7 Best Ways to Fix the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” Error

TL;DR

To fix the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error, try these seven solutions:

  1. Update Wi-Fi drivers with the sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade command.
  2. Check the Wi-Fi adapter status by running the sudo lshw -C network command.
  3. Reset the network manager with the sudo service network-manager restart command.
  4. Upgrade Ubuntu by executing the sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade command.
  5. Reinstall the network manager with the sudo apt-get remove network-manager and sudo apt-get install network-manager commands.
  6. Reinstall the adapter driver with sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source and sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source commands.
  7. Install additional drivers using Ubuntu Software & Updates app and restart the system with sudo reboot command.

In addition to these solutions, keep Ubuntu updated, avoid using unsupported or outdated Wi-Fi adapters, keep your Wi-Fi adapter clean, and avoid using multiple Wi-Fi adapters simultaneously or running multiple network managers on your Linux-based system.

Read the article below to learn more about how to fix the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error.

The “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error generally occurs due to driver issues, hardware faults, or software configuration problems. In this article, I’ll provide seven detailed solutions to help you quickly resolve this error. Additionally, you’ll also get to know the five helpful tips to prevent this error from reoccurring on your Linux system, ensuring uninterrupted and seamless productivity.

How to “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” Error

To fix the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error on Linux, update Wi-Fi drivers, check adapter status, reset the Network Manager, upgrade Ubuntu, reinstall Network Manager and Wi-Fi adapter driver, and install additional drivers if available. Here’s the step-by-step guide for each of these methods:

1. Update Wi-Fi Drivers

Outdated drivers can cause conflicts with the Wi-Fi adapter, resulting in connectivity issues. In such cases, you may end up seeing the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error on your Linux system.  To resolve this issue, you should follow these steps to update your Wi-Fi drivers:

  1. Navigate to the Terminal app via Ubuntu Dash.
navigate to the terminal app via ubuntu dash
  1. Type and execute the following command in the Terminal window:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  1. Enter your password when prompted, and wait for the update process to complete.
type command sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade
  1. Restart your computer using the simple Ubuntu Restart option or the Linux command line sudo reboot in the Terminal window.
restart computer by using simple ubuntu restart

2. Check Wi-Fi Adapter Status

Checking the Wi-Fi adapter status can help determine if there’s an issue with the adapter or its driver, which can help in diagnosing the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error. Here’s how you can check the Wi-Fi adapter status on your Linux-based system:

  1. In the Linux command prompt, type the following command.
sudo lshw -C network
  1. Look for the line that says the logical name, configuration, and driver attribute. Make sure it says driver=iwlwifi (or the appropriate driver for your adapter).
look for line logical name configuration and driver attribute
  1. If the driver is not listed or you don’t see any Wi-Fi network details (just like in the above output), you may need to reconnect the Wi-Fi adapter and install its relevant drivers. To do so, use the following command line to install the Wi-Fi adapter driver:
sudo apt-get install <driver-name>

The driver name may vary by the adapter, so confirm the correct name on the manufacturer’s website before running the command. If you have a Realtek Wi-Fi adapter and it is not listed in the list of available drivers, you can install it using the command sudo apt-get install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms. Otherwise, if the driver is not listed or the adapter is not detected, it may indicate a hardware issue.

3. Reset the Network Manager

Resetting the network manager resolves the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error by clearing configuration errors and enabling a new network connection.  Follow the steps below to reset the network manager:

  1. Type the following command in the Linux command prompt:
sudo service network-manager restart
  1. Enter your password when prompted, and press Enter.
enter password when prompted and press enter
  1. Wait for the network manager to restart.
wait for the network manager to restart
  1. Now, try connecting to Wi-Fi again to see if the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error is resolved.

4. Upgrade Ubuntu

Sometimes, just simply upgrading Ubuntu to the latest version can resolve the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” issue. This is because some fixes often come with these updated drivers and software, as they are optimized for better compatibility and performance of the Wi-Fi adapters. To upgrade Ubuntu, follow these steps:

  1. Run the following command in the Terminal app:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  1. Wait for the installation to complete.
run command sudo apt get update sudo apt get upgrade
  1. Press y to process the installation.
press y to process with installation
  1. Once the installation is done, execute the following command:
sudo do-release-upgrade
  1. Follow the prompts to upgrade to the latest version of Ubuntu.
execute the command sudo do release upgrade

5. Reinstall the Network Manager

Reinstalling the network manager on Linux can replace corrupted files and reset network settings to their default values. So, this action can also resolve the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error on your Linux system. To reinstall the Network Manager on Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions, follow these steps:

  1. Type the following command in the Terminal and press Enter:
sudo apt-get remove network-manager
  1. Once it is removed, execute the following command:
sudo apt-get install network-manager
  1. Restart your system.
execute command sudo apt get install network manager
  1. After your device has restarted, try connecting to the Wi-Fi network again to check if the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” is fixed or not.

6. Reinstall the Wi-Fi Adapter Driver

Reinstalling the Wi-Fi adapter driver can help resolve issues with the Wi-Fi adapter. It replaces the corrupted or outdated files and restores the adapter to its default settings, which can potentially fix any underlying issues causing the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Terminal app, and execute the following command:
sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source
  1. Wait for the driver to download and install.
wait for driver to download and install
  1. Now, run the following command:
sudo modprobe wl
  1. Restart your device and try connecting to the Wi-Fi network again.

7. Install the Additional Drivers

Sometimes, the default drivers installed with Ubuntu may not work properly with your adapter, causing connectivity issues. By installing the additional drivers, you can ensure that your adapter is using the most appropriate and up-to-date drivers, which can help resolve the No Wi-Fi Adapter Found error. You can check the status of the driver by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the installed application list from the Ubuntu desktop.
navigate to installed application list
  1. Search for the Software & Updates application in the search bar.
search for software updates application
  1. Click the Additional Drivers tab to check whether any driver is available for your wireless adapter. If there is, select it and click Apply Changes.
click additional drivers to check Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found Error
  1. After completing the steps, restart your computer to verify if the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error has been resolved.

5 Tips to Avoid “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” Error

Here are the 5 tips to avoid the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error on your Linux-based systems:

  • 🔄 Keep your Ubuntu updated: Regular updates to your Ubuntu OS can help fix any known Wi-Fi adapter issues and ensure you have installed the latest drivers. Use the command sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade to update your system.
  • Refrain from using unsupported or outdated Wi-Fi adapters: Ubuntu has a list of supported Wi-Fi adapters, and using an unsupported or outdated adapter can cause issues. Check with the manufacturer or Ubuntu community to ensure that your adapter is compatible with your version of Ubuntu.
  • 🧹 Keep your Wi-Fi adapter clean: Dust and dirt can cause hardware issues with your Wi-Fi adapter. Regular cleaning can help prevent these issues and ensure your adapter works properly.
  • 🔒 Avoid using multiple Wi-Fi adapters simultaneously: Using multiple Wi-Fi adapters simultaneously can cause conflicts and errors with your network settings. Use one adapter at a time to avoid any issues and errors for smooth performance and connectivity of Wi-Fi on your Linux system.
  • 🚫 Do not run multiple network managers: Running multiple network managers on your Ubuntu device can cause conflicts and issues with your Wi-Fi adapter. Stick to using one network manager at a time to avoid any issues. If your Ubuntu version has no network manager installed, use the sudo apt-get install network-manager command to install it on your system and manage the network settings.

Wrapping up

In this article, you’ve learned the seven effective solutions to fix the “Ubuntu No Wi-Fi Adapter Found” error. From updating Wi-Fi drivers to resetting the network manager, these step-by-step solutions will help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Additionally, I’ve provided five valuable tips to prevent this error from recurring in the future, ensuring optimal performance of your Wi-Fi adapter.

To further expand your understanding of general Linux concepts, such as creating desktop shortcuts, automating memory monitoring, or fixing transport endpoint errors, will enhance your overall proficiency in a Linux environment. These topics will empower you to effectively use and troubleshoot network issues and optimize network performance on your Linux system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the No Wi-Fi Adapter Found error occur after an update?

After a software update, some Wi-Fi adapters may stop working properly. This is typically caused by outdated or incompatible drivers that are not compatible with the updated software. Drivers are software components that allow the operating system to communicate with the hardware, including Wi-Fi adapters. If the driver is outdated or incompatible, it may not work correctly after a software update. To resolve the issue, it may be necessary to update or replace the driver for the Wi-Fi adapter.

How do I know if my Wi-Fi adapter is enabled?

To check if your Wi-Fi adapter is enabled, you need to access the Settings application on your device. Once there, you can navigate to the Wi-Fi option on the left-hand menu. If the Wi-Fi toggle is set to “Off,” then your Wi-Fi adapter is disabled, and you won’t be able to connect to Wi-Fi networks. To enable it, simply click on the toggle to turn it “ON”, and your Wi-Fi adapter will be enabled, allowing you to connect to Wi-Fi networks.

Why is my Wi-Fi adapter not showing up in the device manager?

There are a few reasons why your Wi-Fi adapter may not appear in the device manager. It could be due to outdated or missing drivers, a disabled adapter, hardware connection issues, or conflicts with other software or hardware. To troubleshoot, make sure you have the latest drivers, check for disabled adapters, ensure proper hardware connection, and consider disabling conflicting software or hardware. However, if the issue persists, contact the manufacturer’s support for further assistance.

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