A new problem has cropped up since the most recent round of updates from Microsoft. In my experience, it is only happening on laptops that make great use of Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity. Many of you may have already run into it. If you have, then you probably already know how frustrating it is to deal with. That is why today I felt that we should take some time addressing this problem and what you need to do to fix it.
The problem itself is pretty straight forward. If you are affected, you will know it almost instantly. One day, you open your laptop to use it or you power it on and for some reason you have no Internet connectivity. If you look down in the bottom right hand corner of your desktop, you will notice a little yellow triangle over your Wi-Fi icon and it may even say you have limited or no connectivity.
When you check you will see that are connected to your Wi-Fi, but for some reason you can’t surf the web or do anything that requires access to the Internet. Chances are you probably tried to reboot to see if that took of the problem. But nothing changes. So what do you do?
What’s Really Happening
For those of you that just like to know what’s going on, here it is. Basically, your Wi-Fi card is connecting to your router but it is not accepting a new IP Address when using DHCP. Sound complicated? It’s not, really. Whenever you connect your laptop to your Wi-Fi network, it hands you an IP address. This IP address identifies your computer on your home network and is used for all network communication, including Internet. This problem isn’t limited to just budget laptops under $500 on the lower side of the price spectrum – even more high-end laptops suffer just as much.
The trick is to get it to hand you an IP address so you can get back to doing what you wanted to do. Without this address, you can’t really do anything that relies on your Internet connection. So how do you fix it? There are a few things you can do to solve the problem.
Fixing the Problem
There are several different fixes you can run to take care of this problem. Some of these may or may not work for you. I would recommend you run all of these fixes in order to take care of the problem once and for all.
First, Regain Internet
Getting your Internet going again is actually pretty simple, so we will address that problem first. After that, we will look at several fixes you can try to stop it from happening again.
1. Right-click on your start menu and choose Command Prompt.
2. Type in the following command: ipconfig /renew
3. Close the Window.
This should force your card to refresh its settings and allow you to regain Internet once again. Now that we have Internet again, let’s look at what we need to do to stop it from happening. After all, you don’t want to have to run that command every time you decide to use your laptop.
Update Your Drivers
The first thing you should do is make sure all your network drivers are up to date. You may be able to get these through Windows update or you may have to visit your laptop manufacturer or wireless card manufacturer’s site in order to get the latest drivers. The process will vary depending on the make and model of your card, so it is hard to give you a step by step set of directions for this. However, your laptop manufacturer’s site should have all the information you need to download and install the latest drivers.
While I have seen this simple fix take care of it in some instances, for most I find that this is only a first step.
1. Right-click on your battery icon and choose Power Options.
2. From here, you can choose the different settings. I prefer to keep mine on High Performance. But choose whichever one you like. Once you do, click on Change Plan Settings.
3. Select Change advanced power settings.
4. Click the + sign next to Wireless Adapter Settings.
5. Under Power Saving Mode, select Maximum Performance both On battery and Plugged in.
6. Click Ok to close the window and then click Save changes to save your power settings.
7. Reboot your computer and see if your Wi-Fi reconnects properly.
If it doesn’t reconnect after the reboot, then proceed to the next section to make a few more tweaks.
Wi-Fi Power Settings
Windows will try and power off your Wi-Fi when it is not in use. This is done to save battery power so your laptop lasts longer between charges. In theory, it is a nice feature. However, in my experience, it doesn’t always work very well in the real world. Luckily, you can turn off this power management feature in your Wi-Fi card settings. Here is what you need to do:
1. Right-click on your Start Menu and select Control Panel.
2. Choose Network and Internet.
3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
4. On the left hand column, select Change adapter settings.
5. Right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter and go to Properties.
6. Under the Networking tab at the top, select Configure.
7. Under the Power Management tab, uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
8. Click Ok and then OK again to save all the changes.
9. Reboot your computer.
In my experience, this will usually do the trick for you and you probably won’t see this again. Now you may have to recheck these settings after the next round of Windows updates, as Microsoft likes to turn these things back on without you even knowing. However, if you are still having the problem, there is something else you can try.
Reset Network Settings
The following commands should only be run if you are still having issues after running the other fixes. They are pretty easy to run and will only take a minute or two to execute on your machine.
1. Open an elevated command prompt by right-clicking on Start and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).
2. Run the following commands on your system:
netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled\
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
3. Close the Windows and reboot your computer.
These commands will reset all the settings in the background that you don’t normally see back to their defaults. This should take care of the problem once and for all.
Windows 10 is a great operating system, but remember it is still young. Silly bugs like this are bound to crop up. Microsoft does a pretty good job at fixing them, and I’m betting a future update will address this problem. Until then, you will have to work around it. These fixes have, in my experience, solved the problem for most users. If nothing works, remember you can always run the iconfig command to get online again until Microsoft releases a fix for this issue.
Have you run into this problem on your system? If you have and you found a fix that I didn’t cover in this article, please let me know so I can add it. Remember, the goal of this post is to help as many users with this problem as possible, so if you have found something that I have missed please let us all know so we can give it a try.