How To Fix a Laptop That Won’t Connect to WiFi

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Arpad Balogh
 Updated On March 6, 2019

Arpad Balogh is the founder of Simply Laptop. As a tech enthusiast, he has been writing about laptops for years. His goal is to help people find the perfect laptop for their needs. He does that by using his digital marketing skills to get these reviews in front of as many people as possible.

When your laptop won't connect to WiFi, it limits the methods you can use to access the internet. Although it is a very convenient way of getting online, there are several things that can go wrong when using WiFi.

These issues make your connection slow, periodically disrupted, or sometimes the computer just flat out won't connect. If you are experiencing one or more of these issues, here is what you can do to fix it.

But before you do, make sure you check out recent laptop choosing guide!

Here are some ways to fix a laptop that is not connecting to WiFI:

Fix 1: Troubleshoot

troubleshooting network adapter

Windows computers have an automatic troubleshooting tool that you can use to get a diagnosis of them problem you are experiencing. Here is how to use this tool:

1. Make sure the WiFi is turned on on your laptop.

Press the wireless key or the wireless button on your keyboard and make sure the wireless activity light turns on or changes from red to white.

You can find the wireless key somewhere on your keyboard, usually on one of the F keys or on a key labelled with the WiFi icon or an aeroplane symbol.

If you do not see any wireless key, your laptop may have a wireless button on one of its sides along with the slots and ports.

Once you turn on the WiFi, try reconnecting to your wireless network again. If it works, your problem is solved. If you cannot find the wireless key, if the wireless activity light won't turn on, or if the problem persists even after turning on the WiFi, read on.

2. Click Start, and type "troubleshooting" in the search field.

3. Double click Troubleshooting to select it from the results.

4. Click on Network and Internet, then Internet Connections.

5. Click Advanced.

6. Click Run as Administrator if you see that option.

7. Check Apply Repairs Automatically, then click next. If a user account control window appears, click Yes to continue.

8. Click Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet, then click Next. Follow the onscreen instructions.

9. Wait for the troubleshooting process to complete. Read the results.

10. If the automatic troubleshooter finds any problems, more information will be displayed about them and what to do next. If any actions are suggested, perform them and try reconnecting to the internet again.

If the problem persists even after being automatically fixed, or after you have performed the suggested actions, close the window and move on to the next step.

If no problems are detected and you still cannot access the internet, close the window and move on to the next step.

Fix 2: Check and Reset Your Hardware

Sometimes resetting your laptop's and other associated hardware may be the solution you need.

Here is how to do it:

1. Click Start, then Click Shut Down. This will shut down your laptop.

2. Unplug your laptop, your wireless router, and/or your wireless modem.

3. Wait for 10 to 30 seconds, then plug everything back in.

4. If the problem persists, and no other devices can connect to the WiFi network, you may need to contact your Internet Service Provider.

Fix 3: Reinstall The Wireless Network Adapter Driver

wifi driver

Reinstalling the network driver will clear the registry and reset all existing wireless configurations, which could help you laptop access the internet over WiFi once more. Here is how to reinstall your wireless
network adapter driver.

To do this, you will need to use Windows Device Manager to uninstall the wireless adapter first before installing the driver.

1. Click Start, then type in Device Manager in the search box.

2. Double click on Device Manager to select it.

3. Double click on Network Adapters

4. If you have several adapters, a drop-down will appear listing them all. Right-click your WiFi Adapter and select uninstall.

5. The Confirm Device Uninstall screen will appear. Click OK. Wait for the uninstallation to complete. Make sure the name of the wireless adapter no longer displays in the list of Network Adapters.

6. On the Device Manager window, click on Action. You can find the Action tab at the top between the File
and View tabs. Select Scan For Hardware Changes from the drop-down.

7. Your computer will reinstall the WiFi adapter and you will be able to see its name once again.

8. Close all windows and restart the computer.

9. Try reconnecting to your WiFi. If the problem persists, read on.

Fix 4: Update Your Wireless Network Drivers

Sometimes, you may need to download and install the latest driver for your wireless adapter for it to work.

This usually works when the connection is slow or when it keeps being interrupted. Here is how to update the drivers.

Before you download any drivers, you need to make sure you know the make and model of your laptop. Whenever possible, use the official website of your laptop's company to get the most legitimate and up to date driver versions. By choosing to get your drivers from third party sites you are assuming the risk of downloading potentially malicious software.

Always download software only from websites that you trust.

That being said, sometimes your laptop maker may not provide updates for your exact WiFi hardware. Here is what you need to do to get it from elsewhere online:

1. Click Start, type in Device Manager in the search field

2. Double click Device Manager to select it.

3. Double click Network Adapters, then find the name of your Wireless Adapter from the list.

4. Right-click your Wireless Adapter then select Properties.

5. Click the Driver tab on the window that appears.

6. The details you want to focus on here are the Driver Provider and Driver Date. Copy them somewhere or write them down.

7. Connect to the Internet using a different method or on another device and search for the driver provider's website.

8. Visit the driver provider's website and search for an updated version of your driver. Make sure the release date is later than your Driver Date.

9. If there is no updated driver on the driver provider's website, or if your driver provider has no website, go back to your Adapter Properties window.

10. Click on the Details tab.

11. Select Hardware IDs from the property list.

12. Right-click the first ID and select copy.

13. Paste this ID on your search engine and find websites that have the driver.

14. Follow the given instructions to install it on your laptop. Again, make sure you only download software
from websites you trust.

15. Once the driver is updated, restart your laptop and try reconnecting it to your WiFi Network. If the
problem persists, read on.

If the problem still persists after attempting all these steps, it may be time to seek professional help.

Bigger laptops have better wifi, so make sure you choose a more expensive one.

Arpad Balogh

Arpad Balogh is the founder of Simply Laptop. As a tech enthusiast, he has been writing about laptops for years. His goal is to help people find the perfect laptop for their needs. He does that by using his digital marketing skills to get these reviews in front of as many people as possible.

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