We need to connect to the Internet from our laptops and desktops for different purposes: work, entertainment, online shopping, or online learning. Usually, when the computer is on, Wi-Fi gets connected automatically. However, sometimes you may see ‘Can’t connect to this network’ in Windows 10 below your Wi-Fi connection when trying to connect to it.
You can experience it because of network driver issues, loose connections, out of range problems, hardware faults, or some temporary glitch. Well, the network error can prevent you from connecting to the wireless network on your Windows 10 PC. Fortunately, the issue is fixable with some workarounds and tweaking.
Initial Workarounds For Can’t connect to this network Error
If you are lucky enough, the initial checks and workarounds can help you fix the network connection issues. We recommend going through the initial workarounds before going through the actual solutions. If the initial minor solutions work to fix the Windows 10 can’t connect to this network, you will be saved from the extra effort.
1. Restart the PC
Restart can help you fix the temporary glitches on your system. So, if you can’t connect to any wireless network because of temporary connectivity issues, the restart can fix it.
Click on the Windows logo on the taskbar and then click on the Power button. Click on the Restart option.
Post the restart, try connecting to the wireless network again.
2. Move to the Same Room as Wi-Fi
If you are in some other room far from a Wi Fi router, the chances of network obstructions are high. The walls can prevent you from connecting to the Wi-Fi in the other room. You can move to the same room where the WiFi modem/router is located and try to connect to the WiFi.
3. Make Sure Wi-Fi is Turned ON
You cannot connect to the wireless network if Wi-Fi is turned off from your system settings. Many laptops also have a physical switch to turn WiFi on and off. You can check about the physical Wi-Fi switch in the PC manual and turn it on to connect to the wireless network from your computer.
To turn on the WiFi via settings, press Windows key + I to open the Settings app and go to Network & Internet.
Navigate to the Wi-Fi section from the left frame and toggle the switch below Wi-Fi such that it is turned On.
Once the Wi-Fi is turned on, you can try connecting to the desired Wi-Fi connection.
4. Check if Airplane Mode is Turned Off
If the airplane mode is enabled on your system, you cannot connect to any wireless network and the can’t connect to this network error shows up! You need to turn off the airplane mode via settings to fix Windows 10 Can’t connect to this network error message.
To turn off the airplane mode, go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet and then click on Airplane mode on the window’s left panel.
Toggle the switch below Airplane mode towards the left to turn it off.
You can now connect to any wireless network without any issues.
5. Try Disconnecting and Reconnecting to the Wireless Network
Sometimes, there are network issues because of some bugs while connecting. You can simply disconnect and reconnect to the wireless network giving issues.
Click on the Wi-Fi symbol on the taskbar and click on the Disconnect button below your connected network.
Wait for some time, and then click on the network symbol again. This time click on the Connect button below the wireless network you want to connect.
This will fix the minor issues in connection.
6. Restart Modem and Wireless Router
You can restart the modem and wireless router at your home to fix Windows 10 Can’t connect to this network issue. The process of restarting the router and modem may differ. To know the common way of doing it, follow the instructions given below.
Unplug the router and modem from the power supply. If your modem has a battery backup, remove the battery as well. Now, wait for some time (approx 30 seconds) and then plug the router and modem again into the power source.
If you have removed the modem’s battery, insert it again. Try to establish a connection between the wireless network and your PC again.
7. Check if you can Connect to Other Devices
If can’t connect to this network issue is just with your computer, the other devices may easily connect to the wireless network. You can use your mobile phone or another PC to connect to the WiFi. It will give you a clear understanding of whether the issue lies with your system or overall network. If none of the devices connect to the wireless network, contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
8. Try to Ping Default Gateway of the Router
Another way to find out whether the issue is between the internal connection or modem and ISP, you can try to ping the default gateway of the wireless router. The output of this ping will help you narrow down the problem.
Type cmd in the Start menu and click on Run as administrator after selecting Command Prompt from the search result.
In the terminal window, type ipconfig and press Enter. Now, check for a WiFi connection in the command output, and note down Default Gateway, as shown in the screenshot below.
Once you have Default Gateway in hand, execute the ping <Default Gateway> command in the Command Prompt window. In our case, it was ping 192.168.1.1.
If you see the output like the screenshot above, which is Lost = 0, you have a proper connection between the PC and the router. The issue is with the modem or ISP; you can contact ISP to get it resolved.
19 Solutions to Fix Can’t connect to this network Error
If the above initial workarounds didn’t help you fix the wireless network connection issue, you could go through the solutions below. The list of solutions is long because the reason to experience Can’t connect to this network differs from system to system.
You will have to connect to LAN to connect to the Internet, as some of the solutions will require an Internet connection.
1. Run Network Troubleshooter
You can run a Windows troubleshooter to fix the Can’t connect to this network error. The built-in network troubleshooter will scan for all the network issues and also fix them for you.
To run Network troubleshooter, go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet. Navigate to the Status from the left panel of Network & Internet settings.
Click on the Network troubleshooter under Advanced network settings.
Now, wait till Windows fixes the error for you. You may be able to connect to the wireless network post this.
2. Update Windows Operating System
Windows update also carries device driver updates many times. The bugs of previous versions are also fixed with the Windows update. You can update Windows to get rid of Can’t connect to this network problem.
Open Settings and go to Update & Security. Make sure you are in the Windows update section there.
Click on Check for updates button.
Download and install the recent version of Windows on your PC.
3. Uninstall Third-party Antivirus Software
Some third-party antivirus software can cause too many issues on your Windows system. You can temporarily uninstall the antivirus software from your PC to fix Can’t connect to this network error.
Search for the Control Panel in the Start menu and click on the same from the search result. In the Control Panel, click on Uninstall a program under Programs.
Search for the antivirus program and then right-click on it. Select Uninstall to remove it from your computer.
Follow the instruction wizard on the screen to complete the uninstallation process. You can use Windows Security to protect your PC till the issue is fixed. If you are facing this issue frequently because of antivirus software, you can contact the support team for help.
4. Run Network Related Commands
You can run the network commands to flush and reset DNS cache, release and renew IP addresses, and reset the TCP/IP stack. This can help you get rid of Can’t connect to this network error message.
Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges and execute the below commands one by one.
netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset
Once all the commands are executed, try connecting to the required wireless network and check if you got rid of the can’t connect to this network error.
5. Uninstall Recent Windows Update
This fix may look contradictory to the above one, but if you started experiencing Wi-Fi issues after updating Windows OS, you need to remove it.
Go to Settings ➜ Update & Security ➜ Windows update and click on View update history.
On the next screen, click on Uninstall updates.
When the Control Panel window opens, scroll down to Microsoft Windows and right-click on the most recent update based on the date. Choose Uninstall.
Reboot the PC for the changes to take effect, and then check if Can’t connect to this network message vanishes or not.
6. Reinstall Network Adapter
You can try reinstalling the network adapter driver to get rid of Can’t connect to this network error while connecting to the Wi-Fi network.
Press Windows key + X and click on Device Manager to open it. In the Device Manager window, search for Network adapters and expand it.
Now, right-click on the wireless device drivers and select Uninstall from the context menu.
Once the driver is uninstalled, restart your computer. Windows will reinstall the drivers for you.
7. Disable IPv6
If you have IPv6 enabled, you can experience unwanted trouble while connecting to the network. You can disable IPv6 in the router as well as your PC. To disable IPv6 in the router, refer to the router manual, as each router has a different way of doing it.
And to disable IPv6 on your computer, go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet.
Click on the Change adapter options under Related settings.
Right-click on the Wi-Fi network that you want to connect to. Select Properties from the menu.
Make sure you are under the Networking tab and then uncheck the checkbox next to Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCPIPv6). Click on OK.
Reboot the PC and then check if you can establish a connection to the wireless network.
8. Update Network Adapter Drivers
The outdated device drivers are the root cause of many issues. If the network drivers are outdated, you can see Can’t connect to this network in Windows 10 while connecting to WiFi. You can update drivers in Windows 10 manually or use any third-party software for help.
You need to expand the Network adapters menu in the Device Manager and update the wireless network drivers.
Once the drivers are updated, reboot your computer and try connecting to the Wi-Fi network again.
9. Change the Channel Width For Network Drivers
For some users changing the channel width for the wireless network drivers help in fixing the connectivity issue. Follow the simple steps below to change the channel width.
Step 1: Navigate to Settings ➜ Network & Internet ➜ Change adapter options.
Step 2: Right-click on the wireless network and select Properties.
Step 3: In the Wi-Fi Properties dialog box, click on the Configure button.
Step 4: Now, go to the Advanced tab in the wireless network adapter properties window.
Step 5: Select 802.11 Channel Width under the Property section and also change its value to 20MHz.
Click on OK to save the changes and restart the PC. This will fix the Internet connectivity issue of your computer.
10. Change Power Management Options of Network Driver
Sometimes, the network drivers are turned off if there is not enough battery in your laptop. You need to disable this setting to avoid network drivers to get turned off.
To do so, open Device Manager and expand Network adapters. Next, right-click on the wireless network adapter and select Properties.
Navigate to the Power Management tab and uncheck the checkbox next to ‘Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.’
Click on OK.
You can reboot the device and check if the issue has been resolved. If you are using an external USB network adapter, make sure you follow the same steps for USB drivers as well.
11. Disable and Re-enable Wi-Fi Connection
You can try disabling and then re-enabling the wireless network connection in order to fix Can’t connect to this network error in Windows 10.
To do so, go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet ➜ Change adapter options.
You need to right-click on the wireless network that is giving issues and select Disable.
Wait for some time and then again right-click on the disabled Wi-Fi connection, but this time click on Enable. This will enable the Wi-Fi again.
You can now try connecting to the desired wireless network again.
12. Manually Connect to the Wireless Network
If you cannot connect to the Wi-Fi network using the regular way, try doing it manually. This may require additional time and effort, but it will help you fix Windows 10 can’t connect to this network issue.
Go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet, and click on Network and Sharing center under Related settings.
In the Control Panel window, click on Set up a new connection or network.
Now, select Manually connect to a wireless network and click on Next.
Add the network name along with the required information and click on Next.
You can follow the instructions wizards to complete the entire process.
13. Disable Firewall
Sometimes, the firewall can prevent you from connecting to a wireless network. You can temporarily disable the firewall and check if that helps you connect to WiFi. If you are using any third-party firewall, check its manual to know how to disable it. In the case of Windows Security, follow the steps given below.
Step 1: Go to Settings ➜ Update & Security and click on Windows Security from the left frame.
Step 2: Click on Firewall & network protection.
Step 3: Click on the network which is currently active. In our case, it is a public network.
Step 4: Toggle the switch to turn the firewall off.
You can turn off the firewall for other networks as well. Restart your PC, post this, and check if this helped in connecting to the WiFi without trouble.
14. Change Power Options
You can try modifying the power options to fix the wireless network connection problems.
Search for the edit power plan in the Start menu and open the same from the search results.
Click on Change advanced power settings.
In the Power Options dialog box, expand Wireless Adapter Settings and Power Saving Mode under it.
Select Maximum Performance for both On battery and Plugged in options.
Click on Apply and OK.
Now, check if you can connect to the WiFi. However, if you are still facing issues, you can try changing the power plan to High Performance instead of Balanced in the Power Options window.
15. Turn Off Metered Connection
The metered connection can prevent you from doing many things on your PC using the Internet. You can turn off the metered connection to avoid such trouble.
Launch the Settings app and go to the Network & Internet section. Now, navigate to Wi-Fi from the left section of the window.
Click on the connected Wi-Fi network.
On the next window, scroll down to the Metered connection section and toggle the switch below ‘Set as metered connection’ towards the left, such that it is turned Off.
Now, check if you can open the website/web browser or download the updates after turning off the metered connection.
16. Roll Back Wireless Network Driver
If the updated version of the wireless network driver is not stable, it can cause trouble while connecting to a wireless network. You can roll back the driver software to the previous stable version.
Open Device Manager, expand Network adapters, and then right-click on the wireless network driver. Click on Properties from the context menu.
In the network driver Properties window, go to the Driver tab and click on the Roll Back Driver button. You can follow the instructions on your screen to complete the rollback process.
If the Roll Back Driver button is greyed out, there is no option to roll back the network driver. In such a case, you need to skip this solution and move on to the next one.
17. Perform a Network Reset
You can perform a network reset to fix the Windows 10 can’t connect to this network error message. The network reset will reinstall the network adapter drivers and change the network component settings to default. Also, network-related software like VPN and Virtual switch will be removed from your PC when you perform a network reset.
To perform a network reset, open the Settings app and go to Network & Internet settings.
Now, click on Network reset.
On the next window, click on the Reset now button.
When asked for confirmation, click on Yes to start the reset. You will be able to connect to the wireless network post the reset.
18. Check if the Router and Adapter have the same Security Type
The router and WiFi adapter needs to be configured on the same security type for the smooth functioning and connection of wireless networks. To know how to check and change your router’s security type, go through the manufacturer provided manual or visit the website. This process depends on the type of router model and manufacturer.
To check the Security type of the adapter, go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet ➜ Network and Sharing Center.
Click on your active WiFi connections.
On the Wi-Fi Status dialog box, click on the Wireless Properties button.
Now, go to the Security tab and check the value against the Security type. You need to make sure that this security type is the same as the router.
If it does not match, you can make changes in either of the security settings.
19. Change Wireless Network Mode’s Value
You can try changing the wireless mode value to fix the Internet issue you are facing.
To do so, go to Settings ➜ Network & Internet ➜ Change adapter options.
Now, right-click on the Wi-Fi network and select Properties.
Click on the Configure button in the Properties window. In the network adapter Properties window, go to the Advanced tab and click on Wireless Mode. You can try playing around with different values for Wireless Mode.
Once the value is changed, close all the windows and try connecting to the desired network.
It is impossible to work on your computers without a stable Internet connection. Most of us rely on a Wi-Fi connection for the Internet, and therefore it is vital that the connection works without any issues. Windows 10 often gives Can’t connect to this network error message below the Wi-Fi connection you wish to connect.
There are different reasons why Windows users experience such issues when connecting to wireless networks. And because of this, there is a long list of solutions that can help you eliminate this Windows 10 PC problem.