Categories: How ToWebWi-Fi

What To Do If Your Wi-Fi Suddenly Stops Working

As someone who practically lives on the Internet, I’m well aware of the frustration that occurs when your wireless connection goes down. Here’s what to do if it happens to you.

NOTE: After doing any of these things, you may need to turn off and turn back on any devices that you were using when you were disconnected.

Make sure your computer or mobile device’s wireless setting is turned on.

Yeah, this is one of those “Are you sure it’s plugged in?” situations. But I’ve accidentally hit the wireless key on my computer many times without realizing it right away and I’ve turned off my phone’s wireless for various reasons and then forgotten about it. If your computer has a physical wireless button, you can see pretty quickly that the light is off. But if it doesn’t, or you’re on a mobile device, you’ll need to go into your settings to make sure you’ve got the wireless turned on.

TIP: If you’re on a Windows computer that doesn’t have a dedicated wireless key, you can follow the instructions in this How-To Geek article to create a shortcut to toggle your wireless on and off:

How to Turn Wi-Fi On or Off With a Keyboard or Desktop Shortcut in Windows

Double-check you’re connected to the right network.

If you were connected to another network previously (e.g. at a coffee shop), you may need to reconnect to your home network again if it didn’t reconnect automatically.

Reboot your modem and router.

Sometimes Internet service providers (ISP) make changes on their end that can change the settings that connect your router to the Internet. The way to fix this is to unplug both your modem and your router (you may have one piece of equipment that acts as both) and wait a full 60 seconds. Then plug them both in again and wait for all the lights to stop flashing. At that point, try to reconnect to the Internet again.

NOTE: If someone tells you to power cycle your router, this is what they’re referring to.

Reset your wireless adapter.

Sometimes disabling and re-enabling your wireless adapter will reset your connection. On a Windows 10 computer, right-click on the Windows logo at the bottom left and select Device Manager. (You can get to this through Control Panel on earlier versions of Windows and I have no idea how to do this on a Mac.)

Click on Network Adapters, which should open a list of them. Find the one that says Wireless and double-click on it. A dialog box will open with multiple tabs. Click on Driver, then click the Disable button, wait a few seconds, and click Enable.

Contact your Internet Service Provider.

If none of the above works, the issue may be on your ISP’s side. If they’re currently experiencing a service outage, they often note it on their website. Of course if the service is down, you won’t be able to check that from your computer. But if your cellphone has a browser you can check it that way or you can phone their customer service number (you may want to program that into your phone if it doesn’t have a browser). Even if they’re not experiencing an outage, their technical support reps can provide more detailed instructions for trying to get your connection working again.

TIP: If you get to this point, you’ll often be asked to go into your router’s administration settings. You can be prepared for this by having the login information already saved somewhere on your computer. You can usually find the admin URL (it might be an IP address), username, and password on a sticker on your router or you may need to go to the manufacturer’s website to get that information.

You may also be interested in:

Extend Your Wi-Fi Signal for a Stronger Internet Connection

Turn Your Computer into a Wi-Fi Hotspot with Connectify Software

Elizabeth Kricfalusi

View Comments

  • My wifi was working n just suddenly turned off none of my phones or tv's are living up the wifi even tho it's on and blinking

    • Hi Maryann.

      Sorry for the late reply. I hope you were able to get your Wi-Fi working again. If not, your best bet would be to contact your Internet provider's customer support.

      - Elizabeth

  • My wifi and laptop was working just fine, but I do not know what I have done. My laptop is no longer picking up the wifi signal. I have disable, deleted, and reinstalled the wireless adaptor for my laptop, but it is still not getting any signal. What can I do to fix this? My cellphone is picking up the wifi signal from the router.

    • Hi Benjamin.

      I recommend you contact your Internet Service Provider's customer support department.

      - Elizabeth

  • When i try and get into my asus router to reconfigure it, i plug the ethernet cable in and it says no internet, which is normal. But it usually opens up the asus page immediatelt after i plug it in. Now nothing happens.

    • Hi Tom.

      There's usually a sticker on routers that has the URL for the admin page (might be an IP address) for the router, as well as the default username and password if you haven't changed them. If there's no sticker, you can try going to the ASUS website and searching their support pages for your router model. It may have that info there. If not, you should look for a contact form to get help directly from them.

      Good luck!

      - Elizabeth

  • Hello, my ipod doesn't connecct to my home wifi anymore, but it does other places. At times it connects for like 5 seconds and then goes away. I've tried rebooting the router and reseting the network settings on my devecie, but to no avail. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Grant.

      You should contact your Internet Service Provider who should be able to help you troubleshoot the issue. There may be some setting that needs to be changed on your router or you may need to get a replacement for it, but they'll be best able to help you.

      - Elizabeth

  • I tried a reboot on the router and Laptop. No change, I lose net after 10-15 mins and its hard to get it back. Is there a virus somewhere?

    • Hi Chuck.

      It's impossible for me to know what's causing your specific problem. It may be something as simple as a loose wire in your router or a software upgrade that isn't working well with older hardware. Your best bet is to contact your Internet Service Provider for help.

      Good luck!

      - Elizabeth

  • My Phone (IPhone) is connected to the wifi but it won't allow me to do anything that uses internet? What do I need to do to fix this?

    • Hi Alec.

      I don't know what could be causing this problem. It may be a temporary glitch that fixes itself. If not, I recommend you contact Apple Support.

      - Elizabeth

  • I put in the password for the wifi it doesn't accept it I asked my boyfriend if he changed it he said he
    Didn't I don't know what to do

    • Hi Erin.

      Your best bet is to call or chat with the company that provides your Internet service. They'll be able to walk you through the process for resetting your router password.

      - Elizabeth

  • My internet network name doesn't show up on my wifi settings anymore and it was just working 5 minutes ago. Please help!

    • Hi Ashley.

      This sounds like it might have been a temporary glitch. Has it started showing up again?

      - Elizabeth

  • Hello, I recently unplugged my Wifi and plugged it back in and now it does not work anymore. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Beni.

      "It does not work" could mean a lot of things, so I can't provide any suggestions at the moment other than to contact your Internet Service Provider.

      - Elizabeth

  • Nothing works I was gone for two days and my Wi-Fi just tried off and now I have to plug in my phone thingy and its really making me upset . Can you help me?

    • Hi Blake.

      I'm sorry you're experiencing that problem. If unplugging and replugging in your router isn't working, your best bet is to contact your Internet provider for help.

      - Elizabeth

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