How to fix WiFi icon is not showing on taskbar in Windows?

Issue: I am using Windows 11 Home edition, and it's been several weeks now that the WiFi icon is not showing in the taskbar and notification area. Is any help available with this?

Solved Answer

WiFi, the ubiquitous technology that connects devices to the internet wirelessly, is more than just a convenience; it's a vital part of modern life. Whether working from home, streaming entertainment, or staying connected with friends and family, WiFi's role cannot be overstated. Its icon, typically found on the taskbar in Windows-operated laptops, serves as a quick indicator of the connection status. But what happens when this critical icon is missing?

For many laptop users, the sudden disappearance of the WiFi icon from the taskbar can lead to confusion and frustration. It seems to be a phenomenon that primarily affects laptops but can occur in other Windows devices as well.

In many cases, the solution to this problem is quite simple: the icon has been accidentally moved to the “hidden” section of the taskbar. A quick adjustment of settings usually brings it back into view.

However, not everyone finds the solution to be so straightforward. For some users, the missing WiFi icon is a symptom of more complex issues like software bugs, damaged system files, incorrect settings, hung File Explorer, and similar problems.

Software bugs might need targeted fixes or system updates, whereas damaged system files could require thorough scans and repairs. Incorrect settings might necessitate a dive into the Control Panel to rectify, and a hung File Explorer might be resolved by a restart or specific command line instructions.

How to fix WiFi icon is not showing on taskbar in Windows?

Regardless of the complexity of the issue, users should not feel stranded. Detailed instructions to resolve these challenges will be provided below this article. For those who prefer a one-stop solution, the FortectMac Washing Machine X9 PC repair tool is a powerful resource for addressing common Windows issues, including the missing WiFi icon.

The disappearance of the WiFi icon from the taskbar in Windows, although disconcerting, is typically an issue that can be resolved with some investigation and troubleshooting. By identifying the root cause and applying the right fix, users can ensure continuous, hassle-free access to their wireless internet connections.

Fix 1. Check the hidden area

The WiFi icon may have been accidentally moved to the hidden section of the taskbar, a special area that conceals icons to avoid clutter.

  • Look at your taskbar.
  • On the very right side, you should see an arrow icon named Show hidden items – click it.
  • If the WiFi icon is available there, left-click it and drag it to your taskbar to make it visible.

Show hidden icon

Fix 2. Restart the PC

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Restarting the PC can clear minor glitches or temporary bugs that might cause the WiFi icon to disappear.

  • Click on the Start menu located at the bottom left of your screen.
  • Select Restart to initiate a system reboot.
  • Wait patiently for the system to restart; this might restore the missing icon.

Restart PC

Fix 3. Toggle the network adapter

Reactivating the network adapter can refresh the connection with the WiFi and may help the icon reappear.

  • Type Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Go to Network and Internet and open the Network and Sharing Center.
  • Click Change adapter settings on the left.
  • Right-click on the network adapter you are using.
  • Select Disable and wait a few seconds.
  • Right-click again and select Enable.

Disable and enable network

Fix 4. Enable WiFi icon in Windows settings

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The WiFi icon may be turned off within Windows settings, and enabling it will make it visible again.

  • Right-click on the Windows Start button and pick Settings.
  • Pick Personalization from the available sections.
  • Select Taskbar to modify its settings.
  • Click Turn system icons on or off.
  • Ensure that the Wireless/Network icon is enabled.
  • Go back to the previous page and pick Select which icons appear on the taskbar option.
  • Ensure that the Wireless/Network icon is enabled.

Enable WiFi via settings

Fix 5. Restart File Explorer

A malfunctioning File Explorer may hide the WiFi icon; restarting it might resolve this.

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  • Click More details if needed.
  • Look for Windows Explorer.
  • Right-click and select Restart.
  • Several UI elements will disappear for a few moments and reappear soon thereafter.

Restart File Explorer

Fix 6. Update network drivers

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Outdated or incompatible drivers might cause the WiFi icon to disappear; updating them can fix the issue.

  • Type Device Manager in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Locate and expand the Network adapters section.
  • Right-click on your WiFi adapter, and select Update driver.
  • Pick Search automatically for drivers and wait.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update.

Update network drivers

Fix 7. Run the network troubleshooter

Windows has an in-built troubleshooter that can detect and fix various network-related issues.

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings.
  • Go to Network & Internet section.
  • On the right side, find the Advanced network settings section.
  • Click Network troubleshooter and wait.
  • The fixes will be automatically applied.

Network troubleshooter

Fix 8. Reset network settings

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If settings have been changed, resetting them to their default may restore the WiFi icon.

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings.
  • Go to Network & Internet section.
  • Locate Advanced network settings.
  • Under it, click Network reset.

Reset network

Fix 9. Restart network services

Network services manage connections, and restarting them might resolve any underlying issues with the WiFi icon.

  • Press Win + R, type services.msc, and press Enter.
  • Now you'll need to find the following services:
    Network Connections
    Plug and Play
    Remote Access Connection Manager

    Remote Procedure Call
    Telephony
  • Right-click on each of these and select Restart.
  • If some of these are not running, double-click to open Properties, select Automatic from the Startup type drop-down menu, and click Start and OK.

Restart network services

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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