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Wi-Fi not working? Here are some possible fixes
Having Wi-Fi trouble? We certainly feel your pain. There are a number of things you can try out if your Wi-Fi is not working, none of which require any technical knowledge whatsoever. Each solution only takes a few minutes to complete, so you’ll be able to go through this entire list in no time.
We’ve listed a few of the most common fixes below, which should hopefully solve your Wi-Fi-related issues. Let’s get started.
Start with the basics
If your Wi-Fi is not working, the first thing to do is to check the most basic settings. First, start by making sure you switched on Wi-Fi on your device. Also check that you don’t have Airplane mode enabled, as that will prevent your device from connecting to the web. These might seem like ultra-obvious things, but often those are the last things people think to check!
If these two things check out, the next step is to make sure you’re connected to the right router. Trying to connect to your neighbor’s network instead of yours is a common mistake, especially if they have similar names that consist of random letters and numbers. Also, make sure to double-check the password for your router. If you didn’t change it once the network was set up, you’ll find it on a sticker placed somewhere on your router.
Turn off Bluetooth if your Wi-Fi is not working
Bluetooth loves to interfere with Wi-Fi networks, mainly because both send signals over a 2.4GHz radio frequency. Sometimes Bluetooth cuts off access to the internet entirely, while in other cases it just slows down the speed significantly.
To solve the problem, switch your router to the 5GHz band.
This is easy to test out. Just turn off Bluetooth on your device if you have it on and see if it solves the problem. If it does, our recommendation is to switch your router from a 2.4GHz band to a 5GHz band — if it supports it — which should allow you to use Bluetooth on your device without it causing Wi-Fi-related problems. You can change this in the settings of your router.
Reboot your router and device
This is a simple fix that’s known to solve many tech-related problems. Start off by rebooting your router: unplug all the cords from the device and then wait a few minutes. After you plug it back in, wait a minute or two for the device to set up. While you’re waiting, go ahead and reboot your phone, tablet, laptop, or any other device you’re using as well.
Once both your device and the router are back up and running, turn on Wi-Fi to see if this solved your problem. If it didn’t, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Read more: The best Wi-Fi routers you can buy
Other solutions to try if your Wi-Fi is not working
If none of the fixes so far have worked, there are a few others you can try out. We’ve listed a few of the most common ones below:
- Get closer: The reason why your Wi-Fi isn’t working might be because you’re too far away from the router. Grab your device and take it as close to the router as possible and then try to connect online.
- Troubleshoot problems: If you’re experiencing Wi-Fi problems on your Windows PC, right-click on the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar, select the “Troubleshoot problems” option, and wait for the device to do its thing. The whole process takes less than a minute to complete and has solved my connection problems many, many times so far.
- Forget the Wi-Fi network and reconnect: This is another quick and easy fix. The process differs depending on your device and OS, but if you use an Android handset, find the Wi-Fi option in the settings and select your network. A window will then pop up on your screen with some info that also contains the “Forget” button. Tap the button and then reconnect to the same network with your password.
- Patch your router or roll back your PC: In rare cases, your Wi-Fi router might have received a bad update on your Windows PC that prevents it from working. If that’s the case, check to see if your router has a new patch that fixes this issue. If not, the solution is to roll back your PC to an earlier version when the router still worked correctly.
- Perform a factory reset: This is far from the best option out there, but if nothing else works, a factory reset might do the job. It will delete all data from your device — including the software bugs that may be causing the connection problems — and restore everything back to its original settings via a factory reset. But before you go down this road, make sure to back up the data on your device.
Make the call
Did you try out all the fixes listed in this post but your Wi-Fi is still not working? If so, there’s a chance you’re going to have to make a call. But before you do, try to figure out if the problem is with your device or router. Try connecting as many devices as possible to your Wi-Fi network. If none of them can get online, the problem is with the router or the network. But if only one of them can’t connect, it’s likely there’s something wrong with that specific device.
In the first case, give your ISP a call. It can check if there’s any work being done in your area that’s causing interference with the network, or if there is a problem with your router. If the router is to blame, your ISP will send a guy over to replace it — this happened to me three times in two years.
If your device is to blame for the Wi-Fi-related issues you’re having, you’re going to have to get it repaired. In this case, give the manufacturer a call if the device is still under warranty or the retailer if you opted for one of the extra insurance packages they like to offer. If both have already expired, you’ll have to get it repaired at your own expense — sorry about that.
These are some of the most basic and common solutions for your Wi-Fi problems, although they aren’t the only ones. Did any of them solve your connection issues? Let us know which one in the comments!
Read more: Best gaming Wi-Fi routers