How to Fix an Android phone when it’s Wi-Fi won’t turn on

Is the Wi-Fi stuck in the off position on your Android smartphone? When you try to switch the Wi-Fi on does it turn itself off all by itself? When you try to activate your Wi-Fi does it freeze, get stuck, or show “Turning On” but never actually turns on? Have you tried to switch the Wi-Fi from your Android device on only to find that the phone won’t let you for some reason? Here are some things that you can do to fix a phone when its Wi-Fi refuses to turn on.

There can be a few things that can cause these issues to happen on an Android cell phone. Sometimes it can be a hardware related problem but this issue is often a software related problem that can creep up on your device after upgrading the phones software. This is a good thing as software issues can usually be fixed with just a little bit of troubleshooting, hardware issues on the other hand can be a little harder to fix.

So let’s start with the basics and go from there…

Power cycle the phone

Start out by power cycling your device. This is often the first step in troubleshooting an Android smartphone and believe it or not, simply power cycling your phone can solve minor software related issues that can occur on Android devices.

So power the phone off for 15-60 seconds, if your phone has a removable battery then briefly pulling out the phones battery is one of the best things to do as it assures the phone is completely powered off. If you cannot remove the battery from your phone then don’t worry, just power the phone off wait for 30 seconds to a minute and then power the phone back on.

When your cell phone fully powers on, try turning the Wi-Fi on to see if power cycling fixed it. If it’s working then enjoy your Wi-Fi if it’s still being stubborn and the Wi-Fi won’t switch on then keep reading.

Hardware

If the Wi-Fi wont power on at all, then there is a possibility that its due to an actual piece of the phone being disconnected, loose, or malfunctioning. If a flex cable has come undone or the Wi-Fi antenna is not connected properly then the phone is certainly going to have problems connecting to a wireless network.

If your phone is less than a year old and has no signs of physical or liquid damage then chances are good that your phone is still covered under the manufactures warranty and you DO NOT want to take the phone apart as it will be considered tampering and will void your cell phones warranty, which you don’t want to do.

So here is what I recommend doing first before trying any software troubleshooting or filing a warranty or insurance claim.

*~DISCLAIMER -- BE GENTLE and USE CAUTION when trying this next suggestion, you do NOT want to cause any damage to your phone and make your current situation worse~* --I will not be held accountable for any damage done to the phone when trying my next suggestion--.

Gently, and carefully give your phone a good shake, don’t let it slip out of your hand, fall to the floor and cause its screen to shatter. You can also give it a few gentle love taps on the back of the phone, (don’t hit and break the screen, I recommend tapping the back of the phone).

After tapping or shaking the phone, test the Wi-Fi and see if it started functioning properly. It may take a few attempts to get a lose cable or piece of hardware back into its proper place. So if at first you don’t succeed you may need to try a few more times.

If it starts working again, then you have narrowed it down to a hardware issue and you’re now faced with a few options…

  • You can keep using the phone as the piece of hardware may stay where it’s supposed to and you can keep enjoying your working Wi-Fi.
  • You can keep using the phone and if the Wi-Fi acts up again you can give it another shake or tap to get it to work properly again. Just be careful as this might get frustrating if it starts happening frequently and you don’t want to accidently damage your phone by hitting or not so gently tapping it against a hard surface out of frustration.
  • You can keep using the phone until the Wi-Fi acts up again and then file a warranty claim. If you are no longer under warranty you can consider taking the phone apart to locate and try to fix the problematic hardware, which may be as simple as pressing a wire or cable back into place, in which case you will have a more permanent solution to your Wi-Fi problem.

Software

If it doesn’t seem to work after a little shaking or tapping then this could be a software related issue.

Check your applications

Try to think back to when this issue first started happening on your phone. Do you remember downloading or installing any applications around that time? Often when software issues start happening on an Android phone it’s because of an application causing problems. If this is the case then uninstall any apps that you might have installed around that time, test the Wi-Fi and see if the app was the cause. If it was an app then you can try installing the app again to see if a fresh install helps or consider using the phone without that app until its app developer releases a more up-to-date or friendly version of that application.

Hard reset

If you go through your apps and do some cleaning on your phone then there is still the chance of a software problem on the device and the BEST way to resolve software related issues is to completely backup and reset your Android phone. This puts the phone back to its factory default settings and wipes everything from the phone. So any software bugs, glitches, viruses, etc are wiped off the phone and the phone is set back to the way it was when it was first purchased.

A hard reset is usually a last resort but it’s a very powerful tool when trying to resolve software issues.

Conclusion

After performing the suggestions listed above your Wi-Fi should be working properly once again. So enjoy the working Wi-Fi on your cell phone.

If the Wi-Fi on your mobile phone still refuses to turn on then there is little more that you can do to try and resolve the issue yourself. If this is the case and your Wi-Fi still isn’t switching on then you might want to consider some of these options. If the Wi-Fi on your Android is turning on but is having problems scanning, connecting, or staying connected with a wireless network or establishing an internet connection then you might consider reading how to fix an Android smartphone when it won’t connect to Wi-Fi.

I hope that you found this article beneficial, and I hope that it has helped you fix the Wi-Fi on your Android smartphone, otherwise make sure to check out those other articles and enjoy.

Oh and if this article was helpful and did aid you in resolving the Wi-Fi issue on your cell phone and you would like to show your appreciation then you can do so by leaving a friendly remark in the comments section or you can show me you liked it by simply pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + button shown below.

Thanks again for reading, and enjoy the functioning Wi-Fi on your Android smartphone.

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119 Comments

Thanks for the tip.

Thanks for the tip. Works perfectly :)

Fix Wifi toggle

You can also install a Root Explorer (phone must be rooted), go to data\misc\wifi\wpa_supplicant.conf and rename that wpa_supplicant.conf to wpa_supplicant.bak, Restart the phone and see your Wifi Toggle work again.

Thanks for the tip

An interesting suggestion… I have yet to try that Wi-Fi fix myself but I am sure another reader may find that tip very helpful.

Thank you for contributing to the site Tebogo. Keep up the good work.

Wifi Toggle

I'm glad that you responded. I am thankful for that. I have actually done that fix and it worked.

I could not find it...

I did not find wpa_supplicant.conf
Any other suggestions????

Thanks to Tebogo A FIX for my Note one wifi

Here is the wifi fix people : Thanks to Mr. Tebogo , I upgraded my Samsung Note 1 with a fast slim ROM 4.4.4 Android with kernel 3.0.80+ everything was going smooth except for the wifi was not working, the toggle wifi button was just going back to off whenever I pressed it, I tried everything and checked allot of websites with no answer! Made me pull my hair out until I saw your comment Mr. Tebogo :), thank you.

I installed root explorer and went to data\misc\wifi\ and there was no file by the name of "wpa_supplicant.conf" instead the file I saw was "softab.conf" so I changed the extension to .bak as you suggested (renamed it to softab.bak), restarted my phone and voila! My wifi worked like a charm! Later I went back to the same file location to check and what I saw was a real surprise! I saw more files in there including softap.conf and also the wpa_supplicant.conf that you mentioned!

Okay so I try to rename the file...

Okay so I try to rename the file but it pops up saying that I cant rename it. How do I fix this??

Fix Wifi toggle

Thank you very much man! It worked haha now I can browse again :D

Super

Super

Worked with no problem

This is the first thing that I tried and it worked with no problem. Thanks a lot.

Ohhhh! Thanks man!

Ohhhh ! Thanks man ! God bless you ! You save my life !

Thank you very much

Thank you very much. That was quick, easy and actually worked!

I didn't find data\misc...

I didn't find data\misc\wifi\wpa_supplicant.conf on my accer phone z500 any suggestion sir?

You are a genius...

Bro... you are a genius... thanks a lot... keep posting and thank you sooooo much.

Thanks

Thanks bro!

Please help me...

Please help me. I opened es rootexplorer and I went to data/mics/wifi/
but I couldn't find that supplicant.

Worked 4 me

Thanks... Renaming the .conf file did the trick... :D

wifi turn on problem

.conf file rename worked for me.
But the location of the file was somewhere else, I searched "wifi" at the root of my phone and found that file.

WIFI WON'T TURN ON (always greyed out)

Hi man, I followed all of your instructions above but my Samsung S3 is still not working. What should I do? Please help me... I renamed that wpa_supplicant.conf to wpa_supplicant.bak then restarted and its still the same. My WiFi will still not turn on.

Thanks a lot man

You really saved my butt from having to buy another phone... thanks a hundred times.

Thanks for the tip..

Done everything like a hard reset, wifi test, factory reset but still my phone (mmx hd) wifi didnt work. It started working after a little shake / flip to my phone..

very helpful

voila... thanks for the help
without you i didn't know what i should do

Thanks!

Thank you very much, my WiFi came back to life

problem occur

Hi ,can you help me .I've already follow your tips like turning off the phone and taken out the battery and yes its working .But on the 2nd day it happen again and this time it won't work anymore .What should i do ??? recently i've installed this app call apps manager but i already uninstall it in in case it was the major problem to why there's no internet connection even my wifi is on .But when i'm using another wifi at my work place its work well but not in my home .My other device like samsung galaxy tab can connect ,only my phone weren't able to properly connected .

awesom tips

thank u soooooooooo much .....u save my 5000rs ...service center say that mother board will be changd and it cost 2000 and because of ur suggestions my 5000rs will save ...thank u soo much and keep posting the post ... again thank u admin

thanks, thanks a lot

thanks, thanks a lot, I was so worried, my phone's wifi was not turning on, after going through your page I am NOW able to do so :)

Samsung Galaxy S4 WiFi locks "Turning on..."

There appears to be a much bigger problem with the Galaxy S4 that Samsung is hiding. I ordered 2 NEW S4 phones and 1 of them worked A-OK but the second had the WiFi lock problem. The vendor shipped me 2 more NEW replacement phones (yes, I have 4 phones simultaneously). It appears that the latest S4 production has the problem but not the older phones! I can send you the Serial Number labels from all 4 phones and you can see the pattern. If the label has a "Circle BC" stamp and a S/N starting with "RV1" (and a suffix of "A8"), the problem is present. I do not know if it is a revision or simply a lot code difference and Samsung denies ALL. From testing all 4, I can verify that the problem starts as soon as Android 4.3 is loaded and is not corrected by 4.4. ONLY a Factory Reset will clear this issue - verified by the Samsung rep at Best Buy who just said "send it in for repair".

IT WORKS!!

Omg thank you so much, I didn't realise it would be as easy at tapping the back of the phone haha.

Holy moly

Holy moly, I didn't think that would work either!!!!! I tried so many other things first that I figured I would try that too and that's what did it :) Thank you, article writer!

It worked

It worked, removing and reinsert the battery, but what's that mean?

Re: It worked

When the phone is powered off, there are some capacitors inside that stay on so if you reboot it quickly it turns on faster. When you turn it off and remove the battery, there's nothing to charge the capacitors and they drain. Once they're drained, it pretty much resets the whole phone.

Hope that explains it some for you!

OMG thank u

OMG thank u

problems with wifi

the whole taking the battery out and putting back in worked, don't know why i didn't think of that in the first place, u have some usual things here thank you!!!

My smartphone has to be rebooted...

My smartphone has to be rebooted when switched on after being off for a couple or few hours before it will connect to the Wifi like before.

FIXED!!!

Thank you so much for posting this! I was going to have to go wait in line and troubleshoot with Verizon for hours to get this fixed on my phone, but just turning it off and tap tapping it worked! I had tried restarting it several times, but hadn't turned it off and waited for a bit! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! ♥♥♥

Thanks

Thanks

Thank you so much.

Thank you so much. Power cycle really did work.

No more frustration!!!

Thank you so much...
The shaking n banging worked for me!!!

Wifi still not working

Tried all the comments above ...
i recently updated to 4.3 ... and i think this is the problem!
No issues on 4.2 ... so will try flash back to that!

wifi not turning on

I did the first tip and it worked I am very happy now :-). Thanks to these tips I was a bit dubious but it does work!

Worth noting, as I just had this issue...

Worth noting, as I just had this issue: If your phone has the fast boot option in Settings > Power, be sure to disable it before power-cycling.

THANKS!!!

Thanks, it works!! glad I found your article :)))

Thanks!

The power cycle fixed it instantly!

wifi problem with my phone

I couldn't turn the wifi on with my smartphone and I was thinking of exchanging it. I did a search on the internet for wifi problem and thanks to you my problem is solved. Thanks a lot!!!!!!

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