How to Enable the Radio on a Dell Laptop

By Melissa King

A laptop's radio lets it access the Internet.
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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.

Step 4

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.