Manually installing the Linksys adapter

The Linksys wireless adapters enable wireless connectivity for Windows-based laptops and desktop computers.  Manual installation of the Linksys wireless adapter is done with the following restrictions:

  • The setup CD is lost, misplaced or not available.
  • The computer has no CD drive.

Make sure that your Linksys wireless adapter is compatible with your computer’s operating system.  Click on the links below to see the list of compatible wireless adapters for your operating system:

For Windows Vista
For Windows 7

To learn how to install a Linksys wireless adapter for Windows 8, click here.

Perform these two (2) steps to set up a Linksys wireless USB adapter:

i. Connect the adapter
ii. Install the driver

Connect the adapter

Linksys has different types of adapters.  If you have one (1) of the following types, follow the steps on how to connect the adapter (hardwire) to the computer or laptop.

  • For a USB adapter—Plug the USB adapter to any available USB port of your computer or laptop.
  • For a PCI adapter— Open your computer’s case and locate an available PCI slot.  Slide the adapter into the PCI slot.
  • PCMCIA adapter—Locate and insert the adapter in an available PCMCIA slot on the side of your laptop.

For detailed instructions on how to connect the adapter to the computer or laptop, click here.

Install the driver

After inserting your adapter to your computer, download the correct driver for the adapter that you want to install.  To know how to download the latest drivers from the Linksys Support Site, click here.

If you have downloaded the correct driver for your adapter, follow either of the steps:

Installing the driver after a pop-up appears
Installing the driver using the Device Manager

Installing the driver after a pop-up appears

Step 1:
Once the network adapter is plugged in, a Found New Hardware window will pop-up.  Click on Locate and install driver software (recommended).


Step 2:
The next instruction you will see is to insert the disc that came with your wireless network adapter.  Click on I don’t have the disc.  Show me other options.


Step 3:
Click Browse my computer for driver software (advanced).


Step 4:
Click the Browse... button.


Step 5:
Locate the folder of your driver.  In this example, VISTAX86 is selected for WUSB54G v4.

Step 6:
Click Next.


Wait for the computer to install the driver software.


Step 7:
Click Close.


Your driver software is now installed.  To learn how to update the driver of your network adapter, click here.

Installing the driver using the Device Manager

In case the Found New Hardware window doesn’t pop-up, you may search for your driver on your computer using the Device Manager.  To proceed, choose the operating system you are currently using below:

Windows 8/8.1
Windows 7/Vista

Windows 8/8.1

Step 1:
On the Start screen, hover your cursor to the upper-right corner of the screen.  Click on the Search charm.

Step 2:
On the Search field, type “control panel”.

Step 3:
Once the All Control Panel Items window open, locate and select Device Manager.

Step 4:
On the Device Manager window, locate Other Devices.  Expand this device by clicking on the Flag  icon.  You should be able to see your Linksys adapter model.

NOTE:  In the example below, a Linksys AE3000 adapter is used.  The adapter has a yellow warning icon which means that it has been detected by the computer but is not yet configured properly to be fully functional.

Step 5:
Right-click the device and select Update Driver Software… from the menu.

Step 6:
Select the folder of your adapter's driver.  Click the Browse… button to launch the Browse For Folder window.  Once the driver folder is selected, click OK.


NOTE:  If the driver is not available on your computer, you may download it from the Linksys Support Site.  For detailed instructions on how to download the latest driver of your Linksys wireless adapter, click here.

Step 7:
Wait until the installation of the Linksys adapter driver is completed.

NOTE:  Do not unplug your Linksys adapter and avoid turning off your computer at this time.

Step 8:
Once the installation is successful, the Windows has successfully updated your driver software message will be displayed.  Click the Close button to exit.

Your driver software should now be updated.

Windows 7 / Vista

Step 1:
Click  and enter “Device Manager” in the Start Search field.  If you are using Windows XP to access Device Manager, click here.

Step 2:
Under Other devices, right-click on the adapter that you want to install the driver for and click Update Driver Software….

NOTE:  In this example, we are using the Wireless-G USB Network Adapter.


Step 3:
In the How do you want to search for the driver software? window, click Browse my computer for driver software.

Step 4:
In the Browse for driver software on your computer window, click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

Step 5:
Click Network adapters under Select your device’s type from the list below.  Click Next.


Step 6:
In the Select Network Adapter window, click the Have Disk… button.


Step 7:
In the Install From Disk dialogue box that appears, click the Browse… button.


Step 8:
Locate and select the driver folder that you have previously downloaded and then click Open.

NOTE:  In this example, we choose VISTAX86 folder with the .inf file.


Step 9:
Click OK.


Step 10:
Click Next.


Wait for the computer to complete the installation of the driver software.

Step 11:
A window will appear saying Windows has successfully updated the driver software.  Click Close.

The adapter is now installed and may be used to connect to wireless networks.

Troubleshooting Tips

If the device was not successfully installed, you may do the following:

  • Check if your computer meets the minimum system requirements and compatibility of the drivers you are downloading.  To know more about your adapter’s minimum system requirements, check the documentation shipped with your device.
  • During the installation of the drivers, disable any firewall software currently running on your computer as it may block some of the components being installed on your computer for your adapter to run.  To learn how to disable your firewall, click here.
  • Make sure that you are downloading the correct driver.  For more instructions on how to download the latest driver of your Linksys wireless adapter, click here.

After checking the items above, perform the installation steps again.

Related Articles:

Uninstalling a Linksys wireless adapter driver
Checking if the Wireless Adapter is Properly Installed
Resolving an inactive wireless network adapter
Encountering problems when installing or updating the wireless adapter drivers on a Windows XP computer

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