Windows 10/11 can’t find WiFi network [STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE]

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Problems with WiFi and the Internet connection are probably the most common ones in Windows 10.
  • Your laptop can't find WiFi? Don't worry, we have no less than 20 solutions to help you solve it.
  • From basic troubleshooting to tweaking network adapters, changing protocols, and mastering command lines, nothing is too tricky to handle with our help.
How to fix Windows 10 can't find Wi-Fi network

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Problems with WiFi and the internet connection are probably the most common issues Windows 10 users face. And we’ll agree that there’s nothing more annoying for an average user than Wi-Fi issues while browsing the internet.

There are various  Wi-Fi errors that can eventually occur, and in this article, we’ll try to address as many as possible.

There are literally tens if not hundreds of various Wi-Fi issues you can encounter while using Windows 10. Here are some of the most common issues:

  • Windows 10 won’t show available networks –  This error shows up when there’s a network problem which prevents available WiFi networks from showing.
  • Windows 10 no connections are available – This error shows up when there are no connections available to connect to. It tends to show up, even if you know there are actually some available connections.
  • Windows 10 can’t connect to this network -This error shows up when you’re unable to connect to a certain WiFi network. We have an article dedicated to this issue, so you can combine solutions from that article with solutions from this article. Hopefully, you’ll find a proper solution.
  • Windows 10 no WiFi icon – This error appears when there’s no WiFI icon in the taskbar at all.
  • Windows 10 WiFI quit working – This error appears when your WiFi connection stops working suddenly.
  • Windows 10 WiFI won’t turn on – This error means you can turn WiFi on from your taskbar.
  • Windows 10 WiFi yellow triangle – This problem tells us there’s something wrong with the connection itself. You can connect to it, but the bandwidth is usually the problem.
  • Windows 10 WiFi freeze greyed out – This problem prevents you from doing anything with your WiFi connection. You can’t turn it on, access settings, etc.

I can’t see my wireless network in the list

This is a rather peculiar case, but not impossible to tackle. While for some users, their Windows 10 laptops can’t find WiFi at all, for others the issue is contained at their home network level.

One user has reported the following: laptop not detecting my WiFi but detecting others. Don’t worry, the solutions below will also work when windows 10 does not show all WiFi networks available.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

What can I do if my Wi-Fi connection isn’t working?

Table of contents:

  1. Update network drivers
  2. Reset TCP/IP
  3. Change wireless SSID and password on your modem
  4. Check for malware
  5. Reset your modem (and more)
  6. Use the Internet Connection troubleshooter
  7. Make sure DHCP is on
  8. Set your IP address manually
  9. Change the number of DHCP users
  10. Disable Windows Firewall temporarily
  11. Disable the Airplane mode
  12. Use ipconfig /release command
  13. Set the channel width to Auto
  14. Disable IPv6 on your computer and router
  15. Delete your wireless profile
  16. Disable Family Safety feature
  17. Disable your antivirus software
  18. Change the wireless network mode
  19. Change Fiddler settings
  20. Check that all required services for Internet connection sharing are Enabled

1. Update network drivers

Another common solution for various network issues is to simply update your WiFi driver. In case you don’t know how to do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Right-click the Start button and open the Device Manager.
  2. Locate and expand Network Adapters.
  3. Right-click your network adapters and click Update driver software. Make sure to do it with both LAN and WLAN adapters.device manager realtek wireless drivers
  4. Wait for the process to finish, restart your PC and try connecting.

If Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers read our complete guide on how to do that manually.

If the problem is still there, go back to Device Manager > Network Adapters, and do the following:

  1. Right-click Network Adapters and open Properties.
  2. In the driver tab, click Uninstall.
  3. Now, open the Details tab and locate Hardware Ids in the drop-down list.
  4. Copy the first line and paste it into the browser.
  5. Find proper drivers provided by the official hardware manufacturer.
  6. Download and install those drivers for both LAN and WLAN respectively.
  7. Restart your PC and check the connection again.

In addition, another helpful way to resolve driver issues is with the help of specialized programs. You can thus update drivers automatically after scanning your PC and see which drivers are out of date and which are not.

In order to do so, you can rely on a third-party solution that will do it for you in minutes. Drivers issues are the perfect task for a powerful solution like DriverFix

2. Reset TCP/IP

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, right-click it and run the Command Prompt (Admin).cmd int ip reset
  2. In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each one:
    • netsh int ip reset
    • netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
    • netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
    • netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
  3. Reboot your PC and try to connect. If the problem is still there, make sure to try out the remaining steps below.

Can’t access TCP/IP on Windows 10? Check out this quick guide to fix the issue.

The first thing we’re going to try is resetting the TCP/IP stack. This is, indeed, one of the most common solutions for network problems in Windows, and can be helpful with other internet issues, as well.

3. Change wireless SSID and password on your modem

Another solution that’s quite common when troubleshooting WiFi and network issues are changing the wireless SSID and password of your modem.

Even though we’re talking about resolving the problem with your wireless network, for this workaround you’ll have to connect your computer to the modem using the Ethernet cable.

Since the procedure of changing the SSID varies from modem to modem, we can’t tell you what to do precisely. Therefore, we recommend you check your modem’s manual or look online for more info.

4. Check for malware

On the contrary to the previous workaround, your connection may be corrupted by some kind of malware. So, it would be a good idea to run your security scan once again.

If there’s connection-blocking malware on your computer, your antivirus will surely eliminate it.

It is highly recommended to choose a powerful antivirus that can eliminate advanced types of malware. Hence, to secure your system more, you can choose from the best antiviruses software available for Windows 10 PC.

5. Reset your modem (and more)

Now, let’s switch to more basic solutions, which are probably the first thing you’ll do anyway. Here are some of the actions you need to do to troubleshoot your modem/router:

  • Shut down your router or modem. Wait a minute and power it on.
  • Disable modem/router’s built-in firewall temporarily.
  • Reset the modem/router to factory settings
  • Make sure your router/modem isn’t overheating. Place it far from temperature sources.

Once again, if you’re not sure how to do any of this, check your router/modem manual for more detailed instructions.

You can also try to update your router’s firmware. If you don’t know how to do that, we’ve prepared a nifty guide that will help you.

6. Use the Internet Connection troubleshooter

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Open Update & Security.
  3. Navigate to Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on the Internet Connection Troubleshooter.network adapter troubleshooter
  5. Now, follow further on-screen instructions, and wait for the wizard to finish
  6. Restart your computer

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If you’re on at least Windows 10 version 1703 (Creators Update), you have a new troubleshooting option on the Settings app. This Troubleshooter can be used for resolving various problems within the system, including the WiFi issue we’re talking about.

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.

7. Make sure DHCP is on

Now, let’s talk about DHCP. In short words, DHCP is a Windows process that assigns the IP address to your computer when you connect to a network.

So, if this process is disabled, your computer won’t be able to obtain the IP address, and therefore, you won’t be able to connect to the internet using your WiFi connection.

So, the first thing we’re going to do is make sure if this process is running. And here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Network Connections.
  2. Locate your network adapter, right-click it, and choose Diagnose.
  3. Wait for the process to finish. If the DHCP process was disabled, this will enable it once again.

8. Set your IP address manually

  1. Go to Settings and choose Network Connections.
  2. Right-click your wireless network and choose Properties from the menu
  3. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and go to Properties.
  4. Now, select the Use the following IP address option and enter the IP address, Subnet mask and Default gateway.
    • We used settings that work for our configuration, but you might have to enter a different number (see the screenshot).
    • In addition, you’ll have to enter the DNS server manually.
    • In our example, we used Google’s Public DNS, but you can also use 192.168.1.1 as your Preferred DNS server.ipv4 properties
  5. After you’re done, click the OK button.

9. Change the number of DHCP users

And finally, the last solution that involves the DHCP process is changing the number of DHCP users. More precisely, you’ll have to increase the number of DHCP users in your router settings. Usually, the limit is 50 DHCP users, and if you go over, WiFi issues may occur. 

Once again, since the process of changing the number of DHCP users varies from router to router, it’s better to check the manual for detailed instructions.

10. Disable Windows Firewall temporarily

Even though Windows Firewall is a useful feature for the overall security of your system, it can cause issues with your network connection. Because of that, we’re going to disable Firewall temporarily and see if there are any changes. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to System and Security.
  3. Click on Windows Firewall.
  4. Select Turn Windows Firewall on or off from the left side.
  5. Turn off Windows Firewall for both Private and Public networks and confirm the selection.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Try connecting.

You can’t open Control Panel on Windows 10? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

11. Disable the Airplane mode

As unlikely as it seems, many people have reported that the Airplane mode blocked their WiFi connection. So, make sure the Airplane mode is disabled.

You can find the Airplane mode icon in the Notification panel in the right corner of the taskbar. However, if the icon is missing, there’s an alternative way to disable it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click the Network & Internet.
  3. Click Airplane mode.
  4. Toggle Airplane mode off.

12. Use ipconfig /release command

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, and open Command Prompt (Administrator)
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter the following lines and after each line press Enter to run it:cmd ipconfig release
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /renew
  3. Restart your computer, and try to connect again.

13. Set the channel width to Auto

  1. Right-click the Start Menu button and select Network Connections from the menu.
  2. When Network Connections window opens, right click your wireless connection and choose Properties from the menu.
  3. Click the Configure button and go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Locate 802.11n Channel Width for band 2.4 and set it to Auto.802.11n Channel Width Auto value
  5. Click OK to save changes.

14. Disable IPv6 on your computer and router

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Go to Connections and click your current connection.
  3. The connection status window will open. Click the Properties button.
  4. Find Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP /IPv6) and uncheck it.ipv6 properties
  5. Click OK button to save the changes.
  6. Restart your computer in order to apply the changes.

In some cases enabling the IPv6 protocol is a way of solving internet issues, but sometimes this very protocol can cause problems.

15. Delete your wireless profile

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, right-click it and run the Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. When Command Prompt stats enter netsh wlan delete profile name=WirelessProfileName and press Enter.
    • Be sure to replace WirelessProfileName with the actual name of your wireless connection.netsh wlan cmd
  3. When the process is finished, you need to reconnect and reconfigure your network, in order to establish the connection once again.

If you Wireless Profile got corrupted, the best way to get things back to where they used to be is to simply delete your Wireless Profile, and create it once again.

16. Disable Family Safety feature

  1. Navigate to https://account.microsoft.com/family.
  2. Sign in with your Microsoft account.
  3. Locate the account that you want to remove and click the Remove button. To remove the adult account, be sure to remove all child accounts beforehand.

If there’s a need for the Family Safety feature, we don’t recommend disabling it. However, there’s a chance this very feature blocks your wireless connection. In that case, you have no other choice than to disable it.

17. Disable your antivirus software

You’ve probably heard about this one before. Windows 10 and its components and features don’t get along with third-party antivirus programs.

Because of that interference, various problems may occur. Including our problem with the WiFi network. So, go and temporarily disable your antivirus program, and check if the connection is now working.

If you’re able to normally connect to your WiFi network with your antivirus program disabled, consider changing your antivirus solution, or switch to Windows Defender completely.

If you’re worried about the lack of antivirus, read this article to find out why Windows Defender is the only malware protection you’ll ever need.

18. Change the wireless network mode

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click Change adapter settings, locate your wireless network adapter, right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
  3. When the Properties window opens, click the Configure button.
  4. Go to Advanced tab and from the list select Wireless mode.
  5. Now change the value of Wireless mode so it matches the value of Wireless mode on your router. In most cases, 802.11b (or 802.11g) should work, but if it doesn’t, try experimenting with different options.

Your router and wireless adapter need to be on the same network mode to work seamlessly. If that’s not the case, you’ll experience problems with your WiFi connection.

So, you should check the wireless networking mode on your computer, in order to make the connection work again.

19. Change Fiddler settings

This one, obviously, only applies to Fiddler users. Some users suggest that changing Fiddler settings can also resolve this issue. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Click Tools > Fiddler Options.
  2. Navigate to the HTTPS tab.
  3. Make sure that the text says Certificates generated by CertEnroll engine.
  4. Click on Actions > Reset Certificates. Wait for the process to complete.
  5. Accept all prompts.

20. Check that all required services for Internet connection sharing are Enabled

To do so, go to Search > type services.msc > open Services. And now, just make sure these services are running:

  • Plug And Play
  • Application Layer Gateway Service
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • Network Connections
  • Network Location Awareness (NLA)
  • Telephony
  • Remote Access Connection Manager
  • Remote Access Auto Connection Manager
  • Windows Firewall

As we already mentioned in some of the previous solutions, the WiFi network requires certain services to work properly. So, you need to make sure each one of these services is running.

That’s about it. We certainly hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem with your WiFi connection. If you have any additional comments, questions, or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • The first thing to do if you can’t find your network is to check your router. That’s the one that creates the local access point. If the problem persists, follow our complete guide to fix this issue.

  • Verify if your router/modem is working properly and make sure you’re within its range. Try to access it with another device. If the router is the problem, check our best router list.

  • Verify if your router/modem is working properly and make sure you’re within its range. See if you can find your network with another device. If you still can’t, probably your router is hiding the network name (SSID).

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