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How to Fix Wi-Fi in 10 Steps (with Photos)

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How to Fix Wi-Fi in 10 Steps (with Photos)

Key Points

  • Restarting your router can often fix Wi-Fi problems by simply unplugging it, waiting a minute, and reconnecting the power.
  • Old and outdated routers can cause Wi-Fi issues, so consider buying a new one or contacting your internet service provider for a replacement.
  • Changing Wi-Fi channels can help avoid interference from other nearby networks, improving your connection.
  • Moving your router to an open area and away from other wireless devices can improve signal strength and speed.
  • If all else fails, contacting your ISP and having an engineer troubleshoot the connections in your home can help permanently fix Wi-Fi issues.

Wondering how to fix the Wi-Fi in your home? It’s very frustrating when you’re connected to Wi-Fi yet unable to use the internet. Troubleshooting your Wi-Fi can be tricky because there are lots of factors to consider.

However, there are times when the problem is on your end. In most cases, you’re not getting an internet connection from your Wi-Fi because of a problem with your internet service provider. There may be an internet outage in your area. In that situation, there’s nothing you can do besides wait for your internet service provider to resolve the problem.

In this article, we will walk you through some Wi-Fi troubleshooting steps that should get you back online in no time.

Let’s dive in!

How to Log in to Your Router

First, it’s important to know how to log in to your router because some of the steps in this article require you to change some settings. Don’t worry, it’s relatively straightforward.

To log in to your router, you need to type your router’s IP address directly into a web browser. The IP address is usually printed on a label stuck to the router.

You can consult this list of default router IP addresses and passwords. The most common username and passwords for routers are “admin” and “password.”

If you can’t access your router, you can find your router’s IP address with Command Prompt (CMD). To open CMD on Windows, click the Start menu, type CMD, and press Enter to open it. Once opened, type ipconfig and press Enter. The default gateway is your router’s IP address.

Type the IP address into a web browser and enter your username and password to access your router’s configuration page.

How to Fix Wi-Fi in 10 Steps (with Photos)
You can find your router’s IP address using Command Prompt.

How to Fix Your Wi-Fi

Step 1: Restart Your Router

Restarting your router is the tried-and-true method to fix Wi-Fi problems. It’s the easiest too.

To restart your router, unplug it from the power, wait a minute, and reconnect the power. If you have a separate modem, restart it too.

The router will take a minute or two to reconnect. Sometimes a simple restart will do the trick and you’ll be back in business.

Step 2: Buy a New Router

Most Wi-Fi problems stem from an old and outdated router that can’t properly broadcast the signals. If you experience issues like the Wi-Fi cutting out and packet loss, it could be a faulty router. If your router is locked by your internet service provider, you will need to contact them for a replacement.

You can also buy your own router. Take a look at our best routers for under $100 for some ideas here.

If the Wi-Fi still is problematic after replacing the router, the problem lies elsewhere. The problem could stem from a loose connection somewhere in your home or the city lines. In that case, it’s out of your hands and you will need to wait for your internet service provider to resolve the issue.

Step 3: Change Wi-Fi Channels

If you live in an apartment, there may be too many Wi-Fi networks trying to broadcast on the same channel. Every Wi-Fi network broadcasts at a specific frequency, which is categorized by channels.

When two Wi-Fi networks are on the same channel, the signals will interfere with one another, and your Wi-Fi will be very slow or unusable. To solve this problem, you can set your Wi-Fi to a specific channel.

There’s an app you can download on your phone called Wi-Fi Analyzer, and it will scan all the nearby Wi-Fi networks and list their channels. Change your router’s channel to one that is not in use by any nearby Wi-Fi networks.

First, log in to your router using the steps mentioned earlier. In your router’s admin page, select the Wi-Fi tab and look for an option to change the wireless channel.

Generally, the best channels for 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi are 1, 11, and 6. Select one from the list and wait for your router to confirm the changes. You’ll need to repeat the process for your 5 GHz network.

If the problem with your Wi-Fi was interference from other Wi-Fi networks, your Wi-Fi should be fixed now. You might need to try a couple of other channels until you find one that is not crowded.

How to Fix Wi-Fi in 10 Steps (with Photos)
You can change your Wi-Fi channel for a better connection.

Step 4: Move the Router to an Open Area

If your router is stashed in a cabinet, it’s a good idea to move it to an open area. Occasionally, moving a router to a new location can fix the Wi-Fi and make it much faster.

Another tip is to unplug any nearby devices that could be interfering with the signal. Other wireless signals can interfere with Wi-Fi, such as wireless phones, Bluetooth devices, and others. Even microwaves can sometimes block Wi-Fi signals!

Step 5: Try These Command Prompt (CMD) Commands

There are a few CMD commands you can try that will manually refresh your network connections. Open CMD using the method mentioned earlier. Copy and paste each one of these commands into the CMD window and press Enter.

  • netsh winsock reset
  • ipconfig /release
  • ipconfig /flushdns

If there was a network issue on your end, these commands should fix the Wi-Fi.

Step 6: Uninstall Wi-Fi Drivers

Occasionally, the wrong drivers can be installed for your device, which can lead to connectivity issues. Uninstalling and re-installing the driver can sometimes solve the problem. You may also need to find the specific driver for your Wi-Fi adapter.

To uninstall a Wi-Fi driver, right-click on the Start Menu and select Device Manager. Expand the Network Adapters tab. You should see a Wireless Adapter card on the list. Right-click on it and select Uninstall Driver.

Once that is done, click on the Action menu and select Scan for Hardware Changes. Your computer should automatically detect the network card and install a driver.

If you want to install a driver manually, then you will need to look up the Wi-Fi adapter model online and download the driver from the manufacturer’s website. You will need to restart your computer for the changes to register.

How to Fix Wi-Fi in 10 Steps (with Photos)
You can uninstall the Wi-Fi driver as well.

Step 7: Factory Reset Your Router

Factory resetting your router will reset all the settings back to their defaults. If you accidentally changed a setting that broke your Wi-Fi, factory resetting it will do the trick.

To factory reset a router, examine the device and look for a little pinhole or button. Hold down the button until the lights on your router flash, and then release it.

From there, you will need to configure your router again and put a password on the network.

How to Fix Wi-Fi in 10 Steps (with Photos)
When in doubt, reset your router.

Step 8: Replace LAN cables

While rare, LAN cables can break. Luckily, LAN cables are not expensive and it’s an easy fix. If your router is connected to your modem with a LAN cable, consider changing the LAN cable for a new one. Generally, using a wired connection is much faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi.

Step 9: Adjust Coaxial Connections

One of the most common problems with Wi-Fi is a loose coaxial connection somewhere in your home. An ISP engineer will likely try to trace the coaxial cables and replace the splitters for you.

Before you call them, you can try adjusting the connection a little bit on your own. Tighten the nuts on all the coaxial connections you can find in your home.

Step10: Remove Unwanted Devices

On your router’s configuration page, there’s usually a menu to see the list of connected devices. If there are devices you don’t recognize, you can change the password using our guide here.

Changing the Wi-Fi password will kick devices from the network until they enter the new password.

The Bottom Line

While there are lots of ways to fix Wi-Fi on your end, the problem usually comes back after some time. To permanently fix the issue, contact your ISP company and have them send an engineer to troubleshoot the connections in your home. Ideally, they will replace the router too.

For a video walkthrough of how to troubleshoot your router, we recommend the video below:

This video provides a short walkthrough of how to troubleshoot your Wi-Fi issues.

Summary Table

StepAction
1Restart Your Router
2Buy a New Router
3Change Wi-Fi Channels
4Move the Router to an Open Area
5Try These Command Prompt (CMD) Commands
6Uninstall Wi-Fi Drivers
7Factory Reset Your Router
8Replace LAN cables
9Adjust Coaxial Connections
10Remove Unwanted Devices

Frequently Asked Questions

How to fix weak Wi-Fi signal?

The easiest way to fix a weak Wi-Fi signal is to move your router closer to your devices or buy a Wi-Fi range extender.

Why is Wi-Fi so bad at night?

It may be due to the influx of users connecting to the same servers. You will have to wait it out.

How long do routers last?

Generally, routers should be replaced every three years.

How long do Ethernet cables last?

Ethernet cables should be replaced every five years.

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