Ubuntu is popular for its robustness and relatively fewer bugs. But it is certainly not without its problems. One such problem is with its Wi-Fi driver. You might just turn on your system to find out that your Wi-Fi isn't working.

While there isn't a straightforward answer as to why this is happening, there are certainly several different types of fixes you can try to get it working again. Let's start with the simplest one first.

1. Check your internet connection

Do you see your network adapter in the top left corner? If so, are you sure it is connected to your network and that your internet connection is stable?

Check this by connecting your other devices to the same network. If you can see the internet icon on other devices then there is no problem with the network.

There is probably something wrong with your device. Skip to the next method if it does. However, if your internet is not working on different devices, the problem is likely with your network itself. Then you'd better call your ISP.

2. Plug in the Ethernet cable

Do you see the WiFi icon in the top left corner of your screen? If that doesn't work, then there is likely a problem with your Ubuntu WiFi driver. To install a new one, connect the Ethernet cable directly to your PC or laptop.

Related: What Is an Ethernet Cable? How does it work?

After your computer is online, enter software in the Ubuntu search bar and select that Software & updates Opportunity.

in the Software & updates Menu, go to Additional drivers Tab, select the wireless driver and select Apply changes. After the installation is complete, reboot your system to see if your Wi-Fi is working or not.

Settings menu for software and updates

3. Install additional Wi-Fi drivers from Ubuntu ISO

It's not uncommon for important system files to be lost after an abrupt shutdown or an unlikely malware infection. And if your driver files have been deleted or damaged, even the Wi-Fi icon can disappear from the menu.

Whatever the reason, a quick reinstall of the drivers should solve the Wi-Fi problem for your system.


Obtain a copy of the Ubuntu ISO file. Make sure you have one in the Downloads directory. If not, download it from another computer with a working internet connection. After you get your hands on the ISO file, copy it to your USB stick.

Now insert the USB drive and copy the Ubuntu ISO file to your home directory. Open Terminal, enter the following commands and press Enter:

sudo mkdir / media / cdrom
cd ~
sudo mount -o loop ubuntu- * / media / cdrom

With this command you have now mounted the USB stick like a CD.

Now go to the application menu and select Software updates. Select CD-ROM with the Ubuntu radio box there and then enter your password. Then switch to Additional drivers Tab and click Apply changes. Your drivers will be installed in a few seconds and you should see the Wi-Fi icon at the top again.

Related: How to Extract ISO Files in Linux

4. Reinstall the network manager

Network Manager is a Linux utility that tries to maintain your network devices and connections. It manages the Wi-Fi, Ethernet and PPPoE devices and also offers many other different services.

And that's why your Ubuntu WiFi may stop working if the Network Manager is accidentally uninstalled. In some cases, Network Manager may still be available in the cache. If you do too, run this command to reinstall Network Manager:

sudo apt install the network manager

However, if you don't have a cache, you'll need to plug in the ethernet cable again. Once you've done this, run the above command again.

Installation of the Ubuntu network manager

The final step is to edit your configuration file if none of the above methods work. This guide uses gedit as the text editor, but you can also use whatever text editor you prefer.

sudo gedit / etc / network / interfaces

Change it like this:

auto lo iface lo inet loopback auto wlan0 iface wlan0 inet dhcp wpa-essid myssid wpa-psk mypasscode

Then restart the interface by typing:

sudo ifdown wlan0 && sudo ifup -v wlan0

Fix your WiFi problems for good

Losing your WiFi can lead to many problems in your workflow. But hopefully one of these methods helped you solve your problems for the time being. In our experience, installing new drivers from the ISO works most of the time, but you can try all of the fixes one at a time.

Even if problems do arise, Linux is a relatively stable and secure operating system that is worth learning – especially if you are aiming for a technical career.


Getting started with Linux

Interested in using Linux but not sure where to start? Learn how to use Linux, from choosing a distribution to installing apps.

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About the author

Shaant Minhas
(53 articles published)

Shaant is a staff writer at MUO. As a graduate in computer applications, he uses his passion for writing to explain complex things in plain English. When he's not researching or writing, he can enjoy a good book, run, or hang out with friends.

From Shaant Minhas

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