Wireless Network Connection and Troubleshooting

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Connecting to Wi-Fi

Connecting to a wireless network is essential for accessing the internet and online resources. This guide will walk you through the steps to connect your Windows computer to a Wi-Fi network.

1. Turn On Your Computer - Make sure your Windows computer is powered on and the desktop is visible.
2. Ensure Wi-Fi is Enabled - Click on the Network icon located in the bottom right corner of the taskbar. The network icon will either look like a globe (if there is no current internet), a signal bar (if currently connected to a Wi-Fi network) or a desktop (if it is plugged into an ethernet cable). ( Wi-Fi connection icons and what they mean in Windows )

No Internet connectionConnected to Wi-Fi

If Wi-Fi is turned off, it will look like this when you click on the Globe icon. Just click on the "Wi-Fi" button at the bottom left to turn the wireless functionality back on.

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(If the Wi-Fi icon is not visible when you are signed in, it might be hidden. Click on the up arrow (^) to see hidden icons.)

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3.  Once the Wi-fi functionality is on, you can add a new wireless connection. Click on the Network icon (either the signal bar, globe or monitor icon) to open the list of available networks.

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4. In the list of available networks, find and click on the wireless name (SSID) of the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to.

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5. Connect to the Network - Click on the Connect button. If the network is secured, you will be prompted to enter the Wi-Fi password.

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6. Enter the Password - Type in the password for the Wi-Fi network. Ensure you enter it correctly, as passwords are case-sensitive. Click Next or Connect after entering the password. (If you are unsure of your Wi-Fi password, you may need to reach out to your Internet Service Provider for assistance.)
7. Confirm the Connection- Your computer will attempt to connect to the Wi-Fi network. If the password is correct and the network is working, you should see a message indicating that you are connected.

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The Network icon in the taskbar will change to show a connected status.

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8. Test Your Connection - Open your web browser and navigate to a website to ensure you have internet access. If the page loads successfully, you are connected to the Wi-Fi network.

Certain public Wi-Fi networks (such as libraries and hotels) may have additional steps. Often they will have a "login page" that will open up and confirm information. 

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Issue 1: Unable to See your Wi-Fi Network

  • Ensure that the Wi-Fi on your router is turned on and broadcasting.
  • Move closer to the router to get a stronger signal.
  • Restart your computer and check the Wi-Fi list again.
  • Ensure your Wi-Fi adapter is enabled. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Change adapter options. Right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter and select Enable if it is disabled.

Issue 2: Incorrect Password

  • Double-check the password for accuracy. Remember that it is case-sensitive.
  • Try typing the password into a different place to ensure all the keys on the keyboard are working correctly.
  • Often the default password is printed on the bottom of the wireless router. Double check 
  • Reach out to your ISP to see if they can share or reset the password.

Issue 3: Connected but No Internet

  • Restart your router and modem.
  • Forget the network and reconnect. (Right click the listing in the wireless network list and select "Forget." You will need to re-enter your network's password if you attempt this.)
  • Check if other devices can connect to the internet. If not, there might be an issue with your internet service provider.
  • Often Wireless routers will have ethernet ports that you can plug into. Try plugging the laptop directly into the router to see if it will connect to the internet.

Issue 4: If Wi-Fi is turned off,

  • click on the "Wi-Fi" button at the bottom left of the network options page.

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Issue 5: Unable to see ANY Wi-Fi networks or settings

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  • If nothing is showing on the network options screen, you may need to disable and re-enable the Wireless connection options on your laptop. You can do this through the Software Catalog. Inside of the "Utilities" and then "Network Connections" folder are icons for Disable Wireless and Enable Wireless. Double click on the Enable one and it should re-enable Wireless on the laptop. 

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Please Note: PALCS cannot assist with setup or troubleshooting wireless networks because the router is a personal device either purchased by the family or provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP, such as Comcast or Verizon) and we do not know the address, password, or the configuration of these devices.  Please contact your router’s manufacturer or your ISP if you do not have the connection information required for these steps.