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Troubleshooting USB Wireless Adapter Turns Off or Suddenly Stops Working

Description: This article will provide steps in troubleshooting the problem of a USB wireless adapter that powers off and stops working.

Problem: Your newly installed USB wireless adapter powers off or stops working. It is unable to connect to the internet and removing and plugging the USB adapter seems to work for a while. Removing and re installing the software does not resolve the problem, even though the lights on the adapter are on.

Resolution: The problem for the USB wireless adapter is that Windows has control of the power management for that device and USB ports themselves. Disabling this feature in device manager should resolve this problem.

To open device manager for Windows Vista or Windows 7:

  1. Click on Start, and on the search bar type in Device Manager.
  2. Press Enter.
    Windows Device Manager
  3. In device manager click on the + or triangle for network adapters.
  4. Right click on the wireless adapter (name will vary), and select properties.
    Windows Device Manager
    Windows Device Manager
  5. In the properties window for the wireless card, click on Power Management tab.
  6. Remove the check mark for Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
  7. Click on OK, and restart the computer.
    Windows Device Properties
    Windows Device Properties
  8. The wireless USB adapter will no longer power down or have trouble staying connected to the network.