Network card shows disabled status when network cable is unplugged on Windows 7 and Windows 8

Applies to: Windows 7 EnterpriseWindows 7 ProfessionalWindows 7 Ultimate


Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a Windows 7 or Windows 8 system installed with a supported wired network Interface card (NIC).
  • The network card supports Low Power on Media Disconnect, which is a Windows feature that will put the device in low power mode when the network cable is unplugged.
  • You unplug the network cable.

In this scenario, when the network cable is unplugged, the network card shows as disabled in the Network Connections window. Additionally, an attempt to right click the icon and enable the network card is unsuccessful.


This is a cosmetic issue when the device shows as disabled. The device will function as expected when the network cable is plugged back into the system. 

More Information

For more information on the Device Sleep On Disconnect feature, please reference the following link:

Low Power on Media Disconnect is a new Windows 7 feature that enables the computer to save energy by placing the network adapter in the low power state when the LAN cable is unplugged and the computer is running. This feature is only available when supported by the network card.