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Troubleshooting Wireless on Windows 10

Get online

To connect to a Wi‑Fi network, select the Network icon ( or ) on the taskbar.

Select the Wi‑Fi network you want > Connect, then type the password and follow the instructions. That’s it—you’re connected! This icon  will appear in the taskbar.

Wi‑Fi network icon in the taskbar

After you’re connected, you’re ready to set up email, browse the web, and do a whole lot more online.

If Wi‑Fi isn’t available, or you just want the assurance of a wired connection, the Ethernet cable is your friend—just connect your PC to your router or modem, and then do your thing.

If you’re having trouble getting connected, check out Why can’t I get online? to try to fix things.


Some PCs have a SIM card in them that lets you connect over cellular data like you do on a phone. To see if your PC has one, select the Network icon ( or ) and look for the Cellular network icon  at the top of the list.

Why can’t I get online?

Having trouble getting connected? Here’s some things to try to get connected.

Use the Network troubleshooter

Let Windows try to help you fix the problem. In the search box on the taskbar, type Network troubleshooter, then select Identify and repair network problems.

If that doesn’t work and you’re using a wired connection, make sure both ends of your Ethernet cable are securely plugged in to your PC and your router or modem.

If you’re having trouble connecting to Wi‑Fi

Here are some things to try:

  • Make sure Wi‑Fi is on. Select the Start Start icon button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet > Wi‑Fi to check. If a network you expect to see appears in the list, select the network > Connect.

  • Make sure the physical Wi‑Fi switch on your laptop is turned on. (An indicator light usually shows when it’s on.)

  • Select the Start Start icon button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet > Airplane mode and turn off airplane mode if it’s on.

  • Move closer to the router or access point.

If none of these things work, restart your Wi‑Fi router. This should be one of the last things you try.

You may be able to connect to a cellular network instead. Select the Start Start icon button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet, and see if Cellular appears in the list of settings.

          Image of the Network & Internet settings page

Don’t see your Wi‑Fi network name at home?

Make sure your router is set to broadcast the network name:

  1. Connect your PC to your router using an Ethernet cable.

  2. Open your web browser and type the IP address for your wireless router. (For example, or—check the documentation for your router to find the default IP address.)

  3. Sign in with your user name and password, then make sure an option labeled Enable SSID Broadcast, Wireless SSID broadcast, or something similar is turned on. This setting is often on a Wireless Settings page.

Connect to a printer

To connect to a printer on a network, select the Start Start icon button, then select Settings  > Devices > Add a printer or scanner. Choose the one you want and select Add device.

Devices screen in Settings

If your printer connects to your PC by a cable, just plug it in. Your printer will connect automatically, and your PC will download the right drivers. Then start printing away.