One of the most common problems connecting to Wi-Fi in Windows 10 is the “Unable to connect to this network” message. This notification does not provide information about the causes of the problem. Therefore it is sometimes difficult for the user to figure out what the matter is and how to solve it.
This tutorial details why Windows 10 says it can’t connect to this network and how to fix it.
One of the simplest and most common causes of an error when connecting to a Wi-Fi network.
The easiest way to get the error “Cannot connect to this network” when connecting is to enter the wrong password ( network security key ) from Wi-Fi (sometimes it is reported that an invalid security key was entered, and sometimes the message discussed in the article is displayed) …
Even if you are sure that everything is entered correctly, keep the following points in mind:
- Recheck the keyboard layout when entering the password. Keep in mind that upper and lower case letters must be entered exactly as specified in the password.
- If you have set a Wi-Fi password containing Cyrillic or any special characters, this may be the cause of the problem: try changing the Wi-Fi password on the router to consist only of Latin letters and numbers.
- If someone in the family could change the password to Wi-Fi without your knowledge, please check with him.
And finally, it also happens that a very novice user, clicking on the Wi-Fi icon, sees that there are many networks available and assumes that he can use them to access the Internet. Although this is not so: these are not your networks, and you cannot just connect to them (without knowing the password).
Ways to fix the “Unable to connect to this network” problem
If you are guaranteed to have no problem with your Wi-Fi password (or if it is saved on the system), try the following solutions.
Attention: before starting, check if the problem persists if you restart your laptop and router (turn off the router from the outlet and turn it on after 10-15 seconds). Suppose the problem appears after shutting down (and after sleep or hibernation) and turning on the laptop. In that case, everything works fine after restarting. Try disabling Windows 10 Fast Startup (and restarting after that).
Disable “Random hardware addresses” in the Wi-Fi settings. Remember to block by MAC address.
If the blocking of devices’ connection by their MAC address in the Wi-Fi settings of the router is enabled in the router settings, you may receive the connection error in question. Also, its appearance may be affected by allowing the “Random hardware addresses” option in Windows 10.
To check if this feature is enabled, go to Settings – Network and Internet – Wi-Fi and, if there is a section “Random hardware addresses” (not available in all OS versions), disable this option.
Try to “forget” the Wi-Fi network and reconnect to it.
If the network password is saved (not prompted when connecting), try to “forget” the network and reconnect to it. This method requires you to remember your Wi-Fi password.
To forget the network in the latest Windows 10, just click on its name in the list of connections and select the “Forget” item. Then try reconnecting to the network.
Enabling and re-disabling flight mode, disabling wireless connection.
If your laptop has an airplane mode key, try turning it on airplane mode with it, then turn it off again, and then check the connection. If there is no such key, turn on Airplane Mode in the Windows 10 notification area.
After turning on the mode, please turn it off again and connect to the Wi-Fi network. If that doesn’t work, try the next option:
- Press Win + R keys on your keyboard, type ncpa.cpl, and press Enter.
- Find your wireless connection in the list, right-click on it and select “Disable.”
- After it is disconnected, right-click on it again and select “Connect.”
Then you can try to reconnect to the wireless network.
Wi-Fi adapter drivers
If until recently there were no connection problems, try this option:
- Go to the device manager (you can go through the menu by right-clicking on the “Start” button).
- Go to your Wi-Fi adapter (located in the “Network adapters” section, to go to the properties, you can double-click on the adapter name or use the context menu).
- See if the Roll Back button is active. If so, use it to roll back the driver.
If the problem appeared after installing Windows 10 or a major system update, try downloading the driver for your Wi-Fi adapter from the official website of the laptop manufacturer (NOTE: I understand that the Internet does not work for you, but you can download it to your phone, and then copy to the problem computer) and install it. If the manufacturer’s website contains drivers only for previous versions of the OS, remember: they usually work fine under Windows 10 too.
Disable IPv6 in connection properties
According to some reviews, this method also sometimes works:
- Open the list of connections ( Win + R – ncpa.cpl ), right-click on the wireless connection (usually “Wireless”) and select “Properties”.
- Uncheck IP version 6 (TCP / IPv6) and apply the settings.
Enable or Disable FIPS
Try enabling or disabling FIPS-compliant encryption algorithms, for this in Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise:
- Press Win + R keys, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter.
- Navigate to Computer Configuration – Windows Configuration – Security Settings – Local Policies – Security Settings.
- Locate System Cryptography: Use FIPS Compliant Algorithms for Encryption, Hashing, and Signing and double-click it.
- Set it to Enabled if disabled or vice versa.
After that, save the settings, close the local group policy editor and restart your laptop or PC.
For Windows 10 Home, start Registry Editor ( Win + R – regedit ) and go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Lsa \ FipsAlgorithmPolicy \
On the right side of the registry window, note the value of the Enabled parameter.
If it is 0, change it to 1 (after double-clicking on the parameter) and vice versa. Then close the registry editor and reboot the system.
Other solutions to the problem
Among other reasons and methods for solving the “Unable to connect to this network” problem in Windows 10, the following can be distinguished:
- Be aware that poor Wi-Fi reception can also cause this error. Check if it persists when the connected laptop is in close proximity to the router. Sometimes choosing a free Wi-Fi channel can help.
- Suppose the problem is relevant for all devices connecting to this Wi-Fi network. In that case, something may have been changed in the parameters of the router, perhaps even by someone else (the Wi-Fi password has been changed, blocking by MAC address is enabled). The solution is to re-configure the router, preferably with a preliminary reset to factory settings (if this is not difficult for you).
- If you have installed third-party antiviruses or firewalls, try disabling them, or it is better to try to remove them from your computer altogether and restart it.
- If you have disabled any Windows 10 services for optimization purposes, this may cause the problem: try re-enabling them.
- Try using Windows 10’s built-in network troubleshooter. Even if it does not fix the error, it may report some problems, for which a solution can be found on the Internet.
- Try resetting your network settings using Windows 10.
- In theory, viruses on your laptop or computer could be causing the problem. If you suspect this, try performing the appropriate check. I also recommend using AdwCleaner.
Among other tips, you can often find the recommendation to run the command line as administrator, then use the following commands in order:
netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset
ipconfig / release
ipconfig / renew
ipconfig / flushdns
With the subsequent reboot. It might help, but overkill in my opinion: Windows 10’s built-in network reset does all of the above.