Can’t connect to Wi-Fi on an android phone? Here’s the fix.
If you’re having problems connecting or staying connected to wireless internet on your Android Smartphone you’re not alone. Lucky for you there are some things you can do to get it to work correctly.
As you probably know, you’ll want to get your wireless internet connection working on your phone again so that you’re not using data from your wireless provider. Wi-Fi is the way to go if you have access to it. It’s usually faster and certainly more affordable. Going over your data plan on your Smartphone can start adding up pretty quickly.
In this post I will go over some tips and techniques that should get this problem resolved and you with properly working wireless internet connection again.
We are going to start with the basics first and go from there:
Importance of passwords
This sounds kind of obvious but if the wireless network whether at home or work is a secure network than its going to require a password to connect to it. Make sure that you triple check the password you entered while trying to connect to it. The password is going to be case sensitive so if you have any capital letters or special characters make sure you enter them in as capital letters. Often times you will find an option in the lower left on your phones keypad which will allow you to switch to capital letters and special characters. I can’t stress enough how often this simple mistake is made. Check that you know the correct password and check that you’re entering it in correctly. Enter it again right now as an extra precaution.
Check the name
Again another seemingly obvious thing to do, but make sure that you are trying to connect to the correct network, often times I have seen 3-4 Linksys addresses when scanning for an available network, Linksys being a very popular wireless router. In any case check and make sure that your connecting to the correct network.
Is Wi-Fi on?
Funny question but it’s a simple mistake to accidently turn off your Wi-Fi and there for have no internet. Drag the status bar at the top of the display downwards (the bar you see your battery life and signal strength on). You should be able to see whether your Wi-Fi is turned on or not. If it’s not then turn it on.
If this setting is enabled then you’re probably having more problems than just no Wi-Fi connection, but still check this setting on the phone and make sure that Airplane Mode is NOT on.
Authentication failed error message
Authentication issues are often (not always) a problem with the password. It tries to verify/authenticate the password that you are using to log into your router/network and if the password is wrong then it fails to authenticate and will show an Authentication failed error message. Following the first step in this article and triple checking the password can usually help to resolve authentication failed errors and allow you to get back on track and connected to your network once again. So quadruple check the password one more time just for good measure and make sure that it is 100% correct in every way.
I have seen however where the correct password and Wi-Fi information is entered but the phone keeps displaying an Authentication failed error message.
If this is the situation that you find yourself in, then try this…
Manually turn off the Wi-Fi and mobile data on your device, and then turn ON the airplane mode, while airplane mode is still active turn the Wi-Fi back on and then try to connect to the network again. Once the Wi-Fi is connected then you can turn airplane mode off. Don’t forget about the airplane mode though because if it remains on then your phone won’t receive calls or allow mobile data when you want to use it. This process sounds a little strange but this can sometimes solve this annoying authentication failed error message.
Not finding available networks
If the phone is not even locating possible Wi-Fi connections then make sure the Wi-Fi is actually working. If you have another phone or computer or any device that can see Wi-Fi connections make sure that the other devices can see and connect to it. If you have lots of connections to the Wi-Fi already then disconnect a few of them. Some wireless routers have a limit of how many devices you can connect to it. If the Wi-Fi network itself isn’t working than restart your router or modem. You shouldn’t need to press the reset button, just pull out the power cord from the router or modem, count to 15 sec, and then plug the power cable back in, wait a few minutes for the device to boot back up then try it again.
Connected to Wi-Fi network but no internet
Starting to get tricky… for this issue chances are it’s your router or modem, if you didn’t restart it in the previous step then go ahead and do so. Unplug the power cable count to 15 and plug it back in. If it’s still connecting but not using the internet then power cycle the phone itself, turn it off and then turn it back on.
Obtaining IP Address
A constant “obtaining IP address” message when trying to connect to a wireless internet is one of the most annoying Wi-Fi problems that can occur on an Android phone, or any type of smartphone for that matter, and can be a tuff issue to solve.
I don’t typically recommend downloading applications onto an Android phone to fix problems because they can sometimes cause more problems than they solve but… in this case certain applications can streamline the process of getting that annoying “obtaining IP address” message to stop, and help to get your Wi-Fi working properly again.
By visiting the Google Play Store and performing a search for “WiFi fix” you can find quite a few free applications that can help configure your phone. The application WiFix by mHotspot is an application that can help solve this issue and has some pretty positive reviews.
If downloading an application like WiFix doesn’t seem to help then I recommend you try using a Static IP address instead of the phones default DHCP setting.
Use a static IP instead of the DHCP
This is also a good fix if your phone keeps showing “obtaining IP address” as well.
- Open the Settings (Home key (usually looks like a house) > Menu Key (typically on the bottom of the phone on the far left next to home key) > Settings).
- Tap Wireless and networks
- Tap Wi-Fi settings
- Press the Menu key
- Select Advanced options
- Tap Use static IP
- Now the steps from here are going to depend on the wireless internet you are using, you might need to talk to whoever manages your wireless network, or contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider). This is the company you buy your Wi-Fi from NOT your mobile phone service from. You will need to enter your Wireless Networks IP address, Gateway, Netmask, DNS 1, and DNS 2.
If you’re having problems locating the advanced Wi-Fi options on your Android smartphone then your phone might be running on a different Android version and the method used to access these advanced settings might vary from the method shown above.
For example if your phone is operating on Android version 4.2 Jelly Bean then to set your phone to use a static IP address instead of the default DHCP you would access your phones Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Select the Network > Modify network config > Show advanced options > IP settings > Static > Type in desired network information > Save. If you would like a detailed step by step guide with pictures then I recommend reading How to Setup a Static IP Address on Android version 4.2 Jelly Bean.
I just want to mention that you might have to explore your phones settings in order to find the advanced Wi-Fi options which allow you to setup a static IP address. The process used to setup a static IP is going to depend on what make and model of phone you have and what version of the Android operating system is installed and running on the device.
Wi-Fi connects then disconnects itself
I hate this issue, it can be very frustrating. You think that you have been using your home Wi-Fi and then get a message from your wireless service provider that you are going over your data plan; Very frustrating, but fixable. This is often something on the phone itself, if you have a power saving application or networking app, or an app that you downloaded around the same time you noticed this issue then uninstall it, power cycle the phone, and see if that helps, if it didn’t then proceed to the next step.
Mother of all Fixes
Ok, kind of a last resort but if you have tried the suggestions and tips listed above then this last step should fix the issue. You might have a software bug, glitch, or possibly even a virus on your phone and you’re going to need to perform a full backup and reset on the device. Don’t Panic! It’s really not as hard or troublesome as it sounds and you can make sure to save almost everything on your android phone before even doing the reset. That way you don’t lose anything and you can get your information like contacts, pictures, videos, texts, etc back again after performing the reset. If you’re not quite sure about what you might need to save or how to save it or even how to perform a reset you can read a detailed step by step guide here.
Make sure that after you do the reset you take your time and go through the phone setup correctly. Your phone is going to be like it was when you first got it. It’s going to think its brand new right off the shelf and one of the questions it’s probably going to ask you when setting up your phone again is whether you want to connect to a Wi-Fi, which you do. Log into your Wi-Fi connecting nice and slow making sure you enter all of the information correctly. Afterwards log into your Gmail account again, finish the setup and your Wi-Fi should now be working correctly again.
After going through these suggestions your phones Wi-Fi should be up and running properly again. So enjoy your phone and enjoy your Wi-Fi. If you have any suggestions or comments don’t be afraid to leave them down below. If your Wi-Fi still isn’t working, which it should after resetting the phone, then you can read this post for some addition options available.
Otherwise enjoy, and have a terrific day.