Skip to main content
  • Place orders quickly and easily
  • View orders and track your shipping status
  • Enjoy members-only rewards and discounts
  • Create and access a list of your products
  • Manage your Dell EMC sites, products, and product-level contacts using Company Administration.

Connect Laptop to Wifi and Troubleshoot Network Issues

Summary: Learn how to connect your laptop to Wifi in Windows 11 and 10. Find instructions on network setup, sharing files and photos, and troubleshooting other network issues.

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

Article Content


Symptoms

From the list, select the Operating System that is installed on your computer.

Table of Contents:

  1. Microsoft Windows 10
  2. Microsoft Windows 11

Cause

Microsoft Windows 10

NOTE: When you cannot get to the Internet after a Windows update, see the I am having issues with a slow connection, getting or staying on the Internet section for help.

 

In order to connect to the Internet wirelessly certain hardware and services are needed which are listed below. Without any one of these items, connection to the Internet is not possible. The range from the router typically is limited to fewer than 60 meters or 200 feet.

  • Wireless Network Adapter - This is a device that can be installed inside the computer or into a USB port. If you do not know if you have a wireless card that is installed contact the manufacture of the computer to find out.
  • Wireless Broadband Router - The router is used to connect all your computers to a network, and to the Internet.
  • Broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) - Telephone (DSL) and Cable TV companies usually offer Internet service.

 

NOTE: When setting up your wireless network try to locate the wireless router somewhere close to the middle of the house or office, when possible. At least place the wireless router as high as possible to bypass interference.
  1. Your Broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) either comes to your residence or business and setup the Broadband Modem or send you a do-it-yourself kit.

    NOTE: When using the do-it yourself kit, follow the instructions that are provided for setting up the Broadband Modem or contact your ISP. Most likely you must contact your ISP anyway to set up a username and password (when using DSL), or register your Broadband Modem (when using cable).

  2. Once the Broadband Modem is set up and working, remove the network or USB cable that is connecting the computer to the Modem.


  3. Turn off the Broadband Modem for at least three or more minutes (this is necessary to make the Broadband Modem find the wireless router later).


  4. After the three or more minutes are up, attach the wireless router with the supplied network cable and turn the Broadband Modem back on.


  5. See the documentation that comes with your wireless router for installation instructions.

    NOTE: For more information about setting up your wireless router, see the manufacture's website (Table 1).
     
    Manufacture Website Link
    Linksys 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    D-Link 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    Netgear 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    2Wire 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    Belkin 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    Apple 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    SMC  5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    TRENDnet 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    TP-Link 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    Cisco 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
    Ubiquiti 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

     

     
     

    Table 1: Common Wireless Router Websites


  6. During the initial setup of the wireless router the network name (SSID) and Wi-Fi Security (network) key should be changed for security reasons, for additional information see the Securing Your Wireless Network section.

 

NOTE: The following steps are for Windows 10, for other Operating Systems browse to our Networking and Wireless Support Center.
  1. Move the computer to within 1-3 meters (3-9 ft) of the router (if possible).

    NOTES:
    • Moving the computer closer to the router helps eliminate sources of interference which may cause slow and intermittent connections, and to ensure that the wireless hardware is working correctly.
    • When your computer only connects correctly to the Internet while the computer is close to the router, it means you are probably experiencing interference issues. For more information about what causes interference, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Identify and Reduce Wireless Signal Interference.

  2. Touch or click the network icon 18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1, either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

    NOTES:

    20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

    Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location


  3. Look for a listing that has the most white bars next to it (it may be necessary to scroll up or down to find it).


  4. Touch or click the network with the most white bars (18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1), and then touch or click Connect.

    NOTE: When there is more than one listing with the same number of white bars or the listing reads as "Hidden network or Other Network," see the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router tab, within the Securing Your Wireless Network section, for instructions to get the wireless network name from the wireless router directly.
     
  5. Enter the network security key if prompted, and then click Next.

    NOTES:

 

 

  1. Move the computer to within 1-3 meters (3-9 ft) of the router (if possible).

    NOTES:
    • Moving the computer closer to the router helps eliminate sources of interference which may cause slow and intermittent connections, and to ensure that the wireless hardware is working correctly.
    • When your computer only connects correctly to the Internet while the computer is close to the router, it means you are probably experiencing interference issues. For more information about what causes interference, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Identify and Reduce Wireless Signal Interference.

  2. Touch or click the network icon 18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1, either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

    NOTES:
    • Both are located in the lower right corner of the screen.
    • Ensure 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, see How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver section.

    20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

    Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location


  3. Select the tab below that matches the icon on your computer:

     

     

    This icon means that your computer is connected to the wireless network. When you cannot get to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab.

     

    This icon means that the wireless antenna is on, but you are not connected to a wireless network. For information about connecting to your wireless network, see the I want to connect my computer or tablet to my existing wireless network section.

     

    This icon means that the wireless antenna is off.

    To turn the wireless antenna back on:

    1. Touch or click the Network icon (30iC_Windows_10_wifi_off_BD_v1).


    2. Touch or click the panel that is labeled Wi-Fi (the panel should turn from gray to blue and should look like Figure 2).

      33iC_Windows_10_Wifi_Should_Look_Like_BD_v2

      Figure 2: Wireless Icons Example Settings


    3. When your network icon does not change to 18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1, see the I want to connect my computer or tablet to my existing wireless network section.


     

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

    To turn the communication devices back on:

    1. Touch or click the network icon 31iC_Windows_10_airplane_mode_BD_v1, either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area.
    2. Touch or click the panel that is labeled Airplane mode. The panel should turn from blue to gray.
      NOTE: When the panel does not turn from blue to gray, it may mean that your computer has a physical wireless switch as well. Press and hold the Fn_Key_BD_v1 key, and then press the key that has the Single_Wireless_Key_BD_v1 symbol on it. When your computer does not have a wireless key Single_Wireless_Key_BD_v1, your computer does not have a physical wireless switch.
      NOTE: When Airplane mode still cannot be turned off, see the I cannot turn off Airplane mode section.

    3. When the panel labeled Wi-Fi is still gray, touch or click the Wi-Fi panel (the panel should turn from gray to blue, and should look like Figure 2).

      Windows_10_Wifi_Should_Look_Like_BD_v2

      Figure 2: Wireless Icons Example Settings


    4. When your network icon does not change to Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1, see the I want to connect my computer or tablet to my existing wireless network section.

 

NOTE: When you have not done so, perform the steps on the Resolving Wireless Connection Issues tab first.
  1. Run the Network Troubleshooter:

    1. Press and hold the Windows (42iC_Windows_Key_BD_v4) key, and then press the q key.


    2. In the search box type, internet connections.


    3. Touch or click Find and fix network problems (Control panel).


    4. Touch or click Next and follow the prompts.

     
  2. Turn off and then turn on all the devices on the network to reboot and synchronize them, for more information see the Turn Off and Then Turn on All the Devices on the Network tab.


  3. Run the Dell SupportAssist Optimize Network application:

    1. Press and hold the Windows (42iC_Windows_Key_BD_v4) key, and then press the q key.


    2. In the search box type, supportassist.


    3. Touch or click SupportAssist (Desktop app).

      NOTE: When SupportAssist does not appear in the list of applications, you must download it, either on the computer that has the issue (if possible) or to a USB memory key on another device that can reach the Internet. For more information about how to obtain and install SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page. You may need to provide the Service Tag or Express Service Code of your Dell computer or select your computer model from a list.

    4. Touch or click the down arrow.


    5. Touch or click Run under Optimize Network.


    6. After the Optimize Network is finished (the status indicator reads 100%) touch or click the History tab.


    7. Touch or click the latest listing of Optimize Network (Manual) to review the results.


  4. Ensure that the most current wireless drivers, computer BIOS, and router firmware are installed:

    NOTE: When the affected device has no Wireless connectivity to download a driver or BIOS, you must 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.
     
    • For more information about downloading and installing the most current BIOS version, see the Dell Knowledge Base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

      NOTES:
      • When you have upgraded from Windows 7 or 8(8.1) to Windows 10. It is recommended that you update to the most current BIOS available for your computer before installing any Wireless device drivers.
      • The most current BIOS is located in the BIOS subsection.
    • For more information about downloading and installing the most current wireless drivers, see How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver section.

      NOTE: The network adapter drivers are located in the Network subsection.
    • Update the wireless router's firmware to the latest available, see the wireless router documentation, or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 1.

      NOTE: To update the router firmware, you must have a computer that is connected to your wireless router (this may be with a network cable or another computer that is connected wirelessly).
       
      Manufacture User Name Password
      Linksys 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      leave blank admin
      D-Link 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      admin leave blank
      Netgear 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      admin password
      2Wire 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      None unless one was set up. None unless one was set up.
      Belkin 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      None leave blank
      Apple 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      Use the AirPort utility  
      SMC  5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

       

       
      Admin smcadmin
       

      Table 1: Wireless Manufacture Links, Router Default User Names, and Passwords


  5. Ensure that the wireless adapter is transmitting at its highest level. For more information, see the Configure the Wireless Adapter Settings for Optimal Performance tab.


  6. Run the Dell SupportAssist Troubleshooting application:

    1. Press and hold the Windows (42iC_Windows_Key_BD_v4) key, and then press the q key.


    2. In the search box type, supportassist.


    3. Touch or click SupportAssist (Desktop app).

      NOTE: When SupportAssist does not appear in the list of applications, you must download it, either on the computer that has the issue (if possible) or to a USB memory key on another device that can reach the Internet. For more information about how to obtain and install SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page. You may need to provide the Service Tag or Express Service Code of your Dell computer or select your computer model from a list.

    4. Touch or click the Troubleshooting tab.


    5. Touch or click I'm having Internet issues.


    6. Touch or click the wanted option.


    7. Touch or click Run Now and follow the instructions.

     
  7. Run the Network Adapter Diagnostics available on the Dell Support site.

    NOTE:
    • When the affected device has no Wireless connectivity, for this process to work, a network cable has to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer. See the Dell Knowledge Base article Manuals and Documentation for your Dell Product, for information about how to get the manual for your computer, which will provide you the location of the RJ45 or USB-C port on your computer.
    • A small program may need to be downloaded and installed, follow the prompts.

  8. See the following articles corresponding to the browser installed on your computer:


  9. For more information about resolving issues getting to the Internet, see the following resources:

NOTE: When the following steps do not resolve the issue, the Operating System on your computer has some sort of corruption. To explore the options on how to resolve any corruption, and when to use them, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on your Dell computer.

 

  1. Disconnect the power from the broadband modem and leave the broadband modem disconnected for at least 3 minutes.

    NOTE: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide a modem and router combination device.

  2. Shut down all the computers that are connected to the network.


  3. Disconnect the power from the wireless router.


  4. Verify that a network cable is connected from the Broadband Modem into the Internet or WAN port on the wireless router.


  5. Verify that no USB cables or serial cables are connected to the Broadband Modem.


  6. Connect the power to the broadband modem. Wait for at least 2 minutes for the Broadband Modem to initialize.

    (If the Modem does not establish an Internet connection successfully, unplug the Modem. Wait for at least 5 minutes, then plug in the Modem.)


  7. Connect the power to the wireless router. Wait for at least 2 minutes for the wireless router to initialize.


  8. Turn on the computer and try connecting to the Internet.

    NOTE: When you still cannot connect to the Internet, check to see if other computers can get on the Internet, or connect this computer with a network cable directly to your router (when these are options). When no other computers or this computer that is connected directly to your router cannot get to the Internet, you must contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the manufacture of your router.

  9. When your computer still cannot connect to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab, and proceed with Step 3.

 

To determine which wireless adapter is installed in your computer, perform the following steps.

  1. In the Search box, type change wi-fi settings.


  2. Touch or click Change Wi-Fi settings (System settings).


  3. Touch or click Hardware properties.


  4. Look at the Manufacture: listing to see the brand of the wireless adapter installed in your computer, and then see the section below that matches your wireless adapter.

    NOTE: Make note of the Manufacture and Description. The description is how the wireless adapter is listed in Device Manager.

 

Manufacture is listed as Intel:

  1. In the Search box, type device manager.


  2. Touch or click Device Manager (Control Panel).


  3. In the Device Manager window, touch or click the arrow sign next to Network Adapters.


  4. Double-tap or double-click the wireless adapter with the same Description as noted on the Change Wi-Fi Settings page.


  5. Click the Advanced tab.

    NOTE: Depending on the Wireless Adapter installed, not all these options may be available.

  6. In the Property: box, touch, or click 802.11n Channel Width for 2.4 GHz and select Auto from the drop-down menu under Value:


  7. In the Property: box, touch, or click 802.11n Channel Width for 5.2 GHz and select Auto from the drop-down menu under Value:


  8. In the Property: box, touch, or click 802.11n Mode and select Enabled from the drop-down menu under Value:


  9. In the Property: box, touch, or click Fat Channel Intolerant and select Disabled from the drop-down menu under Value:


  10. In the Property: box, touch, or click Roaming Aggressiveness and select 1. Lowest from the drop-down menu under Value:

    NOTE: This setting is suggested for home-wireless networks. When you are on a business network and move from place to place, the setting should be set to 3. Medium.

  11. In the Property: box, touch, or click Intel® Throughput Enhancement or Throughput Booster and select Disabled from the drop-down menu under Value:

    NOTE: When you only have one device on the wireless network or are streaming video that you may want to turn this feature on, but the adapter with this feature that is turned on does not allow other computers on your network to have equal access to the wireless network.

  12. In the Property: box, touch, or click Transmit Power and select 5. Highest from the drop-down menu under Value:


  13. In the Property: box, touch, or click Wireless Mode, select the wireless networking standard that best matches your router.

    NOTE: When you are not sure of what wireless networking standard that your router supports, select the option with the most listings, typically at the bottom on the list.

  14. In the Property: box, touch, or click Wireless Mode and select the highest number available from the drop-down menu under Value:


  15. Touch or click the Power Management tab.


  16. Ensure the check box to the left of Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power, is cleared.


  17. Click OK.


  18. Bookmark this article as a restart of the affected computer is needed now, and additional troubleshooting may be needed.


  19. Save any data, close any open programs and, restart the computer.


  20. When your computer still cannot connect to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab, and proceed with Step 5.


Manufacture is listed as Broadcom or Dell:

  1. In the Search box, type Device Manager.


  2. Touch or click Device Manager (Control Panel).


  3. In the Device Manager window, click the arrow sign next to Network Adapters.


  4. Double-tap or double-click the wireless adapter with the same Description as noted on the Change Wi-Fi Settings page.


  5. Click the Advanced tab.

    NOTE: Depending on the Wireless Adapter installed, not all these options may be available.

  6. In the Property: box, click to select AP Compatibility Mode, select Broader Compatibility under Value: from the drop-down menu.


  7. In the Property: box, click to select Minimum Power Consumption, select Disabled under Value: from the drop-down menu.


  8. Touch or click the Power Management tab.


  9. Ensure the check box to the left of Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power, is cleared.


  10. Click OK.


  11. Bookmark this article as a restart of the affected computer is needed now, and additional troubleshooting may be needed.


  12. Save any data, close any open programs and, restart the computer.


  13. When your computer still cannot connect to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab, and proceed with Step 5.


Manufacture is listed as Qualcomm (Atheros):

Description is listed as Qualcomm or Dell:

  1. In the Search box, type Device Manager.


  2. Touch or click Device Manager (Control Panel).


  3. In the Device Manager window, touch or click the arrow sign next to Network Adapters.


  4. Double-tap or double-click the wireless adapter with the same Description as noted on the Change Wi-Fi Settings page.


  5. Touch or click the Advanced tab.

    NOTE: Depending on the Wireless Adapter installed, not all these options may be available.

  6. In the Property: box, touch, or click to select Roaming Policy, select Very Low under Value: from the drop-down menu.


  7. Touch or click the Power Management tab.


  8. Ensure the check box to the left of Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power, is cleared.


  9. Click OK.


  10. Bookmark this article as a restart of the affected computer is needed now, and additional troubleshooting may be needed.


  11. Save any data, close any open programs and, restart the computer.


  12. When your computer still cannot connect to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab, and proceed with Step 5.


Description is listed as Killer Wireless:

  1. In the Search box, type Device Manager.


  2. Touch or click Device Manager (Control Panel).


  3. In the Device Manager window, touch or click the arrow sign next to Network Adapters.


  4. Double-tap or double-click the wireless adapter with the same Description as noted on the Change Wi-Fi Settings page.


  5. Touch or click the Advanced tab.

    NOTE: Depending on the Wireless Adapter installed, not all these options may be available.

  6. In the Property: box, touch, or click to select Preferred Band:

    Select either:

    • No Preference when you do not know what frequency (band) your router supports, under Value: from the drop-down menu.
    • Prefer 2.4 GHz Band when your router only supports the 2.4Ghz frequency, under Value: from the drop-down menu.
    • Prefer 5 GHz Band when your router does support the 5Ghz frequency, under Value: from the drop-down menu.

  7. In the Property: box, touch, or click Roaming Aggressiveness and select 1. Lowest from the drop-down menu under Value:

    NOTE: This setting is suggested for home-wireless networks. When you are on a business network and move from place to place, the setting should be set to 3. Medium.

  8. In the Property: box, touch, or click to Wireless Mode, select the wireless networking standard that best matches your router.

    NOTE: When you are not sure of what wireless networking standard that your router supports, select the option with the most listings, typically at the bottom on the list.

  9. Touch or click the Power Management tab.


  10. Ensure the check box to the left of Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power, is cleared.


  11. Click OK.


  12. Bookmark this article as a restart of the affected computer is needed now, and additional troubleshooting may be needed.


  13. Save any data, close any open programs and, restart the computer.


  14. When your computer still cannot connect to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab, and proceed with Step 5.


Manufacture is listed as Realtek:

  1. In the Search box, type Device Manager.


  2. Touch or click Device Manager (Control Panel).


  3. In the Device Manager window, click the arrow sign next to Network Adapters.


  4. Double-tap or double-click the wireless adapter with the same Description as noted on the Change Wi-Fi Settings page.


  5. Click the Advanced tab.

    NOTE: Depending on the Wireless Adapter installed, not all these options may be available.

  6. In the Property: box, click to select AP Compatibility Mode, select Broader Compatibility under Value: from the drop-down menu.


  7. In the Property: box, click to select Minimum Power Consumption, select Disabled under Value: from the drop-down menu.


  8. Touch or click the Power Management tab.


  9. Ensure the check box to the left of Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power, is cleared.


  10. Click OK.


  11. Bookmark this article as a restart of the affected computer is needed now, and additional troubleshooting may be needed.


  12. Save any data, close any open programs and, restart the computer.


  13. When your computer still cannot connect to the Internet, see the Resolving Not Able to Get to the Internet tab, and proceed with Step 5.

NOTE: When you have not done so already, perform Steps 1 and 2, otherwise go to Step 3.
  1. Touch or click the network icon 31iC_Windows_10_airplane_mode_BD_v1, either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area.
  2. Touch or click the panel that is labeled Airplane mode. The panel should turn from blue to gray.
    NOTE: When the panel does not turn from blue to gray, it may mean that your computer has a physical wireless switch as well. Press and hold the Fn_Key_BD_v1 key, and then press the key that has the Single_Wireless_Key_BD_v1 symbol on it. When your computer does not have a wireless key Single_Wireless_Key_BD_v1, your computer does not have a physical wireless switch.

  3. Press and hold the Windows key (42iC_Windows_Key_BD_v4), and then press the r key.
  4. In the Run box, type devmgmt.msc, and then press Enter.

    NOTE: The User Account Control window may appear, if so touch or click Yes.

  5. Touch or click the arrow to the left of Human Interface Devices.


  6. Touch and hold or right-click Airplane Mode Switch Collection, and then select Disable.


  7. Touch and hold or right-click Airplane Mode Switch Collection, and then select Enable.


  8. Touch or click the arrow to the left of Network adapters.


  9. Touch and hold or right-click your wireless network adapter (the description should include the word wireless), and then select Properties.


  10. Touch or click the Select Power Management tab, and clear the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.


  11. Touch or click OK to save the changes.


  12. Restart the computer and check if Airplane mode can be turned off.

    NOTES:
    • Turning off Airplane Mode does not automatically turn on Wi-Fi. When the panel labeled Wi-Fi is still gray, touch or click the Wi-Fi panel (the panel should turn from gray to blue, and should look like Figure 1).
    • When Airplane mode still cannot be turned off after restarting the computer, go to Step 13.

      33iC_Windows_10_Wifi_Should_Look_Like_BD_v2

      Figure 1: Wireless Icons Example Settings


  13. Run the Network Troubleshooter.

    1. In the search box type, troubleshoot


    2. Touch or click Troubleshooting (Control panel).


    3. Touch or click Network and Internet.


    4. Touch or click Network Adapter.


    5. Touch or click Next and follow the prompts.


  14. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?


  15. Ensure that the most current wireless drivers are installed. For more information, see How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver section.

    NOTE: When the affected device has no Wireless connectivity, to download a driver or BIOS, you must 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.
    • When neither of these options are available, perform the following steps (this process may remove your wireless profile, when it does, you must re-create the wireless profile that connects the computer to your wireless network. For more information, see the I want to connect my computer or tablet to my existing wireless network section:
      1. Press and hold the Windows key (42iC_Windows_Key_BD_v4), and then press the r key.


      2. In the Run box, type devmgmt.msc, and then press Enter (the User Account window may appear, if so, touch or click YES).


      3. Touch or click the arrow to the left of Network adapters.


      4. Touch and hold or right-click your wireless network adapter (the description should include the word wireless), and then select Uninstall (do not check the box next to Delete the driver software for this device).


      5. Touch or click OK.


      6. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer (during the booting process the driver for the wireless adapter will be automatically installed).

NOTE: When the following steps do not resolve the issue, the Operating System on your computer has some sort of corruption. To explore the options on how to resolve any corruption, and when to use them, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on your Dell computer.

 

 

A Wi-Fi network name (SSID) is the name that your wireless router broadcast (like a radio station) that allows you to identify your wireless router from your neighbors.

The SSID that your wireless router has when you take it out of the box must be changed during the initial setup using the CD that came with the wireless router, it must be between 1 to 32 characters long. It is case-sensitive, which means when you decide on the SSID you have to put it in each computer exactly as it was put in the router.

It should not include your address, name, or anything else that will identify who you are.

 

A Wi-Fi security (network) key is similar to a door key, it protects yourself from unknown people getting on your wireless network.

Below is a list of the three types of wireless security that is offered for home and small business users and their strength in relation to the others.

It is recommended that the wireless network be configured with the highest level of security that the wireless devices have in common.

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

    Low protection

    WEP is one of the original security types. Every home-wireless router supports WEP even the latest models to make it compatible with every wireless network adapter. While WEP is better than no security the network key used to encrypt the wireless data can be broken in as little as a few minutes.

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

    Medium protection

    WPA was developed to close the security holes that WEP has. It uses several mechanisms to prevent the network key from being broken but still uses the same encryption method as WEP.

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

    Highest protection

    WPA2 has been implemented as the highest form of security for home and small businesses. It takes the mechanisms that are used by WPA and uses a more secure encryption method.

 

WPA and WPA2

WPA and WPA2 use letters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9) that are between 8 and 63 characters long. The key can be made up from any upper and lower case letters, numbers, and the special characters (~!@#$%^&*()_+:;'"<>).

It is recommended that all three types of characters be used in the key and that they are used in a random order. This makes it difficult for someone to guess the key.

WEP

WEP comes in two lengths 64 and 128 bit and in two forms ASCII and Hexadecimal. The key that you create will include an additional 24-bit header so the key you create is only 40 or 104 bits long. That is why a 64bit WEP key is also known as 40bit. ASCII is the numbers and letters that we use every day, a - z, A - Z and the numbers 0 - 9. Hexadecimal is also known as machine code, when a computer is running a program that it is being told what to do by Hexadecimal numbers. Hexadecimal uses the numbers 0 - 9 and the letters a - f.

See (Table 1) for the number and type of characters that you must use create a WEP key.

Key Length ASCII Hexadecimal
64 bit 5 case-sensitive characters
(a-z, A-Z, 0-9)
10 characters (0-9, a-f)
128 bit 13 case-sensitive characters
(a-z, A-Z, 0-9)
26 characters (0-9, a-f)
 

Table 1: WEP Key Creation

(There are free WEP and WPA key generators available on the Internet.)

NOTE: Once the security key is created, be sure to write it down and put it in a safe place.

 

The easiest way to find your wireless network name (SSID) is to put the computer and the wireless router 1-3 meters (3-9 ft) away from each other.

Do one of the following tasks:

NOTE: When you have a computer that is connected to the wireless router with a network cable, it is possible to get the wireless network name directly from the wireless router, see the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router tab and follow the instructions.
  • For a laptop:

    1. Move the computer to within 1-3 meters (3-9 ft) of the wireless router.

      NOTE: Ensure that the wireless antenna is on, For more information see Dell Knowledge Base article How to Turn the Wireless on a Dell Notebook On and Off (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Mobile Broadband).

    2. Touch or click the network icon (18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1 or 40I_Win_10_Connected_Wired_Icon_BD_v1), either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

      NOTE: Both are located in the lower right corner of the screen.

      20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

      Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location


    3. Look for a listing that has the most white bars next to it (it may be necessary to scroll up or down to find it) and write it down exactly as you see it.

      NOTE: When there is more than one listing with the same number of white bars or the listing reads as "Hidden network or Other Network," see the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router tab, for instructions to get the wireless network name from the wireless router directly.

 
  • For a desktop computer:

    1. It may be necessary to move the wireless router within 1-3 meters (3-9 ft) of the desktop (you do not need to move or turn off the broadband modem because Internet access is not needed now, but any other computers that are connected to the wireless router cannot access the Internet during this process). Ensure that the wireless router is turned on after moving it.

      NOTE: Ensure that the wireless antenna is on, For more information see Dell Knowledge Base article How to Turn the Wireless on a Dell Notebook On and Off (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Mobile Broadband).

    2. Touch or click the network icon (18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1 or 40I_Win_10_Connected_Wired_Icon_BD_v1), either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

      NOTE: Both are located in the lower right corner of the screen.

      20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

      Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location


    3. Look for a listing that has the most white bars next to it (it may be necessary to scroll up or down to find it) and write it down exactly as you see it.

      NOTE: When there is more than one listing with the same number of white bars or the listing reads as "Hidden network or Other Network," see the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router tab, for instructions to get the wireless network name from the wireless router directly.

    4. After finding your wireless network name, you must move the wireless router back to its original location and reconnect it to the Broadband Modem.

 

NOTE: 2Wire wireless routers that are provided by AT&T have the 10-digit WEP key that is on the bottom of the 2Wire router inside brackets (for example [ xxxxxxxxxx ]).
  • Write down the 10-digit key, exactly as you see it.

For this process to work a network cable has to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

NOTE: For more information about where the LAN port is located for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Click PDF next to Setup Guide and look for the section on Connecting the Network Cable.
  1. Touch and hold or right-click the network icon (18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1 or 40I_Win_10_Connected_Wired_Icon_BD_v1), either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

    NOTE: Both are located in the lower right corner of the screen.

    20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

    Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location  
  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.


  3. Touch or click Ethernet.


  4. Click Details.


  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.


  6. Open an Internet browser.


  7. In the address bar, type https://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).


  8. Log in to the router. For some of the most common router username and passwords, see Table 3.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (see the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default, or your model of wireless router has a unique username or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the username and password, see the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

NOTES: When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. See the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3).

Before you reset the wireless router, note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you must reenter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network can access the Internet until you reenter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After reentering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers can access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (see the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router can access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (see to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3).
Manufacture User Name Password
Linksys 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

leave blank
admin
D-Link 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

admin
leave blank
Netgear 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

admin
password
2Wire 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

None unless one was set up.
None unless one was set up.
Belkin 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

None
leave blank
Apple 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

Use the AirPort utility
 
SMC  5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

Admin
smcadmin
 

Table 3: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

 

For this process to work a network cable has to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

  1. Touch and hold or right-click the network icon (18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1 or 40I_Win_10_Connected_Wired_Icon_BD_v1), either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

    NOTE: Both are located in the lower right corner of the screen.

    20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

    Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location


  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.


  3. Touch or click Ethernet.


  4. Click Details.


  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.


  6. Open an Internet browser.


  7. In the address bar, type https://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).


  8. Log in to the router. For some of the most common router username and passwords, see Table 4.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (see the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default, or your model of wireless router has a unique username or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the username and password, see the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).

NOTES: When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it is necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. See the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4).

Before you reset the wireless router, note:

  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you must reenter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network can access the Internet until you reenter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After reentering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers can access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (see the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router can access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (see to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, (links are provided in Table 4).
Manufacture User Name Password
Linksys 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

leave blank
admin
D-Link 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

admin
leave blank
Netgear 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

admin
password
2Wire 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

None unless one was set up.
None unless one was set up.
Belkin 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

None
leave blank
Apple 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

Use the AirPort utility
 
SMC  5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

 

Admin
smcadmin
 

Table 4: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

 

 

HomeGroup has been removed from Windows 10 (Version 1803). See the Microsoft Knowledge Base article HomeGroup removed from Windows 10 (Version 1803) for more information and alternate means to share files and printers. 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

See the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Changes to file sharing over a network in Windows 10 for more information. 5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

  1. In the Search box, type troubleshoot.


  2. Touch or click Troubleshoot (System settings).


  3. Scroll down the page until you see Share Folders under Find and fix other problems.


  4. Touch or click Share Folders.


  5. Touch or click Run the troubleshooter and follow the prompts.

 

OneDrive is free online storage that comes with your Microsoft account. Save your files there and you can get to them from any personal computer, tablet, or phone.

For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article OneDrive on your PC5iC_External_Link_BD_v1

 

When at a public location (coffee shop, library, airport, hotel so forth) you should set your network location to Public, this helps protect you from intruders. On the other hand in order to be able to browse other computers or printers on your local network, the network location has to be set to Private. Perform the following steps to change the network location.

  1. Ensure you are connected wirelessly before performing the steps.

  2. Touch or click the network icon 18I_Win_10_Available_Connected_Wireless_Icon_BD_v1, either in the taskbar or in the hidden icons area (Figure 1).

    NOTE: Both are located in the lower right corner of the screen.

    20iC_Hidden_Icons_BD_V1

    Figure 1: Hidden Icon Location

  3. Find the wireless network listing that reads as connected.

  4. Touch or click Properties.

  5. Touch or click Public, or Private as wanted.

  6. Close the window.

For the latest drivers, browse to the Dell Drivers & Downloads website.

For more information, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Drivers and Downloads FAQs (see the How do I download and install device driver? section), which provides information about 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 must 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 with figuring out which wireless network adapter is installed in your computer, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Drivers and Downloads FAQs (see the How do I determine the hardware devices installed in my Dell PC? section).
  • After updating your Wireless network adapter driver, it may be necessary to reconnect to your Wireless network. For information about connecting to your wireless network, see the I want to connect my computer or tablet to my existing wireless network section.

130Networking 131WiFi Our Network and Wireless support page provides additional information and resources.

Back to Top

Microsoft Windows 11

For guidance and information about initial set-up, troubleshooting, and general information, see the Windows 11 Support page The articles, videos, and links to important Microsoft support pages ensure that you have all the resources that are needed to guide you through any queries or issues with Windows 11.

Resolution

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, China, and Japan personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Additional Information

You can also see these Dell Knowledge Base articles for more information.

Resolving Not Being Able to Turn Off Airplane Mode

How to Turn the Wireless Devices on a Dell Notebook On and Off

Article Properties


Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Laptops, Wireless Networking, Inspiron 3452, Inspiron 15 7572, Inspiron 7580, Inspiron 3052, Inspiron 20 3064, Inspiron 3264 AIO, Inspiron 3265, Inspiron 3452 AIO, Inspiron 3455, Inspiron 24 3464, Inspiron 24 5488Desktops & All-in-Ones, Laptops, Wireless Networking, Inspiron 3452, Inspiron 15 7572, Inspiron 7580, Inspiron 3052, Inspiron 20 3064, Inspiron 3264 AIO, Inspiron 3265, Inspiron 3452 AIO, Inspiron 3455, Inspiron 24 3464, Inspiron 24 5488, Inspiron 27 7775, Inspiron 3252, Inspiron 3268, Inspiron 3655, Inspiron 3656, Inspiron 3668, Latitude 5290 2-in-1, Latitude 7290, Latitude 3390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390, Latitude 3490, Latitude 5490, Latitude 5491, Latitude 7490, Latitude 3590, Latitude 5590, Latitude 5591, OptiPlex 3050 All-In-One, OptiPlex 3050, OptiPlex 3060, OptiPlex 5050, OptiPlex 5060, OptiPlex 5250 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7050, OptiPlex 7060, OptiPlex 7450 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7460 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7760 All-In-One, Vostro 5370, Vostro 14 3468, Vostro 5471, Vostro 15 3568, Vostro 3578, Vostro 15 5568, Vostro 3470, Vostro 3670, XPS 27 7760, XPS 8920See more

Last Published Date

12 Aug 2022

Version

20

Article Type

Solution