How to Resolve ‘A Network Cable is Not Properly Plugged In’ Error Message

  • If your network cable is not connected properly or is broken, almost any PC can get an error message preventing you from accessing the Internet.
  • If routers are not cleaned regularly, dirt and debris can get into the ports, causing the network cable to connect incorrectly.
  • The WLAN drivers installed on your system may be out of date, so these drivers may cause an error and your system’s Internet connection may not work properly.
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How To Fix Ethernet Cable

It may make more sense to simply buy a new cable if removing the damaged wire would make your wire too short. If this is the case, you can add additional cable to lengthen it.

Our lives revolve around the Internet, and we use it every day. Unfortunately, there can be problems connected to the Internet, and some Windows 10 users reported getting a message indicating that the network cable is not properly plugged in or may have broken.

Having a network cable error message appears on your computer screen? You’re not alone. Don’t worry about it, it’s worth fixing.

The problem happens to almost anyone who has a broken or unconnected network cable. In most cases, this will prevent you from connecting to the Internet.

Why does the “network cable is not properly connected” message appear

  • Broken or damaged cables: sometimes Ethernet cables break because of prolonged use. This can lead to packet loss and poor connections.
  • Old/defective drivers: The WLAN drivers installed on your system may be out of date, so these drivers may cause an error and your system’s Internet connection may not work properly.
  • Dirt in the Ethernet ports: If routers are not cleaned regularly, dirt and debris can get into the ports. The ports can become clogged, causing the network cable to connect incorrectly or an error message to appear on the screen.
  • Signal Interference: If you use multiple devices, such as baby monitors, in parallel with the router, signal interference may occur. Therefore, try to change the position of the device near devices that may interfere with the signal.
  • Disabled network drivers: Network drivers can be disabled in the BIOS or Device Manager. If you want the Internet to work properly on your system and the network cable is not properly connected or possibly broken, enable the network drivers.

How to resolve the “Network cable is not properly connected” issue

Run Windows network adapter troubleshooter

Plug An Ethernet Cable Into The Network Adapter

By powering down the computer completely, letting it rest for a few seconds, and then turning it back on, you can help it start again. If you’re using a laptop, remove the battery and walk away for 10 minutes if possible. Once you have unplugged your laptop from the power, remove the battery and reattach it. Plug the laptop back in, restart Windows, and reconnect the battery.

It can handle common networking problems using a built-in tool that you can access from the Windows control panel:

  1. The Network Adapter Troubleshooter can be found under the Start Menu.
  2. In the search results, click the link for “Network Adapter Troubleshooter”.
  3. The troubleshooter will begin after you follow the prompts.
  4. Check if the issue has been resolved after restarting your computer after the troubleshooter has finished.

You may need to use additional tools to diagnose the networking problem if you still have problems after running the Windows network adapter troubleshooter. You can, however, easily fix most networking issues with the troubleshooter if you begin there.

Update network adapter driver

Broken Internet Cable

There are reports that the cable broke off about 37 kilometers (23 miles) offshore, operated by Tonga Cable.

Follow these steps to update Windows 10’s network adapter driver:

  1. Choose “Device Manager” from the Start menu by right-clicking it.
  2. Adding a Network Adapter section will expand it.
  3. Select “Update Driver” from the menu that appears when you right-click your network adapter.
  4. Automatic or manual driver search options are available.
  5. A driver will be automatically found by Windows if you choose the automatic search option.
  6. The updated driver file must be browsed to if you select manual search.
  7. Installation of the updated driver will be completed by following the remaining prompts.

Ensure that you have administrator permissions before updating the driver if you’re unsure.

Unplug Network Cable

At the top and bottom of the plug is a plastic clip that anchors the cable into the wall. Press the clip downward to release it.

Additionally, the error message may appear when the Ethernet cable is not properly plugged in due to interference with the network settings by antivirus software or firewall settings. You can fix it by disabling your current antivirus software, or if that doesn’t work, you should replace your antivirus software. Follow our guide to disable Windows 10’s antivirus temporarily.

Updated: December 2023

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Power cycle your PC

You can try a power cycle as a first step to troubleshoot problems with your Windows 10 PC. In order to resolve any stuck or frozen processes, as well as remove any temporary data that might be causing problems, this can reset the computer. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered if you don’t know how to power cycle your computer. We’ll show you how in no time! Follow the steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time at all.

  1. The power button on your PC should be pressed to shut it down.
  2. Remove the power cord from your PC.
  3. Take a few seconds to wait.
  4. Upon reconnecting your PC, you should see the following message: “Your PC has now been power cycled.”.

Reinstall your network adapter driver

For Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. If you press Windows + R, you can access the Device Manager by typing “devmgmt.msc”.
  2. The “Network Adapters” section needs to be expanded.
  3. Using the right-click menu, select “Uninstall” next to the network adapter.
  4. Your computer needs to be restarted.
  5. You can type “control” by pressing Windows + R.
  6. Change the adapter settings in the Network and Sharing Center.
  7. Then click “Enable” in the right-click menu.
  8. Make sure the issue is still occurring if you connect to your network.

Run Windows defender scan

You can scan your PC for spyware and malicious software using Windows Defender, a free software program. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Settings section by clicking the Start button.
  2. The Update & Security window will appear.
  3. The Windows Defender Security Center can be accessed by clicking Windows Security on the left side of Update & Security.
  4. You can scan your computer through Windows Defender’s Security Center.
  5. Windows Defender Antivirus will scan your computer for malware if you have any antivirus programs you do not have the capability of installing. Click Scan now if you do not have Windows Defender Antivirus installed.
  6. If necessary, review the results and take any action based on them after the scan has completed. You will have to restore quarantined files or delete them permanently in order for them to not run or infect your computer again. You can always choose to ignore a file for now if you’re unsure of what to do with it and see if any problems develop later.

RECOMMENATION: Click here for help with Windows errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may also encounter a loose or broken network cable if dirt or lint gets into the Ethernet port and blocks the network connection. So clean the Ethernet port and see if that solves the problem.

  1. Press Windows + R on your keyboard.
  2. Type devmgmt. msc and press Enter.
  3. Deploy the network card driver.
  4. Right-click on the network adapter driver and select Update Driver.
  5. Restart your computer.

If your connection is still intermittent or very slow, your cable may be damaged. If your cable is cracked, the internal connection of the wires may be broken and cause a short circuit. If you find a bent cable, try straightening it by hand.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.