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What to do if your phone won't connect to Wi-Fi

Getting back on your Wi-Fi network should only take a few minutes.
By
April 17, 2022
Wi Fi devices stock photo 1 - What to do when phone won't connect to Wi-Fi
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Wi-Fi connection problems are pretty frustrating. Maybe it’s just me, but they always seem to happen at the worst time — like during an important Zoom meeting. If you’re having problems connecting your Android smartphone to a Wi-Fi network, you’re not alone. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at a handful of fixes that might solve your connectivity issue and get you back online if your phone won’t connect to Wi-Fi. Let’s dive in.

Also read: Common Wi-Fi issues and how to fix them

What to do if your phone won’t connect to the internet:

Editor’s note: We’ve put together these instructions using a Google Pixel 4a with 5G running Android 12. Remember some of these steps may be different, depending on your device and the software it’s running. 

Restart the phone

Restarting an Android device - What to do when phone won't connect to Wi-Fi

We aren’t quite sure why, but a quick smartphone restart will iron out most small software issues and hiccups. It’s always one of the first troubleshooting tips we recommend, and it’s a quick and easy fix you should try. Just press and hold on to the power button and select Restart.

Check your connection settings if your phone won’t connect to Wi-Fi

If your phone doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, you should check if Wi-Fi on your Android device is turned on.

You may have forgotten to turn it on or switched it off by mistake. Luckily for you, this is an easy fix. Just pull down the notification bar and check if the Wi-Fi icon is enabled. Alternatively, you can also open up the Settings menu and click on Network & internet. Tap on Internet and make sure Wi-Fi is toggled on.

How to turn on Wi-Fi on Android:

  1. Go into the Settings app.
  2. Open Network & internet.
  3. Tap on Internet.
  4. Make sure Wi-Fi is toggled on.

The other setting you should check is Airplane mode. It disables Wi-Fi, data, and other things when active, so you can’t connect to the internet. You can check if Airplane mode is on by going to Settings > Network & internet > Airplane mode. If Airplane mode is off and Wi-Fi is on, but you still don’t have a connection, you should move on to the second solution on this list.

How to turn off Airplane mode:

  1. Go into the Settings app.
  2. Open Network & internet.
  3. Make sure Airplane mode is toggled off.

Update your phone

Android update installing - What to do when phone won't connect to Wi-Fi
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

While software versions aren’t a common issue with data or Wi-Fi connections, these can fix system bugs your phone may be encountering. Updating your phone software is worth a try, and it’s an effortless way to possibly get things back up and running.

How to update your Android phone:

  1. Go into the Settings app.
  2. Tap on System.
  3. Hit System update.
  4. Tap on Check for update.
  5. Your phone will let you know if there is an available update. Follow instructions to update.

Check your router name and password when your phone won’t connect to Wi-Fi

Another reason you might have connection problems is that you’re trying to connect to the wrong network. This can happen at times, especially if your neighbors have the same ISP and, therefore, similar network names in some cases. Ensure you check what your network is called by looking at your router’s back or the bottom. You’ll see a small sticker that contains the info you need, so long as you haven’t renamed your unit.

If you’ve figured out that you were on the right network, the next step is to double-check the password. You’ll find the generic password on the same sticker as the network name. Re-enter the password for the network you’re trying to connect to and see if it solves your problem. Remember that you may have changed the password after setup, and it will be case-sensitive.

If you’ve changed the network name or password, and don’t remember them, there are ways to factory reset your router. This method varies by router, so try finding this information on your manual, or Google how to factory reset your router model.

See also: Which Wi-Fi router is right for you?

Reboot your router

Flashrouters picture of Linksys-3200ACM - What to do when phone won't connect to Wi-Fi

It’s possible that the router is to blame for your connection problems and not your smartphone. This happens often enough and is yet another easy fix in most cases. Just unplug the router from the power outlet and wait for at least 30 seconds before you plug it back in. Many routers also have a restart button. After that, you’ll have to wait for a minute or two for the router to turn back on. Once it’s set up, try to connect to the network again to see if things work as they should now.

Forget the Wi-Fi network and reconnect

Forgetting the network and reconnecting to it is the next solution that might solve your problem. To do this, open up the Settings, tap into Network & internet, and select Internet. Under Wi-Fi, find the network you want to forget and tap on the gear icon next to it. Hit Forget. Simply tap on the same network and enter the credentials to reconnect.

How to forget a Wi-Fi network on Android:

  1. Go into the Settings app.
  2. Open Network & internet.
  3. Select Internet.
  4. Under Wi-Fi, find the network you want to forget and tap on the gear icon next to it.
  5. Hit Forget.
  6. You can tap on your network and enter the correct credentials to reconnect.

See also: Wi-Fi not working? Here are some possible fixes

Perform a factory reset if your phone won’t connect

This is far from a great option, but it’s worth a shot if the fixes described above don’t work. A factory reset will eliminate any software bugs on your device that might have caused your connection problems. It’s not hard to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. However, it will wipe all the data (images, apps, documents, etc.) off your device, so make sure you back it up first. You can read up on how exactly to do that right here.

The easiest way to perform a factory reset is in your settings. Just go to Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset) > Erase all data. Enter your PIN, then confirm the action by hitting Erase all data.

How to factory reset an Android phone:

  1. Go into the Settings app.
  2. Tap on System.
  3. Select Reset options.
  4. Hit Erase all data (factory reset).
  5. Tap on Erase all data.
  6. Enter your PIN.
  7. Confirm by tapping on Erase all data.

Once the smartphone turns back on, you’ll have to go through the setup process again, just like you did when using it for the first time. After that’s done, turn on the Wi-Fi, select your network, and try to connect all over again. Hopefully, everything works now, and you can connect to the internet without a problem.

More: Our complete guide on factory resetting Android phones

Enlist the help of a professional if your phone won’t connect to Wi-Fi

ATT logo stock image 1 - What to do when phone won't connect to Wi-Fi
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If none of the solutions above have worked, the problem might be more serious. There may be a hardware issue with either your smartphone or router.

The best thing to do is try and connect at least one other device to the Wi-Fi network causing you headaches. If it also can’t connect, there’s a good chance that something is wrong with your router. It’s an unfortunate problem, but not an isolated one. Just call your internet provider, explain the problem, and someone should come to your home to replace the broken router with a new one and set it up.

However, if other devices can connect to the network and only your phone cannot, that might be the cause of your issues. We only say it might be because there are cases when some routers won’t work with specific devices. In this case, replacing the router with a different one should do the trick.

You could test this out by trying to connect your device to a different Wi-Fi network at your friend’s house or a restaurant, for example. If you can’t get a connection, it’s most likely that your smartphone is to blame, which means you should get it repaired. If it’s still under warranty or if you have phone insurance, this shouldn’t be a big deal. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay up to get it fixed unless you want to rely on a mobile network for internet access.

Next: The best options for phone insurance


Android issues are plentiful. If you think you may have more problems, you should look at our guide to common Android problems and how to fix them.