Windows 11 Can’t Connect to Ethernet but WiFi Works

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

If you’re using a Windows 11 laptop or desktop and you notice that your Wi-Fi is working fine but your Ethernet is not, this means you’ve hit a weird yet not too rare problem. This issue shows up as your Ethernet connection not finding networks, not connecting, or dropping off now and then, which is odd because your Wi-Fi is doing just fine on the same device. We’re going to look at why Ethernet might be acting up in Windows 11 when Wi-Fi isn’t and how you can try to fix it.

Also see: Windows 11 WiFi Not Working But Ethernet Does, Why?

Why is Ethernet Not Working but WiFi is?

At the heart of the issue, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connect to your network in different ways, and how Windows 11 handles these connections plays a big part. Ethernet relies on stuff like cables, ports, and network cards. Wi-Fi, however, is all about software settings and the quality of the wireless signal.

When Ethernet isn’t working but Wi-Fi is, it points to something going wrong with the physical setup or specific Windows 11 settings for wired connections.

Linked issue: Windows 11 Ethernet “Unidentified Network” (How to Fix)

Starting With the Basics

Even though it might sound obvious, starting with basic checks can often lead you to the culprit:

  • Make sure your Ethernet cable is properly plugged into both your computer and router. Trying a new cable or a different router port can sometimes do the trick.Replugging LAN cable on Router Modem
  • Turning everything off and on again. It’s old advice but rebooting your modem/router and computer can fix temporary issues messing with the Ethernet connection.Disconnect power plug from socket

It’s good to try these simple fixes first before diving into more complicated solutions.

Learn more: Ethernet Not Working in Windows 11 (Fix)

Hardware and Software Diagnostics

After you’ve checked the basics and the problem is still there, it’s time to get into more detailed checks, looking at both hardware and software:

Hardware Checks

  • Try a different Ethernet cable or port. Even if everything looks okay, a hidden issue might be causing the problem.Router Ethernet Cable LAN Port
  • Look at your router’s LAN ports. Some ports might be for specific uses and not work for a regular Ethernet connection.

Pro tip: Change Ethernet from 100Mbps to 1Gbps in Windows 11/10

Software and System Diagnostics

Looking at the software side, Windows 11 can be quirky with Ethernet:

Dealing with Driver Issues

Both WiFi and Ethernet use drivers that might get wonky, especially after big updates. A common fix is to manually update your driver by getting the latest one from your device or motherboard’s website.

Update Network Adapter Driver Manually

System Configuration: Ethernet Settings

  • Check your IP settings to make sure your Ethernet is set to get an IP address automatically. Wrong IP settings are a usual troublemaker.
    1. Open “Settings” on your Windows 11 computer.
    2. Go to “Network & Internet”.
    3. Click on “Ethernet” on the left.
    4. Under your Ethernet connection, click on “Edit” next to IP assignment.
    5. Make sure it’s set to “Automatic (DHCP)” unless you’re using a specific static IP. This setting lets your computer automatically get an IP and DNS server address from your network, which is key for Ethernet to work.

    Obtain an IP address automatically Windows 11

  • Look at the network profile settings (Public or Private) because it impacts how your network is discovered and shared.
  • Check Power Management settings for your Ethernet adapter in Device Manager to make sure your system doesn’t turn it off to save power, as this could cause problems.
    1. Open “Device Manager”.
    2. Find your Ethernet adapter under “Network adapters”.
    3. Right-click and go to “Properties”.
    4. Check the “Power Management” tab.
    5. Make sure “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” is not checked. This stops the system from turning off the Ethernet adapter when power is low, which could mess with your connection.

    Why is Ethernet Not Working but WiFi is

Related resource: Router to Modem/PC Auto-Negotiation at 100Mbps (not 1Gbps)

Insights from Reddit Users

People on forums like Reddit have shared specific problems with Ethernet on Windows 11, including:

  • Issues with Intel I225 Ethernet Adapter causing disconnections. Updating the driver for this adapter might help.
  • Checking BIOS settings related to LAN/WAN switching and Ethernet port power management could be key.Enable or disable Ethernet or WiFi on BIOS UEFI
  • Turning off IPv6 in your network adapter settings might fix conflicts messing with your Ethernet.Disable IPv6 in Windows 11
  • Some folks found that using older driver versions solved their connectivity issues, hinting at compatibility issues with newer drivers on Windows 11.
  • Make sure the LAN port you’re using on your router is working right. Some ports are set for specific traffic types and might not work well with regular Ethernet.

Executing Some Network Commands

Resetting the network stack can sometimes fix deep-rooted issues:

  • Running netsh winsock reset and netsh int ip reset commands in Command Prompt (admin) resets important networking parts in Windows.Netsh winsock reset IP ipconfig Renew
  • Using ipconfig /release followed by ipconfig /renew helps refresh your IP setup, possibly fixing the issue.

Learn more: How to Use Netsh Interface IP Set Address or DNS in CMD

The Role of System Files

Corrupted system files can mess with your network connection:

  • Using sfc /scannow in Command Prompt (admin) checks for and fixes bad system files.
  • The dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth tool can fix the Windows image, helping with issues the SFC scan can’t.

Run DISM Windows 11

Last Resort: Network Reset

If nothing works, you can try resetting all network settings to their defaults. It’s a big step that wipes all network setups, so be ready to set everything up again.

Reset Network in Windows 11

Final Checks and Considerations

If you’ve tried everything and your Ethernet still isn’t working while Wi-Fi is, it might be time to:

  • Look at your computer’s hardware, especially the network card or motherboard’s Ethernet port, for damage.
  • Check for compatibility issues with Windows 11, especially with older hardware. Looking for updates or firmware for your network card or motherboard might help.
  • Make sure your modem/router’s firmware is up to date. Old firmware can cause problems.

Update router firmware

Updating the firmware of your motherboard, router, or modem has risks. If something goes wrong, your device might stop working altogether. It’s super important to follow the manufacturer’s steps carefully and make sure the firmware version fits your device. If you’re unsure, getting help from a pro might be best.

The Final Word

Dealing with tech issues like when Ethernet doesn’t work but Wi-Fi does can be tough. One big tip: don’t overlook updating your drivers and, sometimes, firmware. These updates can really solve problems, especially with newer systems like Windows 11. Also, the issue might not be your computer but your router or modem. A quick check with your internet service provider to make sure everything’s okay on their end can save you a lot of trouble.

Keeping track of what you’ve tried is super helpful, especially if you end up needing expert help. They’ll know what you’ve already done, which can speed up solving the problem. And while figuring things out yourself is rewarding, asking for help, like in online forums or communities, is a good move if you’re stuck. Sometimes, another person’s perspective or expertise can quickly solve a problem that might have taken you much longer to figure out.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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