I took a Networking class in college, thinking it might be something I’d like to go into. I did not go into Networking, and it’s things like this that reinforce that decision. Networking problems drive me crazy. I think it’s because typically my access to the Internet hangs in the balance, and I don’t like any kind of threat to that connection.
That, and there can be some crazy, poltergeist-type issues that go on. Like the matter of one’s Wi-Fi turning on and off constantly. You are in the middle of doing something and suddenly have no connection. Then it’s back again. What causes this wifi problem, and what can be done about it? I’ve learned from some people that are innately good at solving networking issues.
1. Why God, Why? – Reasons of Wifi Turning Off and On Issue:
The reason behind intermittent Wi-Fi isn’t one-answer-fits-all, as most things in life are usually a little more complicated.
One potential reason might be a Power Mode setting on your device is trying to preserve your battery by sacrificing Wi-Fi. Some modes will automatically turn it off when it thinks you aren’t using it. Check and experiment with these settings to find out.
Some anti-virus software can contain power management settings like these.
Do you know someone else who uses the same network? Ask them if they are experiencing the same problem. Or do you have access to multiple networks? Do you run into the same issue on your device regardless of network?
The answers to these questions should help determine whether the problem lies with the network versus your Android.
Had anything changed immediately before this started happening? Did you install any apps; change any settings? Mobile Network Settings can contain an option called a Connection Optimizer that will turn Wi-Fi on automatically, as will a setting called Smart Wi-Fi. Also check (or uncheck if you don’t want it on) the option for Keep Wi-Fi on During Sleep and uncheck the box for Network Switch.
2. When it’s the Network
Are your other family members and/or roommates complaining about their Wi-Fi too? You’ve probably already done this, but you’ll definitely want to try rebooting your router. If you don’t experience the same issue using a wired connection, the culprit might be other wireless signals in the same frequency.
There can be many sources of Wi-Fi interference, including: other routers, phones, microwave ovens, etc.
It also might be the case that the router’s firmware needs an update. Often routers will use their status LED lights, combined with the manual, to tell you what’s going on. Also, try disabling all other devices and then enabling your Android, in case the problem is due to an IP conflict.
The issue might also be time-related. You can correct the time zone under the Schedule setting by going to Advanced > Security > Schedule on most routers. Are you experiencing buffering, or is your router actually turning on and off? If your videos pause to load (buffer) the problem might just be a slow connection.
Instead of asking why does my Wi-Fi keep turning on and off by itself, ask your provider why your connection is so slow.
3. If it’s Your Android
Be sure to check out those Wi-Fi settings on your Android, and while you are at it go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced and disable Wi-Fi Notification. You can try buying signal boosters to put in your home if signal reception seems weak.
Also try wiping the cache of your Android. This can be accomplished from Recovery Mode on most devices, although the key combination access this mode differs by device.
Don’t forget to do the token Android reboot. There’s an app out there on Google Play intended to solve this very problem called Keep Wi-Fi Alive.
Disable/uninstall any apps like Wifi Fixer. Sometimes new updates have a way of wreaking havoc on Wi-Fi. It can be due to bugs, but sometimes just a few settings need tweaking.
Download: Wi-Fi Fixer
For instance, some users have had an issue with Marshmallow’s Doze. Ensure that the Wi-Fi connection manager is unaffected by Doze settings by going to Settings > System > Battery > More > Optimize Battery Usage and put any apps you use a lot that rely on Wi-Fi into the Apps not optimized list.
Double-check that Mobile Data is switched to off. And of course, there’s always the more drastic option to perform a Factory data reset.
4. Other Helpful Advice
It might also be the case that you are on a crowded wireless channel. You can switch to a channel with more capacity manually, or you can use an app like inSSIDer.
In addition to other features, the app uses a graphical display to show you where the best channel is. If you have the Xfinity Wifi app, checks its settings and permissions to make sure it can’t toggle on Wi-Fi without any instruction from you.
Even messaging apps may interfere with your Wi-Fi, since MMS requires the use of mobile data. Some apps like Textra can take the liberty of switching to mobile data to receive the MMS, then switch back to Wi-Fi.
You can also try deleting any saved Wi-Fi from Settings. Also, go into Location Settings and make sure that Scanning for Wi-Fi to improve accuracy is disabled.
Another Google Play app to consider is Fix My Wi-Fi. But do disable any Wi-Fi management apps that your carrier has put on your phone.
To help mitigate problems with interference but maintain security, try running an open router (Hold on; don’t freak out yet, a security suggestion is coming!) but filter access to the router by MAC address. Lastly, make sure you don’t have a weak signal due to being too distant from the router.
Download: Fix My Wi-Fi
We hope we fixed your connection dropping or your spontaneously starting Wi-Fi. One thing that is consistent about that problem is the irritation it causes.
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get a new router. If you have found an alternative solution, let us know in the comments.