It’s more common to encounter a working Ethernet with a non-functioning Wi-Fi, rather than the other way around.
So, if you google “Wi-Fi works but not Ethernet,” you won’t find as many results as for the opposite problem. That’s why CleverFixes.com has this article for you to address this specific concern.
Now, I’m guessing you’ve already made sure that your Ethernet cable is securely plugged in – if not, don’t overlook this step!
It’s possible that while you’ve been busy trying to find solutions online, the issue could be as straightforward as an unplugged or loose Ethernet cable.
If that’s not what’s happening, then you can move on to the Clever Fix.
The Clever Fix:
Disconnect your ethernet cable from both ends for a few seconds and then plug it back in.
Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?
A swift disconnect and reconnect can often alleviate those Ethernet woes.
This basic reset helps reestablish the router’s connection to your device and ensures that your Ethernet cable is securely plugged in at both ends.
If this doesn’t do the trick, don’t worry! I’ve got 8 more solutions for you! I promise that by the end of this article, your Ethernet connection will be up and running.
Why is my ethernet not working?
In this era where Wi-Fi reigns supreme, there are still devices that either don’t support wireless connections or perform better when hardwired.
Devices like Smart TVs or desktop computers that require a reliable, fast connection for smooth streaming can greatly benefit from an Ethernet connection.
When your Ethernet starts acting up but your Wi-Fi is fine, the issue generally lies with the Ethernet’s hardware or connection, rather than your internet service.
Potential culprits could be:
- Ethernet cables
- Wi-Fi router’s ethernet port
- Device’s ethernet port
- Network adapter
- Computer’s network settings
There are also instances that someone may have inadvertently disabled the ethernet connection while tinkering with the network settings on the router’s web interface.
If you haven’t accessed the web interface recently, you’re off the hook. But if you have, it could be worth a double-check.
How to fix the ethernet not working?
If you’ve been having an ethernet problem on your TV, printer, or other devices aside from computers or laptops, follow fixes #1–#4 only.
However, for computer and laptop ethernet connection problems, follow all fixes (except those not suitable for your operating system).
1. Change the ethernet cable
Sometimes, the Ethernet cable itself is the culprit.
Inspect your Ethernet cable closely.
Is it bent or twisted in a way that could have damaged the internal wires? Or does it have any visible physical damage such as cuts, breaks, or even bite marks from small critters?
Even without noticeable damage, if you have a spare Ethernet cable lying around, it’s worth switching it out to see if that fixes the problem.
2. Power cycle the Wi-Fi router
If the device seems fine, then the next possible offender is your internet connection source—your Wi-Fi router.
Draining the remaining power from your Wi-Fi router helps refresh the network settings.
This can also clear up any temporary glitches that might be causing the Ethernet connection issue.
Here’s how to do it: Unplug the router from its power source for about 30 seconds then plug it back in.
Wait for a few minutes to let it fully reboot before checking if your Ethernet connection is up and running again.
If resetting the Wi-Fi router restores your Ethernet connection, that’s great news!
But keep in mind, this could be a sign of an aging router, so you might want to have it checked out. Reach out to your internet service provider for a further evaluation.
3. Plug the ethernet cable into a different Wi-Fi router’s port
We’re still investigating the router with this step.
Before assuming that the ethernet cable has gone bad, try plugging the ethernet cable into a different port on your Wi-Fi router.
This will help you pinpoint whether the original port is the one causing trouble.
If switching ports brings your ethernet connection back to life, the original port is likely damaged.
You might need to consider replacing the router, especially if all ports are constantly in use.
But if you have spare ports, you can hold off replacing the router right away and use another port for the time being.
If this fix still doesn’t work, our next move is to check whether the problem is with the ethernet port on your device.
4. Test the ethernet cable on other device
There’s also a chance that neither the Ethernet cable nor the Wi-Fi router is at fault, but rather the device port where the Ethernet cable is plugged into (such as a Smart TV, computer, printer, etc.)
Try connecting the Ethernet cable to a different device.
For instance, if your Ethernet cable is usually connected to your TV or printer, consider plugging it into another compatible device to see if the Ethernet connection works there.
If it does, then it’s likely that a faulty Ethernet port on your original device is the root of the problem.
Yet, if you’re dealing with an Ethernet issue on a laptop or computer, this test won’t conclusively verify that the machine’s hardware is the problem.
We need to take a closer look at your computer’s network settings.
So, if you’re trying to troubleshoot an Ethernet problem on a laptop or computer, there are still more steps to follow. Keep reading for the next solution.
5. Uninstall the network adapter (for Windows)
Sometimes, software updates can interfere with your Ethernet connection. If your computer has been updated recently, this could be what’s causing your issue.
This solution essentially conducts a soft reset of your Ethernet connection by temporarily uninstalling the network adapter from your computer and reinstalling it when you restart.
Follow these steps:
- Type Device Manager on the search bar, then click it from the search results.
- Scan the Network Adapters and select the Ethernet network adapter for your device.
- Right click the network adapter then click Uninstall Device > the Attempt to remove the driver for this device check box > Uninstall.
- After uninstalling, restart the computer.
After the restart, the computer will automatically install the network adapter driver.
Check if the ethernet connection has been restored.
6. Run diagnostic (for maOS)
You might be wondering how running a diagnostic will fix the problem, but trust me on this one.
Mac users have found that running diagnostics can immediately restore their ethernet connection.
Here’s how to run the diagnostic:
Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the screen, then go to System Preferences > Network > Assist Me > Diagnostic.
Alternatively, if you’re having a hard time locating what to click, you can do a diagnostic by following these steps:
- Disconnect the ethernet cable and external drive (if there is one.)
- Restart the Mac computer.
- Press the D button on the keyboard as the computer reboots.
- Pick a language, then the diagnostic will automatically start.
After running the diagnostic, check if the ethernet connection is working.
Still didn’t work? Continue scrolling for the next fixes.
7. Run network commands (for Windows)
This solution might seem a bit daunting if you’re not a tech whiz, but trust me, it’s simpler than it looks!
In this step, we’re manually resetting parts of the system that handle network requests, clearing out your existing network configuration and DNS cache, and setting up your network settings afresh.
Think of it as giving your network a thorough clean-up and hitting the reset button on certain key components.
Follow these steps:
- On the taskbar, type and search Command prompt.
- On the right of the Command prompt, select Run as administrator > Yes.
- On the Command prompt, run these commands in the following order:
Type netsh winsock reset and select Enter.
Type netsh int ip reset and select Enter.
Type ipconfig /release and select Enter.
Type ipconfig /renew and select Enter.
Type ipconfig /flushdns and select Enter.
Once you’ve run the final command, check to see if your ethernet connection is back up and running.
Just a heads up, if you’re feeling a bit uneasy about going through this process because it involves making changes to your computer, that’s perfectly okay.
You might want to reach out to your computer’s manufacturer’s support team for assistance if you need it. They’re there to help!
8. Perform a network reset
When all else fails, it’s time for a network reset.
A network reset wipes all data related to your network settings.
The good thing is that anything that might have caused the ethernet problem will be wiped along with any network-related settings or software.
It’s essentially a clean slate for your computer and router.
Remember, after a network reset, you’ll need to reinstall and set up network-related software like VPN or virtual switches.
Here’s how to perform a network reset on Windows and macOS:
Windows network reset
- Go to Settings > Network & internet > Advanced network settings > Network reset > Reset now > Yes.
MacOS network reset
- Select the apple icon on the top left corner of the screen.
- Go to System Preferences > Network.
- On the left drop-down menu, select Ethernet.
- Click the (–) button to remove Wi-Fi.
- Click (+) button to add the Wi-Fi again.
- Select Wi-Fi in the interface option, then tap Create.
- Hit Apply to finish the network reset.
- Wait for the Mac to reconnect to the internet.
There’s no system bug that a network reset can’t remove.
Your ethernet should be working by now after the network reset. If not, then the hardware of the computer might be broken.
I would suggest reaching out to your computer manufacturer’s support team.
Does disabling IPv6 fix the ethernet problem?
If you’ve been doing some internet sleuthing to find a solution, you’ve probably come across numerous suggestions to disable IPv6.
Many claim that toggling off IPv6 can be the solution for the ethernet problem.
You might be curious if this trick works. Let me break it down for you.
The short answer is, yes, it can work. This tactic has been a handy workaround for many users to get their ethernet connections back in stride.
But here’s the kicker: disabling IPv6 isn’t always the best idea.
It can lead to some issues in how certain Windows components operate.
While it might patch up your ethernet issue, it could result in other computer-related glitches down the line. So, use this solution with caution!
Dealing with a nonworking ethernet connection can be stressful, especially if the device doesn’t support Wi-Fi connection.
The Clever Fix (unplug-replug the ethernet cable) alone usually resolves the issue.
However, there are instances when the problem is more than just the physical connection of the ethernet cable.
If you continue having ethernet issues even after the Clever Fix, here are the fixes you can try:
- Change the ethernet cable.
- Power cycle the Wi-Fi router.
- Plug the ethernet cable into a different Wi-Fi router port.
- Test ethernet cable on another device.
- Uninstall the network adapter (for Windows).
- Run a diagnostic (for macOS).
- Run network commands (for Windows).
- Perform a network reset.
In the event that nothing works, you might want to consider reaching out to Microsoft (for Windows) at 1-800-642-7676 or Apple (for macOS) at 1-800-275-2273 for a professional opinion.
How’s the troubleshooting going?
I hope your ethernet connection is working again!