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How to fix the ‘WiFi connected but no internet access’ issue?

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  • 7 min read

The internet is now deeply interwoven in our lives to the point where we don’t even think about it as we go browsing along. With WiFi making it extremely convenient for us to access the internet from just about anywhere, we often overlook the many small bugs still there.

One of the most common issues with Wi-Fi networks is when you connect to the network successfully, but you can’t access the internet because of many issues.

Generally, an issue like this means something is wrong either with your ISP or with your router’s configuration. In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can resolve this error and get your internet up and running again. 

Restart your router

As always, the first step of troubleshooting anything is to reboot the device that may be causing the issue.

It almost seems like a joke now, but rebooting your device actually does have some pretty surprising results, and you might be able to resolve many seemingly random issues.

Take a look at your router

Your router has a bunch of LED lights that indicate different statuses. Make sure that the WAN and Wi-Fi lights are up and blinking. 

If these lights are blinking okay and indicating that everything’s fine, this means that your WiFi network is fine and you are getting access from your ISP as well. 

Also read: How to fix high ping in Windows 10?

Issues at the ISP’s end

If the WAN light on your router isn’t on, this can indicate that you’re not getting a signal from your ISP and that they may be facing an outage.

The best thing to do in such cases is simply contacting them and enquire about what’s going on with them. Generally, your ISP would be quick to resolve any such outages.

Security apps and Antiviruses

Although sparingly, but antiviruses, antimalware or other security apps may disable your machine’s internet access to protect it from any malware that might be on your machine. 

Try disabling any such apps on your system and reconnect to the network to check it resolves your issue. 

Use the Windows Internet troubleshooter

If you’ve established that everything is alright with your ISP and your Wi-Fi network, often using the Windows troubleshooter can fix your issue.

Right-click on the network icon in the taskbar and click on Troubleshoot problems and let the troubleshooter do its thing. 

Also read: How to fix ‘Realtek HD Audio Manager Missing’ in Windows 10?

Check your DNS settings

If you’re running custom DNS settings whether on purpose or by mistake, having them set incorrectly can cause internet connectivity issues.

Flushing your DNS settings can set them back to the default values and can resolve such issues. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + R, type cmd and hit the Enter key.

Step 2: Type in ipconfig /flushdns and hit enter. This will reset your DNS settings to their defaults.

You can take this a step further and reset files that Windows uses to access the internet by using these commands back to back.

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset

If you suspect an issue with your router’s DHCP assignment, use these commands to release your old IP and request a new one. 

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

If that doesn’t work either, you can use the following commands in the order that they’re listed to reset your network stack.

nbtstat -R
nbtstat -RR
netsh int ip reset C:\resetlog.txt
netsh winsock reset

Also read: How to open Windows 10 Startup folder location?

Check for IP Address conflicts

If you can connect to other Wi-Fi networks just fine, it could indicate an IP conflict on your router. 

Another way to confirm this is to ping your router’s default address through the command prompt. Type in ping [router IP address] in the command prompt and if you get a Request timed out error, you’re most probably having an IP conflict issue. Here’s how you can fix this.

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open the Windows settings.

Step 2: Click on Network & Internet.

Step 3: Click on Change adaptor options.

Step 4: Right-click on your Wi-Fi network and click Properties.

Step 5: Find Internet Protocol Version 4 in the list, click on it and then click Properties. 

Step 6: Make sure that all settings are set to automatic. 

Now reconnect to your network and it should connect seamlessly.

Also read: How to change date and time in Windows 10?

Check your drivers

Your Wi-Fi card’s drivers could also be causing connectivity issues. Try connecting to the internet using either an ethernet connection or any other alternatives and follow these steps to get your drivers in place.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R, type in devmgmt.msc and hit enter.

Step 2: Double click Network adaptors to expand it and right click your Wi-Fi card. Click on Update driver.

Step 3: Select Search automatically for drivers and Windows will find and install any available updates. 

Also read: How to disable Google’s Software Reporter tool?

Try changing the wireless mode on your router

This won’t really help you unless your Wi-Fi card is quite old, in which case you should upgrade it anyway. However, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Now different routers will have different steps as to how you’ll need to go about this, and depending on your router; you might not even be able to change the wireless mode. 

Generally, the wireless mode is set to 802.11 b/g/n, but you can set this to be an individual channel. Try using all three channels to see which one works for you.

Reset your router

If nothing else has worked for you so far, resetting your router is pretty much the last option you’re left with. Do keep in mind that if your ISP has done some custom settings on your router, you will lose them and you’ll have to do everything all over again.

While you can reset routers using their settings page, we recommend using the physical reset switch on your router. Look up the instructions specific to your router accordingly and follow along. 

Also read: How to disable your internet connection temporarily in Windows PC?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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