Most computers today rely on an Internet connection. Some apps work offline, but ultimately you need that Wi-Fi. Especially in these times when most of the workforce is remote. One of the most common issues that users face is Windows 10 not detecting the Wi-Fi network.
I don’t know if it’s more frustrating or disturbing. Everyone would want their computers to be connected to Wi-Fi for work or play. Are you that person too? Let’s take a look at all the troubleshooting steps we can take to resolve the issue.
1. Reset TCP / IP
Step 1: Find and open the Command Prompt (CMD) from the Start menu with administrator rights.
2nd step: Give the command below.
netsh int ip reset
Step 3: Close CMD and follow the steps in the next point to troubleshoot network card issues.
Another sequence of commands that might help your computer detect and connect to Wi-Fi is:
Enter these two commands, one at a time. What they will do is release the current DHCP assigned IP address and assign a new one.
Are you facing the “Wi-Fi does not have a valid IP configuration” pop-up error? Give the commands below one by one.
netsh winsock reset ipconfig /release netsh int ip reset ipconfig /renew ipconfig /flushdns
2. Troubleshoot the network and the Internet
Step 1: Press Windows key + I shortcut to open Settings and find two options, one at a time:
- Find and fix network problems
- Find and fix problems with your network adapter
2nd step: The steps for both will remain the same. Therefore, I will show only one. Select one of the troubleshooting options and select Apply repairs automatically and click Next.
Step 3: Then follow the onscreen instructions to see if that fixes the problem. Repeat the same steps for the other troubleshooting option if the problem persists.
Wait. Another troubleshooting option was released with the launch of Creators Update. It doesn’t appear in search results for some reason.
Step 1: Go to Settings> Update & security> Troubleshooting> Internet connections.
2nd step: Click Run the troubleshooter to begin the process and follow the on-screen instructions afterward.
3. Change the network name / SSID and password
I cannot give you specific steps for this solution as they vary depending on the make and model of your router. What you need to do is connect to the internet using an Ethernet cable, enter the router’s IP address into the browser (something like 220.127.116.11), log in, and change the connection information. You can also consult the router manual for more details.
4. Forget the network
Step 1: A simple solution for Windows 10 not detecting Wi-Fi network errors. Go to Settings> Network & Internet> Wi-Fi and click on Manage known networks.
2nd step: Click once on your Wi-Fi network name and select Forget.
Note that you will need to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network for which you will need a password. Make sure you have it.
5. Troubleshoot DHCP
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a process used by Windows to configure and assign an IP address to a compatible wireless device. It also includes your computer. Let’s check if the service is active.
Step 1: Find and open View network connections.
2nd step: Right click on the network adapter you are using and select Diagnose.
This should re-enable the process if it has been disabled for some reason.
Step 3: If that doesn’t work, you can try setting your IP address manually. Select Properties instead of Diagnose from the same menu.
Step 4: Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) and click Properties.
Step 5: Select the option “Use the following IP address” and enter the values. You can try the values below, which relate to Google’s public DNS. Talk to your ISP if things don’t work out.
Save all the settings and check whether your Windows 10 computer can now detect the Wi-Fi network or not. You can always revert to the default one if things don’t work.
Note: Changing the number of users on your DHCP can help. The upper limit is 50, and going over it can lead to errors like the one you are facing. You will need to consult your router’s manual to find out how to change this.
6. Disable the firewall / antivirus
It may be the firewall that is disrupting your Wi-Fi connection.
Step 1: Open Control Panel, find and open Windows Defender Firewall.
2nd step: Select “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off” from the sidebar.
Step 3: You can turn off Windows Defender, but only do so temporarily until you resolve the error.
If it is already disabled because you are using an antivirus, disable the antivirus. You may need to restart your computer once.
I recommend that you scan for malware using Malwarebytes.
7. Update network drivers
Step 1: Open Device Manager from the Start menu. You can also launch it from a hidden menu that reveals itself when you press Windows key + X shortcut.
2nd step: Double-click on the Network adapters heading and right-click on your adapter to select the Update driver option.
Here is a step-by-step guide on updating drivers in case you have any issues. It will teach you how to uninstall the driver and reinstall it as that sometimes works too.
8. Channel width
Some users suggested that setting the channel width value to Auto helped them fix Windows 10 computer not detecting Wi-Fi network error. No harm in trying, and you can change it later. .
Step 1: Open Network Connections again from the Start menu. Right click on the network name to select Properties as last time, but click Configure this time.
2nd step: You have to set it to Auto but sometimes this option is missing. In this case, you will have to try a few options to see if any of them help. Note the default settings before making any changes.
There may be too many routers in your area using the same channel width, thus obstructing the network waves. Changing the channel can help.
For reference purposes:
- 802.11a / ac uses the 5 GHz band.
- 802.11b / g uses the 2.4 GHz band.
- 802.11n uses the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands.
9. Power management
The network adapter needs power to work its magic. Windows 10 computer power management settings may turn off the power to save battery juice.
Step 1: Open Device Manager again from the Start menu and right click on your network card to select Properties. Select the Power Management tab this time.
2nd step: Uncheck the option “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” and save the settings. Restart the computer and check again.
10. Delete the wireless profile
An error or bug could have been responsible for the corruption of the wireless profile.
Step 1: Open CMD from the start menu if admin rights are again and give the command below.
netsh wlan delete profile name=WirelessProfileName
2nd step: Replace “WirelessProfileName” with the name of your network and press Enter. When done, you will reconnect to your network from scratch and Windows will automatically recreate a new profile.
11. Activate SSID broadcast
The router will broadcast the SSID or network name to nearby devices, and this is how you connect your laptop and smartphones to the network.
Step 1: Open a new tab in the browser and open the router’s IP address, which is usually 18.104.22.168 but might be different in your case, and connect.
2nd step: Usually you will find the Enable SSID Broadcasting option under Wireless Settings. You will need to restart the computer after saving the settings.
12. Activate the AutoConfig WLAN service
Step 1: Find and open the Services app.
2nd step: Find WLAN AutoConfig in the list and right click on it to select Properties.
Step 3: Make sure the Startup Type is set to Automatic. Save the changes if necessary and restart the computer.
Step 4: Here is a list of other services. The values are shown in parentheses. Make sure they reflect the same on your computer.
- Network location detection (automatic)
- Network List Service (Manual)
- Windows event log (automatic)
- Windows Update (manual)
13. Enable network discovery
Step 1: Open Control Panel> Network and Internet> Network and Sharing Center.
2nd step: Click Change advanced sharing settings.
Step 3: Network discovery should be enabled here. Otherwise, do it and save the changes.
HiFi over Wi-Fi
There are so many things that could go wrong with the Wi-Fi network. For example, Microsoft wrote a little guide for Surface users. You might find this useful if you have one. Check it out. We take these services for granted, not appreciating all the technicalities necessary for their operation. After resolving the Wi-Fi network detection error, I’m sure you will understand it.
Click on the link below to learn more about Windows 10’s Wi-Fi Sense feature and what you need to know about it.
Last updated August 12, 2020
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