How to Display Hidden Network Adapters


A network adapter is a hardware unit that allows a computer to connect to a network, such as local-area network (LAN), wide-area network (WAN), or the Internet. Windows 7 has a built-in program for managing hardware devices called "Device Manager." Sometimes, Device Manager hides certain devices from the user by default. It may do this when the device has been removed from the system, or if the device does not usually need to be managed by the user. If you are logged in to an Administrator account, you can force Device Manager to show hidden network adapters.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrator account
  • Click the Start button.

  • Type "device manager" in the search box without quotation marks and press the "Enter" key. The Windows Device Manager window will open.

  • Expand the "Network Adapters" category by clicking the plus sign ("+") next to it.

  • Click "View" on the menu bar at the top of the Device Manager window.

  • Click "Show hidden devices" on the menu. All network adapters that were previously hidden will now be displayed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't uninstall or reconfigure devices unless you're sure of what you're doing, as this may lead to system instability or inoperability.


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