How to fix Wi-Fi when it’s grayed out or missing

Having Wi-Fi issues on your Android smartphone? Is the Wi-Fi option missing from your cell phone? When you go into your phones settings to toggle the Wi-Fi switch on is the option to do so grayed out and unresponsive? This can be an extremely annoying issue but luckily it can often be fixed. This guide will describe why this issue can happen on an Android cell phone and best of all how to fix it.

Cannot connect to Wi-Fi

Before we begin fixing your phone I would like to mention that this article will help you fix the issues mentioned in the opening paragraph. Namely how to fix a phone when its Wi-Fi option has disappeared or is missing and how to fix your phone when it’s Wi-Fi switch is grayed out and unresponsive.

If you are having other issues with your Wi-Fi then I suggest reading how to fix an Android phone that cant connect to Wi-Fi first as it provides some tips on how to fix common Wi-Fi issues that can occur on Android cell phones.  

Otherwise proceed with this guide and enjoy your phone after it’s fixed.

Cause

This is often the result of a software bug or software glitch on your cell phone. There are a few ways that it might have crept up on your phone. Whether it was the result of a bad application, something picked up online, or something that might have been totally outside of your control. Luckily as it’s commonly a software problem, software issues can usually be fixed.

The Solution

Begin by restarting your phone

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

Consider a second level reset

Pulling the battery out of the phone while the phone is powered on is referred to as a second level reset and if your phone has a removable battery then instead of simply powering your phone off I recommend that you pull out the phones battery wait a minute and then reinsert it and then power the phone back on. If you are interested in reading more about soft resets and hard resets you can review mobile phone resets for more information.

Once your cell phone fully powers on after restarting it or reinserting the battery, try turning on the Wi-Fi 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 option is grayed out or won’t switch on then keep reading.

Perform a hard reset

To fix this issue on your cell phone, or Android device, what you need to do is perform a factory data reset. A factory data reset or hard reset erases everything from the phone and puts the phone back to its factory default settings. The phones data and its software will be reset to like new condition and as such any software issues will be repaired and your phone will be as though it was brand new right out of the box.

As this erases all user data from the phone you are going to want to make sure that all of your devices information is backed up before the reset is done so that it can be restored to the phone after words. DON’T PANIC! Backing up an Android phone is not as hard as you might think and there is nothing wrong with having a backup of your phones important information. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to do a little cleaning on your phone as well. Many things can pile up over time and by performing a hard reset you might even notice a slight increase in performance as well.

If you would like a guide to help you save your phones information before performing a hard reset I recommend reading How to backup and reset and Android smartphone. It gives some suggestions as to what you might want to backup as well as some of the best methods to do so.

After the Reset

After performing the hard reset on your device you shouldn’t have any more Wi-Fi issues on your cell phone. If this problem returns however then it’s likely to be the result of a bad application on your phone so make sure that your phones software and the software for your applications are all up to date and if there is still an issue with your Wi-Fi malfunctioning then perform another hard reset and use your phones without any applications for a few days. After a few days you can start downloading apps one or two at a time and trying them out. If your phone works fine as a clean installation and you download an application and your phone starts having issues then that application is probably the cause and you should consider uninstalling it and not using it any more.

Also take note that if you reset your phone and third party apps are downloaded right away or not removed and the problem persists then it may be one of those applications causing the problem so consider using your phone as a clean install for a while to pinpoint possible causes.

Typically once a reset is done the phones Wi-Fi works and you can once again enjoy your working phone. Just don’t forget to log back into your primary Gmail account and of course to restore the desired information back to your cell phone.

I hope you enjoyed the article, and I hope you enjoy your cell phones working Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi still won’t power on

If you perform a hard reset and erase everything from your cell phone and the Wi-Fi still refuses to switch on despite a clean installation then unfortunately it may be a hardware related issue and an actual piece on the phone may be defective or malfunctioning. I talk about this a little more in depth in a similar article which can be read by clicking HERE.

Hardware problems can be more of a challenge to fix as the phone will need to be repaired or replaced depending on the severity of the issue. If this is the pickle that you are in then you might need to look into some of these options that might be available in order to get a working cell phone.

Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading. Hopefully it was just a software related problem and this article was able to help you to get the Wi-Fi on your cell phone to start working properly again. If it turned out to be a hardware issue on the unit then repairing or replacing your phone will be the next step in resolving this issue.

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7 Comments

cell phone

Having problems with lossing volume when a conversion i can hear them but they cant hear
me and i dont like the fact that ATT took over Cricket and know one told there customers no fair

There are a few things that can cause that to happen

Hi Gloria,

That issue can be pretty frustrating, what is the point of a conversation if they cannot hear what you have to say? One way conversations don’t work very well.

Your issue is a little off topic of the focus of the article, but I just noticed that I don’t have a guide on how to fix this problem yet so I’ll give you a quick rundown on some possible causes and better yet some suggestions on what you can do to try and fix it.

Since you can hear them and they cannot hear you then it’s not a problem with your speaker but it could be a problem with your microphone or possibly even an issue with your Wireless Carrier.

Let me ask you some questions that should help me narrow it down and provide you with the best solution.

  • Do you know the name of the phone you’re having these problems on?
  • Do you happen to know what Operating System your phone is running on and what release version it is? Example: Android version 4.1, or Windows 7, or iOS 7 etc…
  • Is it constant, or does it work sometimes and doesn’t work other times?
  • Is it everywhere? Or only certain locations?
  • Does the person you’re talking to hear any distortions or is it just really faint or no volume at all?
  • Does it happen to everyone you talk to or only certain people on certain wireless carriers?
  • Did you download or install anything around the time that this happened?
  • Does it have similar problems when using the speakerphone?
  • Does it work properly if you insert a headset or use it on a Bluetooth?
  • And pretty much any other information that might be helpful in diagnosing your phone.

I will need more information to know for sure but if other people can hear you talking when you use a Bluetooth or headset then there is a really good chance that it’s a hardware issue and your phone is likely going to need to be replaced. If it happened recently like after downloading a game or app onto your phone then it could be a software issue and you should uninstall that app and if the problem persists then you might want to consider a full backup and factory data reset. If its location specific or happens sometimes and works fine other times or if there are distortions like static or robot voices then give your wireless service provider a call and ask them to run a diagnostic on their end. If it’s only certain people then ask that person if they have problems hearing anyone else as it might be an issue with the speaker on their phone.

As you can see there are many factors that can cause this issue on a cell phone but I hope that helps put you on the right track.

As far as AT&T buying Cricket… We will see what the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has to say as they have a huge effect on whether it actually happens or not. AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile back in 2011 and the US dept of Justice stepped in, the matter was taken to federal court, and the deal fell through. Only time will tell.

Cell Phone this one cricket smart phone

Thanks for some info about A.T.T but most of all cricket stores are closed and about my phone they cant hear me but I can hear them

Hard reset didn't solve the problem

Hi there,

Thanks for the suggestion. My wifi is greyed out and had alredy done a hard reset, which didn't help. I even installed an old nandroid backup saved in a state where wifi was working perfect. I think it would be great to include in the article that if problem persists, it is most likely a hardware issue.

Finally found a fix

After hard resetting, flashing stock rom, removing battery for like an hour and amny other attempts, I found the solution in a forum.

Remove the battery while the phone is ON!! his should be attempted after following the advice on this article. If it doesn't work, your wifi chip is fried and need to replace the motherboard. Hope this helps.

You are absolutely correct

Hi Carlos,

Thank you for taking the time to comment and you are absolutely correct. Although this issue is often software related it could be a hardware problem as well. I actually talk about this in similar article that lists some suggestions to try when the Wi-Fi on a cell phone won’t switch on. I just forgot to include that it could be a hardware issue for this specific issue as well.

So thanks again for commenting and reminding me. I have updated the article to include the possibility of a hardware issue in which case you were correct as well. With hardware problems you usually have to look into your repair or replacement options.

Thanks for visiting the site Carlos, I hope you have a fantastic day.

Fially found the culprit

Hi James,

I'm glad I could be of help. Just to finish my contribution, I must add that the wifi was still giving me problems until I found out that the problem was a dying micro-SD, so even if your wifi doesn't respond to removing the battery, the issue might still not be as serious. Mine was a 32 GB micro-SD card, so it was painful, but not nearly as much as it would have been having to replace the phone.

I know this might vary from phone to phone, but it might also pay off to remove all periferal devices before placing the battery back in, just to make sure there is nothing external disturbing your phone.

Hope this helps!
Carlos

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