Modern computing is dominated by the internet. Everyone goes online these days, so having regular and stable internet access is important. Errors or bugs in Windows that stop the system from using the web are very annoying.

One issue that often pops up on Windows 10 and 11 is the “Can’t connect to this network” error on WiFi. When the system attempts a connection to the available wireless network, a problem occurs and a connection doesn’t happen.

Depending on what you’re doing on your desktop or laptop, being unable to connect to the network can have severe consequences. However, there’s no need for panic. This article will talk about the fixes you can try to restore wireless connection.

Can’t Connect to this Network

Can’t connect to this network is one of the connection problems you can face on Windows 10 and 11. If you get this error, you’re just informed that you can’t connect to the network. You are not told why that is or what you can do about it.

This is why many users get frustrated in this situation. But not to worry; we will highlight some of the reasons for Windows not connecting to the wireless network.

  • Improper connection. If your PC wasn’t correctly connected to the network, you can face this issue during a subsequent connection attempt.
  • Driver issues. Your computer’s network adapter uses a network driver to maintain communications with the wireless router or hot-spot. If the driver is missing, corrupt, out of date or disabled, the system may be unable to connect to the internet.
  • Network settings. Any number of misconfigured network settings can trigger this issue. For example, your VPN, DNS or proxy settings may be incorrect.

Now that you’re aware of the possible causes of the problem, you’re one step closer to finding a solution. Let’s move on to what to do when Windows 10 can’t connect to a network.

How to Fix the Can’t Connect to this Network Error on Windows

Perhaps you recently upgraded Windows and are looking for how to fix the Can’t connect to this network error in Windows 11. You’ve come to the right place. We present seven of the best ways to get around the issue and restore network connection.

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Forget the network
  3. Switch Airplane Mode on & off
  4. Try the network troubleshooter
  5. Uninstall or update the network adapter driver
  6. Run network refresh with Command Prompt
  7. Select automatic IP and DNS settings
  8. Disable IPv4/IPv6

Now we expand on each solution at length. You can work your way down the list until you try one that works for you.

1. Restart your computer

Sometimes with Windows issues, the simplest solution actually works. In this case, that would be to simply reboot the computer and hope that fixes the issue. It could be that all the system needs is a little memory rejig to get up and running again.

In any case, there’s nothing to lose and lots of time and effort to gain if it works. So go on, reboot the machine and try to connect to the WiFi.

If you’re still unable to do so, then move to the next fix.

2. Forget the network

If rebooting the system doesn’t work, rebooting the WiFi network might. One way to eliminate the “Can’t connect to this network” error on Windows is to forget the network having problems and then reconnect.

Sometimes, the saved network’s data becomes corrupted and this needs to be cleared first before it can work again. Forgetting the network does this so you can make a fresh connection.

On Windows 11:

  1. Right-click the network icon on the taskbar and select Network & Internet Settings.
  2. Select WiFi on the main page on the right.
  3. Select Manage Known Networks.
  4. Find the problematic connection on the next page and click the Forget button.

Find the problematic connection on the next page and click the Forget button

Now connect back to the network by scanning for it and entering its password if required.

On Windows 10:

  1. Right-click the network icon on the taskbar and select “Open Network & Internet Settings”.
  2. Select WiFi under Network & Internet on the left navigation pane.
  3. On the WiFi screen, click the “Manage known networks” link.
  4. On the next screen, you will see all the WiFi networks ever used on the computer. Click the problematic one and select Forget. This will remove the network from your computer.

Now connect back to the network by scanning for it and entering its password if required.

3. Switch Airplane Mode on & off

You can also reset the WiFi network via the airplane mode toggle. When you enable airplane mode, all wireless and mobile comms are disabled. Once you disable it again, there’s a chance the problematic wireless connection will start working.

Most laptop and desktop keyboards have a dedicated key to toggle airplane mode on and off. Press that key, wait for a minute, and then press it again to turn off airplane mode.

You can also use Windows to toggle the mode on and off. Simply click the network icon on the taskbar and select airplane mode from the expanded menu. Click it again to turn it off and re-enable wireless connection.

Toggle airplane mode on and off

If that still doesn’t solve the issue for you, try another fix.

4. Try the network troubleshooter

There’s a chance that an underlying problem is preventing your system from connecting to the WiFi network. It can be hard to isolate the specific cause and so the network troubleshooter can come in handy. This is an inbuilt tool for finding and solving connection issues. Here’s how to use it:

On Windows 11:

  1. Use Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to System > Troubleshoot.
  3. On the Troubleshoot screen, select Other Troubleshooters to view the expanded troubleshoot list.
  4. Scroll down to Network Adapter and click Run.

Scroll down to Network Adapter and click Run

On Windows 10:

  1. Use Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  3. On the Troubleshoot screen, click Network Adapter and then click the Run the Troubleshooter button.

The tool will scan for possible issues and implement the needed fix.

5. Uninstall or update the network adapter driver

If Windows can no longer communicate with the network adapter, then you’re going to have connection issues. The installed network driver is responsible for maintaining communication between the operating system and the installed network card. If the driver requires an update, is faulty or missing, it can cause issues like “Can’t connect to this network”.

Because the driver is necessary for the network to work on your computer, the system will always have a network driver. This means that if you uninstall the faulty driver, Windows will reinstall the proper driver once you reboot the machine.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Use Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Network Adapters and expand the item.
  3. Right-click your network device and select Uninstall Device.
  4. An Uninstall Device prompt will show up. Tick the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox and click on Uninstall.

Restart the computer and the system will automatically find and install the proper drivers.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to update the driver instead. Here’s how to do that with Device Manager:

  1. Use Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Network Adapters and expand the item.
  3. Right-click your network device and select Update Driver.
  4. On the new window, select “Search automatically for drivers”.

Windows will search the web for the latest official driver and install it automatically.

The downside of this approach is the unpredictability of success. Sometimes, Windows is unable to find the newest drivers even when they’re available. To save time and effort and guarantee that the latest drivers will be installed, we recommend Auslogics Driver Updater or a similar tool.

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With the Driver Updater software, you can easily find out which system hardware and software drivers need a refresh. You are also able to update all obsolete drivers in one go instead of one-by-one with Device Manager.

Once you’ve installed the updates, reboot your computer and check whether you’re now able to connect to the WiFi network.

6. Run network refresh with Command Prompt

Perhaps the network settings are corrupted and this is the cause of the “Can’t connect to this network” error on Windows. You can try a systemwide network reset via Command Prompt and see if it works.

The commands you’re about to run will clear the machine of IP issues, flush the DNS and clear the network cache.

  1. Hit the Windows Logo key and type “cmd” without the quotes.
  2. When Command Prompt appears, click “Run as administrator”.
  3. Type the first command below into the CMD window and press Enter. Once the command finishes executing, type the next one and press Enter and so on:

netsh winsock reset

netsh int ip reset

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

ipconfig /flushdns

Perform a reboot and the issue should be solved.

7. Reset the Network with Settings

You can use the Settings app in Windows 10 and 11 to restore the network to factory settings. After performing this action you’ll lose all your prior settings and network configurations. Even though you will have to re-add the WiFi network, the stress is worth it if it solves the “Can’t connect to this network” error.

  1. Open the Settings app on Windows 10 and select Network and Internet. Next, select Status at the top of the left sidebar. Thereafter, scroll down the right page and click Network Reset. Hit the Reset Now button to bring network settings back to factory state.
  2. Open the Settings app on Windows 11 and select Network & Internet. Next, select Advanced Network Settings and then select Network Reset. Hit the Reset Now button to restore network defaults.

Hit the Reset Now button to restore network defaults.

This should fix the issue. If not, try the solution below.

8. Disable IPv6

You can try disabling IPv6 to troubleshoot “Can’t connect to this network” on Windows. Unlike the IPv4 protocol which is integral, IPv6 is an additional protocol and your system will run just fine with or without it. Turning IPv6 off might help resolve the connection issue.

  1. Hit the Windows Logo key and type “cpl” without the quotes. Select Control Panel.
  2. Set the view mode in Control Panel to Category.
  3. Select Network & Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click “Change adapter settings” on the left.
  5. Locate the problematic WiFi connection, right-click it and select Properties.
  6. Locate Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) in the WiFi Properties window and untick it.

6. Locate Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) in the WiFi Properties window and untick it.

  1. Click OK to save and restart your computer.

This should fix the issue.

Being unable to connect to the wireless network can be paralysing. Most of us use our computers to get work done, access emails, attend virtual conferences etc. The “Can’t connect to this network” error on Windows 10 and 11 can throw a spanner in the works.

With the help of this article you should be able to restore internet connection via WiFi and get back online.