Solved: Cannot connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10

Many of us cannot imagine normal everyday life without the Internet. But to be able to use we need to be connected to the Web. Here is where some users may have troubles from time to time. In today’s article, we are going to solve the problem when your Windows 10 device fails to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

How to fix common Wi-Fi connection problems

Multiple problems and errors in Windows 10 may result in failed Wi-Fi connection. Luckily, three effective methods can solve most Wi-Fi problems. Of course, there are more techniques, but in most cases, they are individual for each user. Therefore, we are going to concentrate on solutions that will work for the majority of our readers. Now let’s dive into details.   

Checking and enabling a wireless adapter

When you are dealing with any occasional wireless network error, the very first thing you need to do is to check whether your Wi-Fi adapter is connected properly and correctly recognized by the operating system. Yes, it may sound trivial, but most users forget about this for whatever reason and immediately start digging deeper while the solution they need is in front of their eyes. This is what you need to do to check your wireless adapter:

1.    Press the Start button and select Settings (small gear icon) or press Win+I.

2.    Go to the «Network & Internet» menu.

3.    On the left sidebar look for the «Wi-Fi» submenu – it must be second from the top by default.

4.    Click it and make sure that it switched to «On.»

5.    If you cannot find the «Wi-Fi» submenu on the list, open the Control Panel from the Start menu or by pressing Win+R, then type control in the window to appear and click Enter.

6.    Now you are in the Control Panel. Switch the «View by» setting to Large Icons and look for the icon called «Network and sharing center».

7.    Open it and click «Change adapter settings» on the left sidebar.

8.    You will see a full list of adapters connected to your computer. Here you will also find additional devices installed with a virtual machine or VPN. You need to find just one adapter named «Wi-Fi» or contains words «WLAN» or «Wireless.» Theoretically, the icon you are looking for will be greyed out. It means that Wi-Fi is not active. In order to activate it, you need to right-click on it and select «Enable.»

After completing these steps, try to search available Wi-Fi networks and connect to the one you need. If you could not find the wireless adapter you were looking for on the list, then you should try the next method.

Reinstall wireless drivers and restart your Wi-Fi

If the system cannot correctly recognize your wireless adapter or some errors occur during its operation, we recommend you to updated wireless drivers. Needless to say, that Windows 10 is a very self-sufficient operating system and knows what software should be installed but sometimes you need to use software developed by the manufacturer to assure everything works as intended. Follow these steps:

1.    Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager.

2.    Look for the menu called «Network adapters» in the window that will appear. Your wireless adapter should be in this menu by default. However, if the system fails to detect your wireless device, it may end up in the «Other devices» menu listed as «Unknown device» and yellow exclamation mark.

3.    You need to make sure that your wireless adapter (despite being «unknown») is on the list of connected devices. Otherwise, it is highly likely that it is physically broken or the port it is connected to is not functioning properly. It would be a hardware problem that cannot be solved by any software. But let’s get back to drivers.

4.    Your next step is to identify the model of your wireless adapter. It is very easy to do with external devices – a quick glance at the case is enough to find the manufacturer and model number. If you need to find software for the wireless adapter hidden within your laptop, for example, then you should check the model of the laptop and search for drivers on the official manufacturer’s website.

5.    With all the required information on your hands, you can proceed to download and install the software. There are multiple ways to do that. You are not limited to the official websites and can always try downloading full driver packs or using special apps for driver updating.

6.    When you finish installing wireless adapter drivers, don’t forget to reboot your PC to complete configuration changes.

After a reboot, you should try to connect to Wi-Fi once again. In most cases, this method helps to solve problems with Wi-Fi connection. If you are trying to connect to a known Wi-Fi network, we recommend you to use the «Forget» function first. To do so, you need to click on the Network icon in the tray and select «Network settings» – «Manage known networks» – find your network and click «Forget.» This is needed to update the network connection that might have new configuration now. Now let the system scan available Wi-Fi networks and try to connect to the one you have just forgotten. This should work.

In case you don’t want to waste your time searching and downloading drivers but still, you want to have them updated, try using automatic driver-updating tools like RocketFixer. It can scan your system and detect old or unstable drivers. Downloading and installing them can be set to the automatic mode, so you won’t have to worry about anything. You just need to select the drivers you want to be updated and press the button. The program will automatically download and install them immediately.

Final possible solution

Some users report that their Wi-Fi connection errors were solved after restarting the router. If two previous methods did not help you, this might be what you are looking for (of course, if you have direct access to the device). Resetting your router is very easy and can be done by pressing the On/Off button on its body or simply unplugging it and turning back on. After doing this, wait a bit for the machine to come to its «senses» and try to establish your Wi-Fi connection to see if it works.

We hope that at least one method from this article was useful to you and did solve your problems with the Wi-Fi connection. If nothing helped, it is more likely that you have issues of hardware nature and should check your wireless adapter or ports for mechanical damage.