That’s why encountering the “Can’t connect to this network” error on Windows 10 or 11 can be more than just a nuisance—it can disrupt your day and halt your productivity.

But there’s no need to stress. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a series of troubleshooting steps designed to get you back online quickly. Let’s dive into the solutions to reconnect you to the world.

What Is the “Can’t Connect to This Network” Error on Windows?

“Windows 10 can’t connect to this network” or “Windows 11 can’t connect to this network” is one of the connection problems you can face on Windows.

This common hiccup occurs when your system tries, but fails, to join an available Wi-Fi network, leaving you stranded without an internet connection.

The frustration is real, whether it impacts your work deadlines, streaming quality, or simply your ability to stay connected.

If you get this error, you’re just getting informed that you can’t connect to the network. You are not told why or what you can do about it.

This is why many users get frustrated in this situation. But don’t worry; we will highlight some of the reasons why Windows can’t connect to this network.

Why Won’t My Computer Connect to the Internet: The “Can’t Connect to This Network” Error

So, why does your PC say that it can’t connect to this network? There could be several reasons for the error.

  • 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 hotspot. If the driver is missing, corrupt, out of date, or disabled, the system may be unable to connect to the Internet.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 10/11?

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 the most effective ways to resolve the issue and restore the network connection.

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

Fix 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, if it works, you’ll have nothing to lose and lots of time and effort to gain. So reboot the machine and try to connect to the Wi-Fi.

If you cannot do so, move on to the next fix.


Also Read: Keyboard Magic: How to Shut Down, Restart, or Put Windows PC to Sleep with a Keyboard


Fix 2: Forget the network

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

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

On Windows 10:

  • Right-click the network icon on the taskbar and select Open Network & Internet settings.
  • Select Wi-Fi under Network & Internet on the left navigation pane.
  • On the Wi-Fi screen, click the Manage known networks link.
Manage known networks
  • On the next screen, you will see all the Wi-Fi networks ever used on the computer. Click the problematic one and select Forget. This will remove the network from your computer.

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

On Windows 11:

  • Right-click the network icon on the taskbar and select Network & Internet settings.
  • Select Wi-Fi on the main page on the right.
  • Select Manage known networks.
  • Find the problematic connection on the next page and click the Forget button.

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

Fix 3: Switch the airplane mode on & off

You can also reset the Wi-Fi 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 the wireless connection.

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

Fix 4: Try the network troubleshooter

There’s a chance that an underlying problem is preventing your system from connecting to the Wi-Fi 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 10:

  • Use Windows key +X to open Settings.
  • Navigate to Update & security > Troubleshoot.
Windows 10 Update and Security
  • 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.

On Windows 11:

  • Use Windows key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to System > Troubleshoot.
System Troubleshoot
  • On the Troubleshoot screen, select Other troubleshooters to view the expanded troubleshoot list.
Select Other Troubleshooters on the System > Troubleshoot page.
  • Scroll down to Network adapter and click Run.

Also Read: Windows Update Troubleshooter: Easily Fixing Windows Update Issues


Fix 5: Uninstall or update the network adapter driver

If Windows can no longer communicate with the network adapter, you will have connection issues. The installed network driver communicates between the operating system and the installed network card.

If the driver requires an update, is faulty, or is missing, it can cause issues like “PC can’t connect to this network.”

The system will always have a network driver because the driver is necessary for the network to work on your computer. 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:

  • Use Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Device Manager.
Windows-Start-Menu-Device-Manager_1
  • Navigate to Network adapters and expand the item.
  • Right-click your network device and select Uninstall device.
  • 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 automatically finds and installs the proper drivers.

You may need to update the driver if this doesn’t work. Here’s how to do that with Device Manager:

  • Use Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Device Manager.
  • Navigate to Network adapters and expand the item.
  • Right-click your network device and select Update driver.
  • On the new window, select “Search automatically for drivers.”.
Search-automatically-for-drivers-on-Windows-10

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 cannot find the newest drivers even when they’re available.

PRO TIP
To save time and effort and guarantee that the latest drivers will be installed, we recommend Auslogics Driver Updater or a similar tool.

With Auslogics Driver Updater, you can easily discover 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 can connect to the Wi-Fi network.


Also read: [EASY GUIDE] How to Update Device Drivers on a Windows 10 PC?


Fix 6: Refresh the network 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.

  • Hit the Windows logo key and type “cmd” without the quotes.
  • When the Command Prompt appears, click Run as administrator.
Run Command Prompt as Admin
  • 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.

Also read: CMD Navigation: How to Change Directory in CMD (Command Prompt)


Fix 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 must re-add the Wi-Fi network, the stress is worth it if it solves the “Can’t connect to this network” error.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Fix 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.

  • Hit the Windows logo key and type “cpl” without the quotes. Select Control Panel.
  • Set the view mode in Control Panel to Category.
  • Select Network & Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
Network and Sharing Center Windows PC
  • Click “Change adapter settings” on the left.
Network and sharing center change adapter settings
  • Locate the problematic Wi-Fi connection, right-click it, and select Properties.
  • Locate Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) in the Wi-Fi Properties window and untick it.
  • Click OK to save and restart your computer.

This should fix the issue.

Fix 9: Check if you network adapter and Windows are using the same security type

Wi-Fi networks are secured with specific security protocols, so it’s crucial to ensure that the security type set in your system matches the security protocol provided by your network provider.

  • Go to the Network and Sharing Center using tips from the previous solution.
  • Click “Change adapter settings” on the left.
Network and sharing center change adapter settings
  • Once there, click the link next to Connection.
  • Select Wireless Properties.
  • Go to Security and check the security type.
  • Click OK to confirm.

Fix 10: Disable and enable NIC

If the error still persists, try disabling or enabling NIC. Try the steps below to finally solve the “computer can’t connect to network” error. 

  • Open Run (use the Win + R key combo).
  • Type in ncpa.cpl and click on OK.
Run ncpa.pl
  • In the new window, right-click the network you are having issues with and click Disable.
  • Next, enable it again and restart your PC.

Can’t Connect to This Network Error on Windows 10/11: Fixed

Running into the “Can’t connect to this network” error on Windows 10 or 11 can be a hassle. Hopefully, this guide has helped fix the issue.

We’ve walked you through various troubleshooting steps, from simple fixes like restarting your computer and forgetting the network to more technically advanced solutions such as updating network adapter drivers and resetting network settings with Command Prompt.

With these fixes in your arsenal, you stand a pretty good chance of resolving the “Can’t connect to this network” error and getting your PC back online.

FAQ

There are several reasons you might encounter this error, including:

  • Outdated or corrupted network drivers: Drivers that are out of date or corrupted can cause connectivity issues.
  • Incorrect network settings: Sometimes, the network settings on your device might be improperly configured.
  • Hardware issues: Problems with your network adapter or router/modem can lead to connection failures.
  • Interference from antivirus or firewall: Security software might mistakenly block your connection to the network.
If your laptop is struggling to connect to a wireless network, consider the following potential causes:
  • Weak signal strength: If you’re too far from the router, the signal might be too weak to establish a connection.
  • Incorrect password: Ensure you’re entering the correct password for the wireless network.
  • Wireless interference: Other devices, like cordless phones or microwave ovens, can interfere with your wireless signal.
  • Network overload: Too many devices connected to the same network can cause connectivity issues.
  • Disabled wireless adapter: The wireless adapter on your laptop might be disabled or turned off.
  • Updating your network drivers can often resolve connectivity issues. Here’s how to do it.