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10 Working Solutions to the “Windows Can’t Connect to This Network” Error

Are you getting the "Windows can't connect to this network" error on your Windows 10 computer? This can be a really frustrating problem, especially if you need to get online for work or school. In this article, we will discuss 10 working solutions to this problem. 

10 Working Solutions to the “Windows Can’t Connect to This Network” Error
It can be incredibly frustrating when Windows suddenly can’t connect to a network. You might see the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error message, even though your Wi-Fi connection is stable. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions you can try. This article will explore 10 different ways to fix when your Windows system can’t connect to a network.

Windows users have been seeing the "Windows can't connect to this network" error message for a long time. Find several viable solutions to this problem in this article! Some of these solutions are straightforward and simple, while others may necessitate a little more technical knowledge. But don't worry, we've got you covered!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to get your computer back on your home or workplace network in no time.

What causes the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error?

Windows errors aren't usually caused by a single factor. They may come from a variety of circumstances that differ from computer to computer. Some of the causes, however, are more prevalent than others and may apply to you.

There might be a variety of reasons why Windows 10 is unable to connect to a network:

  • Wrong Wi-Fi information such as password, SSID, etc.
  • Your wired connection isn't plugged in properly
  • Your device is out of Wi-Fi range
  • Wi-Fi interference, problems with your internet provider
  • Outdated or missing network adapter drivers
  • Damaged router, Ethernet cable, or other hardware
  • Other hardware issues

Wi-Fi network connectivity issues can also be caused by wrong settings for Windows apps and overcrowded internet access points. Because there are so many possible reasons, you'll have to go through a number of steps to figure out what's wrong and how to remedy it.

Solved: Windows can’t connect to this network

Use these solutions to fix the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error on your operating system. The steps were written using Windows 10, but you can apply them on both Windows 11 and Windows 8 operating systems as well.

Method 1. Forget and reconnect to the Wi-Fi network

Simply disconnecting and removing the network from your device, and then reconnecting to it can help you solve this issue.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or alternatively use the Windows + I shortcut.
    forget network
  2. Click on the Network & Internet tile.
    network and internet
  3. Switch to the Wi-Fi tab. Here, click on the Manage known networks link.
    manage your network
  4. Select the Wi-Fi network to which you're having trouble connecting, then hit the Forget button. The profile will be fully erased as a result of this action.
    forget network
  5. Click the Networks icon in your system tray and pick the wireless network for which you just erased the profile. Check whether you can connect successfully by clicking the Connect button.
    connect network
  6. It's possible that you'll be asked to provide login information, such as your Wi-Fi password. Input the required information and wait to see if you still get the “Windows can’t connect to the network” error.

Method 2. Toggle Airplane mode on and off

Some users have observed that turning on and off airplane mode in Windows resolves the network problem. If your device (such as a laptop) has airplane mode, you can utilize it to try to repair your internet connection.

  1. Click on the Network icon in your taskbar. If Airplane mode is turned on, it’s possible that the icon shows up as an airplane symbol. (If the icon isn’t visible at all, click on the arrow to see hidden tray items.)
    toggle airplane mode of
  2. You’ll see your networks, and a variety of tiles with options such as Mobile hotspot, etc. Check to see if the Airplane mode tile is enabled. If this is the case, click on its symbol to turn it off.
    toggle airplane mode on
  3. Your networks should be visible once again. Try reconnecting to your network to see if you can go online again.

Method 3. Update your drivers

Drivers make or break a device. If your network drivers are missing or outdated, this error has a high possibility of happening. Luckily, you can easily update your drivers automatically or manually. Just pick the approach you prefer and follow the steps below.

How to automatically update drivers on Windows

Windows Update has a feature that allows you to automatically update outdated drivers. This can help you quickly find and get some of your drivers up-to-date without having to individually check for new versions.

  1. To access the Start menu, click the Windows symbol in the lower-left corner of your screen, and then choose Settings. Alternatively, press Windows + I to bring up the menu.
    windows settings
  2. Select the Update & Security tile from the drop-down menu. The majority of your Windows Update settings can be found here.
    update and security
  3. Go to the Windows Update section, and then click on the View optional updates link if it’s available.
    windows update
  4. Expand the Driver Updates section to see which drivers need to be updated right now. Simply check the boxes next to the drivers you want to update, then click the Download and Install button.
    driver updates
  5. Allow Windows to download and update your outdated drivers before restarting your machine.

How to manually update drivers on Windows

Use the steps below to manually update a driver that may be out of date. Keep in mind that only legitimate sites should be used to download drivers! Some fraudulent websites may try to trick you into downloading malware-infected driver files.

  1. To access the needed utility, press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and choose Device Manager from the context menu.
    device manager
  2. Expand the Network adapters category, and then right-click on your current network adapter. Select Update driver from the context menu.
    network adapters
  3. Choose how you want to update your driver. You may either let Windows find a driver for you automatically or manually seek a fresh driver file on your machine.

Method 4. Reinstall network adapter driver

If updating your network adapter driver didn’t work, try reinstalling it. This can be done by first uninstalling the driver, and then letting Windows install the default, working driver for you.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and choose Device Manager from the context menu.
  2. Expand the Network adapters category, and then right-click on the adapter you’re currently using. From the context menu, choose the Uninstall device option.
    nework adapters
  3. Restart your computer. Windows will automatically reinstall the correct driver needed for it to work. You can attempt to connect to the network again after completing these steps.

Method 5. Run the Network troubleshooter

Windows comes with many built-in troubleshooters to make fixing problems easier. You can use the Network troubleshooter to address issues with your internet connection and potentially fix the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or alternatively use the Windows + I shortcut.
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile. This is where you can find most of your built-in troubleshooters.
    network troubleshooter
  3. Switch to the Troubleshoot tab using the left-side pane. Here, you should be able to see a troubleshooter named Network Adapter.
    troubleshoot network
  4. If you don’t share full diagnostic data to Microsoft, click on the Additional troubleshooters link and locate the Network Adapter troubleshooter there.
    addiitonal troubleshooters
  5. Click on the Run the troubleshooter button. Wait for the troubleshooter to scan your device and identify any issues.

Check to see whether running the troubleshooter helps you solve the problem. If the troubleshooter doesn't find any problems, keep reading and try one of the other options we've provided!

Method 6. Perform a Winsock reset

Resetting your Winsock library can help you resolve any issues and restore the default Windows Sockets API settings, allowing everything to work smoothly once again!

  1. By clicking the magnifying glass icon in your taskbar, you may access the search bar. You may also use the Windows + S keyboard shortcut to bring it up.
  2. Type Command Prompt in the search box. When you see it in the results, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. If you're using a local account that doesn't have administrator permissions, click here first.
    command prompt
  3. When prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to allow the app to launch with administrative permissions.
    command prompt
  4. Input the commands below in the following order, pressing the Enter key on your keyboard after each line:
    • netsh winsock reset
    • netsh int ip reset
      command prompt
  5. Close the Command Prompt and check if you’re able to connect to the network after performing these steps.

Method 7. Flush your DNS

You might try manually clearing your device's DNS cache to see if the problems it creates go away. The process takes only a few minutes to complete and only involves the use of the Command Prompt.

  1. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. You can also bring it up with the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type Command Prompt in the search box. When you see it in the results, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. If you're using a local account that doesn't have administrator permissions, click here first.
  3. When prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to allow the app to launch with administrative permissions.
  4. Input the commands below in the following order, pressing the Enter key on your keyboard after each line:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ipconfig /registerdns
    ipconfig /renew
    ipconfig /release
    flush your DNS

  5. Close the Command Prompt and check if you can connect to the network after carrying out the steps above.

Method 8. Reset your network settings

The Network reset feature might be able to assist you in re-establish an internet connection. It deletes all existing profiles for the networks to which your machine is connected. This will restart your computer using the factory default settings.

Please keep in mind that you'll need to re-authorize all of the networks you previously utilized once you've completed the procedures below.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or alternatively use the Windows + I shortcut.
  2. Click on the Network & Internet tile.
    network and internet
  3. Make sure to stay on the Status tab. Here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Network reset link.
    network reset
  4. Before beginning the network reset procedure, read the precautions. Click the Reset now button once you've acknowledged what this feature does.
    reset network
  5. Click Yes. After all your network profiles have been reset, check if you’re able to go online.

Method 9. Disable IPv6

If you're having trouble connecting to a network, it's possible that Windows has activated IPv6 on your device. If turning off this feature won't affect your device's functioning, follow the steps below to disable the protocol.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard to bring up the WinX menu and click on Network Connections from the context menu.
    network connections
  2. Select your current connection type (for example Ethernet or Wi-Fi) in the left pane, and then click on the Change adapter options button.
    change adaptor options
  3. Right-click on the network adapter you’re currently having issues with, and select Properties from the context menu.
    network properties
  4. Scroll down until you see the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) option. If there’s a checkmark next to it, click on the box once to disable it. If the box is already empty, then IPv6 is not enabled on your device and you can try a different solution to the error.
    internet protocol version 6
  5. Click OK. This solution would be most useful if IPv6 was the specific reason why you could not use your network.

Method 10. Enable 802.11d for your network adapter

Windows allows you to customize the properties of your network adapter, which means you can try enabling the 802.11d feature in order to fix the network error.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard to bring up the WinX menu and click on Network Connections from the context menu.
  2. Select your current connection type (for example Ethernet or Wi-Fi) in the left pane, and then click on the Change adapter options link listed in the right pane.
  3. Right-click on the network adapter you’re currently having issues with, and select Properties from the context menu.
  4. Click on the Configure button.
    confugure internet
  5. Switch to the Advanced tab using the menu bar on top of the window. Here, in the Property section, select 802.11d if available, and make sure that the value is set to Enabled.
    configure internet
  6. Click OK to save your settings and check if this modification has helped you connect to the network.

Final thoughts

We hope you were able to resolve the "Windows can't connect to this network" issue on your Windows PC by using the solutions in this article. If not, please contact us and let us know what you want assistance with. Our team of experts is always available to assist you.

If there are any questions left unanswered or problems not addressed, please feel free to reach out — our team of experts would love to help! In the meantime be sure to keep up with all things tech by checking back for more articles about troubleshooting, and following us on social media.

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