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How to Fix WiFi Connection on Android Phone Tablet

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

You may be unable to go online with your Android phone or tablet using the WiFi connection and troubleshooting the Internet connection may be difficult for you.

This guide will help you with that and take you through the basic steps to get your wireless connection fixed. These steps are listed in order, so start with the first one, see if that helps, and then continue with the next one if it doesn't.

WiFi connection drop down list on Android.

1 Restart the Android Device

  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

  2. A prompt will appear on-screen. Select Restart.
    Android Power menu with Restart highlighted.
If the Restart option doesn't show up, tap Power Off instead. Press and hold the power button to turn the device back on.

If the menu doesn't show up, continue holding the power button until the device will turns off.

2 Make Sure the Android Device is in Range

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.

3 Delete the WiFi Network

Sometimes the WiFi network information can get corrupted on your Android phone or tablet, or the connection parameters may get changed on the wireless access point. To reestablish the connection you will first need to delete the network information.

  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    Settings
  2. Select WiFi.
    Wi-Fi
  3. Look in the list for your WiFi network. Tap and hold your Wi-Fi network name till a menu comes up.
    Wi-Fi Settings with Network highlighted
  4. Select Forget network.
    Network menu with Forget network highlighted

4 Reconnect the Android Device to the WiFi

Depending on what device (Smartphone or Tablet) and which generation you have, the menu theme and options might look slightly different on your screen. However, the steps should be similar across all Android devices and generations.

  1. Open Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    Wi-Fi
  3. Make sure Wi-Fi is set to On at the top.
    Wi-Fi with On toggle highlighted.
  4. Your Android device will automatically connect to the network if there is no security enabled, or you have connected to it in the past. The Wi-Fi network name will show Connected underneath.
    Wi-Fi connected
To Connect to a New Network

If you're connecting to a particular Wi-Fi network for the first time:

  1. Select the connection from the list.
    Wi-Fi settings with Connection Highlighted.
  2. Enter the password for the network, then select Connect.
    Wi-Fi password prompt with password entry and Connect highlighted.
To Connect to a Hidden Network

If the Wi-Fi network you wish to connect to is a hidden network, it won't appear in the list of available networks. However, if you know the network's exact name and password, it can be added manually.

  1. Select Add network.
    Wi-Fi settings with Add network highlighted.
  2. Enter the Network Name (also called the SSID) you wish to connect to, the type of Security it uses (usually WPA2), and the Password for the network, then select Save.
    Add Network with Network Name, Security type, Password, and Save highlighted.

5 Restart the Modem and Router

Many times a connection issue can be resolved quickly and easily by restarting the Internet equipment:

  1. Disconnect the power cable from the back of your modem. The power cable is usually near the bottom, and tends to be a thin black cord. It usually does not have any clips on it.
    Back of cable modem, power port highlighted.

    Some modems may have a battery backup to keep the telephone service working in case of a power outage. If the lights on your modem do not turn off when you disconnect the power cable, make sure you also remove the battery as well, then put it back in place before you reconnect the power cable.

  2. Disconnect the power cable from the back of your router, or if your router has one, push the power button to turn it off.

    Some Internet Service Providers now provide "Wireless Gateways", which contain both a modem and router in one simple device. Some users prefer separate devices. Both are perfectly acceptable. If you are using an all-in-one Wireless Gateway, you can safely continue without this step.

    Back of router, power port highlighted.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Reconnect the power cables back into your modem and router.
  5. Make sure the power light comes on for each device. This is usually labeled by the symbol below.
    Power

    Please allow 3 to 6 minutes for the modem and router to start up fully.

6 Check the Cables to the Modem and Router

Whether you have a wired or wireless connection, your Internet equipment such as your router, modem or wireless gateway requires to be wired to the Internet signal source and a power source.

Check the Connections to the Modem

  1. Make sure the power cable is connected firmly to the back of the modem and the electrical outlet, and the power light is on. The power light usually has the symbol below next to it.
    Power
  2. Make sure the connection to your service provider is proper. This could be a cable line if you have cable Internet, a phone line if you have DSL, or a Fiber cable for fiber Internet.
    Modem connected to power and Internet. Diagram.

Check the Connections to the Router

If you have a "Wireless Gateway", or combination modem and router, you can skip these checks.

  1. Make sure the power cable is connected firmly to the back of the device and the wall, and the power light is on. The power light usually has the symbol below next to it.
    Power
  2. Make sure the Ethernet cable going to your modem is connected securely, and into the "Uplink" or "Internet" port.
  3. Make sure the other end of the Ethernet cable is connected securely to your Modem.
    Router connected to power and modem. Diagram.

7 Check the Internet Light on Modem and Router

There's a light representing the Internet connection. It will usually be labeled "Internet", or have one of the common symbols below.

Globe with meridians. Lower case italic i. Planet with satellite symbol.

Make sure the light next to this symbol is on and solid (or flickering very briefly) on both your modem and router. This means you should have a good connection to the Internet and your devices should be able to go online.

If the Issue Persists

Please contact your ISP or Router OEM for network assistance.

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You may be unable to go online with your Android phone or tablet using the WiFi connection and troubleshooting the Internet connection may be difficult for you.

This guide will help you with that and take you through the basic steps to get your wireless connection fixed. These steps are listed in order, so start with the first one, see if that helps, and then continue with the next one if it doesn't.

WiFi connection drop down list on Android.
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

  2. A prompt will appear on-screen. Select Restart.
    Android Power menu with Restart highlighted.
If the Restart option doesn't show up, tap Power Off instead. Press and hold the power button to turn the device back on.

If the menu doesn't show up, continue holding the power button until the device will turns off.

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.

Sometimes the WiFi network information can get corrupted on your Android phone or tablet, or the connection parameters may get changed on the wireless access point. To reestablish the connection you will first need to delete the network information.

  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    Settings
  2. Select WiFi.
    Wi-Fi
  3. Look in the list for your WiFi network. Tap and hold your Wi-Fi network name till a menu comes up.
    Wi-Fi Settings with Network highlighted
  4. Select Forget network.
    Network menu with Forget network highlighted

Depending on what device (Smartphone or Tablet) and which generation you have, the menu theme and options might look slightly different on your screen. However, the steps should be similar across all Android devices and generations.

  1. Open Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    Wi-Fi
  3. Make sure Wi-Fi is set to On at the top.
    Wi-Fi with On toggle highlighted.
  4. Your Android device will automatically connect to the network if there is no security enabled, or you have connected to it in the past. The Wi-Fi network name will show Connected underneath.
    Wi-Fi connected
To Connect to a New Network

If you're connecting to a particular Wi-Fi network for the first time:

  1. Select the connection from the list.
    Wi-Fi settings with Connection Highlighted.
  2. Enter the password for the network, then select Connect.
    Wi-Fi password prompt with password entry and Connect highlighted.
To Connect to a Hidden Network

If the Wi-Fi network you wish to connect to is a hidden network, it won't appear in the list of available networks. However, if you know the network's exact name and password, it can be added manually.

  1. Select Add network.
    Wi-Fi settings with Add network highlighted.
  2. Enter the Network Name (also called the SSID) you wish to connect to, the type of Security it uses (usually WPA2), and the Password for the network, then select Save.
    Add Network with Network Name, Security type, Password, and Save highlighted.

Many times a connection issue can be resolved quickly and easily by restarting the Internet equipment:

  1. Disconnect the power cable from the back of your modem. The power cable is usually near the bottom, and tends to be a thin black cord. It usually does not have any clips on it.
    Back of cable modem, power port highlighted.

    Some modems may have a battery backup to keep the telephone service working in case of a power outage. If the lights on your modem do not turn off when you disconnect the power cable, make sure you also remove the battery as well, then put it back in place before you reconnect the power cable.

  2. Disconnect the power cable from the back of your router, or if your router has one, push the power button to turn it off.

    Some Internet Service Providers now provide "Wireless Gateways", which contain both a modem and router in one simple device. Some users prefer separate devices. Both are perfectly acceptable. If you are using an all-in-one Wireless Gateway, you can safely continue without this step.

    Back of router, power port highlighted.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Reconnect the power cables back into your modem and router.
  5. Make sure the power light comes on for each device. This is usually labeled by the symbol below.
    Power

    Please allow 3 to 6 minutes for the modem and router to start up fully.

Whether you have a wired or wireless connection, your Internet equipment such as your router, modem or wireless gateway requires to be wired to the Internet signal source and a power source.

Check the Connections to the Modem

  1. Make sure the power cable is connected firmly to the back of the modem and the electrical outlet, and the power light is on. The power light usually has the symbol below next to it.
    Power
  2. Make sure the connection to your service provider is proper. This could be a cable line if you have cable Internet, a phone line if you have DSL, or a Fiber cable for fiber Internet.
    Modem connected to power and Internet. Diagram.

Check the Connections to the Router

If you have a "Wireless Gateway", or combination modem and router, you can skip these checks.

  1. Make sure the power cable is connected firmly to the back of the device and the wall, and the power light is on. The power light usually has the symbol below next to it.
    Power
  2. Make sure the Ethernet cable going to your modem is connected securely, and into the "Uplink" or "Internet" port.
  3. Make sure the other end of the Ethernet cable is connected securely to your Modem.
    Router connected to power and modem. Diagram.

There's a light representing the Internet connection. It will usually be labeled "Internet", or have one of the common symbols below.

Globe with meridians. Lower case italic i. Planet with satellite symbol.

Make sure the light next to this symbol is on and solid (or flickering very briefly) on both your modem and router. This means you should have a good connection to the Internet and your devices should be able to go online.

If the Issue Persists