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Ethernet not working but WiFi is: Quick Fix

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  • 5 min read

Even with the advancement in WiFi tech, ethernet still remains one of the most popular ways to connect to the internet especially when you require a stable connection with low latency. But sometimes, you might encounter a peculiar situation where ethernet is not working but WiFi is.

To get you out of this situation, we have compiled a list of fixes. The ethernet not working but WiFi is issue can be caused due to loose connection at the port, temporary networking troubles, outdated firmware or incorrect settings. You should try to work on each point that we have mentioned below to get to the root cause of the problem.

Check the Ethernet cable and connection

First, you must check that the Ethernet cable is not faulty. If you have another Ethernet cable, you can use that. Also, make sure that the Ethernet cable is securely plugged into both your router and computer.

Furthermore, confirm that the Ethernet cable is inserted in the correct Ethernet port and not in the one where you connect the modem to the router. If the cable is damaged, it is better to change it to avoid further hassle.

Power cycle your router and modem

Power cycle means restarting the devices. Although the steps can vary according to your device, the general steps remain the same.

  • Unplug the router and modem from the source. Remove the batteries from the modem.
  • Wait for a minute and then put the batteries in the modem and plug both devices back into the power source.
  • Turn on the power source and wait for the router and modem to fully power on. Check the status light on both devices to get an idea of whether they are on or not.
  • Try to connect your computer again using the Ethernet connection.

Check the network status in the Settings

In Windows, you can check the network status in the settings to gauge the connection status. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Search Settings and then go to Network and Internet option present on the left menu.

Step 2: Click on Ethernet to see the status.

If everything is fine then you will see the Connected status below the Ethernet option. If there is an error, you will see options such as Action needed. You might want to change your Ethernet cable if you see such options.

Run network commands

With the network commands on Windows, you can perform a bunch of functions such as manually resetting the TCP/IP stack, flushing the DNS and renewing the IP address. Open the Command Prompt by typing cmd in the search bar and then selecting the Command Prompt app.

Here are the commands that you must enter in the same order that we are listing:

  • netsh winsock reset 
  • netsh int ip reset
  • ipconfig /release
  • ipconfig /renew 
  • ipconfig /flushdns 

After each command press Enter. When you are finished, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Update or uninstall drivers

Sometimes updating or uninstalling the drivers can help solve the problem.

Step 1: Type Device Manager in the Search bar and then select the option. Or, you can press Windows Key + R and then type devmgmt.msc.

Step 2: Click on the Network adapters tab to expand it and then locate the Ethernet Network Adapter.

Then, right-click on the driver and update or uninstall it at your convenience.

Before doing this, you must make a backup of the driver by either downloading it from the manufacturer’s website or downloading the driver in a different computer and then saving it on to a USB drive.

Change the MAC address

A MAC address is the unique identification of the device which differentiates it from other devices on the network. Ethernet can crash if the MAC address is unidentified. Here are the steps to change MAC address:

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R and type in cmd. Alternatively, you can type cmd in the search bar.

Step 2: When the command prompt opens, type ipconfig /all

Scroll down to see your MAC address as well as other network information. After noting down the MAC address, now it is time to change the address.

  • Go to Device Manager > Network adapters.
  • Right-click on the driver and then select Properties.
  • Go to the Advanced tab and then select Network address from the menu. Enter the MAC address that you have seen in the command prompt.

We hope that by following these instructions, you will successfully resolve your ethernet not working while WiFi is working problem.

Also read: Top 7 USB to Ethernet adapters

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here:

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