Is the network, wireless or Wi-Fi icon missing from the system notification area of the taskbar in Windows 10? Is the network or wireless icon not refreshing automatically? In this guide, we will see how to restore the missing or corrupted network or wireless icon in Windows 10.
With default settings, the network or wireless icon always appears in the system tray area of the Windows 10 taskbar irrespective of the status of the internet connection. The network or wireless icon automatically refreshes when your PC is connected to a network or disconnected from a network to reflect the status of the internet connection.
If the network or wireless icon is missing from the taskbar, please try out the following solutions to restore the icon.
Restore missing network or wireless icon in Windows 10
Solution 1 of 5
Check if the network or wireless icon is hidden
Step 1: Click the small up arrow icon on the taskbar to view hidden icons.
Step 2: If the network or wireless icon is appearing there, simply drag and drop it to the taskbar area.
Solution 2 of 5
Turn on the Network or wireless icon in Settings
Step 1: Open Start menu, click the Settings icon to open the Settings app. The Windows logo + I keyboard shortcut can also be used to open Settings.
Step 2: Go to Personalization > Taskbar page.
Step 3: Here, in the Notification area section, click Select which icons appear on the taskbar link.
Step 4: In the resulting page, check the status of the Network icon, and turn it on if it’s turned off.
NOTE: If the Network icon is missing from the page, Go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar page, click Turn system icons on or off link, and then turn on the Network icon.
Solution 3 of 5
Restart Windows File Explorer
This solution is ideal if the network or wireless icon is not automatically updating to show the status of the internet connection. For instance, many times, the icon shows the status as not connected even when you are able to browse the web.
Step 1: Open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the empty area of the taskbar and then clicking the Task Manager option.
Step 2: If you see the Task Manager with a restricted view, click More details.
Step 3: Under the Processes tab, right-click on Windows Explorer entry, and then click the Restart button.
And if there is no Windows Explorer entry, it’s because Windows Explorer process is not running. Open up This PC or any folder to see Windows Explorer entry in Task Manager.
The network or wireless icon should now appear properly.
Solution 4 of 5
Enable Network icon in Group Policy
This method is applicable only to Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions. This method doesn’t work in the Home edition.
Step 1: In the Start menu or taskbar search box, type Gpedit.msc, and then press Enter key to open Local Group Policy Editor.
Step 2: Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.
Step 3: On the right-side, look for the entry named Remove the networking icon. Double-click on the same to open its properties.
Step 4: Select Disabled, and then click Apply button to see the network or wireless icon in the system notification area of the taskbar.
Sign out and sign in again to see the change. You can also restart Windows Explorer to apply the new setting.
Solution 5 of 5
Reinstall the Wi-Fi driver
As a last resort, you can try reinstalling the Wi-Fi adapter driver. Reinstalling the Wi-Fi driver will restore the Wi-Fi icon on the taskbar. But before reinstalling, it’s important to download the latest version of the Wi-Fi driver as your PC might not connect to the Internet once the Wi-Fi driver is removed.
Refer to how to reinstall the Wi-Fi driver in Windows 10 guide for step-by-step directions.
Our fix to Windows 10 showing an ethernet icon instead of Wi-Fi icon guide might also interest you.