Knowledge Base

How to Turn the Wireless on a Dell Notebook On and Off (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Mobile Broadband)



There may be times when you want to turn the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Mobile Broadband connections on or off, as when on an airplane.

This article provides information on how to turn the wireless connections (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Mobile Broadband) on and off on a Dell notebook.


Click on the expanding section that matches the Operating System installed on your computer for guidance.

  1. Locate the network icon either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area Windows 10 Hidden Icons Arrow (both are located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, see below for examples of the network icons), and refer to the tab that matches the icon on your computer.
    Notes:
    • Make sure to unplug any network (Ethernet) cable or undock before performing the steps, otherwise the wireless icon may not appear correctly.
    • When you cannot find the wireless icon, reboot the computer. When it still does not show, download and install the latest drivers. For more information, refer to the How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver section.
    • For information on how to turn Bluetooth or individual devices on or off, touch or click the Bluetooth and Other Devices tab.


This icon means that your wireless antenna is on and your computer is connected to a wireless network. When you cannot get to the internet, refer Dell Knowledge Base article Resolving Connection Issues on Your Wi-Fi Network for Windows 10.

To turn the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna off:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Available Network).
  2. Touch or click the panel labeled Wi-Fi, the panel should turn from blue to grey and should look like Figure 1.
    Note: When you need all the wireless devices turned off (Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS and near field communication (NFC)), 1, touch or click Airplane mode, the panel should turn from grey to blue and should look like Figure 2.
    Wireless Antenna Off Windows 10 Airplane Mode On Windows 10
    Figure 1: Wi-Fi Antenna Off Figure 2: Airplane Mode On


This icon means that the wireless antenna is on, but you are not connected to a wireless network. For information on setting up and connecting to your wireless network, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 10.

To turn the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna off:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Available Network).
  2. Touch or click the panel labeled Wi-Fi, the panel should turn from blue to grey and should look like Figure 1.
    Note: When you need all the wireless devices turned off (Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS and near field communication (NFC)), as when on an airplane, touch or click Airplane mode, the panel should turn from grey to blue and should look like Figure 2.
    Wireless Antenna Off Windows 10 Airplane Mode On Windows 10
    Figure 1: Wi-Fi Antenna Off Figure 2: Airplane Mode On


This icon means that the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna is off.

To turn the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna on:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Network Icon Off).
  2. Touch or click the panel labeled Wi-Fi, the panel should turn from grey to blue and should look like Figure 1.
    Notes:
    1. When you need help connecting to a wireless network, refer Dell Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 10.
    2. When you need all the wireless devices turned off (Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS and near field communication (NFC)), as when on an airplane, touch or click Airplane mode, the panel should turn from grey to blue and should look like Figure 2.
    Wireless Antenna On Windows 10 Airplane Mode On Windows 10
    Figure 1: Wi-Fi Antenna On Figure 2: Airplane Mode On


This icon means that the computer is in Airplane mode and that all the wireless communication devices including Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS, near field communication (NFC) and any other type of wireless communication are turned off.

To turn the communication devices and the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna back on:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Network Icon Airplane Mode).

  2. Touch or click the panel labeled Airplane mode, the panel should turn from blue to grey.
    Note: When Airplane mode still cannot be turned off, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article Resolving Not Being Able to Turn Off Airplane Mode.
  3. When the panel labeled Wi-Fi is still grey, touch or click the panel labeled Wi-Fi, the panel should turn from grey to blue and should look like Figure 1.
    Note: When you need help connecting to a wireless network, refer Dell Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 10.
    Wireless Antenna On Windows 10
    Figure 1: Wireless Antenna On


This section provides information on how to access the Bluetooth radio and where other wireless and networking settings can be changed.

  1. Press and hold the Windows key (Windows Button), and then press the i key.
    • To turn the Bluetooth radio on or off, perform the following steps:
      1. Touch or click Devices.
      2. Touch or click Bluetooth.
      3. Touch or click the slider under Bluetooth to toggle the Bluetooth radio on and off.
      4. Touch or click More Bluetooth options to be able to make the Bluetooth on the discoverable or not.

    • To control other wireless devices individually, perform the following steps:
      1. Touch or click Network & Internet.
        Note: From this screen you can check the status of your Internet connection, turn the wireless radio on and off, turn on Airplane mode on and off, make your computer a Mobile Hotspot and change the settings for VPN, Data Usage and Proxy server.
  1. Start from the Desktop (click Desktop from the Start page, if needed).
  2. Locate the network icon either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area Windows 8 Hidden Icons Arrow (both are located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, see below for examples of the network icons), and refer to the tab that matches the icon on your computer.
    Notes:
    • Make sure to unplug any network (Ethernet) cable or undock before performing the steps, otherwise the wireless icon may not appear correctly.
    • When you cannot find the wireless icon, reboot the computer. When it still does not show, download and install the latest drivers. For more information, refer to the How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver section.
    • For information on how to turn Bluetooth on or off or change the settings, touch or click the Bluetooth Options and Settings tab.


This icon means that your wireless antenna is on and your computer is connected to a wireless network. When you cannot get to the internet, refer Dell Knowledge Base article Resolving Connection Issues on Your Wi-Fi Network for Windows 8(8.1).

To turn the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna off:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Wireless Connected Windows 8).
  2. Touch or click the slider to the right of Wi-Fi, the slider should move to to the left and the listing under Wi-Fi will change from On to Off, and should look like Figure 1.
    Note: When you need all the wireless devices turned off (Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS and near field communication (NFC)), as when on an airplane, touch or click the slider to the right of Airplane mode, the slider should move to to the right and the listing under Airplane mode will change from Off to On, and should look like Figure 2.
    Wireless Antenna Off Windows 8 Airplane Mode On Windows 8
    Figure 1: Wi-Fi Antenna Off Figure 2: Airplane Mode On


This icon means that the wireless antenna is on, but you are not connected to a wireless network. For information on setting up and connecting to your wireless network, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 8(8.1).

To turn the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna off:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Wireless Not Connected Windows 8).
  2. Touch or click the slider to the right of Wi-Fi, the slider should move to to the left and the listing under Wi-Fi will change from On to Off, and should look like Figure 1.
    Note: When you need all the wireless devices turned off (Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS and near field communication (NFC)), as when on an airplane, touch or click the slider to the right of Airplane mode, the slider should move to to the right and the listing under Airplane mode will change from Off to On, and should look like Figure 2.
    Wireless Antenna Off Windows 8 Airplane Mode On Windows 8
    Figure 1: Wi-Fi Antenna Off Figure 2: Airplane Mode On


This icon means that the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna is off.

To turn the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna on:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Wireless Antenna Off Windows 8).
  2. Touch or click the slider to the right of Wi-Fi, the slider should move to to the right and the listing under Wi-Fi will change from Off to On, and should look like Figure 1.
    Notes:
    1. When you need help connecting to a wireless network, refer Dell Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 8(8.1).
    2. When you need all the wireless devices turned off (Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS and near field communication (NFC)), as when on an airplane, touch or click the slider to the right of Airplane mode, the slider should move to to the right and the listing under Airplane mode will change from Off to On, and should look like Figure 2.
    Wireless Antenna On Windows 8 Airplane Mode On Windows 8
    Figure 1: Wi-Fi Antenna On Figure 2: Airplane Mode On


This icon means that the computer is in Airplane mode and that all the wireless communication devices including Wireless (Wi-Fi), Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, GPS, near field communication (NFC) and any other type of wireless communication are turned off.

To turn the communication devices and the wireless (Wi-Fi) antenna back on:

  1. Touch or click on the Network icon (Airplane Mode On).
  2. Touch or click the slider to the right of Airplane mode, the slider should move to to the left and the listing under Airplane mode will change from On to Off, and should look like Figure 1.
  3. When the listing under Wi-Fi is still showing as Off. Touch or click the slider to the right of Wi-Fi, the slider should move to to the right and the listing under Wi-Fi will change from Off to On, and should look like Figure 1.
    Note: When you need help connecting to a wireless network, refer Dell Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 8(8.1).
    Wireless Antenna On Windows 8
    Figure 1: Wireless Antenna On


This section provides information on how to access the Bluetooth radio and and make changes.

  • To turn the Bluetooth radio on or off, perform the following steps:
    1. Touch or click the Bluetooth icon (Windows 10 Bluetooth).
    2. Touch or click Show Bluetooth Devices.
    3. Touch or click the slider under Bluetooth to toggle the Bluetooth radio on and off.

  • To make the Bluetooth discoverable or not, perform the following steps:
    1. Touch or click the Bluetooth icon (Windows 8 Bluetooth).
    2. Touch or click Open Settings.
    3. Touch or click to check or uncheck Allow Bluetooth devices to find this PC.
    4. Touch or click OK.


The Windows Mobility Center provides quick access to the most common mobile features.

To access the Windows Mobility Center perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the search box, type Mobility Center.
  3. Click Windows Mobility Center, in the search results.
  4. Click Turn wireless off or Turn wireless on as needed.
    Note: When you cannot click Turn wireless off or Turn wireless on (grayed out), it means that the wireless hardware switch has turned the wireless radio(s) off.
    You will have to manually toggle the wireless hardware switch to turn the wireless on before you can use the Windows Mobility Center.
    Refer to Table 1 for possible key combinations and wireless hardware switch locations from most to least common.
    Possible Key Combinations and Wireless Switch Location
    Press and hold the Notebook Fn Key key and press the Notebook PrnScr Key key.
    Press and hold the Notebook Fn Key key and press the Notebook F2 Key key.
    Press and hold the Notebook Fn Key key and press the Notebook F3 Key key.
    Press the Notebook Wireless Key key.
    Slider switch located on right or left-hand side of the computer
    (applies to older models of Latitude and Precision).

For more information, refer to the Quick Start Guide for your notebook, as this is the best place to find that information.

Refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article How do I download and install a device driver?, this article provides information on how to download drivers for the wireless network adapter installed in your computer.

Notes:
  • When the affected device has no Wireless connectivity, to download a driver, you will need to do one of the following to get the driver on the affected device:
    • Connect the affected device to your router using a network cable (when that is an option).
    • Use another device that does have Internet connectivity to download the driver and use a USB Flash drive to transfer the driver to the affected device.
    • For tablets, use the USB cable that came with the tablet to transfer the driver to the tablet, which was downloaded to another device that does have Internet connectivity.
  • The network adapter drivers are located in the Network subsection.
  • For help figuring out which wireless network adapter is installed in your computer, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article How do I determine the hardware devices installed in my Dell PC?

Bluetooth For more information and support for Bluetooth, please visit our dedicated support page.



Article ID: SLN115331

Last Date Modified: 10/12/2017 06:54 AM


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