Why Won't My Laptop Connect to Wireless?

by Dianne Christensen-Herman ; Updated September 28, 2017

Wireless Internet can make moving your portable laptop from room to room a cinch. However, problems can occur with the wireless Internet, and it may not connect, which can be frustrating.This problem may be solved by altering computer settings. You can do this yourself without hiring a professional, although it may take a few steps to solve depending on the problem.

Inspect the laptop hardware to ensure you have the proper type to adequately connect to a wireless router. Wireless adapters should be at least 802.11b/g to connect to wireless, which supports 11b and 11g. Most laptops less than 2 years old are equipped with this. Examine the external adapter, which is a PCMCIA (personal computer memory card international association) or (PC) card. Check the underside of the device for this.

Select "Start" menu with the mouse, right-click on "My Computer" and then click the "Properties" menu. Once the System Properties menu opens, click the "Hardware" menu and select the "Device Manager" menu and you should see 802.11b/g WLAN in the menu. This indicates you have the proper equipment to connect to a wireless router.

Choose the "Start" menu, then select "Control Panel" and click on "Network Connections." Right-click with the mouse on the "Wireless Network" icon and choose "Properties." Select "Internet Protocol" and choose "Properties." The computer should now connect to a network.

Click the "Start," menu then select "Control Panel," and then choose "Network Connections" as you did in the above step. Right-click with the mouse on the "Wireless Network" icon and choose "Repair." This action eliminates the connection with the current wireless network and will try to reconnect with a stronger network.

Tip

  • Before trying any solutions, wait about 20 to 30 minutes to see if the Internet connection improves. Sometimes networks experience problems and the problem may solve itself.

    Certain types of microwaves and wireless phones can interfere with wireless Internet connections according to Smart Computing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera laptop computer image by Sandra Henderson from Fotolia.com