In Windows 10 and earlier versions, a wireless icon shows up in the system tray of the taskbar when your PC is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Likewise, an ethernet icon appears when your PC is connected to the internet via an ethernet cable.
However, at times, Windows 10 might show the ethernet icon instead of the Wi-Fi icon even when your PC is connected to a Wi-Fi network. As you can see in the pictures below, clicking on the ethernet icon reveals the network flyout which clearly shows that the PC is connected to a Wi-Fi network (Office Wi-fi in this case).
If Windows 10 is displaying the ethernet icon instead of Wi-Fi or vice versa, you can use the following solutions to fix the issue.
Restart Windows Explorer (File Explorer)
Restarting the Windows Explorer often fixes issues related to the taskbar and File Explorer. Here is how to restart the Windows Explorer.
Step 1: Open the Task Manager by right-clicking on an empty spot on the taskbar and then clicking Task Manager option. You can also use Ctrl + Shift + Esc to quickly launch the same.
Step 2: Switch to the full version of the Task Manager if you got the small one.
Step 3: Under the Processes tab, right-click on Windows Explorer entry and then click Restart option to restart the File Explorer as well as the taskbar. If the Windows Explorer entry doesn’t show up, please open a folder located anywhere on your PC to start the Windows Explorer process.
Check if Windows 10 is now showing the correct network icon in the taskbar.
Turn off and then turn on Wi-Fi
Step 1: Navigate to Settings app > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.
Step 2: Turn off the Wi-Fi by moving the slider to the Off position. After a few seconds, move it back to the On position to turn on the Wi-Fi.
Remove and then add Wi-Fi/network icon
Step 1: Navigate to Settings app > Personalization > Taskbar. In the Notification area, click Select which icons appear on the taskbar link.
Step 2: Turn off the Network icon to remove the Wi-Fi/ethernet icon from the taskbar. Turn it on again after a few seconds to add the icon back to the taskbar.
Restart your computer
If the above solutions didn’t help you address the issue, save your work, close all running programs, and then reboot your PC once. This should bring back the Wi-Fi icon.
Reinstall the Wi-Fi driver
As a last resort, you can reinstall the Wi-Fi driver and this will fix the issue for sure. To reinstall the Wi-Fi driver, you should know the Wi-Fi adapter model and then follow the directions in our how to reinstall the Wi-Fi driver in Windows 10 guide for step-by-step directions.
Which solution helped you fix the issue on your PC? Let us know by leaving a comment below.