You’ve set your home and office devices to automatically connect with your Wi-Fi once they enter its range. When you walk into your network’s range, you notice that the Network icon in the taskbar says you’re not connected to any network. If you’re wondering why your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi, we have you covered.

The issue could be either with your router/modem or your laptop. Before you troubleshoot, see if you can connect to the Wi-Fi using any other devices. This will help you identify which device requires troubleshooting. If you can’t connect to Wi-Fi using other devices too, the issue is probably with the router/modem. If you can connect using other devices, however, the issue could be with your laptop.

Table of Contents

    Check If Wi-Fi is Enabled

    The first thing you’d want to check is if your Wi-Fi is enabled. If you’ve inadvertently disabled Wi-Fi or enabled Airplane mode, all wireless connections on your laptop would stop working. 

    1. Select the Network button at the bottom right of the screen in the taskbar.
    2. Make sure that Wi-Fi is highlighted in blue and that Airplane Mode is not. 

    If Wi-Fi is enabled and you’re able to connect to your network, but still don’t have internet access:

    1. Select the Wi-Fi network, select Disconnect, and then Connect again.

    Laptops also have a Wi-Fi switch that can enable/disable wireless connections. Make sure this switch is toggled on.

    Forget Your Network and Renew

    This is a classic “turning it off and on again” fix, only for your WiFi. As simple as it may seem, sometimes, it just fixes the issue. Even if it doesn’t, there’s no downside in trying. 

    1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app and navigate to Network & Internet > WiFi.
    1. Select Manage known networks.
    1. You’ll see the WiFi networks that you’ve connected your PC to in the past listed here. Select the network that you’re facing an issue with, and select Forget.
    1. Next, scan for WiFi networks in the range and connect to the network like you normally would.

    Run the Network Troubleshooter

    You can use the Network troubleshooter to check why your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi. 

    1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app.
    2. Select Network & Internet > Status.
    1. Scroll down and select Network troubleshooter from the Advanced network settings section.
    1. Follow the troubleshooter’s steps and see if it can identify and fix the problem automatically. 

    Restart Your Modem, Router, and Laptop

    Restarting the router and modem helps establish a new connection with your ISP and can resolve Wi-Fi connection issues.

    1. Disconnect the cables from the router as well as the modem.
    2. Let the router and modem remain switched off for 60 seconds.
    3. Reconnect your modem to the power source (not your router). When you plug in the modem, the LED indicators should start blinking. 
    1. Give your modem 60 seconds and then plug in the router to the power source.

    Reconnect your laptop to the network. If your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi after restarting the router and the modem, restart the laptop and see if that helps.

    Update or Reinstall Wi-Fi Driver

    An outdated or corrupt Wi-Fi driver or a conflict between the Wi-Fi driver and other devices can result in interruptions. If your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi, try updating or reinstalling the Wi-Fi driver to see if that helps. 

    Check the latest driver version available on the manufacturer’s website. If the installed drivers are not the latest version, download the newer version from the manufacturer’s website.

    1. Press Win + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter to launch the Device Manager.
    2. Locate Network Adapters from the list and expand the list of adapters by selecting the arrow at the left.
    1. Right-click on the Wi-Fi driver and select Update driver.
    1. When asked, select Browse my computer for drivers.
    1. Select the location where you saved the drivers downloaded from the manufacturer’s website and complete the installation.

    However, if you’re already on the latest version, try reinstalling the driver.

    1. Right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter and select Uninstall device instead of Update driver.
    1. You’ll see a warning pop up. Select Uninstall to continue.
    2. Next, select View from the top ribbon and select Scan for hardware changes.

    This should reinstall the driver. Try reconnecting to your Wi-Fi network and see if it works. 

    Execute Network Commands

    If your laptop still won’t connect to Wi-Fi, try running network commands for resetting the TCP/IP stack, flushing and resetting the DNS cache, and releasing and renewing the IP address.

    1. Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated Command Prompt.
    2. Run the following commands one by one (i.e., press Enter after typing each command):

    netsh winsock reset

    netsh int ip reset

    ipconfig /release

    ipconfig /renew

    ipconfig /flushdns

    Check Wireless Mode for Wi-Fi Driver

    You can try adjusting the Wi-Fi adapter’s default settings to fix the problem. Specifically, you may need to change the Wireless Mode setting on your Wi-Fi adapter if your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi. 

    1. First, check the network mode you’re using. If you don’t know which mode your router is using, access the router firmware and check the wireless mode. However, to do this, you’ll need another device that is able to connect to the network. 

    On the router, you’ll generally find the wireless mode somewhere on the main page, but different manufacturers have a different interface.

    1. Press Win + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter to launch the Device Manager.
    2. Right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter and select Properties.
    1. Switch to the Advanced tab, select the Wireless Mode property, and use the dropdown list on the right to select the appropriate wireless mode (as per what you saw in the router firmware).
    1. Select OK to save changes and exit.

    Network Reset

    If none of the solutions work, try to reset your network as a last resort. Network reset can also help resolve issues that result from upgrading to a newer Windows 10 version. It uninstalls all network adapters from your PC. When you reboot your PC, all adapters are reinstalled with their default settings.

    However, network reset can only be used on Windows 10 v1607 and later, so check your Windows version to make sure that a network reset is an option for you.

    1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app.
    2. Navigate to Network & Internet > Status. Scroll down and select Network Reset.
    1. Select Reset now on the next screen and then select Yes to confirm.

    Let the PC restart and see if your laptop now connects to Wi-Fi.

    Does Your Laptop Connect to Wi-Fi?

    Hopefully, one of these worked and your laptop now connects to your Wi-Fi just fine. If you’re connected to the Wi-Fi and still unable to access the internet, you may see the network as an unidentified network in your Network and Sharing Center and it will also say that you have no internet access. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to fix an unidentified network too.