[Solved] Laptop Won't Connect to WiFi: Possible Causes and How to Fix

Lindsay Hayes

It can feel like the end of the world when your Laptop suddenly won't connect to Wi-Fi. In most cases, something as simple as restarting your router or your laptop’s network adapter can fix the problem.

This happened to me in the middle of an intense one-on-one in Modern Warfare. There's nothing more frustrating than losing a close game because your internet went out.

Luckily, I was able to fix the problem pretty quickly, but it did cost me that game. I'll share the exact steps I followed so that it doesn't happen to you.

So, let's dive into the solutions and valuable tips that'll get you back online in no time!


How to Fix Laptop Won't Connect to Wi-Fi (7 Easy Solutions)

So, you grab your laptop and get ready for a binge-watching session on Netflix, but suddenly there's no internet connection. No matter what you do your laptop doesn't connect to it.

Don't worry! Because that's exactly what we're tackling today.

Don't blame your ISP for the bad Wi-Fi connection yet. Sometimes all you need is just a quick software fix to restore your internet connection.

Here are the most effective fixes to try to get you back online in no time:

Wifi Router, Laptop, and Note Books on White Table

1. Check the Wi-Fi Signal and Network Status

Before messing with any setting in your router or laptop, it's always a good idea to get the basic things right. Check that the Wi-Fi is turned on and Airplane mode is turned off by clicking on the network icon on your laptop.

After that, just make sure that your Wi-Fi network is working perfectly. You can do that by using your mobile phone, tablet, or any other laptop to connect to your wireless network.

If other devices are successfully connecting to Wi-Fi and the internet works fine on them, then it's likely your laptop that's causing the problem. In that case, move on to the following solutions.

2. Restart Your Laptop and Wi-Fi Router

What's the first thing you do when your mobile phone stops working suddenly? That's right - restart it. Do the same with your laptop and router. This will reset the connections and give them a fresh start.

For the router, turn it off, disconnect the cables, and unplug it. Wait for about 30 seconds and plug it back in. Give it a couple of minutes after it's on before connecting to Wi-Fi.

Doing this will clean out the router cache as well as any static in the lines that might interfere with your Wi-Fi connection.

3. Verify the WiFi Password and Security Settings

Your laptop won't connect to Wi-Fi if you've set up incorrect security settings or you've entered the wrong password.

Also, if you're connecting to a new network, then you need to double-check the password. These are case-sensitive, and the default ones can be long and complex.

If the problem is happening with an existing device, check if anyone with admin access to the router has changed the password without notifying others.

4. Run Network Troubleshooter Test

Windows PCs and Laptops come with built-in troubleshooting software to help diagnose Wi-Fi connectivity issues. It can tell you the exact cause of the problem and the steps needed to fix it.

Here's how to run it:

On Windows

There's no such troubleshooter for Macs. Wireless Diagnostics only works on Mac if you're already connected to the Wi-Fi network.

Man Working with Laptop while Using the Mouse

5. Update or Reinstall WiFi Drivers

If you can't see your Wi-Fi network at all, or if the Wi-Fi adapter constantly keeps turning off on its own, then the main culprit is likely your network adapter driver.

It's best to update or reinstall the Wi-Fi driver manually and see if this is the problem. Follow the steps mentioned below (only applicable to Windows computers) to do that.

  1. Click on the Start button, type "Device Manager" and hit enter.
  2. Inside the Windows Device Manager, find and expand the "Network adapters" category.
  3. Find your Wi-Fi network adapter from the list. right-click on it and select "Update driver."
  4. In the next window, select "Search automatically for drivers." After that, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update process.
  5. If Windows doesn't find any updates or if the issue persists after updating, you should reinstall the driver. To do this, go back to the Device Manager, right-click on the network adapter, and select "Uninstall device" from the context menu.
  6. Click "Uninstall" to remove the driver from your system and restart your computer. Windows will automatically reinstall the network driver when the system boots up.
  7. Note that if Windows fails to install the appropriate driver after rebooting, you must install it manually from your computer/network adapter manufacturer's website.

6. Renew Your DHCP IP Address

Your laptop is automatically assigned an IP address when it connects to your wireless network. But sometimes this doesn't work as expected, or the old address causes connectivity issues.

To troubleshoot this, you need to release your current DHCP address and renew the IP address. Here's how to do it:

On Windows

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the "Run" dialog box.
  2. Type in cmd and hit Enter.
  3. Type ipconfig /release and press Enter to release the current address.
  4. Now type ipconfig /renew and hit Enter.
  5. Finally, type exit to close the command prompt. Turn Wi-Fi on and see if it connects successfully this time.

On a Mac

  1. Open the Apple Menu and go to System Settings.
  2. On the left sidebar, click on Network.
  3. Now highlight the network adapter that needs IP address renewal. Then click the Advanced button.
  4. Switch to the TCP/IP tab, then select Renew DHCP Lease.
  5. Click OK.

7. Reset Network Settings On Your Laptop

Nothing works?

As a last resort, you have no option but to reset your wireless settings. It'll wipe all your existing Wi-Fi connections and reset all the networking components and adapters to their default state.

Make sure you have your Wi-Fi password before following the steps given below.

On Windows

  1. Open Start > Settings, and now go to Network & Internet.
  2. On the left sidebar, click on Status and then choose the Network reset option in the right panel.
  3. Hit Reset now and click select Yes in the confirmation prompt. Your laptop will reboot after some time.
  4. This will reinstall your network adapters and clear all the existing network connections. Now connect to Wi-Fi using the current password and hopefully, it should work properly now.

On a Mac

  1. Open the Apple Menu and click on System Preferences. Now select Network.
  2. Choose your Wi-Fi network from the left sidebar and click the minus ("-") sign.
  3. Click Apply and restart your Mac.
  4. After restarting, open the Network settings once again and your Wi-Fi adapter should appear automatically.
  5. If it doesn't, then click the plus ("+") sign at the bottom left column. Choose the correct network adapter interface from the list and click Create. Once you click Apply your adapter will be added and start functioning once again.

What Causes Laptop WiFi Connectivity Issues?

Here are all the possible reasons why your laptop won't connect to Wi-Fi. We've already covered the solutions for them above.

Man Working on a Laptop Beside a Wifi Router


1. Why Can't My Laptop Connect to Wi-Fi But Other Devices Can?

If other devices can connect to Wi-Fi, then the problem is with your laptop's network settings or Wi-Fi adapter. You can try solutions like reinstalling network drivers or resetting the wireless adapter to fix your network connection.

2. Why Does My Laptop Fails to Detect Wi-Fi Network?

If your Wi-Fi device doesn't appear when clicking on the Wi-Fi icon, there might be several reasons behind that. This commonly happens because of incorrect network settings, outdated drivers, or weak Wi-Fi signal. Besides that, it can also happen when you reset your router or change your Wi-Fi password.

3. When Should I Seek Professional Help for My Laptop's Wi-Fi Connectivity Issue?

If you've tried all the troubleshooting steps mentioned above and your laptop still won't connect to Wi-Fi, it makes sense to consider seeking professional assistance.

This is especially true if you're uncertain about handling technical stuff or if the problem persists despite your efforts. In such cases, contact your laptop manufacturer or a trusted computer repair service that can help diagnose and resolve the underlying issues.

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Dealing with a laptop that won't connect to Wi-Fi can be frustrating, but hopefully, things should be much easier now that we've discussed the most effective solutions.

By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can tackle the issue head-on and get your laptop back online.

Remember to check the Wi-Fi signal, restart your laptop and router, verify your network settings, update or reinstall drivers if needed, and try resetting network configurations. And if all else fails, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance.

Thanks for reading! Happy surfing!

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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