If your PC has a wireless (WiFi) network adapter, you'll see the wireless network icon Wireless network icon when you click the Settings charm. Windows automatically detects wireless networks that are in range.

To see a list of wireless networks

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click the wireless network icon (Wireless network icon ).

If Windows doesn't detect a network that you think is in range of your PC, it could be because of one of the following problems.

Problems
Possible solutions

The wireless switch on your PC is turned off.

Many laptops and tablets have a wireless switch on their front or side. If your laptop or tablet has a switch, make sure it's turned on. Some laptops also use a function key combination to turn the switch on or off. Check the information that came with your PC for details about locating the wireless switch.

Flight mode is turned on.

To turn off flight mode

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click the wireless network icon (Wireless network icon ).
  3. Make sure Flight mode is set to Off.

Your PC is too far from the wireless router or access point.

Move your PC closer to the router or access point. If the PC is portable, try moving it around to determine the range of the wireless signal and the best place to use your PC.

If you can't get closer to the router or access point, consider buying and installing an external antenna for your wireless network adapter to improve its reception. Check the information that came with your wireless network adapter to see if you can install an additional antenna.

Your router and the network adapter in your PC might not work together.

To work, the network adapter in your PC must use a wireless standard that is equal to or older than the router’s wireless standard. For example, if the network adapter in your PC uses the 802.11n wireless standard (also called Wireless-N) but your router uses 802.11g (also called Wireless-G), you won't be able to connect because the Wireless-G standard is an earlier version and doesn’t recognise Wireless-N. However, if the router uses Wireless-N but the adapter in your PC uses Wireless-G, you should be able to connect if the router is set to mixed mode, as Wireless-N works with some or all of the earlier standards (802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g).

The wireless router or access point is turned off or isn't working properly.

There are two things to try:

  • Make sure that the router or access point is turned on and that the wireless signal light is on.

  • Reset the router or access point by unplugging it, waiting at least 10 seconds, then plugging it back in.

    Warning

    • Resetting the router or access point will temporarily disconnect everyone from the network.

If you don't manage the access point or network, contact the network administrator.

There's interference from other devices.

Some home devices can cause interference between your PC and networks that might be in range. For example, microwave ovens and some cordless phones use particular frequencies (including 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) that are also used by some network hardware.

There are two things you can try:

  • If any devices like these are near your PC, turn them off temporarily or move them farther away.

  • Change the router or access point settings to use a different wireless channel, or set the channel to be selected automatically if it's set to a fixed channel number. Sometimes, one wireless channel works better than others. Check the information that came with your access point or router for instructions about setting the wireless signal channel.

The router or access point is busy.

The router or access point might be too busy to respond to new requests if there are several PCs or devices using it. If you have other PCs that are connected to the network, try temporarily disconnecting them.

The network you're looking for isn't set to broadcast its network name.

Your wireless router might not be set to broadcast its network ID (SSID). Broadcasting the SSID makes the network visible to anyone within range of the network. It also improves your network's security (see the following warning for details). To turn on SSID broadcasting, refer to the documentation that came with the wireless router or open the router settings web page.

Warning

  • Typically, wireless networks broadcast their name and your PC "listens" for the name of the network that it wants to connect to. Because a hidden network doesn’t broadcast, your PC can't find it, so the network has to find your PC. For this to happen, your PC must broadcast both the name of the network it's looking for and its own name. In this situation, other PCs "listening" for networks will know the name of your PC as well as the network you’re connected to, which increases the risk of your PC being hacked.

Your network administrator has blocked the use of certain networks.

If you're on a corporate network, your network administrator might be using Group Policy to control the use of wireless networks. If you think that there are wireless networks in range of your PC that aren't visible or that you can't connect to because your network administrator has blocked them, contact your network administrator.

The wireless network adapter is in monitor mode.

If you run a network monitoring app on your PC, the wireless network adapter will be set to monitor mode, which prevents Windows from connecting to wireless networks. To connect to a wireless network, close the network monitoring application or follow the instructions in the application to exit monitor mode.



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