What to Do When Your Wi-Fi Network Is Not Showing Up

What to do when you can't connect to wireless

If you can't connect to the internet, it could be one of numerous issues with your wireless network. Your Wi-Fi not showing up when trying to connect your device is a major problem.

Cause for 'Wireless Network Not Showing Up' Issues

Numerous issues could prevent your Wi-Fi network from showing up in your list of available networks. They include:

Because Wi-Fi not showing up can be caused by a range of different issues, troubleshooting to find the problem is the key to fixing it.

What to Do When Your Wi-Fi Network Is Not Showing Up
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How to Fix Wi-Fi Network Not Showing Up

  1. Troubleshoot your wireless connection. Before you begin trying to fix your Wi-Fi, make sure there is no problem with the device you are trying to connect. If the issue is your Wi-Fi network not showing up on your laptop, for example, take a few minutes to make sure everything on the computer is as it should be. Make sure the Wi-Fi on the device is enabled. This could be a physical switch, an internal setting, or both.

  2. Reboot the modem and router. Power cycling the router and modem can fix internet connectivity issues and resolve problems with wireless connections. It is important to reboot both the modem and the wireless router.

  3. Check to see if the network is hidden. Hiding a wireless network can be an effective way to protect privacy. However, it could result in the Wi-Fi network not showing up on a device. In order to connect with a hidden network, the SSID and other network details are required.

    Access Wi-Fi settings to access the network. While steps could vary between devices, these settings are in Network and Internet Settings in Windows.

    1. Go to Settings > Network and Internet.
    2. Choose Wi-Fi from the left menu.
    3. Then select Manage Known Networks > Add a New Network.
    4. Enter the SSID in the Network Name box.
    5. Select the security type.
    6. Enter the network password in the Security Key box.
    7. Select Connect Automatically.
    8. Select Save. The device will connect to the network if it is accessible.
  4. Look for interference. Numerous objects around a home or office can interfere with a wireless router. Check for potential issues, such as appliances, microwaves or fluorescent lights; other wireless devices including gadgets like wireless video game controllers or security cameras; and thick walls or columns.

    Neighboring wireless networks could also interfere with your own. Changing your Wi-Fi channel number could resolve the issue.

  5. Check your ISP (Internet Service Provider). If your troubleshooting efforts do not fix the problem, contact your internet service provider. There could be an area-wide issue of which you are unaware, or there might be a defect in the equipment provided by the company.