Solved: How to fix a laptop that won’t connect to Wi-Fi

How to fix a laptop that won't connect to Wi-Fi

Having problems connecting to Wi-Fi on your laptop can be a frustrating experience, especially when you need to access the internet quickly.

If your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi, there are a few steps you can take to try and get it working again.

Turn off Airplane mode

If your laptop is having trouble connecting to the internet via wifi, one of the first steps to take is to ensure Airplane mode has been switched off.

This setting can often be enabled without realizing it, as it prevents all wireless connections from being used.

It is turned on by clicking the Wifi icon in the notification area of your laptop’s taskbar, and then ticking the box next to Airplane mode.

However, if you still cannot connect after turning off Airplane mode, there may be other issues that will require additional troubleshooting.

Physical Wi‑Fi switch

It might be as simple as flipping your physical Wi-Fi switch. Located on the side of a laptop, this Wi-Fi switch allows users to turn their wireless connection on or off.

If it’s in the ‘off’ position, make sure to flip it back ‘on’ before trying to connect again.

Windows Network Troubleshooting Tool

If you are having trouble connecting your laptop to a wifi network, the Windows Network troubleshooter can help you diagnose and solve the issue.

This tool can assist even those who are not very technically-savvy, as it walks you through a series of questions and tests to quickly pinpoint the underlying cause of the connection problem.

Additionally, the troubleshooter can provide automatic fixes for many common network issues so that you will be able to regain access to your wifi without having to manually adjust any of your computer’s settings.

Go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Status > Network troubleshooter. Follow the steps and the troubleshooter will attempt to resolve your problem.

 

network-troubleshooter

 

 

Your router is down

If your laptop is unable to connect to wifi, the issue may be rooted in your router.

You will want to check if the power indicator light of the router is on, and if it’s not lit, it may need to be reset or unplugged from its power source.

We recommend contacting your internet service provider for further assistance as the application of more advanced technical solutions may be necessary.

If all else fails, it might be a good idea to upgrade your router for improved connectivity.

Proximity to router

One of the first steps in solving the issue is to check if the laptop is close enough to the router.

If it is too far away, or there is some type of obstruction between them, then this could be causing a connection failure.

Make sure your laptop is placed no more than 30 feet away from your router, and check whether walls and objects are blocking any signal that might be getting through.

This can often make all the difference in ensuring that your device has access to the internet.

Incorrect Wi-Fi password

If your laptop is having trouble connecting to your Wi-Fi network, it may be as simple as an incorrect password.

For security reasons, many modern routers require you to enter the exact Wi-Fi password each time you try to connect a device.

If you make a single typo while entering the password, it can prevent your laptop from connecting to the router.

It is important to double-check that your Wi-Fi password is correct whenever you have any issues with your connection.

Some routers also have different passwords for 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks, so make sure both are correct before troubleshooting further.

Driver issues?

It is likely an issue with the driver. Not having the appropriate driver could be causing you to lose connection with your wifi network.

Updating device drivers is a critical part of maintaining good performance and making sure that all hardware components can properly integrate.

As well, updating or re-installing drivers can help fix existing bugs and reduce malfunctions.

A simple update from the manufacturer’s website should be sufficient in fixing any incompatibility issues with your laptop’s wifi capability.

Incompatible wireless network

Try checking your network settings.

Make sure that the wifi signal you are trying to access is the correct one and that it matches any security settings (if applicable).

If all looks in order, it might be worth doing a restart of both your device and access point.

Sometimes a reset can create a new connection with higher compatibility.

Failing that, you may need to look into updating or upgrading the wifi card in your device to make it compatible.

WiFi card / Hardware issues

In this case, if these steps fail it could be necessary to replace the card altogether.

Depending on the make and model of your laptop, replacing the wifi card may be a complicated procedure.

It is therefore recommended to consult with a qualified technician (such as us!) for an assessment first before attempting any repairs independently as incorrect handling could further damage the device.

Virus / Malware

If you have been having difficulties connecting your laptop to wifi and suspect it may be caused by a virus or malware, it is important to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

Viruses and malware can cause problems with device functionality, such as slower performance and disruptions with either your hardware or software.

It is essential that you properly diagnose the root of the problem before addressing the issue so that you know what measures must be taken to fix it. Using an antivirus program can help detect any malicious programs that may be causing problems and remove them.

With the right tools, you should be able to find out what is interrupting your connection, so you can take proper precautions.

This should get your laptop back up and running with a strong and reliable WiFi connection.

If the above steps fail – not to worry – our wifi specialists will help and fix any issues with your laptop!

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...