How to Fix WiFi Network Not Being Found

Introduction

Wi-Fi networks in proximity.
Connecting our devices to a Wi-Fi network to be able to access the internet is very commonplace. However, if you cannot find your wireless network, you may not be able to get connected at all. While some Wi-Fi networks can be set up to be hidden from view, you may also not be able to find your network if you are out of range, or your device or wireless router is malfunctioning. This guide will take you through some steps that may help resolve this issue for you.

1 Range Check

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.

? Is the device within a reasonable range of the router?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Wi-Fi networks in proximity.
Connecting our devices to a Wi-Fi network to be able to access the internet is very commonplace. However, if you cannot find your wireless network, you may not be able to get connected at all. While some Wi-Fi networks can be set up to be hidden from view, you may also not be able to find your network if you are out of range, or your device or wireless router is malfunctioning. This guide will take you through some steps that may help resolve this issue for you.

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.

The wireless routers in our homes that broadcast our Wi-Fi networks can be secured in different ways. The most common method of securing a Wi-Fi network is by setting a password. Another common way of securing a Wi-Fi network is to hide your network's name, or disabling the broadcast of its name altogether. Choosing to do this adds another layer of security and requires that someone know and manually enter your Wi-Fi network's name when attempting to connect to it.

Not all Wi-Fi networks with hidden or non-broadcasting network names (also known as SSID) require a password.

To better assist you, please answer this question.

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.
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.
    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.
  2. Select Power Off.
    Power menu with Power off highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
    Wait 30 Seconds
  4. Push and hold the Power button for a few moments, and your Android device will start back up.
    Android Phone with power button highlighted.

Certain routers have the option to toggle the Wi-Fi radio on or off with the use of a switch.

  1. Locate the Wi-Fi toggle switch on the rear or side of the router. The shape and location varies by brand and model. Please refer to your routers documentation if you're unsure whether it has one or you're unsure where it's located.
    Wi-Fi toggle switch highlighted on rear of router.
  2. Toggle it on if you want to use the Wi-Fi or off if you don't want to use the Wi-Fi.
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds

A busy network can affect connectivity. If other people or unattended devices on your network are streaming video or audio, downloading content, heavily using the internet while you are trying to use it at the same time, your device may have trouble establishing a connection, maintaining a stable connection or may just have slow network performance.

To reduce network usage you may want to turn off or disconnect from the network any devices that may be heavily using up the network.

Wireless signal interference can cause performance issues such as slow or intermittent connections and even complete disconnects. This type of interference can be caused by the presence of:

  • Electromagnetic fields created by other electronic devices such as: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capable devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, remote controlled toys, microwave ovens, seasonal lighting, or even garage door openers.
  • Structural materials in walls, floors, furnishings or other large objects. The potential for structural materials in your home to absorb wireless signal and cause signal loss or undesirable behavior is as follows:

    Interference Potential Type of Material
    Low Synthetic material, wood, glass
    Medium Brick, marble, water
    High Concrete, plaster
    Very High Metal

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other electronic devices:

  1. Turn off temporarily any of the above devices and check if the issue persists.
  2. If it does, consider moving the affected device or any of the other devices further from the affected device.
  3. Alternately, if possible, you can select different wireless channels in the devices' configuration. Consult the devices' manufacturers documentation for details on how to make those changes.

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other objects or structures:

  1. Move the affected device or any obstacles if possible and check if the issue persists.
  2. If the device is in a cabinet or closet, consider taking it out.

Check if other devices on the same network are having the same connectivity issue. This applies to situations when:

  • You are unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network:
    • Try connecting to the same Wi-Fi network with other devices.
  • You have no internet access or you have slow or intermittent connectivity:
    • Try loading webpages, watching online videos, listening to online music or playing an online game with other devices connected to the same network, preferably through an Ethernet connection.
If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here
If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here

Depending on what device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) and which generation you have, the menu theme and options might look slightly different on your screen. However, the steps should be the same across all iOS devices and generations.

  1. From the main screen of your device, look for and open Settings.
    Home screen with setting icon highlighted.
  2. After that, go to Wi-Fi. You will see that this option also shows one of three statuses to the right:
    • Off - the Wi-Fi feature is disabled
    • Not Connected - there is no Wi-Fi connection established.
    • the Wi-Fi connections name - there is a Wi-Fi connection already established.
      Settings page with Wi-Fi menu item highlighted.
  3. Make sure that the Wi-Fi feature is enabled by flipping the On/Off switch to the green position. Locate and tap the Wi-Fi networks name that you wish to connect to from the list.
    Wi-Fi settings page with Wi-Fi toggle highlighted and the list of available networks highlighted.
  4. Your iOS device will automatically connect to the network if there is no security enabled, or you have connected to it in the past. The checkmark and Wi-Fi symbol indicate you are connected.
    Wi-Fi Settings page with an arrow pointing to a checkmark to the left of the connected network and another arrow pointing to the Wi-Fi symbol in the status bar.
  5. If the Wi-Fi network requires a password, then you will see a small padlock to the right of its name, which also means the connection is secure.
    Wi-Fi settings page with an arrow pointing to the padlock representing a secured network.
  6. Tapping on a secured Wi-Fi networks name will prompt you to enter the password. Passwords are always case sensitive. Type it in using the on screen keyboard then tap Join on the bottom right corner. If tapping it does nothing, then it means the password you typed in is too short.
    Wi-Fi settings page with arrow pointing to password field and another arrow pointing to the Join button.
  7. If the Wi-Fi network you are trying to connect to is hidden, then tap the Other... option.
    Wi-Fi settings page with Other highlighted.
  8. Enter the Wi-Fi networks name using the on screen keyboard and tap Join at the bottom right if no password is required to connect. If a password is needed to connect to the Wi-Fi network then tap on Security.
    Wi-Fi Other Network page with name highlighted and security highlighted.
  9. Choose the type of security the Wi-Fi network has by tapping on it.
    Wi-Fi security page with a list of security protocols.
  10. Finally, type in the required Wi-Fi password and tap Join at the bottom right corner to connect.
    Wi-Fi Other Network page with arrow pointing to the password field and another arrow pointing to the Join button.
  11. At this point your iOS device should be connected to Wi-Fi.

Powering off an iPhone.

  1. Hold down the lock / power button.
  2. Slide to power off when prompted.
  3. Wait until the phone is off.
  4. Hold down the lock / power button until you see the Apple logo.
  1. Click or tap the Wi-Fi icon in the system tray area, at the bottom right corner of the screen, then scroll to the bottom of the Wi-Fi network list.
    Wi-Fi icon highlighted in Windows 10 system tray and scroll direction annotated in Wi-Fi network list.
  2. Select the Hidden Network then click or tap Connect.
    Hidden network pointed out and Connect button highlighted in Wi-Fi network list.
  3. Type in the Wi-Fi networks name and click or tap Next.
    Wi-Fi network entry field and Next option highlighted in Wi-Fi network list.
  4. Type in the Wi-Fi password if required and click or tap Next.
    Wi-Fi password entry field and Next option highlighted in Wi-Fi network list.
  5. Lastly, choose whether you want to make your device discoverable on the Wi-Fi network.
    Prompt to make device discoverable on the Wi-Fi network.

    It is recommended to allow your PC to be discovered on private networks because that allows you to see other wireless devices on the same network, however it's not recommended in public places.

Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.

Certain computers have the option to toggle the Wi-Fi radio on or off with the use of a switch on the side of a laptop or a combination of keys pressed on the keyboard.

Wi-Fi toggle switch

  1. You may find this Wi-Fi toggle switch on some laptops.
    Wi-Fi radio switch highlighted on side of laptop.
  2. Locate the switch on the side of the laptop. The shape and location varies by brand and model. Please refer to your laptops documentation if you're unsure whether it has one or you're unsure where it's located.
  3. Toggle it on if you want to use the Wi-Fi or off if you don't want to use the Wi-Fi.

Key-press combination

  1. You may find the Fn (Function) key on some computer keyboards. Pressing it in combination with another other key enables an alternate function for that key.
    Fn key.
  2. The alternate function is indicated by a second symbol printed on the key, usually in a different size then the regular function and sometimes in a different color. In this case, you need to look for a wireless antenna symbol.
    Wi-Fi Fn key.
  3. Locate the Fn key and the Wi-Fi toggle key on your computers keyboard. Their location varies by computer or keyboard brand and model. Please refer to your devices documentation if you're unsure whether your computer or keyboard has the Fn feature or you're unsure where the keys are located.
  4. Press and hold the Fn key and press the Wi-Fi toggle key to enable or disable the Wi-Fi radio.
    Fn + Wi-Fi key highlighted on keyboard.
  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen by the date and time, then select Join Other Network.
    Wi-Fi icon pointed out and Join Other Network option highlighted to connect to a hidden network.
  2. If you're not required to type in a Wi-Fi password, then enter the Wi-Fi networks name and click Join.
    Wi-Fi network entry field and Join option highlighted on connection prompt.
  3. Otherwise, enter the Wi-Fi networks name select the Security type, enter the Wi-Fi password and click Join.
    Fields to fill out and Join button highlighted on connection prompt screen.

    The most common and safest Security type is WPA2 Personal. This depends however on how the network was set up.

  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
To better assist you, please answer this question.
Your device may need to be relocated in closer proximity of the router to get a stronger wireless signal.

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.

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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