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Windows 10 Network Connectivity Issues: Cannot Connect to the Internet/Wi-Fi [Troubleshooting Guide]

While most people nowadays are utilizing mobile devices to carry out everyday tasks such as email processing, appointments scheduling, and other online transactions. While using mobile devices for these purposes is irrefutably comfortable, sometimes there are certain things that could not be done efficiently through mobile Internet. And this is where computers play a vital role.

However, just like mobile devices, computers can also succumb to technical issues including network connectivity problems due to several reasons. Even the most stable computer devices like the ones running on the latest Windows 10 platform can suffer the same problems. And this is what we are trying to address in this posting. So if you’re are using Windows 10 and having trouble getting connected to a network or cannot access the Internet, read on to learn what might have caused such problem to occur and how to fix it.

Before we jump into our troubleshooting, if you found this page because you were trying to find a solution to a different problem, then visit our Windows 10 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common Windows 10 problems and errors. Try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions and troubleshooting methods we suggested. If they don’t work for your or if you need further assistance, fill up our PC issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Why does your Windows 10 computer have no Internet access or unable to connect to the Internet?

Several factors can affect network connections on your computer. Among the most commonly identified culprits would include but not limited to network outages, software bugs or glitches, security suites, and incorrect network settings configuration. Other connectivity issues like no Internet access can also be tied to account issues, in which the account is likely disconnected or temporarily disabled. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would usually impose soft disconnection to delinquent accounts or accounts with unpaid balances. When the account is tagged as soft-disconnected, network services are temporarily disabled until the existing account issues have been settled.

What to do to restore Internet connection on your Windows 10 computer?

Considering that network connectivity issues are triggered by various factors, finding the ultimate fix can take time. That being said, you would usually have to go through a series of trial and errors before you can have it resolved. Unless of course if you already know the reason why or what exactly is causing your computer to have no internet access. This way you can just head straight to work on what has went wrong and apply the required solution.

But if the problem suddenly occurs and that you are not sure what’s causing it, then you have no choice but to troubleshoot.

Step 1: Check the router/modem and reboot, if necessary

The very first thing that you need to check when you suddenly lost connection to the Internet is your router or modem. If the router/modem is showing no signal or no service as its current status, then that’s the main reason why you don’t have Internet access on your Windows 10 computer. In this case, you can try to power cycle the router or modem.

Power cycle here means that you will need to power off your wireless router or modem for at least 30 seconds and then turn it back on. To do so, you can do a long press on the Power button until the device turns off completely. Leave it off for a few seconds and then turn it back on. After you power cycle the router/modem, reboot your computer. After the computer reboots, try to open a browse and browse a website to see if it is now able to connect to the Internet.

Alternatively, you can unplug the router/modem from the power source, wait for at least 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. A power cycle is among the first steps recommended by many ISPs when dealing with network connectivity problems. During the process, the modem is restarted to eliminate any existing software glitches that may have caused minor issues to occur. After the restart, the router/modem will attempt to re-establish a fresh connection to the main server. Usually that fixes any transpiring network connection issues on various devices and this might be able to help deal with yours right now.

However, if that doesn’t work on your end then you can try the following methods to narrow down the problem until you get it fixed.

Step 2: Use the Network Troubleshooter for Windows 10

Microsoft integrates a network troubleshooter tool for users to use in dealing with network problems with your Windows computer. This can be accessed using the Start menu. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button (four-white squares) at the bottom-left corner of the Windows main screen.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click on Network & Internet.
  4. Select Status.
  5. Go to Change your network settings section and then select Network troubleshooter. Windows will then attempt to fix the network issue using this troubleshooter.

Once it’s done, try to connect to the Internet or browse a website to see if it’s already working fine. If that doesn’t work, then you may try any of the subsequent workarounds.

Step 3: Verify that Wi-Fi is enabled

To check and ensure that Wi-Fi is turned on or enabled in your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Network & Internet.
  4. Select Wi-Fi to check and see if it’s turned on.
  5. Next, click the option to Show available networks. If the network you want to use appears in the list, then click to select the desired network.
  6. Click Connect to connect to the Internet using the selected network.
  7. On your laptop or desktop, check and ensure that the Wi-Fi switch is turned on or enabled.

You will know if it is enabled if you see the indicator light showing an active Wi-Fi signal indicator. You can click on that icon to see the current status of your Internet. If it says, Connected then you should be good. But if it says Limited then it denotes that there is a problem with your network, which you need to troubleshoot to restore your Internet connection.

Step 4: Check and ensure Airplane Mode is turned off

When enabled, Airplane mode will automatically disable other connectivity features of your device including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. So to make sure this is not preventing you from getting access to the Internet, follow these steps to verify the Airplane mode settings on your Windows 10 computer:

  1. Click the Start button or Windows icon.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Network & Internet.
  4. Click Airplane Mode. Make sure the Airplane mode switch is set to OFF.

If necessary, toggle the Airplane mode switch to disable it.

Step 5: Try to bypass the connection

If you’re having trouble connecting the a wireless network, then you can try to use an Ethernet cable and connect your computer to the wireless router directly (wired). Once your computer is physically connected to the wireless router, continue with these steps:

  1. Open a web browser on your computer.
  2. In the address bar, type in the default IP address for your wireless router. This information is usually found in your router’s documentation in this format:  192.168.1.1 or 172.16.0.0. If you don’t have the information, then contact your Internet Service Provider for further assistance.
  3. Sign in with your username and password.
  4. Verify and ensure the options labelled Enable SSID Broadcast, Wireless SSID broadcast, or similar label is turned on. You can usually find this setting on a Wireless Settings page.

Again, contact your ISP if you are not sure of which information to use.

Step 6: Make sure the problem is not due to a faulty cable modem or with your Internet service provider

To find out, use the IPCONFIG command using the command prompt. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Type in Command prompt in the search box on the taskbar.
  2. Press and hold or right-click Command prompt.
  3. Select the option to Run as administrator, then click Yes to confirm action.
  4. Type ipconfig on the command prompt.

Look for Default gateway and check the IP address listed next to it. Write down that IP address if necessary.

On the command prompt, type ping <DefaultGateway IP address> and press Enter or Return key. For example, ping 192.168.0.1 and press Enter. You should then see the result similar to the following:

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1: Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds: Minimum = 4ms, Maximum = 5ms, Average = 4ms

If the result you see is similar to the above, the ping was successful. It means that a connection is established between your computer and the server. But if you still cannot connect to the Internet even if you’re getting the same result, then most likely there’s a problem with your router or modem. Or it could also be a problem with your Internet service provider.

Step 7: Update the network adapter driver for your computer

Sometimes, network connection issues can occur due to out-dated or incompatible drivers, particularly the network adapter. To rule out the possibility that this is causing you trouble, check to see if an updated driver is available and go for an upgrade. This is recommended especially if you upgraded to Windows 10 just recently. Here’s how to check and update drivers on your Windows 10 computer:

  1. Type Device Manager in the search box on the taskbar.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list of search results. Doing so will open the Device Manager screen.
  3. Select Network Adapters and the network adapter name, in the Device Manager section.
  4. Right-click or press and hold the network adapter, then select Update Driver Software.
  5. Select the option to Search automatically for update driver software and follow the onscreen instructions. Once you’re done, select Close to exit the screen.
  6. When the updated driver is installed successfully, restart your computer. To do so, click on the Start button or Windows icon, select Power, and then click Restart.

After the restart, open a browser and try to open a website to see if you can now connect.

Step 8: Disable Firewall

Sometimes, Firewalls might be preventing access to a certain websites. To make sure it’s not causing your Internet connectivity problem. While it is not recommended to turn off Windows Firewall, you can try doing so for the purpose of troubleshooting the problem. You can turn it back anyway. So here’s how to turn Windows Firewall off.

  1. Click the Start button or Windows icon.
  2. Scroll down to Windows System.
  3. Click Control Panel.
  4. Select System and Security.
  5. Click Windows Firewall, and then toggle the switch to turn it off. If necessary, enter the admin password to confirm action.
  6. Navigate to the appropriate network setting, and then select the option to Turn on Windows Firewall.

 

Try to connect to the Internet with the Windows Firewall disabled and see if it works.

Step 9: Reset network to reinstall network devices

You can use the network reset option as your last resort, given that the steps above don’t help you to get back online.

A network reset is usually done to fix network-related issues that happen after upgrading from a previous Windows version to Windows 10. During the process, any network adapters you have previously installed and the settings for them will be removed. After your computer restarts, any network adapters are reinstalled and the settings for them are set to their defaults.

Note:

Your computer must be running Windows 10 version 1607 in order to use network reset. You can check the version of your Windows by going to Start-> Settings-> System-> About. After ensuring that you are using the correct Windows version, you may proceed with the following steps to initiate network reset:

  1. Click on the Start button or Windows icon.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Network & Internet.
  4. Select Status.
  5. Click Network reset.
  6. When you get to the Network reset screen, select the option to Reset Now and then click Yes to confirm action.

Wait for your Windows 10 computer to restart and then see if the problem is fixed and the Internet connection is back afterwards.

Important Note: You might need to re-install and set up other networking software including VPN client software or network virtualization software you might be using after using network reset.

Contact your ISP for More Help

If none of these methods worked and that your Windows 10 computer still cannot connect to the Internet, then you should contact your Internet Service Provider to escalate the problem and ask for further assistance. At this point, your ISP will walk you through a series of more advanced troubleshooting methods used to deal with network connectivity issues depending on the type of connection setup you have, like wireless or wired. Just be sure to let them know what you’ve done so far. That way you will no longer have to repeat the same steps over again.

Connect with us

We are always willing to help our readers fix the problems with their computer and so if you are currently experiencing an issue or two, do not hesitate to contact us and tell us about your experience. The solutions we provide will be based on the information you feed us. Make sure you include all necessary details and please fill up each field in our computer issues questionnaire accurately so we can give you more accurate solutions.

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