My Internet Doesn't Work

Introduction

Troubleshooting your Internet connectivity across all your devices can be a daunting and frustrating task.

This guide will take you through the basic steps for troubleshooting your Internet connection, and get you to the resources you need to better understand and fix the problems you're having.

You are offline

1 Device Type

Our next steps depend on what kind of device you have.

Computer

Windows
Windows 10 Desktop
macOS
macOS Desktop

Mobile

Android
Android Home Screen
iOS
iOS Home Screen

? What kind of device are you using?

  1. Windows Laptop or Desktop
  2. macOS Laptop or Desktop
  3. Android Smartphone or Tablet
  4. iOS Smartphone or Tablet

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Troubleshooting your Internet connectivity across all your devices can be a daunting and frustrating task.

This guide will take you through the basic steps for troubleshooting your Internet connection, and get you to the resources you need to better understand and fix the problems you're having.

You are offline

Our next steps depend on what kind of device you have.

Computer

Windows
Windows 10 Desktop
macOS
macOS Desktop

Mobile

Android
Android Home Screen
iOS
iOS Home Screen

For the next steps, we'll need to determine which version of Windows you're running.

  1. On your keyboard, hold the Windows key then tap Pause/Break.
    Keyboard with Windows and Pause keys highlighted.
  2. A System Properties window will appear with your version of Windows.
    Windows System properties.
  3. System Properties will also show which edition of Windows you have. Pictured below is Windows 10 Home Edition.
    Windows 10 Home edition.

Before your restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.

  1. Open the Charms Menu by moving your cursor to the right corner of the screen.
    Windows 8 Start Menu, Charms Bar open, indicating corner to open Charms Bar.
  2. Click on the Settings icon.
    Windows 8.1 settings button
  3. Click on Power.
    Windows 8.1 charms bar showing Power icon highlighted
  4. Click on Restart.
    Windows 8.1 charms bar showing restart highlighted
  1. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.

A wired connection is provided by an Ethernet cable. Most commonly, these are used by desktop computers and other equipment you don't move around often.

Ethernet cable plugged into device

If you don't connect a cable between your computer and your router, you are using a Wireless connection.

  1. Using your right mouse button, right click on the Start Menu in the corner of your screen.
    Windows 8 Desktop inset, with Start menu highlighted.
  2. A special menu will open up. Select Command Prompt (Admin).
    Windows 8 Start menu right-click menu, with Command Prompt Admin highlighted.
  3. You will be asked to allow this program to make changes. Select Yes.
    Windows 8 User Access Control prompt with Yes highlighted.
  4. A black-and-white command prompt will open.
    Windows 8 Command Prompt.
  5. Enter the following 4 commands after the > prompt, pushing Enter after each:
     
    net start dhcp
    net start dnscache
    netsh i i r r
    netsh winsock reset

     

    Do not worry about the other text that comes from these commands.


    Commands entered into Command Prompt.

Before your restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.

  1. Open the Charms Menu by moving your cursor to the right corner of the screen.
    Windows 8 Start Menu, Charms Bar open, indicating corner to open Charms Bar.
  2. Click on the Settings icon.
    Windows 8.1 settings button
  3. Click on Power.
    Windows 8.1 charms bar showing Power icon highlighted
  4. Click on Restart.
    Windows 8.1 charms bar showing restart highlighted
  1. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.
  1. Remove 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.
  2. Remove 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 people use 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. Plug 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

It can take 3 to 6 minutes for modems and routers to start up fully. Please proceed with the next steps while your devices start, we will check on them, shortly.

Home network setup. Diagram.

Modem

  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.
  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.

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.
  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.

Wired Devices

If you don't have any wired devices, you can skip these checks.

  1. Make sure any Ethernet devices are connected securely to your Router, Wireless Gateway, or Modem.
  2. Make sure the other end of the Ethernet cable is connected securely to the back of the computer or device.
    Computer connected to modem or router. 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.

  1. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.

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.

  1. Open the Charms Menu by moving your cursor to the right corner of the screen.
    Windows 8 Start Menu, Charms Bar open, indicating corner to open Charms Bar.
  2. Select Settings.
    Windows 8.1 settings button
  3. Select Change PC settings in the bottom-right corner.
    Windows 8 Settings Menu with Change PC settings highlighted.
  4. Select Network.
    PC Settings with Network highlighted.
  5. Select Connections.
    Network Settings with Connections highlighted.
  6. Select Manage known networks.
    Network Connections with Manage known networks highlighted.
  7. From the list, select your network, then select Forget.
    Network connection with Forget button highlighted.
  1. Open the Charms Menu by moving your cursor to the right corner of the screen.
    Windows 8 Start Menu, Charms Bar open, indicating corner to open Charms Bar.
  2. Select Settings.
    Windows 8.1 settings button
  3. Select Network.
    Settings with Network highlighted.
  4. Select your Wi-Fi network from the list.
    Network list.
  5. Make sure Connect automatically is checked, then select Connect.
    Network Connection with Connect automatically and Connect button highlighted.
  6. Enter your network password, then select Next.
    Wi-Fi password prompt with Next button highlighted.
  7. Select Yes to be able to use other devices, such as printers, on your home network.
    Network connection data sharing prompt with Yes highlighted.
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.
  1. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.

A wired connection is provided by an Ethernet cable. Most commonly, these are used by desktop computers and other equipment you don't move around often.

Ethernet cable plugged into device

If you don't connect a cable between your computer and your router, you are using a Wireless connection.

  1. Using your right mouse button, right click on the Start Menu in the corner of your screen.
    Windows 10 desktop inset with Start menu highlighted.
  2. A special menu will open up. Select PowerShell (Admin).
    Windows 10 Start menu right click menu with PowerShell Admin highlighted.
  3. You will be asked to allow this program to make changes. Select Yes.
    Windows 10 User Access Control prompt with Yes highlighted.
  4. A blue-and-white PowerShell window will open.
    Windows 10 PowerShell window.
  5. Enter the following 2 commands after the > prompt, pushing Enter after each:

     
    netsh i i r r
    netsh winsock reset

    Do not worry about the other text that comes from these commands.


    Windows 10 PowerShell network reset commands.
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.

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.

  1. Click on the Start Menu icon.
    Windows Start menu icon.
  2. Select Settings.
    Start menu inset with Settings gear icon highlighted.
  3. Select Network & Internet.
    Windows 10 Settings with Network and Internet highlighted.
  4. Select Wi-Fi, then Manage known networks.
    Windows 10 Settings with Wi-Fi and Manage known networks highlighted.
  5. Select your Wi-Fi network, then select Forget.
    Manage Known Networks Settings with Wi-Fi network and Forget button highlighted.
  1. Click on the Notifications icon and then click on Network.
    notification center open with notifications icon and network highlighted
  2. Click the network you wish to connect to.
    available networks with an example network selected
  3. Choose if you wish to automatically connect to your network, and then click on Connect.
    selected network listed with connect automatically box and the connect button highlighted
  4. Enter in your security key and click Next.
    Security key field with next highlighted
  5. Choose whether or not you want to be visible to the network.
    Do you want your computer to be discoverable with yes and no boxes highlighted

    It is recommended to allow your PC to be discovered on private home networks because that allows you to see other wireless devices on the Network. If you're at a public location it is suggested to select "No".

  6. You can verify your connection by checking to see if it now says "Connected" next to the network.
    Notification showing you are now connected to Wi-Fi
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
  1. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.

A wired connection is provided by an Ethernet cable. Most commonly, these are used by desktop computers and other equipment you don't move around often.

Ethernet cable plugged into device

If you don't connect a cable between your computer and your router, you are using a Wireless connection.

  1. Select Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Apple menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Network.
    System Preferences with Network highlighted.
  3. At the top, select the drop-down for Location.
    Network Preferences with Location highlighted.
  4. Select Edit Locations...
    Location menu with Edit Locations highlighted.
  5. Select the + sign to add a location.
    Locations dialog with plus sign highlighted.
  6. Give your location a name, such as Home, then select Done.
    Locations dialog with new location name and Done button highlighted.
  7. Make sure you new Location is selected at the top, then select Apply.

    Your new location will start off Disconnected; this is normal.

    Network Preferences with Location and Apply button highlighted.
  8. Your new location will automatically connect, and the fields will fill in.
    Network Preferences showing connected and all 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.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. By default it will be in the upper right corner near the time and date.
    Wi-Fi symbols.
  2. If Wi-Fi is off, choose Turn Wi-Fi on.
    macOS Wi-Fi menu with Wi-Fi On highlighted.
  3. Select Open Network Preferences.
    Wi-Fi menu with Open Network Preferences highlighted.
  4. Select Advanced within the Network window.
    Network Preferences with Advanced highlighted.
  5. In the Preferred Networks list, select the network you wish to forget. Tap the minus icon (-) to forget the network.
    Advanced Network Preferences Wi-Fi tab with Network list, add, and remove highlighted.
  6. Your device will no longer join this Wi-Fi network unless you reconnect once again.
  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. By default, it will be in the upper right corner near the time and date.
    Wi-Fi symbols.
  2. If Wi-Fi is off, choose Turn Wi-Fi on.
    macOS Wi-Fi menu with Wi-Fi On highlighted.
  3. The strength of each nearby network is shown next to its name. More darkened bars indicate a stronger network connection.
    Wi-Fi menu with signal strength indicator highlighted.

  4. Select the Wireless Network Name (SSID) of the network you want to connect to.
    Wi-Fi menu with networks highlighted.
  5. Networks that have a lock icon next to their name require a password. After you select your network, enter the network password when you're prompted. If you don't know the network password, check with the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're trying to join.
  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.
  1. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.

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.

  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    Wi-Fi highlighted
  3. Look in the list for your Wi-Fi 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
  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    Android Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    Android Settings with Wi-Fi highlighted.
  3. Select your home network from the list.
    Wi-Fi settings with Wi-Fi network highlighted.
  4. Enter your Wi-Fi password, then select Connect.
    Wi-Fi password dialog with password and Connect highlighted.

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. Open your browser.
    Main desktop browsers.
  2. In the address bar, type in google.com and press enter.
    Browser toolbar inset with google.com typed into address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google search page opens up.
    Google search page.
  4. Try performing a search, and make sure something comes up.
    Google search results.

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.

  1. From the main screen, open Settings.
    Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi to open Wi-Fi settings.
    iOS Settings with Wi-Fi highlighted.
  3. Select your Wi-Fi network name from the list.
    Wi-Fi settings with network highlighted.
  4. Tap Forget This Network.
    Wi-Fi Network Settings with Forget This Network highlighted.
  5. Tap Forget to confirm you wish to forget the network. Your device will no longer join this Wi-Fi network unless you reconnect once again.
    Forget Network dialog with Forget highlighted.

Depending on what iOS 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. Open Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    iOS Wi-Fi

    Next to the icon you will see one of following statuses:

    • Off - Wi-Fi feature is disabled
    • Not Connected - Wi-Fi connection is not established
    • [Network Name] - Wi-Fi connection is established
  3. Make sure that the Wi-Fi feature is enabled by flipping the toggle switch to the On position.
    Wi-Fi toggle switch highlighted in iOS settings.
  4. Your iOS device will automatically connect to the closest network you have connected to it in the past. The checkmark indicates you are connected.
    Checkmark highlighted next to Wi-Fi network name in iOS settings.
To Connect to a New Network

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

  1. Select the Network Name from the list.
    Wi-Fi networks highlighted in iOS settings.
  2. Enter the Password if required then select Join.
    Wi-Fi Password field and Join button highlighted in iOS settings.
To Connect to a Hidden Network

If the Wi-Fi network you wish to connect to is hidden, 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 Other...
    Other highlighted in Wi-Fi network list of iOS settings.
  2. Enter the Network Name, choose the Security type, enter the Password then select Join.
    Network Name, Security type, Password fields and Join button highlighted in Wi-Fi connection of iOS settings.
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