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What to do when your Chromebook won't connect to Wi-Fi

Get back online in no time!

Published onJuly 18, 2023

What should you do when your Chromebook won’t connect to Wi-Fi? We know how frustrating this situation can be. Especially considering Chromebooks are primarily made to work online. Today we’ll give you some troubleshooting tips to get your Chromebook back online as soon as possible.

Editor’s note: We assembled these instructions using an ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip running Chrome OS version 114.0.5735.239. Some steps may look slightly different depending on your hardware and software version.

Make sure your Wi-Fi is enabled

You may have accidentally disabled your Wi-Fi, and this may be why your Chromebook won’t connect to Wi-Fi. If you have an older Chromebook, some of these have a physical Wi-Fi switch. Make sure it is switched on. In all other cases, you will have to find the software option.

How to enable Wi-Fi on Chromebook:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Click on the Network tab.
  3. Next to Wi-Fi, you will find a toggle. Turn it on.
How to enable Wi Fi on Chromebook

Also, click on Wi-Fi and ensure you’re connected to your network. You may have disconnected from it accidentally, as well.

Ensure Wi-Fi is within range

Each router has a specific maximum distance. More affordable ones usually have a shorter reach. Additionally, this distance is affected by thick walls, interference, and other obstructions. If you’re too far from your router, try moving closer to it and see if that helps.

If signal strength is a common problem for your home, you may want to consider buying a new router. Here’s a look at the best mesh routers, which are the best at solving signal distance issues. You can also get one of the best Wi-Fi extenders.

Did you reach your router device limit?

Google Nest Wi Fi Pro router front view on table next to flower vase
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Basic routers can usually only handle about 15-20 simultaneous active connections. Having many connected devices can easily congest the network. Try disconnecting other gadgets from the network and see if that helps.

If this becomes a constant issue, you might want to upgrade to one of the best Wi-Fi routers out there. Preferably, go with a Wi-Fi 6 or newer router. These often support over 50 connections.

Restart your Chromebook and router

The good ol’ restart never fails! Sometimes computers just need a fresh boot to get everything back in working order when your Chromebook won’t connect to Wi-Fi.

How to restart a Chromebook:

  1. Click on the notification area.
  2. Click on the Power button.
  3. The computer will turn off.
  4. Press the physical power button for a few seconds until the computer turns on.
How to restart a Chromebook

Update the Chromebook

Updates often come with bug fixes and optimizations, which can help improve your Wi-Fi connection. Keeping your Chrome OS laptop as up-to-date as possible is a good habit.

How to check for Chromebook updates:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Click on the About ChromeOS option.
  3. Select Check for updates.
  4. The system will look for updates and install them. You may need to restart your computer.
How to check for Chromebook updates

Try connecting via Ethernet

Your Wi-Fi antenna may be having issues. Maybe try connecting physically, using an Ethernet cable.

Some Chromebooks have an Ethernet port, but this is becoming rarer these days. You can always look at our list of the best USB-C adapters. Many of these have Ethernet ports.

Run the Chromebook connectivity diagnostics

Chrome OS has its own tool for finding issues in your network connection. You can easily access it from the settings, and it may help you pinpoint what the issue is. Give it a try and see if it finds any issues. It might also give you some tips for solving common problems.

How to run Chrome OS connectivity diagnostics:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Click on the About ChromeOS option.
  3. Select Diagnostics.
  4. Pick Connectivity.
  5. The system will do its thing and alert you of any issues.

Try a Powerwash

A Powerwash is the equivalent to a factory data reset. It will bring the Chromebook back to factory settings, and delete everything in its memory. We have a complete guide on how to reset a Chromebook. Follow it to wipe your device clean. Then set your Chromebook up again and see if your Wi-Fi issues are fixed.

Find professional help

If all else fails, we must consider that this may be a hardware issue. It’s time to go to a professional. Of course, plenty of services can check your Chromebook and fix it, but you may want to look into your warranty first. If your device is still covered under warranty, the manufacturer should fix it. If you got insurance for the device, you should contact your insurance provider, and it should fix the Chromebook, likely after you pay a deductible.

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