The internet has become an essential part of everyday life that the United Nations declared it as a human right. It’s such a hassle when you’re browsing, and suddenly the music or the video stops playing, or maybe the webpage has stopped loading halfway. Having the computer disconnect from the WiFi is a stressful experience, especially if you have no idea what’s happening.
If you’re curious about why your connection suddenly cuts, it’s time to take a deep dive and learn more about the possible problems. After investigating, here are a few things I’ve found.
What causes a computer to disconnect from the WiFi?
WiFi allows a device to connect to a network within a given range. Your connection status and signal strength can be checked by clicking the Wi-Fi icon, both for Windows and Mac computers. It’s usually denoted by a small radar icon or a conical spread of curved lines.
The problems that cause your computer to disconnect from the WiFi can be classified into hardware and software. Hardware issues refer to problems with the WiFi dongle or adapter, the router, or your computer’s network interface card (NIC). On the other hand, software issues refer to your network driver.
More importantly, I use a Windows 10 PC, and a quick search reveals that these are among the common issues that cause the computer to disconnect from the WiFi.
- Power management. If you’re using a laptop, check out the power settings. Windows 10 automatically disables hardware depending on your power usage. This feature covers your WiFi adapter, leaving you frequently disconnected.
- WiFi Sense. Computers running Windows 10 come with a feature known as WiFi Sense that makes it easier to connect to WiFi networks. However, there are instances where the device actively looks for a better network even though you’re already online, causing you to disconnect in an attempt to connect to other networks.
- Outdated, corrupted, damaged drivers. Your WiFi driver makes sure that your computer knows how your hardware will communicate with the network. If it’s due for an upgrade, it won’t work as it should. The same problem can happen if you accidentally delete files and start having issues with your WiFi.
- Problems with the WiFi adapter. If you use a WiFi dongle or adapter, problems with this small stick could also cause problems.
Troubleshooting your WiFi problem
There might be minor differences regarding button locations or drivers depending on the make or model of your device. Still, if you’re using a laptop or a desktop, then you can try the following steps I did:
- Restart your computer. If it doesn’t work, restart the router. You can also perform a factory reset on the router.
- If the router is the problem, often indicated by a red LED on the Line of Service (LOS) indicator instead of the standard green light, call your internet service provider (ISP).
- Check if you still have WiFi Sense enabled. This is automatically removed in newer versions of Windows 10.
- If you’re using a WiFi adapter, make sure that the device is detected by your computer and is working correctly.
- Update your WiFi driver. Make sure to download the latest version from the official manufacturer’s website. Unofficial third-party downloads could give you outdated drivers or, worse, malware.
If it still doesn’t work, you might need to call a professional computer technician to help you with your problem. To save time and money on repairs, make sure to list all the diagnostic and repair efforts you’ve done.
Since disconnecting WiFi is annoying, it helps to know a few troubleshooting steps you can do on your own. It’s safe and could save you the trouble of calling a professional technician. Still, do your research to find practical issues and fixes for your specific computer unit.