Windows 10 “Can’t Connect to This Network?” Here’s the fix

April 30, 2019 |

greater than 11 minutes

Have you experienced the error message “Windows 10 can’t connect to this network”? If you’re trying to connect to your phone’s hotspot, you may be asking, “Why is my PC not connecting to my mobile hotspot?”. If you’re experiencing this, then you’re not alone. Many Windows 10 users have complained about this issue and are frustrated by it. But not to worry: we’ll teach you how to fix ‘Windows 10 can’t connect to this network’ in this article using numerous different fixes.

How to fix ‘Windows 10 can’t connect to this network’

Fix 1: Forget the Wi-Fi Network

A common reason this network error shows up is when there are irregularities with how the Wi-Fi network is saved on your computer. The Wi-Fi password may have been updated, and your computer is trying to connect with the old password, or there’s an existing Wi-Fi with the same name as the network you’re trying to connect to. There’s a simple fix to these issues. You just have to forget the Wi-Fi network. Let’s show you how to do it on your Windows 10 PC:

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in your Taskbar and click Network Settings.
  2. Click Manage Wi-Fi settings.
  3. Scroll down to the Manage Known Networks section and locate the name of the Wi-Fi network you’re trying to connect to.
  4. Click the name and then click the Forget button.
  5. Now, try to connect to the Wi-Fi network again.

For many users, this simple conflict is usually the reason they’re encountering the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error message. Simply carry out the steps we’ve outlined, and you should be browsing in no time. If this step doesn’t work, try the next one below.

Fix 2: Disable and enable your wireless connection

The best fix is often the easiest, and that is why this method is coming in as the second fix. Sometimes, by disabling and enabling your wireless card, everything returns to normal. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Press Win+X and then select Control Panel in the menu.
  2. Click Network and Internet and then go to Network and Sharing Center.
  3. On the left side of the window, click Change Adapter Settings, go to your wireless adapter, right-click it and then choose Disable.
  4. Right-click it again and click Enable.

Now check if Windows can connect to the network.

Fix 3: Run Network Troubleshooter

Common connection problems can be fixed and diagnosed by the Windows Network Troubleshooter. Running this tool can help you solve the problem you’re experiencing. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Open Start and go to Settings.
  2. Select network and Internet and choose Status.
  3. Click Network Troubleshooter under “Change your network settings”.
  4. Follow the subsequent on-screen prompts to solve the problem.

Fix 4: Reset TCP/IP and flush and reset DNS client

If the previous method does not fix the error for you, then we’ll show you how to:

  • Reset your PC’s TCP/IP stack
  • Release your computer’s IP address
  • Renew your IP address
  • Flush and reset the DNS client resolver cache

The above tasks will be performed in Command Prompt, and we’ll show you how to do each one:

Go to the Cortana search box beside the Start menu and type

command prompt

; when the Command Prompt button shows up in the search results, right-click it and select Run as Administrator. Click yes in the confirmation prompt.

  1. Once the elevated Command Prompt is launched, type the following command lines and hit Enter after typing each:

netsh winsock reset

netsh int ip reset

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

ipconfig /flushdns

Now try to connect again and check if the problem is resolved.

Fix 5: Roll back your network card driver

If your problems started to occur after you installed a new network adapter driver, your connection issue may be caused by the new driver you installed. Also, if you recently updated Windows, chances are, the package came with a new driver, which could be disrupting your network connection and causing the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error. It could also be that, in an attempt to update your driver, you installed wrong or problematic software. This can be fixed by rolling back to the previous network adapter driver. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Locate your computer’s wireless network card under Network Adapters in Device Manager.
  3. Right-click the network card and then click Properties.
  4. Go to the Driver tab and then click Roll Back Driver.
  5. The next window will ask for the reason you’re rolling back; provide a reason and follow the subsequent on-screen instructions.
  6. Once you’re done, restart your PC and check for the error again.

Note that if the Roll Back Driver button is dim, then you don’t have an available driver to roll back to. In this case, go to the website of your network card’s manufacturer and download the driver software for your computer. You can follow the steps in the next fix to install the latest network driver software for your system.

Fix 6: Update the driver software of your network adapter

An outdated, missing, or corrupt network card driver can cause a lot of problems, and the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error message is prominently one of such issues. If the method above doesn’t work, then you should update the driver software that is currently on your PC. You might still be running an old driver that’s designed for the previous version of Windows after a major Windows update. We’ll show you different ways that you can update your driver to fix this issue:

Update your network card driver using Device Manager:

  1. Right-click the Start button and go to Device Manager.
  2. Expand Network Adapters and right-click your network card.
  3. Select Update Driver Software and then choose the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option. Windows will download and install the latest driver for your network card from the internet. Note that you have to be connected to the internet for this to work. You can try to connect with a network cable.
  4. You can choose to use the “Browse my computer for driver software” option, but make sure you have downloaded the latest driver from the manufacturer’s site. To install it through this method, navigate to the folder where the software is located by clicking the Browse button in the next Window, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer and try to connect to a network.

Use Auslogics Driver Updater

The easiest way to download and install updated device drivers is by using a sophisticated piece of software from a Microsoft Gold Certified Developer. Auslogics Driver Updater can perform comprehensive scans on your computer to check for faulty or outdated device drivers and download and install them from the right source without any hassle on your part. All you need to do is install the tool and click a few buttons.

If your computer can’t access the internet, you can manually download the driver software on another device, save it to a USB storage device and then transfer it to your computer. You can then use the “Browse my computer for driver software” option (step 4) in Device Manager or double-click the software you’ve transferred to your computer to directly install it.

Fix 7: Reinstall Your Network Adapter

A faulty network adapter could be the reason you’re experiencing the error message. To fix the problem, try uninstalling your network adapter driver and let Windows automatically reinstall it for you after a restart. Follow the instructions below to make this happen:

  1. Press Win+R, typedevmgmt.mscin Run and hit Enter or right-click the Start button and choose Device Manager.
  2. Once the Device Manager is launched, expand Network Adapters.
  3. Right-click your network adapter and choose Uninstall.
  4. In the Uninstall Device window, check the “Delete the driver software for this device” box and click Uninstall.
  5. Now, restart your PC, and Windows will automatically re-install the driver. Check if the error message still shows.

Fix 8: Temporarily turn off your anti-virus

Anti-virus software is known to cause this issue. If you’ve tried other fixes without any luck, confirm that your anti-virus isn’t behind the error message by temporarily disabling it and connecting to the network.

The procedure for turning off an anti-virus will differ from software to software. Simply go through the software documentation to find out how to uninstall it. If you confirm that your system protection software is causing the problem, go to the manufacturer’s site to check if there’s an update available or contact them for support on the issue.

Make sure you turn your antivirus back on as soon as possible to keep your system protected.

Fix 9: Temporarily turn off your firewall

Your firewall program can also be possibly responsible for Windows’s inability to connect to a wireless network. To be sure, turn your firewall off and try to connect to the network. You can check out the guidelines for disabling your firewall from the developer’s site or manual if you’re using a third-party program. To temporarily disable the native Windows firewall, follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security when the Control Panel window opens, and then choose Windows Firewall.
  3. Click “Turn Windows Firewall on or off” in the left pane.
  4. Click the round bubbles beside Turn off Windows Firewall under Private Network Settings and Public network Settings.
  5. Restart your PC and check for the error.

Please make sure you turn your firewall back on as soon as possible. If your firewall doesn’t go off, carefully repeat the steps detailed above.

Fix 10: Disable IPv6

In certain cases, configuration issues in your IP network protocol settings can cause the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error. Follow the steps below to disable IPv6 and check if the error continues to show:

  1. Press the Windows and X keys together and select Control Panel from the menu.
  2. Click Network and Internet and then open Network and Sharing Center.
  3. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click your current connection, and then the Settings window will pop up.
  4. Click Properties and uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IP6).
  5. Click Ok or hit Enter.
  6. Reboot your computer and see if Windows connects this time.

Fix 11: Change your Network Adapter’s 802.11 Channel Width

If your wireless network adapter’s channel width settings aren’t properly configured, you’ll likely be getting the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error message whenever you want to establish a connection to a Wi-Fi network. To fix this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the search bar beside the Start button, type “control panel” (without quotes) and open Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel window, go to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Now, click Change Adapter Settings in the left pane of the window.
  4. Right-click your wireless adapter and select Properties from the menu.
  5. When the Properties window comes up, click the Configure button.
  6. Now, navigate to the Advanced tab in the next window and then choose the 802.11 Channel Width under the Property list.
  7. Click the drop-down list under Value by the right and select the 20 Mhz Only option.
  8. Click Ok in the various Properties windows and then reboot your system to check if the issue persists.

Fix 12: Make sure the security type on your router and computer’s network adapter are the same

Naturally, wireless connections come with either WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK security types to ensure your data and Wi-Fi connection are protected. Your router and computer need to be on the same security type if your connection is going to work properly. To change your router’s configuration, follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual.

After your router’s security type is set, you need to make sure it matches the one that is currently configured on your computer. Follow these steps to see and, if needs be, change the security type of your network adapter:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click your current connection to open the Status window.
  3. Now, click the Wireless Properties button.
  4. Go to the Security tab and select the same security type that is configured on your router.
  5. In order to choose the right one, you might have to try out different security types.
  6. Save your changes by clicking Ok.

Fix 13: Disable 802.11n mode

Sometimes, the 802.11n mode of your wireless network adapter might be problematic. Try disabling it to see if the issue is resolved. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click Change Adapter Settings in the left pane of the window.
  3. Right-click your wireless network card and go to Properties > Configure.
  4. Now, go to the Advanced tab and click the 802.11n Mode in the Property list.
  5. Under Value on the right, click the list and then select Disable.
  6. Click Ok in the different Properties windows.

After saving your changes, reboot your PC and check if the problem persists.

Fix 14: Manually add the connection

  1. Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click “Set up a new connection or network.”
  3. In the next window, select “Manually connect to a wireless network.”
  4. Click next and enter the Security Type, Security Name, and Network Name as requested.

Make sure the security type matches that of your router.

Fix 15: Change the Mode of the Wireless Network

Just like the security type, your wireless adapter and router are required to use the same network mode for your connection to work properly. Check the instruction manual of your router to change its network mode. As for your PC’s network mode, follow the steps we’ve provided below:

  1. Go to the Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click Change Adapter Settings on the left-hand side of the window.
  3. Locate your wireless adapter, right-click it and then select Properties from the context menu.
  4. Click the Configure button, go to the Advanced tab and then scroll down to select Wireless Mode under the Property list.
  5. What you need to do now is change the value of the wireless mode to the same value as your router’s wireless mode. The default value is always either 802.11g or 802.11b. Select the appropriate option under Value.

Once you’ve changed your wireless mode, click Ok to save your changes and restart your computer.

Fix 16: Use Command Prompt

This fix is mainly for users that can’t suddenly connect to a Wi-Fi network after performing a major Windows 10 upgrade. If you’re one of those users, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Command prompt (Admin).
  2. Press Enter when the User Account Control window comes up.
  3. In the elevated Command Prompt, type the command below and hit Enter:

reg delete HKCRCLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /va /f

  1. Next, type in the following and hit Enter:

netcfg -v -u dni_dne

Fix 17: Change power management settings

Your computer might be switching off your wireless adapter to save power, which could be the reason you’re seeing the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error. To change this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager and expand Network Adapters.
  2. Right-click your wireless adapter and then choose Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, go to the Power Management tab and then uncheck the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” box.
  4. Save your changes and check if the issue persists.

That’s it! We’re sure one of these fixes helped solve your problem. Make sure you tell us about your experiences in the comments section below!

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