How to Enable the Radio on a Dell Laptop

by Melissa King
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Dell laptops, such as the XPS, Inspiron and Latitude, enable you to access the Internet from any location with an available Wi-Fi signal. To connect to the Internet, you need to enable your laptop's wireless radio. By default, the wireless radio is turned off for security purposes and to save battery power. You can turn on the wireless radio using one of several methods, depending on your laptop's model.

Step 1

Power on your laptop, then press the wireless function key located on the top row of the keyboard. This key looks like a radio tower. An icon appears on the computer screen indicating that Wi-Fi is enabled. Tap the key again to turn the radio off. When you've disabled the radio, a circle with a line through it appears next to the radio tower icon. Most new Dell laptops have this function key, including the XPS and Latitude.

Step 2

Look for a sliding switch on the side of your laptop if you can't find a dedicated wireless key. Slide the switch toward the icon of a transmitting radio tower to activate wireless.

Step 3

Hold down the "FN" key, then press "F2" to turn on and off the radio in most Dell laptop models, such as the N4100/14R and N7110/17R models.

Right-click the utility icon in the notification area, then select "Open Utility." Click the "Wireless Networks" tab, then check the "Enable Radio" box. Clear the box to disable the radio.


  • If you don't see the utility icon, open the computer's Control Panel, then click "Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility." Select "Let this tool manage your wireless networks."


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

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