Participate in insightful discussions regarding issues related to Intel® Wireless Adapters and technologies
All support for Intel NUC 7 - 13 systems has transitioned to ASUS. Read latest update.
7293 Discussions

Wireless Adapter no longer appears on computer

Hello; I have an Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless AC 3168 on my HP Pavilion Notebook PC model 15-au123cl. I was having an error connecting to Wi-Fi, and while following online instructions I accidentally deleted the driver itself.

I can no longer find wireless - I will only get the option of Ethernet or Bluetooth. I have tried to do restore (I could not restore previous to losing the adapter, August 13th), it does not appear in device manager even with hidden devices on, I’ve done BIOS, network reset, updated driver downloads, etc. It’s as if I do not have an adapter in place.

Wifi has always had issues but never has the entire adapter no longer been recognized before. I’m at my wits end figuring this out, please help.

Thank you.
0 Kudos
3 Replies
Super User

You need to perform a clean WLAN Install. Here is proper process: 

  1. If you haven't already, download - but do not attempt to install just yet - the latest Bluetooth and WiFi driver packages for your adapter. Here are links to the download pages for these drivers: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19351/windows-10-wi-fi-drivers-for-intel-wireless-adapters.html and https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/18649/intel-wireless-bluetooth-for-windows-10.html. On each of these pages, click on the blue box to download the .EXE file. Make sure these two .EXE files are on your computer.
  2. Disable Internet access. Unplug Ethernet cable and/or disable wireless. Keep disabled until told to re-enable.
  3. From the Apps & Features applet, check for instances of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software and Intel Wireless Bluetooth. If none, skip to Step 6.
  4. Uninstall each instance of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software and Intel Wireless Bluetooth that is present. When prompted, choose to "Discard Settings".
  5. Manually reboot your computer, keeping Internet access disabled throughout.
  6. From the Device Manager applet, check the Network Adapters section for an entry for Intel Wireless-AC 3168 and check the Bluetooth section for an entry for Intel Wireless Bluetooth that has an intel driver associated with it. If neither is the case, go to Step 10.
  7. Right click on the entry for Intel Wireless-AC 3168 and uninstall it, choosing to (checkmark) Delete the driver software for this device.
  8. Right click on the entry for Intel Wireless Bluetooth and open its properties. If it has an Intel driver associated with it, then uninstall it, choosing to (checkmark) Delete the driver software for this device.
  9. Go to Step 5.
  10. (Optional but recommended) Clean out all temporary files using the Windows Clean Disk tool. I recommend that you checkmark all categories offered, even if no files currently (so it leaves it set up for next invocation).
  11. (Optional but recommended) Clear each of your browsers' cache.
  12. Install the Bluetooth driver package (my rule: always do Bluetooth first).
  13. Install the Wireless driver package.
  14. Manually shutdown and reboot your computer.
  15. Enable Internet access.
  16. Test.

Hope this helps,


0 Kudos

No this didn’t work. I followed the steps as best as I could, but could not disable internet as WiFi does not even show up as an option with Ethernet and Bluetooth.


The adapter itself is not in Device Manager, even with clicking “show hidden items”.


Thank you for trying to help.

0 Kudos

Never mind I guess I think it just needed time???? All of a sudden the adapter is back and it connected to WiFi. Thank you for your help!!!

0 Kudos