My Laptop Cannot Detect Wi-Fi but My Phone Can: 7 Fixes

Explore the most useful methods created by our experts

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Some of our readers complain that the laptop cannot detect Wi-Fi while their phone can when tested.

This guide contains a list of detailed solutions tested by our WR labs software experts to help you fix this issue and restore your wireless connection.

How can I fix Wi-Fi if it’s not working on my laptop?

1. Run the Windows Troubleshooter

  1. Press the Windows key + I and select the Update & Security option.
    update and
  2. Click the Troubleshoot option in the left pane and select Additional troubleshooters.
    troubleshoot my laptop cannot detect wifi but my phone can
  3. Now, select the Network adapters option and click Run the troubleshooter.
    run trouble

Windows Network Troubleshooter is commonly overlooked when issues emerge. But it is effective in fixing issues like a laptop cannot detect Wi-Fi, but a phone can.

It will detect the possible glitches that might cause the problem and restart the needed components.

2 . Change network adapter bandwidth

  1. Press the Windows key + X and select the Device Manager option.
    device manager windows 10
  2. Click the arrow next to the Network adapters option and double-click your wireless network adapter.
    wireless network adapter
  3. Now, click the Advanced tab at the top.
  4. Select the 802.11n Channel Width for 2.4GHz option from the Property menu and set its Value to 20Mhz only.
    change channel width

One of the reasons your laptop cannot detect your Wi-Fi, but your phone can, is your bandwidth setting. If it is set to auto and the value is too low to detect and connect to your Wi-Fi, you might experience this problem.

The solution is to set its value to the required 20Mhz.

3. Reset Winsock

  1. Press the Windows key, type cmd, and select Run as administrator under Command Prompt.
    command prompt
  2. Type the following commands and press Enter after each: netsh winsock reset catalognetsh catalog netsh int ipv4 reset reset.lognetsh log
  3. Finally, wait for the commands to finish running and restart your PC.

Winsock tells Windows how to access network services. Over time, it may become corrupted, leading to issues like laptop not detecting your WiFi.

The steps above reset it to default, which should solve the issue.

4. Restart the Network Setup Service

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type services.msc, and click OK.
    services my laptop cannot detect wifi but my phone can
  2. Double-click the Network Setup Service to open its properties.
  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic and click the Start button.
  4. Now, click the Recovery tab at the top.
  5. Click the dropdown before the First failure option and select Restart the Service.
  6. Finally, click the Apply button, OK, and restart your PC.

Various services need to be running for you to enjoy uninterrupted network connectivity. If an essential service like Network Setup is disabled, your laptop cannot detect your Wi-Fi, but your phone can.

The solution is to follow the steps above to restart the service.

5. Change the IPv4 properties

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type ncpa.cpl, and click OK.
    ncpa my laptop cannot detect wifi but my phone can
  2. Right-click your WiFi network or adapter and select the Properties option.
  3. Click Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select the Properties button.
    ip my laptop cannot detect wifi but my phone can
  4. Now, tick the radio button for the two Obtain DNS server address automatically options and click OK.
  5. Finally, restart your PC

If your laptop can’t connect to Wi-Fi, but your phone can, it might be because your PC is not set to obtain the DNS server address. Correcting this should allow your PC to detect and connect to Wi-Fi easily.

6. Reinstall the network drivers

  1. Right-click on the Start icon and select Device Manager.
    device manager my laptop cannot detect wifi but my phone can
  2. Expand the Network adapters option and right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter.
  3. Now, select the Uninstall device option.
    uninstall device my laptop cannot detect wifi but my phone can
  4. Click the Uninstall button.
  5. Finally, restart your PC.

If your laptop still can’t detect your Wi-Fi but your phone can after trying all the fixes above, you need to uninstall and reinstall your network driver. This will clear the glitches causing the issue and reset the connection.

Alternatively, you can try updating your driver using a reliable tool in Out. This tool will scan for faulty and outdated drivers and update them before they can cause problems.

Get Outbyte Driver Updater

7. Check WiFi power management settings.

  1. Type Windows Key+ X and select Device Manager.
    device manager windows 10
  2. Right-click on your WiFi Network Adapter and select Properties.
  3. Go to the Power Management tab and uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save adapter power management

There you have it. If your laptop cannot detect your Wi-Fi, every solution to use, but your phone can, you only need to follow the detailed steps carefully, and you should be able to connect to your network again.

Similarly, if your laptop Wi-Fi only works close to the router, check our detailed guide to fix it quickly.

In case Ethernet works but not WiFi, we have a dedicated guide that can help you with that as well, so don’t miss it.

For any other questions or suggestions, feel free to address them in the comments section below.

More about the topics: Wi-Fi issues