It’s often a confusing and dreaded moment when your device is connected to the WiFi, but the Internet is not working. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to “No internet on connected WiFi” problems. It could be an issue with your operating system settings or even the router. Over the years, we have often encountered this ‘No Internet on Connected WiFi issue’ and finally, put together a step-by-step guide to help you fix this problem.
Note: In this article, we are focusing on troubleshooting on the Desktop. In case the issue is with your Android, check out our other article on Android Connected to WiFi But No Internet.
Where to look?
There are usually two places to look if you are facing network issues
- The device itself
If the Internet is not working on all the devices connected to the network, then chances are there is a problem with your Router/Modem. You can also have a quick look at the ADSL cable to see if it’s broken or twisted.
In case, the issue is with a single device but the Internet is working fine on other devices. Then, there are chances that there is an issue with the device’s WiFi adapter which is causing the device a hard time communicating with the router. To help fix your ‘No Internet Access’ issue, we are going to list down nine steps that should fix it. So, let’s get started.
Fix — WiFi Connected But No Internet Access
1. Restart Devices
Yes, I know how it sound and chances are most of you have already done this couple of times, but if you haven’t then you should.
The good old reboot forces the network devices to refresh their IP tables and reload the configuration files. Turn off both the router and the modem (in case you have one). Next, wait for 30 seconds before restarting them again. Additionally, you should also restart your PC to ensure things are clean. Once all the devices are reset, try connecting again to see if it works.
2. Check Modem Lights
There might be a problem with your internet connection instead of the devices connected. To confirm, check the “Internet light” on the router and make sure it’s working. Additionally, ensure there is no unusual extraordinary light flickering on the router.
Ideally, the DSL lights should be ON or green in few cases, and the WiFi indicator lights should blink. If you are not sure how to check, contact your ISP’s customer care services and confirm the ongoing Internet issue and how much time will it take to fix the problem.
Related: Find out who is stealing your WiFi
3. Use Built-in Troubleshooter
If the Intenet is fine from ISP end and the Internet is working on at least one of the connected devices, then chances are there is a problem with the WiFi adapter of your device. This can be easily fixed with the built-in troubleshooter that comes with Windows and Mac.
For instance, in Windows, there is a built-in network troubleshooter which can solve or at least answer most of the network-related problems. Right-click on the network icon in the taskbar and select “Troubleshoot problems.” Next, Windows will automatically look for problems and fix them. If it cannot fix it, then it will at least let you know what the problem is. You can search for the solution online, or even ask in the comments below; we may be able to help.
The same option is available for Mac OS X and Ubuntu as well.
4. Flush DNS
Sometimes DNS cache conflict can lead to not being able to access websites, and you may think that the internet isn’t working. You should flush DNS to ensure it isn’t causing any trouble. To do that, go to the Windows start menu and type “cmd”. Next, open it as an administrator.
On the command prompt, type the following command and press enter. This will flush the DNS cache.
5. Change Wireless Mode on Router
This is an exceptional case and happens only if you have an old Wi-Fi card or device. If you are getting Internet access on your PC by connecting to the router via ethernet cable, then chances are there is a communication barrier between these two devices. And one way to fix that is by changing the Wireless mode.
There are several Wireless modes on a router. For instance, you might have seen something like — 802.11 b or 802.11 b/g or 802.11 b/g/n, etc. This b, g, n, and ac are different Wireless standards. B is the oldest WiFi standard which covers the lesser area and gives lesser speed while ac is the latest with wider coverage and better network speed. Consider them like USB 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 where the latest is fastest and backward compatible. Now usually the Wireless mode is set to 802.11 b/g/n/ and it works fine for most people. But sometimes the old devices (especially old smartphones) are not compatible with this mode and thus show network issues.
One way to fix that is — from your computer, log in to your router dashboard and look for the option that says “Wireless Mode”. Usually, it’s under the Wireless settings where you set WiFi SSID and password, etc. Next, to the Wireless mode, you’ll see a drop-down menu, click on that and select 802.11 b and save changes. Now restart the WiFi on the devices which had the WiFi issues and see if this fixes the problem. If this doesn’t work, then try 802.11 g. If you still find no luck then see the next solution.
Also Read: How to Remotely Access your Router
6. Obtain IP and DNS Automatically
If you are getting the Internet access by connecting your computer/smartphone to other WiFi network, but not with your current WiFi network, then chances are there is a DNS or IP address conflict. Another way to check that is by pinging your router from the command line. If you get a timeout response or destination host unreachable, then it’s probably the IP address conflict.
Ideally, you should set network settings to automatically obtain the IP address and DNS settings from the router to ensure least conflicts. However, sometimes assigning a static IP address to your devices or changing the DNS server helps to fix the network issues. Or, if you are using a static IP address then it will be wise to get the IP address automatically. In short, try to flip back the settings and see which one works for you.
The following are the steps to change IP settings in Windows. If you are running macOS or Android, then check out our article on how to change DNS on all platforms and how to assign static IP addresses on all platforms.
On Windows, we need to change the network adapter settings to obtain an IP Address automatically. To do that, click on Start Menu and type in Network and Sharing Center. Click once you see the Network and Sharing Center Icon.
Alternatively, if you are in Windows 10 then you can right-click on the Start menu and click on “Network Connections“.
Once the network window opens, then click on Change Adapter Options.
On the Network Connections window, right Click on your Current Network Adapter ie. Wi-Fi and choose Properties.
When the new window pops up, select Internet Protocol Version 4(TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties.
Once you get the pop-up window, select “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS Server address automatically”. Next, click on OK to save changes.
You should connect automatically, if not, then try restarting your PC to start using automatic IP Address.
7. Fix Network Driver Issues
Sometimes a corrupted network driver can lead to bad internet. To fix network driver problems, Press Window+R keys and enter “devmgmt.msc” to open “Device Manager.”
Here expand “Network adapters” and find your “Wireless Network Adapter”. Here, I have a Qualcomm Atheros Network Wireless Adapter. Irrespective of whatever brand you have got, it should be suffixed by “Wireless Network Adapter”. Now right-click on the network adapter and click on the “Update driver software” option.
Once you get the update driver pop-up, you will be presented with two options. You can update the driver either manually or automatically (online). Try connecting your PC to the router using an Ethernet cable. If there is no problem with the router or internet connection, then you should connect flawlessly. Once you are connected, click on “Search automatically for updated driver software” and Windows will automatically find and install the right driver.
In case you can’t connect, then you will have to manually download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website on another internet-connected device and move it to your PC. Once you have the latest driver, use the “Browse my computer for driver software” option to manually install the driver software.
8. Reset Router
This is a harsh option, but in most cases, it solves all types of router-related problems. You can reset the router to factory settings to force reset all the new changes that may be causing the issue. This also means you will have to again password protect your router and change basic settings according to your needs.
Although you can reset the router from its settings, an easier way is to press the physical reset button on the router itself. The reset button is usually hidden inside a tiny hole, so you will have to check the router carefully to find the button. Once found, use a paper clip (or something similar) to press the button inside and hold it for 5-15 seconds, or until all the lights blink and the router restarts. You should be able to connect to the internet when the router restarts.
Before you reset your router, make sure to log in to your router’s web interface and note down the username and password used to login to ISP’s server.
9. Reset Your Network
As the name suggests, “Network Reset” disables and then reinstall all your network adapters and set other networking components back to their original settings. Windows will forget your Ethernet network, WiFi networks, and your VPN connections, etc. Basically, it’ll delete all of your stored WiFi credentials and VPN connections. This is why resetting your network should be your last resort.
To do that on Windows, type Network Reset on the Start Menu search.
A new window will open warning you about what will happen when your network is reset. Click the “Reset now” button to continue and restart your PC.
10. Call the ISP
Ultimately, it is the job of your Internet Service Provider to ensure you are connected to the internet all the time, especially if they have provided the router and modem. If none of the above tips work, then call your ISP and tell them the exact problem. They should be able to provide on-call instructions to fix the problem. If they are unable to fix the problem on call, you can ask them to send an agent to physically inspect the device.
Like I said before, there is no single answer to no internet access problem. The above tips should be able to fix most of the software related problems. However, if there is a hardware problem — like a damaged network card or router — then you will have to contact an expert technician.