Smartphones

Troubleshoot Wi-Fi connections on your Android phone

Wi-Fi connections can make using an Android phone a more robust experience. If those wireless connections aren't working, here are some Wi-Fi troubleshooting tips for users with Android phones.

When you need to connect to a wireless network from your Android phone, you can usually open the settings, select the network, and you're off and running. In the rare instances when wireless doesn't cooperate, there are tricks you can use to troubleshoot the issue. These Wi-Fi troubleshooting tips are listed in order of the simplest to the most complicated fix.

Power off

The first thing you should try is to power off your Android phone, remove the battery, leave the battery out for about 30 seconds, replace the battery, and power the phone back on.

Power-cycle wireless

My phone has retained a previous IP address from another wireless connection before and applied it to the current wireless. That's fine if the address scheme is the same and there is no address conflict, but that is not usually the case. You can try turning off wireless and then turning it back on by following these steps:

1. Tap the Menu button on your handset.

2. Tap Settings.

3. Tap Wireless and Network from within the Settings menu.

4. Tap Wi-Fi settings from the Wireless and Network menu.

5. In the new screen, uncheck Wi-Fi to turn it off.

6. After Wi-Fi is turned off, tap the entry again to turn it back on.

Forget the network

If the previous method does not work, you might need to have your Android device forget the network and then re-add it. Here's the catch: Your Android device cannot forget a wireless network that is within range, so you will need to get out of range of the network and then do the following:

1. Long press the listed network you want to forget.

2. Tap Forget Network.

3. Get back within range and wait for the network to automatically show up.

4. Enter the network password to join.

Your Android phone should have a new address and be working as you would expect.

Check the wireless password

Wireless passwords (hopefully) change from time to time, but when they do, your phone can't automatically update. In order to manually change your wireless password, follow these steps:

1. Be out of range of the network in question.

2. Long press the wireless network you need to configure.

3. Tap Change Network Settings.

4. Enter the new password in the resulting screen (Figure A).

5. Check the Show Password box. (I always like to check the Show Password box to make sure I am entering the correct password in my mobile device.)

6. Tap Save when you know the password is correct.

Figure A

This screen will also indicate the type of security used on your network. Make sure that matches what you believe to be the correct type of security; if it does not, you might need to have Android forget this network and re-add it.

Advanced Wi-Fi settings

If none of the previous solutions worked, you might have to dig a little deeper into the Wi-Fi settings on your Android phone. To get to the Advanced Settings window, follow these steps:

1. Tap the Menu button on your handset.

2. Tap Settings.

3. Tap Wireless and Networks.

4. Tap Wi-Fi settings.

5. Tap the Menu button again.

6. Tap Advanced (Figure B).

7. Tap the Proxy setting and make sure your Android device is not set up for a Proxy. (Unless the Wi-Fi network you are on requires a Proxy, this setting will get in the way of your device's access to the Internet.) If you tap on Proxy and see an IP address or domain, delete it.

Figure B

Most likely the Proxy and Port settings will not be set, but it's always good to check if you're having frequent issues with Wi-Fi.

Static IP address

Another troubleshooting approach is to give your Android device a static IP address. This could reveal if the router you are trying to connect to is having issues with handing out DHCP addresses, or if your device is getting a bad address. To configure a static IP, tap Use Static IP and then fill in the settings (IP Address, Gateway, Netmask, DNS).

The only issue with setting up a static IP is that address will apply to all wireless networks, so only use this for troubleshooting if you just connect to one Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi sleep policy

If you are having persistent Wi-Fi issues, you can set the Wi-Fi sleep policy to Never and see if your issues stop. With this policy set to Never, it will drain your battery faster, but it will also keep your Wi-Fi connected on a more consistent basis.

Summary

I hope these troubleshooting tips help you get through your Wi-Fi headaches. If all else fails on one Wi-Fi network, you should try another network so you know for sure that the issue isn't the wireless router.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

11 comments
shortyybaeh92
shortyybaeh92

I have the same problem I have an android but only that my mac address don't want to change I have put everything right just that the mac address don't want to change since I change my WiFi provider help please

GeneralGrant
GeneralGrant

I am unable to hear callers on either of my Androids but callers can hear me ???????? I have Galaxy S4 and LG.  The volume on the cells are all the way up.  I also have a magicjac Voip on the rout.   Need help in trouble shoothing as this seems to be an intermittant problem.

psrai
psrai

I tried after reading from lot of websites but could not resolve the WiFi connectivity issue on my Android phone. After reading from Techrepublic I could resolve the connectivity issue within 5 minutes and had WiFi working on my Samsung Galaxy. In fact my phone though connected but failed to obtain IP address and hence the access to internet, perhaps due to DHCP address problem... I configured my mobile for static IP and........ lo-and-behold my WiFi started running on my mobile within no time......Thanks to Techrepublic.com

vbien38
vbien38

When I struck this problem myself I had the seat-of-the-pants feeling that this is a big high level problem. Now after reading quite a few comments, troubleshooting guides etc. I'm still thinking this view may be true. My original experiences are two. One is that my own Samsung "Galaxy 5" model or I5503T will successfully connect to an Asus router model RT-N11; but two, it will not connect under any amount of fiddling with a TP-Link TL-WR941ND router. In the 2nd case I was attempting to connect a customer's Sony Android which also refused and I used my own Samsung to try to ascertain whether the problem was the router or the phone. I have not been able to test my client's phone on my Asus router - too inconvenient! Further, the Samsung connection to the Asus often has to be forced by the power off the phone power it back on method. This is irritating and inconvenient! When it's connected, where obviously one has to be in range, if one walks out-of-range and walks back in again it won't automatically reconnect. One may, or may not, have to do the power off power on trick again! Also the problem has another form. That is with the TP-Link router the phone sees the SSID and upon connecting to it, with or without security and password, it will then fail saying the router is "out-of-range" when one is sitting about a metre away doing this attempt. (This posting was held up for a couple of days due to an authentication issue. Since then I was able to check out my Samsung with another TP Link and a Netlink routers and it connects to both but there may have been a relevant update or upgrade that went onto it when something else was updated from Google Play). I have been in touch with TP-Link tech support and they were stumped. Together with my hardware supplier we are trying to identify a brand of router that does not have this or such problems. My dealer confirmed the problem with his phone and said he was going to check his phone out at a free Wi-fi spot but I haven't heard back from him yet. Is there something wrong with that particular model of TP-Link? Conclusion: I think there may be problems with the specification for implementation of the Wi-Fi protocol.

askendershade
askendershade

Okay, here' s a problem for you guys. I have tried everything suggested in the article and in the comments, and nothing is working for my problem. My phone has the password for the wifi, and will go all the way up to "Obtaining IP Address..." Then it'll just stay there until it realizes it can't receive the ip address, then it tries again. Please help! I need working wifi for my line of work!

mlp633
mlp633

I recently subscribed to time warner wifi, using a att smartphone. However, I cannot seem to login to my account. My account says it is looking for my ip address and then does nothing. My account has a Lock beside it and says, "Disabled, secured with WEP". ATT cant help me because they arent with me, and roadrunner doesnt seem to be able to offer any advice either. I did read somewhere you should go out of range, and forget your account and then add the account back. My grandaughter can get into my wifi, using my name and account on her phone, but she cant connect my phone to my wifi either. Thanks for any help. Mar

johncarol62
johncarol62

This posting was the only place where I found the suggestion that actually worked- deleting the IP proxy address. Verizon Support didn't know this and neither did any of the other sites I looked at. Thanks!

njcabral
njcabral

I've had good luck with putting my Android phone into Airplane Mode for a few seconds to relieve Wi-Fi troubles. 1) Hold down Power button 2) Tap "Airplane Mode" option 3) Wait ten seconds 4) Repeat steps 1-3 5) Enjoy Wi-Fi!

pooyax
pooyax

Remember that Android does not suppot ad-hoc networks

UTCatLady
UTCatLady

I'm having the exact same problem. What did you do to resolve it?

englandrugbyfaninthesun
englandrugbyfaninthesun

This worked instantly for me in Crete, Greece on a Google Nexus 4 8gb. Had tried lots of other re-set procedures which did not work. Many thanks for this, simple and perfect!. ... and as mentioned elsewhere here, this is the only site that offers suggestions to this infuriating, and probably quite rare problem.