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Why Can’t I Join a Wi-Fi Network?

wireless network

When everything else works great with your device, being unable to join or stay connected to a wireless network is just frustrating. It’s a problem that happens to many devices, and there seems to be no single universal solution that works every time it occurs. Hopefully, a couple of these suggestions can help you get connected!

Problems with the Device

Before tinkering with the settings, try rebooting your device. A simple system restart may be all that’s needed to fix the problem. And though an obvious thing, don’t also forget to turn on the Wi-Fi switch (or disable airplane/flight mode). If you get authentication errors on a network you’ve joined before, then you need to enter the new password. Also check if your wireless adapter has an updated driver or the correct network connection settings. Your device’s operating system may feature an automated troubleshooter that can pinpoint the underlying issue and fix it for you.

Problems with the Router

If your device seems fine, then the router could be at fault. Try unplugging the router and plugging it back in after a couple of seconds. This is a proven diagnostic procedure known as power cycling that restores a non-functioning router back to its working state. If that doesn’t work, try repositioning your router. Physical obstacles and other nearby routers may cause interference with the Wi-Fi signal. Router settings that can also affect a device’s access to the network include MAC filtering and Wi-Fi channel, mode, and width. Installing the wrong firmware may also cause problems. If the suggestions above don’t fix the issue, it may be time to call in some professional help to see what went wrong with the wireless network. It’s also possible that the device (or the router) has some hardware defect. You should have it repaired or replaced by filing a warranty claim to the manufacturer.

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