When your laptop cannot connect to WiFi, you are limited as to how you can access the internet. Although WiFi is a very convenient means of connecting to the Internet, there are several things that can go wrong.
Sometimes, these issues cause your computer to be slow, to be interrupted periodically, or to not be able to connect. Listed below are the steps you can take if you are experiencing any of these issues.
If you want to learn more about choosing a laptop, please review our recent laptop buying guide.
A laptop that is not connected to Wi-Fi can be fixed in a variety of ways:
Solution 1: Troubleshooting
Windows computers come equipped with an automatic diagnostic tool that can provide you with a diagnosis of the issue you are experiencing. Here is how to utilize this tool:
- Make sure your laptop’s WiFi is activated.
Make sure the wireless activity light on your keyboard turns on or changes from red to white when you press the wireless key or wireless button on your keyboard.
It is located on your keyboard somewhere, usually on one of the F keys or on a key that is labelled with a WiFi icon or a plane symbol.
If you do not see a wireless key, your laptop may also have a wireless key along with slots and ports.
Connect your wireless network again once the WiFi has been turned on. If it works, the problem has been solved. If you are unable to locate the wireless key, if the wireless activity light remains off, or if the problem persists even after you have switched on the WiFi, continue reading.
- To begin troubleshooting, click the Start button and type “troubleshooting”.
- Locate Troubleshooting in the list of results and click on it.
- From the Network tab, select Internet Connections.
- Please click Advanced.
- If you see an option to run the program as administrator, select it.
- Select Automated Repairs, then click Next. In the case of a user account control window, click Yes to proceed.
- From the Internet connection window, click Troubleshoot my connection and then Next. Follow the instructions provided.
- Be patient as the troubleshooting process takes place. Take note of the results.
- A detailed description of the problem and what to do next will be displayed if the automatic troubleshooter detects one or more problems. Try reconnecting to the Internet again if any recommended actions are indicated.
Should the problem persist even after being automatically corrected, or after you have followed the suggested actions, please close the window and proceed to the next step.
The next step is to close the window if there are no problems detected and you are still unable to access the internet.
Fix 2: Reset your hardware
There may be a solution to your problem in restarting your computer and other hardware associated with it.
The following steps should be followed:
- First, click Start, then click Shutdown. A shutdown will take place.
- Remove your wireless router and/or modem, as well as your laptop.
- Plug everything back in after waiting for ten to thirty seconds.
- It may be necessary to contact your internet service provider if the problem remains, and no other devices are able to connect to the WiFi network.
Reinstalling the wireless network adapter driver is Solution 3
Upon reinstalling the network driver, you will clear the registry and reinstall all wireless configurations, which may allow your laptop to connect to the internet again. The following instructions will guide you through the process.
Installation of the network driver.
Before installing the driver, you will need to uninstall the wireless adapter using Windows Device Manager first.
- From the Start screen, type Device Manager in the search bar.
- Click the Device Manager icon to select it.
- Right-click on Network Adapters and select Properties.
- A drop-down list of all your adapters will be displayed if you have several. Choose Uninstall from the right-click menu.
- A screen will appear asking you to confirm the device uninstallation. When you click OK, the uninstallation process will begin. Make sure the name of the wireless adapter does not appear in the list of network adapters.
- Click on the Action button within Device Manager. This is located on the top of the Device Manager window between the View and Details tabs. Click Scan For Hardware Changes under the Hardware tab.
- You will be able to see the name of your WiFi adapter once again once the computer has reinstalled the driver.
- Click on the restart icon to restart the computer.
- Connect to the Internet again. Should the issue persist, continue reading.
Update your wireless network drivers as described in Fix 4
The latest driver for your wireless adapter may need to be downloaded and installed in order to function correctly.
Usually, this works if the connection is slow or if the connection keeps being interrupted. Please follow the instructions below.
Make certain that you know your laptop’s model and make before downloading any drivers. For the most accurate and up-to-date driver version, always visit the official website of your laptop’s manufacturer. You are taking a risk if you choose to download your drivers from third-party websites.
Always download software only from reputable sources.
Nevertheless, sometimes your laptop manufacturer may not provide you with updates for your specific WiFi hardware. If this happens, you can obtain it from another online source as follows:
- On the Start screen, type Device Manager into the search box.
- Select Device Manager by double clicking it.
- Select the Network Adapters tab, then find the name of your Wireless Adapter.
- Select the Properties option from the context menu by right-clicking the Wireless Adapter.
- In the dialog box that appears, click the Driver tab.
- Your attention should be focused on the Driver Provider and Date of the Driver. Take note of these information.
- You may need to access the Internet using a different method or on another device, and then look for the website of the driver provider.
- Please visit the driver provider’s website and search for the latest version of the driver. If the release date differs from the date on which you installed the driver, please contact the provider.
- If the driver provider’s website does not provide an updated driver or if the driver provider does not have a website, return to your Adapter Properties window.
- The Details tab should appear.
- Click on the Hardware ID property list.
- To copy an ID, right-click it and select Copy.
- Find websites that have the driver online by pasting this ID into your search engine.
- Installation instructions can be found on the website. Ensure that you only download the software that you need from reputable sites.
- As soon as the driver has been updated, restart your laptop and reconnect to the WiFi network. If needed to resolve the issue, continue reading.
Attempting all these steps may not solve the problem. In this case, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance.
Make sure you choose a laptop with a large screen for better wireless performance.