How to Fix the “Windows Can’t Connect to This Network” Error in Windows 11
A common network issue that Windows 11 users face, is the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error. This error is relatively simple to fix, provided you know what is causing the error. But, if you don’t, try the fixes listed below and see which one works for you.
Most of the fixes are simple to perform, and you shouldn’t have any problem following along.
1. Manage the Network Drivers on Windows 11
In many cases, connection issues such as the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error can be resolved by updating your PC’s network drivers. However, if you recently updated the drivers and the error appeared soon afterward, you should roll back the drivers to the previous version until the new ones are fixed. You can also try reinstalling the drivers to see if that fixes the problem.
All these actions can be performed using the Device Manager, so let’s dive in and try some fixes.
1. Update Network Drivers
To update your network drivers, perform the following:
- Open the Run application using the Win + R shortcut.
- In the text box, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open the Device Manager.
- In the Device Manager window, expand the Network adaptors section.
- Right-click on the wireless adaptor for your device, and click on Update driver.
- On the next window, choose Search automatically for drivers.
- Windows will download and install the latest drivers for your device.
2. Roll Back the Network Drivers
If the issue started after you installed a new network driver, here’s how to go back to the drivers you had before:
- Open Device Manager by either using Windows search or running the devmgmt.msc command in the Run application (Windows Key + R).
- Expand the Network adaptors section.
- Right-click on the network driver and select Properties.
- In the Properties window, go to the Driver tab.
- Click on the Roll back driver option. The option will be grayed out if the driver wasn’t recently updated.
- Windows will install the previous version of the network driver.
- Reboot your computer.
3. Uninstall the Network Drivers
If you want to do a fresh install, first download your network drivers from your manufacturer’s website. It’s a good idea to do this first before you uninstall your current network drivers; once they’re gone, you won’t be able to connect to the internet through that network adaptor until you reinstall its drivers again.
Once you have your new drivers ready, it’s time to scrub away the old one:
- Open Device Manager.
- Again, expand the Network adaptors section.
- Right-click the network driver.
- Click on Uninstall device.
- Check the Attempt to remove the driver for this device option.
- Click on Uninstall.
- When you reboot your PC, Windows will automatically reinstall the driver.
2. Disable IPv6
IPv6 is really not needed for most connections unless explicitly specified by your router or ISP. So, you should disable it and try connecting to the wireless network again.
Here is how you can disable IPv6 on your computer:
- Locate the network icon on the System Tray.
- Right-click on the icon and choose Network and Internet settings.
- Click on Advanced network settings.
- Under Related settings, choose More network adaptor options.
- Right-click on the wireless network, then choose Properties. Ensure you have admin privileges.
- Uncheck the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) option.
- Click OK.
- Reconnect to the wireless network again.
3. Disable and Enable the Wireless Network Adaptor
Sometimes, an easy reset of the wireless network adaptor can fix connection issues on Windows. You can do this using the Advanced network options in Windows 11:
- Right-click on the Network icon located in the System Tray.
- Click on Network and Internet settings.
- Click on Advanced network settings.
- On the next window, choose More network adaptor options.
- Now, right-click the wireless adaptor and click on Disable.
- Wait for a moment, then right-click the wireless adaptor and choose Enable.
- Reboot your PC and try reconnecting to the network.
4. Release the IP and Flush the DNS Cashe in Command Prompt
The “Windows can’t connect to this network” error can be due to an IP error. To fix this, you’ll need to release the IP and flush the DNS cache.
This may sound complex, but all you need to do is run a few commands in the Windows Command Prompt, and Windows will handle the rest. Here’s how to do that:
- Type cmd in Windows Search.
- Right-click on Command Prompt > Run as administrator.
- In the Command Prompt console, type the following commands and press Enter after each one:
- netsh winsock reset
- netsh int ip reset
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
- ipconfig /flushdns
- Close Command Prompt and reboot your computer to see if the error is still there.
In addition to the ones listed above, there are a plethora of other CMD commands to manage wireless networks in Windows.
5. Reset Windows’ Network Configuration
One of the most common culprits of the “Windows cannot connect to this network” error is an improper network configuration. An easy way to fix this is to simply reset your PC’s network settings to the factory default.
Fortunately, Windows allows you to reset all its network settings with a single option:
- Right-click on the Start button and click on Settings.
- Click on the Network & internet option on the navigation bar towards the left.
- In the next window, choose Advanced network settings.
- Under More settings, click on Network reset.
- Click on Reset now.
- Your PC will reboot.
6. Use the Network Troubleshooter
Windows 11 has an in-built troubleshooter to detect and fix network issues. It may be worth a try to see if the utility can detect and fix the issue causing the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error.
To run the Windows Network Troubleshooter, follow these steps:
- In Windows Search, type network troubleshooter.
- From the search results, click on the Find and fix network problems option.
- Click on Next in the troubleshooter.
- Windows will detect and attempt to fix connection issues on your PC
7. Forget and Reconnect the Wi-Fi Network
Forgetting the Wi-Fi network and reconnecting to it can also help fix the network problem in Windows 11. Here is how you can do this:
- Click on the Network icon in the System Tray on the Taskbar.
- Click on the arrow next to the Wi-Fi symbol.
- Right-click on the wireless network.
- Click on Forget.
- Now, reconnect to the Wi-Fi. You will have to re-enter the password.
7. Restart or Reset the Router
Sometimes your router gets a little stuck and requires a reboot to sort itself out again. As such, giving your router a quick reset is a good way to quickly and easily fix issues such as an unstable Wi-Fi connection.
The method for resetting a router will vary depending on what model router you own. However, there is usually a physical power button on the router itself that you can use to turn it off and on again. If not, you can also access the router’s configuration page and reboot it from there.
Failing that, you can try restoring the router to factory defaults, either via a button on the router or on its configuration page. However, you’ll have to reconfigure the router after resetting it.
The “Windows Can’t Connect to This Network” Error, Now Fixed
Most likely, one of these fixes will resolve the “Windows can’t connect to this network” error on your computer. And given how many Windows network issues can crop up, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of resolving them so you’re not stuck without the internet in the future.
The Complete Windows Network Troubleshooting Guide
About The Author
(146 Articles Published)
Manuviraj is a Features Writer at MakeUseOf and has been writing about video games and technology for over two years. He is an avid gamer who also spends his free time burning through his favourite music albums and reading.
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May 13, 2022 at 10:21AM