How to Fix WiFi in a Laptop

By Eoghan McCloskey

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop "Device Manager"
  • Access to second wireless source

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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 3

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 4

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.