[Solved] Cannot Connect To Wireless Network In Windows 7 or 8

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on August 14, 2012


There are times when I have seen this error shown in the image below on some PCs and some readers of ours also reported about this issue that some times they are not able to connect to certain Wi Fi network. In such cases when you try to connect to certain Wi Fi network you will face the error saying – “windows was unable to connect to this network”.

windows was unable to connect to this network

There could different reasons responsible for the above error messages, we will discuss them all and will let you know how you can troubleshoot a computer when you face this kind of problem in windows 7 or 8 or earlier versions of windows like XP or Vista as well.

Drivers Problems With Network Adaptor

First, Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button, then click Control Panel then go to System and Maintenance and then click Device Manager listed here.

windows device manager

Now under device manager which will list all software and hardware components of your computer, search for the entry named Network Adaptors and check to see if there is some yellow exclamation mark on these devices, if you see some error you need to update the drivers to make it work properly. For cases when there is no problem with the drivers of the network adaptor you will not see any symbol above them as shown in the image below.

no error in network adaptor in windows

Enable Support For IEEE 802.1x authentication and Rate (802.11b/g) [ Vista and XP ]

This could happen on older windows computers running either vista or windows XP, when you try to connect to a wifi network but windows fails to connect. In such cases you will need to change the connecting settings for connecting to the wireless network. You can read this guide to change the network settings and troubleshoot wifi connectivity on XP


Check If There Are Some Windows Updates Pending Related To Network Adaptor or PC Restart Could Fix It

One of our users tried connecting to a wifi network on windows 7 but every time he tried it failed to connect, as there were some updated pending to be installed via windows updates which require computer to be restarted so that the updates could get installed and after the restart the PC was easily able to connect to the respective wifi network.

Disable The Network Adaptor and Enable it Again [ Window 7 or Later ]

There are times when you network adaptor could be stuck and not been able to get configured for the wireless network connectivity, in such cases if you disable the wireless network adaptor and enable it back then you might be able to connect to the same network again without any issues. For this you will need to go Network and Sharing settings >> Network Adaptors

Change Adaptor Settings Windows

Under adaptor settings – select the wireless adaptor right click on it and select disable and then enable to make it work and connect to wifi network.

Disable Enable Wireless Network

Run Network Diagnostic in built in Windows

To run the network diagnostic tool in windows, follow the procedure mentioned below.

1. Click on Start > Control Panel.

2. Click on Network and Internet, and then click on Network and Sharing center.

3. Under Network and Sharing centre, click on Troubleshoot Problem.

Make Sure WLAN Auto Config Service is Running To Fix Wireless Network Issues

WLAN service is responsible for network connectivity of wireless, if that service is not running in windows in the background you will not be able to connect to any wireless network. To start the service if stopped you can follow the procedure below.

1. Click on Start, type in services.msc
2. Select WLAN Autoconfig from the list, Right click properties
3. Change the startup type to Automatic
4. Click on Start button
5. Click on Apply, Ok.
6. Restart the computer and verify if it works.

If the issue persists, then I would suggest you to download the latest network adaptor drivers from the manufacturer’s website and install the same on the computer and check whether it helps you to fix the issue.

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