(Solved) Laptop won’t connect to Wi-Fi but phone will – How to fix

One of the most recurrent problems with connectivity is when the phone can connect to the Wi-Fi but the computer cannot, or vice versa. It is a simple problem with relatively easy solutions. The following is a guide of the causes and how to resolve this issue.

Even with all its instability issues, wireless networking still remains the best way to surf. There are several issues associated with Wi-Fi, especially when it comes to consistency and stability.The most frequently occurring issue is when the phone connects and the laptop fails to do so. This relatively easy problem can be fixed by simplyrestarting the laptop and router. Quick restarts resolve IP conflicts and updates errors which are the main reasons why a laptop won’t connect while the phone can. Take a look as show you the steps taken to troubleshoot and fix this problem.

What do I do when Wi-Fi isn’t working on Laptop?

Restart the modem/router and laptop

Restart the modem/router and laptop

A general rule of thumb is, when you experience any networking issues, restart the devices involved.Here, we start by restarting the router or modem or both. Restarting these devices will resolve any IP conflicts that may be preventing your laptop from connecting. IP conflicts are fairly routine and happen when two devices are assigned the same IP address. Moreover, restarting your devices will help with updates that may be pending causing the issue. With the modem or router off, turn off the laptop and let all devices remain off for at least 45 seconds and turn the back on. Check to see if the laptop can now connect.

Run the Windows troubleshooter

To run the default Windows troubleshooter program, right click the Wi-Fi icon on the bottom right of the screen.  Click on Troubleshoot Problems and this will open a troubleshooting window. Follow the guided instructions and let the laptop troubleshoot to completion.Although troubleshooter is not known for a resolution rate, don’t overlook this step. After Troubleshooting has completed, it may or may not have identified and fix the problem. If fixed, close the troubleshooter and test the connectivity.There are also advanced troubleshooters you can use such as:

Troubleshooting tool
SolarWinds Network Manager
Automatic check for devices, stores all device configurations
Datadog Network Monitoring
Cloud based network management
SolarWinds Port Scanner
Checks port status, resolves IP conflicts, CLI support
Paessler’s PRTG
Port monitoring sensors, network traffic analysis
Trackers blocker, spam blocker, boosts internet speed

Flush and renew the DNS server

One of the most effective solutions is flushing and renewing the DNS server. The DNS cache is responsible for storing information on commonly visited websites and pages so that the pages can be retrieved quicker and load faster in the process.Once the cache gets too full, it may cause the trouble you are experiencing. Click on the Windows button and type: cmd. Run the Command Prompt as administrator. The command line interface will open and in it, type the following commands.



Wait for a few seconds and then type:


Press Enter and close the interface. Try connecting to the internet to see whether the issue is resolved.

Unhide and rename SSID

The SSID is the Wireless Network Name. For some reason, users have reported that renaming the Wi-Fi has resolved this issue in their laptops.This is especially true for names with emojis, alphanumerical characters and symbols. If you have strange characters in the SSID name, consider renaming it so something simpler. Furthermore, if the SSID was hidden, some devices may require visibility to connect. Unhide the SSID and rename it to resolve the issue.

Update the Wi-Fi driver

Old drivers or missing Wi-Fi drivers may prevent your laptop from connecting to the Wi-Fi. The solutions to simply update these drivers. There are two main ways to update them. First, manually update the drivers. Click on Windows key and type in devmgmt.msc. This will open the Device Manager center. Scroll down to Network Settings and click on update device driver. Note that you may need internet to perform this update. Use a cable for internet connectivity and update the driver. After the upgrade has been performed, disconnect the cable and try connecting to Wi-Fi.

The second way to perform updates is by using third party Updating Drivers Software. Download the software and run the app to see all outdated drivers in your laptop. Once again, you may need internet for this.

Turn off third party antivirus software temporarily

Turn off third party antivirus software temporarily

Antivirus software may sometimes prevent the laptop from connecting to Wi-Fi as a security measure. If the above solutions fail, consider this step. This usually happens after updating your antivirus – it cuts off wireless connectivity. In this case, turn off the antivirus for some time and check whether Wi-Fi connects. If it connects, go to Settings in the Antivirus software and find the setting that is preventing connection. Turn off this setting and enjoy Wi-Fi.

Use 2.4 GHz over 5 GHz for dual band routers

If you own a dual band router, try connecting to the 2.4 GHz band instead of the faster 5 GHz band. This is because the 2.4 GHz band, although slower, has better range than the 5 GHz band. Press Windows key + S and type Control Panel. In the Control Panel, select Network and Internet and open Network and Sharing Center. Select the Change Adapter Settings from the left panel of the screen. Right click on the Wireless Adapter setting and open Properties. Click on the Configure buttonand go to the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the WZC IBSS Channel Number. On the drop down menu on the right, choose the channels: 1, 6, and 11. Confirm and save changes.


All in all, laptops not connecting is an everyday problem and should not worry you. The above fixes have been tested by Windows users all over the world and been proved to work. However, if the issue persists, take the laptop to professional since it may be hardware problem.


  1. What is the best channel for many connected devices?

The 2.4 GHz channel is better. This is because it experiences less interference compared to the 5 GHz channel band

  1. Do phones have better range than laptops?

No. Phones and laptops have fairly similar Wi-Fi reach range.

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