How to Fix WiFi in a Laptop

Most new laptops are equipped with all the components necessary to go online wirelessly to account for the increasing popularity of Wi-Fi Internet. If you find that you are not able to connect to any wireless networks on a laptop, take a few basic troubleshooting steps on your own before having the laptop serviced. In all likelihood, you will be able to restore your laptop's wireless functionality and be browsing Wi-Fi Internet in no time.

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Take a few simple steps to restore your laptop's wireless Internet capability.

Step

Enable the wireless card by pressing the radio button, typically located near the top of the keyboard. Press the radio button until a light illuminates indicating that your wireless card has been enabled and is ready to go online wirelessly. Test your connectivity once again; if there is still no wireless access, it is time to check for a possible issue with your wireless card.

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A radio button can indicate that your wireless card has been enabled.

Step

Navigate to the computer's device manager by opening the "Start" menu and either clicking "Device Manager" from the "Control Panel" window or right-clicking "My Computer," clicking "Properties," and choosing "Device Manager" from the "Hardware" tab, depending on what version of operating system you use.

Step

Look for the wireless card in the Device Manager by clicking the "+" next to "Network Adapters." If you see any item labeled "Wireless Card" or "Wireless Controller," check to see if it has a "?," "X," "!" placed over the name; if it does, you will need to update the software drivers for the wireless card. Contact the manufacturer of the computer for assistance.

Step

Attempt to connect a wireless network other than your home network. Make sure you connect to a wireless network that you are legally allowed to use, such as a free public Wi-Fi hotspot, and that you are not illegally connecting to someone else's wireless network. If you can connect to other Wi-Fi networks, the problem is likely isolated to your home network and you will need to troubleshoot that. If you are still can't connect to any Wi-Fi networks after following the steps above, you may need to have the laptop serviced or have its wireless card replaced.