How to Connect a Chromebook to WiFi

Introduction

In This Guide
You'll Learn:
  • How to connect your Chromebook to Wi-Fi.

1 Credentials

In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers or gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, check the documentation that came with your device.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router / gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

? Do you know your Wireless Network name (SSID) and Key?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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In This Guide
You'll Learn:
  • How to connect your Chromebook to Wi-Fi.
In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers or gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, check the documentation that came with your device.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router / gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

  1. Select the User menu by clicking your profile picture in the bottom-right corner.
    screenshot of chromebook user menu
  2. Select the triangle > next to the network option.
    screenshot of user menu with Wi-Fi settings triangle highlighted
  3. Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on at the top of the menu. Then, select your Wi-Fi network, it will usually be at or near the top.
    screenshot of Wi-Fi settings with the on off switch and a network highlighted
  4. Enter your Wi-Fi password. You may also want to place a check mark next to Share this network with other users, so other people who use this Chromebook can connect to this Wi-Fi network as well. Then, select Connect.
    screenshot of the Join Wi-Fi network prompt with password entry and share network checkbox highlighted
  5. When you are connected, the Wi-Fi icon will show as filled in in the bottom right-hand corner.
    screenshot of the chromebook user menu with the Wi-Fi icon highlighted
To help troubleshoot the problem we should check if other devices can connect to the wireless network.

If other wireless devices are connected to the network and functioning properly, chances are the router is OK. It's possible there is an environmental issue. Do you have a portable wireless device (Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop, etc.) that you can put in the same area to test and see if that device's wireless connection still functions as intended in that location?

There are 2 main ways to restart your Chromebook. The first method is preferred.

Shut Down From Menus

  1. Select the User menu by clicking your profile picture in the bottom-right corner.
    screenshot of the chromebook user menu

  2. Select the Power symbol. Your Chromebook will turn off.
    Screenshot of the user menu highlighting the power button in the center bottom

  3. Wait 10 seconds.
  4. Push the Power Button on your Chromebook to turn it back on.

Shut Down With Hardware

  1. Push and hold the Power Button on your keyboard for 10 seconds.
  2. Wait 10 seconds.
  3. Push the Power Button on your Chromebook to turn it back on.

There are several different companies that manufacture Chromebooks. To ensure that your specific networking equipment and all settings will work properly with your Chromebook, please reach out to the manufacturer directly for further assistance.

Some wireless routers broadcast a dual-band wireless signal and provide both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. Your device may not see the 5GHz network, which is completely normal. Not all devices contain the antenna to communicate on the 5GHz band. Also, some routers broadcast guest networks that your device may not be able to connect to depending on your router's settings.

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

Your router may need to be relocated to a more centralized location in order to provide better coverage for all your devices.

Good Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the center of a house will provide better coverage to reach all devices. Diagram.

Bad Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the corner of the house can cause some devices to not have a Wi-Fi signal. Diagram.

Since this appears to be a range issue that can be resolved by putting the router in closer proximity to the device's intended use area, we recommend moving the router to a more centralized location.
If the wireless signal is not reaching the device and moving the router or device in closer proximity is not possible or doesn't resolve the issue, the best option for wireless connectivity is to get a range extender.
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