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How to Fix Wi-Fi not Working on Laptop but Working on Phone

When wifi doesn’t work on a laptop but works on a phone, you may blame it on a low wifi signal, network issue, or the laptop model. This can be frustrating, especially if you want to update your laptop or perform some tasks. (Similar post: Common Wi-Fi issues and how to fix them for beginners)

If your Wi-Fi isn’t working on your laptop, there might be issues with its drivers or settings. You can easily fix the laptop Wi-Fi not working by restarting your router and laptop. Run the Windows troubleshooter and let your OS find the cause and remedy the issue. (Similar post: Best Wi-Fi routers with long range and complete coverage)

What can I do if Wi-Fi is not working on my laptop?

1. Restart your equipment and laptop

Let’s start with the elementary troubleshooting steps. Restarting your router, modem, and laptop itself should always be a priority.

The IP conflict isn’t uncommon, especially if you use more than a few devices for accessing the internet via a single router. Two of them get the same IP assigned and then the issues start.

In addition, there’s always the possibility of a stall within the system, so restarting the laptop is highly recommended, as well.

Restarting your equipment will clear up the possible stall. Firstly, try using the LAN, wired connection. If the problem concerns only the Wi-Fi connection, restart your modem and router as seen on A3 Techworld.

Power them off and wait for some time before turning them on again. Also, it might sound silly, but don’t forget about the physical switch or the function button (FN the keyboard).

If you disabled Wi-Fi by accident, make sure to re-enable it accordingly.

2. Reinstall the network drivers

2.1 Uninstall the network driver

  1. Right-click on the Start button and open Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Network adapters.
  3. Right-click on the Wi-Fi device and click the Uninstall device option.
  4. Restart your PC.

We can’t try to address network-related issues and skip on drivers in the process. There are various ways to get proper drivers for network adapters.

In Windows 10, drivers have been mostly installed automatically through Windows Update. However, these generically applied drivers aren’t always the best for the job.

On the other hand, if you’ve upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, then make sure to update them for Windows 10.

2.2 Update the network driver

  1. Right-click on the Start and open Device Manager from the Power User menu.
  2. Expand Network adapters.
  3. Right-click on the Wi-Fi Network adapter and click Update driver.
  4. If the system finds a new driver, it will install it.

2.3 Update drivers automatically

This should resolve driver-related issues. However, we all know how drivers are important for stable and reliable system performance. And tending to drivers isn’t always the easiest task.

In order to spare you some time and effort, we recommend using third-party software that provides you with fresh and trusted drivers within seconds. (Similar post: How to Fix an Unstable Wi-Fi Connection at your office and home)

Hence, it is recommended to keep track of your system drivers and update them on time to avoid any issues.

There are specialized tools that will scan your PC and show you the changes that need to be done. You can find those tools in our ranking of best driver updater software.

A great option with auto-update features and an intuitive UI is DriverFix. It uses a very resourceful driver database to find exact matches for any type of hardware.

3. Run the Windows Troubleshooter

  1. Right-click on the Wi-Fi icon at the bottom and click Troubleshoot problems.
  2. Follow the instructions until the troubleshooter resolves the problem or at least diagnoses it.
  3. Close the troubleshooter.

Windows Troubleshooter is commonly overlooked when issues emerge. Now, one might say that the resolution rates aren’t exactly sky-high. However, there’s also the identifying the error which might come in handy with the later steps. (Similar post: Best Wi-Fi 6 routers for fast wireless internet connectivity)

Sometimes it’s the IP conflict, sometimes it’s the Wi-Fi radio (pointing towards drivers or physical switch), SSID (network issue) or maybe the ISP (Internet Service Provider) is having problems.

Of course, in the scenario when even calculators can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and laptop can’t, the possible culprits are fairly limited.

4. Renew the IP and flush the DNS

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type cmd, right-click Command Prompt, and run it as an administrator.
  2. In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    1. ipconfig /release
    2. ipconfig /renew
  3. Wait for some time and then type in this command and press Enter
    1. ipconfig /flushdns
  4. Close Command Prompt and try connecting to Wi-Fi again.

If IP is conflicting with one of the other connected devices, you can always restart it (when you restart the router, it reassigns IP) and move from there.

However, the special focus is on the DNS cache that collects your domain data and can affect negatively the connection as seen on A3 Techworld.

DNS is there to translate the hostname to IP and IP to hostname. All collected translations are stored in the DNS cache and the piling up can break the connection occasionally.

 5. Unhide and rename the SSID

With this, we’re mildly stranding in the strange area. For some reason, users weren’t able to connect to networks with unusual names, meaning that you might reconsider renaming them to something less bloated.

So, make sure to use only standard alphanumerical symbols, without emoticons and Unicode characters in the SSID name, and try again.

Even though other devices locate it clearly, with the laptop as the only exception, give it a try.

Furthermore, sometimes the hidden SSID that needs to be manually inserted while connecting can also be an issue. Make it visible temporarily and try again.

That resolved the issue for some users and they were able to connect without difficulties.

6. Use 2.4 GHz instead of 5 GHz band on dual-band routers

  1. Press Windows + S, type Control, and open Control Panel.
  2. From the Category view, open Network and Internet.
  3. Open Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Select Change adapter settings from the left pane.
  5. Right-click on your Wireless adapter (connection) and open Properties.
  6. Click on the Configure button.
  7. Select the Advanced tab.
  8. In the left pane, scroll to WZC IBSS Number Channel.
  9. From the right drop-down menu, choose channels 1, 6, or 11.
  10. Confirm changes.

The story of the two bands is rather simple. The 5 GHz band is much better in almost every regard. It’s faster, it’s less crowded since most other non-Wi-Fi devices use 2.4 GHz, and it’s more stable.

However, there are two things that are better with 2.4 GHz. Firstly, its signal goes further and easier breaks through walls. Second, it supports older devices with older wireless standards.

So, if all devices in your household (handheld and smart devices or PCs) are connected on 5 GHz and working well, make sure to try to connect to the 2.4 GHz band with your laptop.

Also, if you have adequate software, make sure to choose channels 1, 6, or 11. They don’t overlap with each other. You can do it also in the Advanced adapter’s settings.

7. Change the adapter Power Settings

  1. Right-click on the Battery icon in the notification area, and open Power Options.
  2. By the preferred power plan (Balanced, in my case), click on Change plan settings.
  3. Click on Change advanced power settings.
  4. Expand Wireless Adapter Settings and then Power Saving Mode.
  5. Set Power Saving Mode both on battery and while plugged into a wall socket to Maximum Performance.
  6. Confirm changes and close the window.

On the other hand, if the problem isn’t residing in Power Settings, just move on to the next step.

There are multiple power-related options that will affect how Wi-Fi works. Some of them will stall it in order to reduce power consumption, others will completely block Wi-Fi.

Power Settings are especially important on laptops since they’re mobile devices dependable on batteries in various scenarios.

You can set the High-Performance power plan, or change individual preferences related to the Network adapter.

Follow the above steps in order to ensure that Power settings won’t affect your Wireless adapter and thus inflict connection issues and so forth.

8. Disable the antivirus temporarily

Third-party antivirus solutions are arguably a must in the current fear state caused by perilous malware threats.

Nonetheless, even though the protective software improved over time with detection and multi-threat protection features, sometimes might act a ted more overzealous for its own good.

This means that certain firewall-based security features and/or network protection can block your Wi-Fi connection.

That leads us to believe that temporarily disabling antivirus might resolve your issue. You can also try to create an exception or make your network trusted later on if the problem is resolved.

Why Is the WiFi Working On Laptop But Not Phone?

If the Wi-Fi connection works on other devices, e.g., laptops, desktops, or tablets but not on your phone, then the Wi-Fi network is not the problem, nonetheless, this should be your starting point. In this scenario, the problem could be:

  • Wifi detector could be off
  • Software bugs
  • Too many devices on a wifi
  • Airplane/Flight Mode
  • Dated operating system
  • Other phone programs may cause the connectivity problems

Wifi has become a standard part of everyday life. Therefore, figuring out how wireless connection works can be beneficial when it jams.

Even when not in flight mode, your mobile phone might not connect to a wireless network more often than you imagine. This is very different from a phone connected to wifi but no internet situation. In the latter case, you can connect other devices to see if it works before trying other tactics.

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