How to Fix a Wi-Fi Connection Problem on Android

The internet is a beautiful and magical place that can make your dreams come true and whisk you off to faraway lands you could have only once imagined. Your Android device can give you the ability to access the internet in the palm of your hand. All the knowledge in the world is never further away than your pocket or nearest outlet; as long as your Wi-Fi connection is willing to cooperate, that is.

Wi-Fi connections are more important than ever to keep your browsing habits affordable due to the rising cost of mobile data packages, and the evaporation of all but the most lavish of unlimited data plans. However, what happens when you just can’t seem to get your device to receive the magical signals from that little box in the corner?

Never fear, here we will detail 6 ways to make sure you stay connected, fix a Wi-Fi connection problem, and keep that Wireless Fidelity oh so true and faithful.

 
Time: 10 Minutes

Method 1: Power Cycle Your Modem/Router

Many electrical things in life are fixed with the use of the much-overlooked process of turning everything off and turning it back on again. It is, in fact, the first method I try when just about any electronic device starts to act up. Modems and routers were once commonly separate devices, but maybe you own a device that combines the two into one simple and convenient box.

Doing an actual hard or soft reset of the modem and router can require reconfiguration of the devices as though they were brand new. To avoid this process (initially, at least) I use the method of unplugging the devices from their power sources and leaving them unplugged for 30 seconds or so before plugging them back in. This is what is known as “power cycling” your modem and router. Pay attention to the steps, as they must be executed in proper order for this to work.

  1. If You Have Separate Devices:

    • Unplug the modem first.
    • Next, unplug the router.
    • Wait for at least 30 seconds.
    • Plug the modem back in, allow it to fire up, and connect to the internet. There should be lights on the device indicating when there is a connection.
    • Plug the router back in and allow it to receive a signal from the modem and begin to broadcast again.
    • Open up your Wi-Fi screen on your Android device and reconnect to your desired network.
  2. If You Have A Modem/Router Combination Device:

    • Unplug the modem/router device.
    • Wait for at least 30 seconds.
    • Plug the device back in and wait for the connections to reestablish and for the device to begin broadcasting a signal again.
    • Open up your Wi-Fi screen on your Android device and reconnect to your desired network.

It should be noted with either of these methods that some routers and modems would have a dedicated power button. If you unplug these devices, and then plug them back in but they do not come on instantly, look for the power button and be sure to power them back on.

It may be time to try some other options if this method doesn’t work for you. If you’ve confirmed the problem isn’t occurring with a laptop/computer/other device, then the Wi-Fi connection problem lies within the Android device itself. There are many situations and settings within your modem and router that can cause a bad connection.

However, this is a website dedicated to Android devices, and I will not be detailing the different steps you can take beyond power cycling to troubleshoot the modem and router themselves. That is a different topic for a different day (and website).

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Time: 2 Minutes

Method 2: Turn the Wi-Fi Connection Off and Back On Within Your Device

The same logic that is applied in the first method applies in this method as well. Sometimes simply turning the Wi-Fi connection off on your device and turning it back on again will be enough to reset the connection and clear up any issues. Here is how to do this:

  1. Wi-Fi available in Setting Dashboard:

    If you have the Wi-Fi button conveniently located in your Settings Dashboard, toggle the button off and back on again.

    • Pull down the Settings Dashboard.
    • Press “Wi-Fi” Button to toggle off. It will be highlighted when in the on position, and the highlight should disappear when toggling the Wi-Fi off.

    WiFi-Off

    • Press “Wi-Fi” Button to toggle back on. The highlight should reappear, and the button itself may animate, indicating the Wi-Fi is connecting again.

    WiFi-On

  2. Accessing via Settings options:

    If you do not have access to this button through your Settings Dashboard, you can also access your Wi-Fi settings manually through the main “Settings” Screen.

    • Select the Menu button.

    Menu-Button

    • Click “Settings” Icon.

    Settings-Icon

    • Select “Networks” (Note: The exact labels may differ from device to device.)

    Networks

    • Slide the Wi-Fi button to the “OFF” position.

    WiFi-Off

    • Slide the Wi-Fi button back to the “ON” position.

    WiFi-On

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Time: 2 Minutes

Method 3: Tell Your Device to “Forget” Programmed Wireless Networks

This method will only be helpful if this is a previously used connection. Your Android devices will remember certain settings within networks you have used. This default setting can lead to problems when an update to software modifies something unexpected, or settings are otherwise changed.

  1. Access Settings Menu.

    Settings-Icon

  2. Select “Networks.”

    Networks

  3. Select “Wi-Fi” – This should bring up a list of any networks in range or any saved networks.

    WiFi-Select

  4. Press and hold down on the network you would like to access, which should bring up the option to “Forget Network.”

    CurrentNetwork
    ForgetNetwork

  5. Select the desired network again, and you will need to reenter a password if one exists. (Note, many devices give the option to show the password as you’re are entering it. If you have already had trouble connecting, it never hurts to make sure you are entering the correct password. Smartphone keyboards are not always the most accurate or reliable.)

    Password

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Time: 2 Minutes

Method 4: Disable Android “Wi-Fi Sleep” Settings

Many Android devices come programmed to try to save you some battery life wherever possible. These settings can be extremely helpful to some, but to others they can be a nuisance and affect the performance of the device. Many versions of the Android OS have a setting that will cause the Wi-Fi connection to go to “sleep” when the screen is turned off. Disabling this setting can help to maintain a more consistent connection. Here is how to disable the setting:

  1. Go To “Settings”.

    Settings-Icon

  2. Select “Networks”.

    Networks

  3. Select “Wi-Fi”.

    WiFi-Select

  4. Select the Menu Button (the three vertical dots, or the hot dog menu button if you prefer).

    HotDog

  5. Select “Advanced Wi-Fi.”

    AdvancedWiFi

  6. Look for a setting such as “Keep Wi-Fi on when the screen is off” or “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep.”

    NoSleep

  7. Select “Yes” to keep the Wi-Fi turned on even when your screen is off.

At this point it may be helpful to turn your Wi-Fi off and back on again –Method Two – or “forget” the network and log in again – Method Three – to reboot the connection.

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Time: 5 Minutes

Method 5: Power Down or Restart Your Android Device

Restarting your device clears out the RAM and ends any processes that may be running in the background. Despite how easy it is to end many of these processes manually, many people will launch multiple applications and leave them running without ever realizing it.

Having too many applications running can cause the battery to drain and the device to move slowly and behave in strange ways. Any time my phone begins to act up, the first thing I do is restart the device to see if that clears up the issue. This is a simple method yet one that is frequently overlooked. Call any customer support line and the first thing they will tell you to do is restart the phone or power down the device and power it back on again.

Here is the simplest way to restart the phone:

  1. Hold the power button down for a few seconds.

  2. A prompt will appear on the screen giving you the option to power down the device or restart it. (There may be a few other options as well depending on the device.)

    PowerScreen

  3. Select the “Power Off and Restart” option. It may be worded differently depending on the device, but it will always have the word “restart.” That is a pretty solid indicator of which option to choose.

    PowerOff

  4. Many devices will prompt you to confirm your decision to restart the device. Select “Yes” or “OK.”

    ConfirmRestart

  5. Once the device has powered back up, turn on your Wi-Fi connection and try to connect to the network again.

If a simple restart does not work, repeat the same steps only this time power down the device completely and leave it powered down for 30 seconds to a minute. Most flagship smartphones and Android tablets tend to have built-in batteries that are not meant to be removedIf you have a removable battery, it never hurts to take the battery out for a bit.

By this point, you should have gotten your device to make a stable Wi-Fi connection. However, if you still find yourself having Wi-Fi connectivity issues, the Google Play Store is the next place you should turn.

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Time: 5 Minutes

Method 6: Download “Wi-Fi Fixer” on the Google Play Store

If you’ve tried every single method mentioned above and are still having issues, it might be time to let a robot look at the inside of your device. Well not actually, but there are a few apps on the Google Play Store that may be able to cure you of your Wi-Fi connectivity woes.

The one I am going to show you is called “WiFi Fixer”. It is a free and open-source application, and as an added bonus there are no advertisements. A hard thing to find in any free app these days.

  1. Follow these steps to get back online in no time.

    • Open the Google Play Store.
    • In the search box, enter “WiFi Fixer”.

    fixer-search

    • Click on the icon.

    fixer-icon

    • Select “Install”.

    install

    • Select “Accept” when prompted with the app permissions (unless you think Big Brother is out to monitor your signal strength).

    Accept

    • Grab a cold beverage and wait for the downlo… oh wait, it’s already done.
    • When the download completes, select “Open.”

    Open

    • WiFi Fixer will take you through a quick and painless tutorial (seriously it takes less than a minute) and proceed to check your current connection.
  2. There are three main screens in the app labeled as “Status,” “Known,” and “Local.”

    “Status” will show you how well your current connection is performing.

    status

    “Known” is simply a list of your saved networks.
    known

    “Local” is a list of all the connections within the range of your device. It will indicate which networks are open and which will require a password.

    local

  3. If you would like more information on how to use the Wifi Fixer app, click on the menu button located here:helper-menu-button

    Select the “Help” option.

    helpme
    Select “Read First”.readfirst

This app runs in the background and troubleshoots your connections for you. There is little to no work required by most users to get a working connection. For more Android apps to strengthen and fine-tune your Wi-Fi connection, check out this article

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Conclusion


Hopefully, one of the six methods detailed above helped you to solve your Wi-Fi connectivity issues on your Android device. If all else fails, there is always the option to factory reset your device. It’s not the sexiest choice around, but sometimes it is the best way to get your device to run like new. Just make sure you back everything up before you do!

Questions, comments, tips, tricks, and just about anything else? Leave them below!

 

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Comments (3)

  1. Zesty Italian on

    Awesome! I must of missed how I am to see the different stored passwords for each wifi network. Any help?

  2. sammyguide on

    this tutorial help, i have been experiencing some issues with my wireless network, but i have gotten all the idea i needed, thanks

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      I am glad that this tutorial was helpful and that you got the help you needed. Please make sure to submit a ranking and to share your positive experience in your social media accounts. Thanks for commenting!

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