Why doesn’t Wi-Fi Work on My Laptop?

Wi-Fi doesn't work on my laptop

by Alex Gustman

Updated: March 18, 2022

Wi-Fi network failures on your laptop are rare, but often unexpected. In this case, you do not need to rush to the service center for a paid help, as to fix the failure under the power of each user at home. Therefore we have prepared this article for you to learn the common reasons why Wi-Fi doesn’t work on your laptop and how to fix them.

Why has Wi-Fi stopped working on my laptop?

There has probably been a failure or a hardware failure on one of the parties. The problem could be with the network adapter, wireless router, the wireless connection or with the internet service provider. Therefore, it is important to determine what caused the lack of Internet connection: the ISP, the network equipment, or other devices. To determine the cause, individual tests should be performed to narrow down the search.

No internet because of the ISP

If the network cable is connected to the PC via a wireless router, you need to connect it directly to the device. If the Internet connection is active, the problem is not with your internet service provider. Otherwise, contact your ISP to find out the cause of the issue.

Wireless router doesn’t work or it is damaged

To identify problems in the wi fi router, you need to connect a similar device to the PC, preferably with the same parameters of the Wi-Fi module. Correct connection of the device with similar characteristics will exclude probable failures in settings. Correct connection of other devices – smartphones, consoles, tablets, as well as laptops, excludes issues with the access point.

The laptop doesn’t work or it is damaged

Connect your laptop to another access point. If the same network connection problem occurs, there may be a problem with your laptop. If the connection fails only with your home router, you need to check the router or laptop settings.

Probable causes and solutions

Problem 1: Wi-Fi does not work, no available wireless networks to connect

Reason 1: Wi-Fi module is disabled

Using a Wi-Fi network requires the module to be activated beforehand. The connection method depends on the manufacturer and model of the laptop. Usually, there is a button or a switcher on its body. In compact devices, more often a combination of keys is used.

Usually, reactivation of the module after shutting down the notebook is unnecessary. If, in your case, the module is deactivated, re-activate it. Then, open the network connections section and make sure that the wireless network is active.

Reason 2: No drivers

The Wi-Fi module requires drivers to be installed in advance. If drivers are installed, check in Network Connections. If necessary, reinstall the drivers.

Reason 3: No connection on the main line

The Wi-Fi module is most often made in the form of a separate board installed in a connector on the motherboard. An obsolete or damaged board is replaced with a new one. Sometimes a strong jolt or shock from dropping the board breaks the solder or the board is not installed tightly in the socket.

If access to the Wi-Fi module is not difficult, open the laptop cover and check the condition of the module. If there is a valid warranty or lack of experience, it is better to go to a service center.

Reason 4: The Wi-Fi module is broken

Over time, the contact base or Wi-Fi card fails. To accurately diagnose the problem, it is necessary to apply to the service center. If it is impossible or impractical to restore due to the high cost of components, complexity in replacing, hidden defects, it is better to use an external Wi-Fi adapter installed in the USB connector.

Problem 2: Wi-Fi networks are available, no connection or no internet after connection

Reason 1: Incorrect password or system failure

Check that the password you are entering is correct. Do not ignore upper case letters when entering. Reboot the wireless router and laptop to rule out a system failure.

Reason 2: The router is overloaded

When your device is successfully connected, lack of Internet is a common sign of channel overload. If there is no problem with the Internet, the channel is probably fully occupied by another device, such as a computer that is downloading or uploading. Check and pause the download or upload.

Then, open the router’s settings and check the wireless statistics. It’s possible that unauthorized people are connecting to the network. In this case, block third-party devices by MAC address.

Problem 3: The home Wi-Fi hotspot is not shown

Reason 1: Wireless mode is disabled

To deploy a Wi-Fi network, you must activate two items in the router’s settings: “Enable wireless broadcast of the router” and “Enable SSID broadcast”. It is also important to activate the “DHCP” option. Otherwise, the router will not distribute the Internet.

Reason 2: MAC blocking

When connecting to a wireless network, your laptop uses a unique identifier – the MAC address. If the corresponding address is blacklisted in the router, you will not be able to connect to that access point. Open the wireless mode settings to check if your laptop is blacklisted.

Reason 3: Unsuitable broadcast frequency

If your router broadcasts at 5 GHz, but your laptop only supports 2.4 GHz, or vice versa, it will not show up among the available connections. Change the broadcast frequency or activate both frequencies.

Problem 4: The network is unstable or interrupted

Reason 1: Interference

The router is at a distance from the laptop. There are obstacles in the way of the signal in the form of walls. There are wireless appliances in the apartment. There are 10 or more Wi-Fi access points in the apartment building. All this impairs the data transfer speed and breaks the stability of the connection.

Eliminate interference. When using the Wi-Fi network remotely, it is better to use a direct connection, through the network card. If possible, use the 5 GHz broadcast frequency, as it is less clogged.

Reason 2: Weak signal

When the signal is weak, the stability of the network deteriorates. As a result, your laptop loses connection to the access point. Weak signal also occurs due to interference and moving the laptop away from the router. If both causes are eliminated, but the signal is still weak, you need to increase the “Transmit Power” in the router settings. The problem can also be solved by replacing the Wi-Fi card in the laptop.

Why won’t my Wi-Fi show up on my laptop?

  1. The router may have malfunctioned. Reset the router and reconnect.
  2. The router may be interfering with the connection, in which case you should move the router closer to your laptop.
  3. Sometimes it is necessary to update the network hardware drivers or reinstall the drivers completely.
  4. Wi-Fi card malfunctions and needs to be reset. Also we can’t exclude the module itself.
  5. There may be a problem on the ISP side.

FAQ

My computer won’t connect to Wi-Fi, but other devices can

The connected device may have malfunctioned and it may be necessary to reset the connection to solve the problem. To reset, open “Settings”, then “Network and internet”. Then scroll down to “Reset network”. When you select the menu, a warning will appear to reset all network adapters to their original state. Confirm the reset by pressing the “Reset now” button. A reset followed by a restart will follow.

Wi-Fi doesn’t have a valid IP configuration

Update the network adapter drivers. Also check that the Wi-Fi equipment works with other devices to rule out a malfunction. If necessary, back up the Wi-Fi router settings, then reset the router and make a new setup.

My laptop cannot detect Wi-Fi but my phone can

In the router management console, check the Wi-Fi network settings. Activate all possible bands if necessary. Also position the router closer to the laptop, perhaps the distance and interference make it difficult to connect. Check that the Wi-Fi card is working properly. If necessary, replace the module or connect an external receiver via USB.

Wi-Fi not showing in Windows 10

1. It is advisable to update the Wi-Fi driver or perform a complete reinstallation of the driver.
2. Under “network connection” you should check the status of the adapter. The adapter may be disconnected and inactive.
3. Reset the connection. To do this, open “Settings”, then “Network and Internet”. Then scroll down to “Reset Network”. After selecting the option, a warning will appear to reset all network adapters to their original state. Confirm the reset by pressing the “Reset Now” button. A reset followed by a restart will follow.  
4. There may be a problem with the Wi-Fi adapter.

How to fix Wi-Fi connection on laptop

1. The Wi-Fi router needs to be rebooted. Sometimes you need to update the router’s firmware.
2. Reset the system, often a restart will clear the malfunctions.
Update or completely reinstall the Wi-Fi drivers.
4. Resetting the Wi-Fi settings may help.
5. We cannot rule out a Wi-Fi module malfunction. If this is the case, the module should be diagnosed and if necessary repaired or replaced. If diagnosis, repair or replacement is not possible, an external Wi-Fi card can be connected via USB port.

Why don’t I have a Wi-Fi option on my laptop?

There can be several reasons for this. For example, a problem with your ISP or a line fault. There are often hardware failures that can be solved by rebooting the laptop and router. You may need to update the network connection drivers or reinstall the drivers completely. Sometimes it is necessary to update the router’s firmware.

Why can’t my laptop connect to any Wi-Fi?

There may be a problem with the Wi-Fi module. If connection problems disappear when using an external Wi-Fi module, then the problem is hidden in the built-in Wi-Fi module. Otherwise, the problem is hidden in the system settings or drivers. It’s also possible that an antivirus is blocking all connections.

Conclusion

Usually, Wi-Fi on a laptop does not work due to software failures. Less often, the Wi-Fi control board fails. Therefore, you should start troubleshooting by updating the drivers and checking the settings in the wireless router. Sometimes it is enough to reboot the router or laptop, reset the wi fi router or change the firmware. It is also worth eliminating possible interference and checking the state of the Wi-Fi control board. If it is difficult or expensive to go to a service center, you should consider buying an external Wi-Fi module.

If you have faced with non-functioning Wi-Fi on your laptop and successfully solved the problem, share your experience in the comments. We value readers’ opinions and will be happy to add your suggestion if such a method is missing from the article.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman


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