethernet connection in the network and internet settings. To enable this, follow these steps:

On Windows:

On Mac:

4. Disable WiFi

Another reason for this issue could be that your computer is prioritizing WiFi over Ethernet, which can cause conflicts. To fix this, disable the WiFi connection and follow these steps:

On Windows:

On Mac:

5. Run the Troubleshooter

If you're experiencing the Ethernet not working issue, you can use the built-in troubleshooter in Windows to automatically diagnose and fix Ethernet problems. This troubleshooting method is only for Windows users, and will not work on MacOS. Here's how to run the troubleshooter:

Checking a Wifi Router

6. Reset Network Settings

If you've tried other solutions and are still facing the Ethernet not working issue, the network reset settings might help. Here's how to do one:

On Windows:

On Mac:

7. Restart the Ethernet Adapter

Another possible solution for the Ethernet not working issue is to restart the router. This can help fix any temporary issues that may be preventing the Ethernet adapter from working properly. Just follow the steps below:

8. Change MAC Address

Sometimes, the MAC (Media Access Control) address of the Ethernet adapter can cause conflicts and result in an internet connection issue. To resolve this, you can change the MAC address. Here's how:

On Windows:

On Mac:

Note that some devices may not allow changing the MAC address. If this is the case, try other solutions to fix the issue.

Ethernet Cables Connected to a Network

9. Flushing the DNS

Flushing the DNS (Domain Name System) can help clear out and remove any corrupted or outdated DNS information that may be causing network connections issue, like Ethernet not working. To flush the DNS, follow these steps:

On Windows:

On Mac:

10. Check the Status of IP Configuration and DHCP Service

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) automates the process of assigning IP addresses and other configuration details such as subnet masks and default gateways. To configure your IP settings manually, follow these steps:

On Windows:

On Mac:

11. Scan for Viruses

Ethernet connectivity issues can be caused by viruses or malware infections that can disrupt network status or interfere with router settings. To prevent network disruptions, it is essential to have a reliable antivirus program installed on the system.

Windows Defender is a useful tool to scan for harmful viruses and it can run a quick or full scan. Follow these steps to scan for viruses using Windows Defender:

Anti Virus Software Program Running a Scan

12. Update and Reinstallation of Operating System

If the previously mentioned solutions don't work, you may need to update your Windows files or reinstall the operating system. To do this, follow the steps below:

For updating Windows files:

Reinstall the System

If updating the Windows files doesn't solve the issue, you may need to consider reinstalling the system. Here's how:

On Windows:

On Mac:

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Final Thoughts

The Ethernet cable issue can be frustrating and can cause disruption to your work or online activities. A few things can cause this issue, ranging from simple configuration problems to more complex network issues or even virus infections.

The good news is that there are several solutions you can try. These include basic troubleshooting steps like resetting your network settings or restarting your router to more advanced options. For example, updating your network drivers or even reinstalling Windows.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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