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Why Won’t My Laptop Connect to WiFi? 5 Quick Solutions

Wifi router in a dark room and space
Published 18 August 2022

If you use a laptop, you likely experience not being able to connect to a Wi-Fi network on occasion. Luckily, this issue can be easily fixed most of the time.

Make sure you check this guide if you are fully connected to WiFi and don’t have internet.

For instance, your laptop may not connect to Wi-Fi because it is in airplane mode. You may also be using the wrong password or not within your network range. There may be other issues at play as well. 

In this article, I will provide easy fixes for each of these possible reasons your laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi.

Wifi logo

Reasons why your laptop doesn’t connect to WiFi

Your laptop is in Airplane Mode, or WiFi is turned off

You should first check whether your WiFi is on or off when encountering WiFi problems. Alternatively, you’ll want to check if airplane mode is on, especially if you just got off a long flight.

Either way, the problem may be as simple as turning your WiFi on or turning airplane mode off. 

You have the wrong password for the WiFi

If there’s nothing wrong with your WiFi and airplane mode is disabled, the next thing to look at is whether you’re entering the wrong password.

As you know, passwords are extremely case-sensitive, and entering even one wrong character means you won’t be able to access WiFi at all.

You are not in the range of your network

If both your WiFi settings and password check out, it’s possible that you’re out of range. Your WiFi can extend as much as 150 feet (45 meters) depending on your frequency. It’s also possible that you’re within range, but physical obstacles interfere with the network signal.

There is an issue with your router

If you’re using your laptop at home and all of the above seem okay, your modem may have issues. The router you’re trying to connect to may be the culprit if you’re using public WiFi.

The latter is likely the problem if everyone else on that router can’t connect to the Internet.

Try restarting your router, or possibly think of upgrading to a WiFi 6 router if you haven’t. Is your upload speed slow? WiFi 6 is much faster, and you will get quicker download and upload speeds.

There is an issue with your network adapter

Lastly, the problem might be your laptop network adapter. This component inside your laptop allows you to connect to the Internet.

Usually, a restart is enough to solve the problem (more on this later); otherwise, you may need professional help.

How to fix your laptop not connecting to WiFi

1. Turn on WiFi

For Windows:

  1. Select the Network icon on the taskbar in the bottom right corner.
  2. If the Airplane mode button is blue, click it to disable airplane mode.
  3. If the WiFi button is grey, click it to enable WiFi.

For Mac:

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Select “System Preferences” > “Network“.
  3. If WiFi is turned off, click Turn WiFi On.

2. Double check your password

Think about whether you’ve recently changed the password to your WiFi network. 

If the password hasn’t been changed, try the following:

  • Make sure Caps Lock is off for starting, so you know where you are at.
  • Check the keyboard language if you have multiple languages enabled.
  • Enter the password while looking at the keyboard to ensure you don’t make typos.

3. Move within closer range of your network

Try moving your laptop closer to the router and ensure they’re in the same room. Make sure there are no obstacles in the way of the signal as well.

If that doesn’t help, try running a network troubleshooter as follows.

For Windows:

  1. Select the Network icon on the taskbar in the bottom right corner.
  2. Click Network & Internet.
  3. Go to “Status” > “Change your network settings” > “Network Troubleshooter“.

For Mac:

  1. Hold the Options button on your keyboard.
  2. Select the WiFi icon in the menu bar.
  3. Click Open Wireless Diagnostics.

4. Restart your router

Check if other devices can connect to the network. If they can’t, the router is likely the problem.

If you’re at home, restart your router or modem. If you’re using public WiFi, contact the people responsible for providing WiFi about the issue.

Router range
Source: Linksys

5. Restart your network adapter/computer

To restart your network adapter, you need to reboot your PC.

For Windows:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Select the Power icon.
  3. Click Restart.

For Mac:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > “Restart“.
  2. Alternatively, hold the power button on your Mac until it turns off, then press it again to restart.

If restarting didn’t help, you likely need your adapter replaced. In that case, schedule an appointment with a specialist and ask them what to do.

Video tutorial for Windows 10

Video tutorial for macOS

Conclusion

There are several possible reasons your laptop cannot connect to WiFi. Most of them can be fixed by double-checking your WiFi-related settings or restarting your computer or router. If none of these simple fixes solves the issue, you can always consult a professional. 

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26-year-old average guy. I've always had a strong passion for games, movies, books and comics. I am proficient in SEO Analysis, Adobe Software, Microsoft Office & SQL Database work.

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