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Problem with wireless adapter or access points? Quick Fix

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  • 5 min read

Most devices these days access the internet over WiFi. Wireless adaptors and access points have also largely improved over the years in terms of speed, range, and bandwidth.

However, as good as these devices have become, they still face the occasional bugs or glitches. In this article, we’re going over a few fixes you can try out in case your wireless adaptor or access point isn’t working as it should.

Also read: How to fix ‘no WiFi networks found’ error?

Restart, restart, restart

The simplest and possibly the best way of fixing any issue with connectivity is to restart the device. Your PC’s WiFi card is acting up; try restarting. The WiFi router not working like it’s supposed to; try restarting that as well. Power cycle all the network equipment you have, and there’s a good chance the problem will be gone. 

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. 

Make sure your wireless adaptor is enabled

If you can’t get WiFi at all on your device, check to see if the adaptor is enabled in the first place. If you’ve got airplane mode enabled on your PC, disable that and try again. If that doesn’t work, check to see if your wireless adaptor is disabled. 

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 Enable device.

Update the drivers

Another common problem with wireless cards is the drivers. Out of date or obsolete drivers can severely impact performance and cause several issues. 

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 fix the ‘Android Connected to WiFi but No Internet’ error?

Check your DNS settings

If you’re running custom DNS settings 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 Windows files 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

Use the Windows Internet troubleshooter

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

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

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.

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. However, keep in mind that if your ISP has done some custom settings on your router, you will lose them and 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. Then, look up the instructions specific to your router accordingly and follow along. 

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

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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