Wi-Fi Network

6 Ways to Fix ” Windows 10 Can’t Detect a Wi-Fi Network” error

Try these solutions to fix an undetectable Wi-Fi network before you start searching through the drawers for that old Ethernet cable.

When Windows 10 struggles to find your Wi-Fi network, it could be down to a multitude of different issues. There could be a problem with your computer or with your Wi-Fi network, or your computer might detect other Wi-Fi networks, but will not detect your home or work network that you want to connect to.

No matter the problem, we will walk you through the troubleshooting process so you can get back online as quickly as possible.

Turn Off Airplane Mode

If your Windows 10 laptop can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network, but your phone can, the first thing you need to check is if your computer is stuck in Airplane mode. You might’ve turned it on involuntarily from Action Center or pressed a key or button that toggles Airplane mode on or off.

To fix this, open Action Center and turn off Airplane mode. Then, wait a few seconds and check if your computer detects the Wi-Fi network. If the Airplane mode tile is missing, you should check Windows Settings. Here is how you can do it:

  • Click Start, then head to Settings > Network & Internet. If you don’t know how to access Settings, it’s the little cog icon to the left of the Start menu.
  • From the left-hand pane, select Airplane mode.
  • Turn off the toggle for Airplane mode.
  • Check Wireless devices and make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.

Run the Internet Connections Troubleshooter

Fortunately, Windows has a tool you can use to solve your internet malfunctions.

Follow these steps to run Windows 10 troubleshooter:

  • Open the Start menu, then head to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  • Click Additional troubleshooter.
  • Select Internet Connections > Run the troubleshooter.
  • Follow the displayed instructions.

Forget the Wi-Fi Network

This may seem odd, but sometimes Windows will detect a network if you make it forget the network’s settings. If you are using this method, make sure you know the Wi-Fi password, or you won’t be able to reconnect to it again!

  • Press Win + I to open the Settings menu.
  • Go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage known networks.
  • Select the Wi-Fi network you want to use and click Forget.

Check Wi-Fi Network Adapter Properties

If you’ve tried multiple ways to connect to Wi-Fi on a Windows device and had no luck, you should take a look at your network adapter properties. When your laptop has a low battery and engages in Battery Saver mode, Windows 10 will turn off certain features to save energy.

If you can’t detect Wi-Fi networks on your laptop when your battery runs low, you need to check the adapter properties to see if it’s allowed to run during Battery Saver mode.

  • Click Start > Device Manager.
  • Extend the Network adapters list.
  • Right-click the Wi-Fi network adapter > Properties.
  • Open the Power Management tab and uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
  • Click OK to save the new changes.
  • Restart your computer.

Disable and Enable Your Network Interface Card

The Network Interface Card (or NIC) is responsible for both wireless and wired communications. If your network issues are caused by the NIC, you should disable and enable it.

  • Open Control Panel.
  • Go to Network and Internet > Network Connections.
  • Right-click the wireless adapter and select Disable.
  • Right-click it again, but this time select Enable.

Enable Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

In Windows 10, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (or DHCP) is a process used to customize and assign an IP address to a suitable wireless device, which includes your computer. If the process is turned off, you can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network on your PC.

As such, follow these steps to enable DHCP on your computer

  • In the Start menu search bar, search for network connections and select the Best match.
  • Right-click your Wi-Fi network.
  • Select Diagnose.
  • Wait until Windows finishes the process. This will enable DHCP and fix your network issue.

While this is a frustrating problem, you can easily fix it by following our guide. As we discussed, you can start by checking the settings on your computer. If this didn’t work, you can move on to configuring the settings on your Wi-Fi router.