How to Fix a Surface Pro Not Connecting to Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi problems can have many causes, but most solutions are simple

This article will help you fix a Surface Pro that's not connecting to Wi-Fi. It's a common problem which, in most situations, has a simple fix.

This problem's signs are apparent, as your Surface won't connect to websites or download files. You may also notice the Wi-Fi signal strength icon in the Windows Taskbar has disappeared, shows low signal strength, or has an "X" beside it.

The Cause of Surface Pro Not Connecting to Wi-Fi

A long list of issues can cause Wi-Fi problems.

  • Connecting to the wrong network
  • Wi-Fi router malfunction or failure
  • Lack of power to your Wi-Fi router or modem
  • Poor signal strength
  • Malfunctioning VPN
  • Wi-Fi adapter driver failure
  • Wi-Fi adapter hardware failure

And this is only the start. The long list of potential problems can make Wi-Fi issues intimidating.

The Fix for Surface Pro Not Connecting to Wi-Fi

It's not all bad news, however. While Wi-Fi issues have many causes, the fix is usually simple. The steps below will resolve most Surface Pro Wi-Fi connection problems. It's best to follow them in order as they're ranked from least to the most complex.

  1. Turn Wi-Fi on. Click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Taskbar and look for the box labeled Wi-Fi at the menu's bottom. If it's labeled "off," tap it to turn on Wi-Fi.

    Windows Wi-Fi manager open with wireless networks visible.
  2. Turn Airplane Mode off. Click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Windows Taskbar and look for the box labeled Airplane Mode. If it's on, tap it to turn off Airplane Mode.

  3. Make sure you've connected to the correct network. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the Taskbar. A list of Wi-Fi networks will appear with the currently connected network at the top. If it's wrong, disconnect and connect to the correct network.

    Your Surface Pro may continue to automatically connect to the wrong network if it has that network's login credentials saved. You can fix this by manually forcing your device to forget the network.

  4. Turn off your firewall or VPN. A third-party firewall or VPN can block network traffic, either intentionally or because it's not working correctly. If Windows can't recognize the source of a firewall or VPN error, it will report it can't access the Internet.

  5. Check your date and time settings. In rare cases, incorrect dates and times on your Surface Pro can cause conflicts with other software or hardware. Correcting the date and time will resolve this conflict.

  6. Restart your Surface Pro. This will fix any one-time configuration, driver, or software errors and give you a clean slate to continue troubleshooting.

  7. Restart your Wi-Fi router and modem if you have one. It will fix any one-time configuration errors or bugs with your router and modem.

  8. Run the Windows networking troubleshooter. Right-click the Wi-Fi icon and then select Troubleshoot Problems. The troubleshooter will launch and attempt to identify the problem. If it does, it will also try to fix the problem, often by restarting the Surface Pro's Wi-Fi adapter and reconnecting to the Wi-Fi network selected.

  9. Turn off MAC filtering on your router. MAC filtering is a network security feature used to control device access. Your router's MAC filtering can block Surface Pro from accessing the Internet if it's not considered a known device.

    MAC filtering is a security feature. While turning it off may resolve your problem, it could also leave your Wi-Fi network more exposed. Once you've verified that MAC filtering is the problem, it's best to modify your MAC filter so your Surface Pro is an approved device, then turn the filter back on.

  10. Run Windows Update. Windows Update not only updates Windows to its latest version, with all bug fixes included but can also update drives on your Surface Pro including Wi-Fi adapter drivers. Using Windows Update will resolve your issue if it's due to a bug or problem with the current Wi-Fi adapter driver.

    Windows Update only works if you have an Internet connection, so you'll need to connect your Surface Pro to the Internet over a wired Ethernet connection. Surface devices generally don't have a physical Ethernet port, so you will need to buy a USB to Ethernet adapter.

  11. Manually reset your Surface Pro's Wi-Fi adapter. Search for Device Manager in the Taskbar and open it. Look for Network Adapters in the list of devices and click it to expand the adapter list. You should see one of the following adapters, depending on your model of the Surface device.

    • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
    • Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A Wireless Network Adapter
    • Marvel AVASTAR Network Controller

    Right-click the Wi-Fi adapter, which corresponds to the list above, and select Disable device. Confirm your selection in the warning box. Next, again right-click the adapter and select Enable Device. Finally, restart your Surface Pro.

    If none of the above Wi-Fi adapters are listed, it likely means your Surface Pro's Wi-Fi adapter has a hardware issue. Microsoft suggests you contact customer support for further troubleshooting and repair.

    A screenshot of Windows Device Manager open with a Wi-Fi adapter selected

    Matthew S. Smith / Lifewire

  12. Manually re-install your Surface Pro's drivers and firmware. Visit Microsoft's driver and firmware landing page and find the link to the Surface Pro model you own. Click Download on the following page. A list of options will appear. It will show the most recent firmware at the top, so select the checkbox next to it and click Download.

    Open the firmware installer once the download is complete, which will launch a setup wizard. Follow the steps and on-screen instructions, as they differ slightly between devices. You'll likely need to restart your Surface Pro once the firmware update finishes.

Still Having Issues?

The steps above should resolve any Surface Pro Wi-Fi issue. If Wi-Fi still isn't working, it points to a problem with your device's Wi-Fi adapter. The next step is to contact Microsoft Support for professional troubleshooting and a possible hardware repair. However, this is rarely the cause of the problem, so be sure to thoroughly follow the steps in this article before contacting Microsoft Support.

  • How do I fix a Surface Pro Screen that's shaking or flickering?

    A hardware defect can cause the Surface Pro 4's screen to flicker, for which Microsoft has set up a support page. Other Surface Pro screen fixes include turning off automatic brightness adjustments, rolling back your display driver, running a Windows update, and as well as more troubleshooting solutions found here.

  • How do I fix a Surface Pro that won't charge?

    To fix a Surface Pro that won't charge, you should first inspect your power supply. Next, try different power strips or outlets. If that doesn't work, try cleaning the charging components if they are dirty.

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