Why isn’t my phone detecting WiFi while other devices can?

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Ever reached for your phone to hop onto WiFi, only to find it’s not finding any networks? Meanwhile, your friend’s phone or laptop has no trouble at all. It’s annoying and confusing, right? Our smartphones are like mini super-computers in our pockets – great for staying in touch, having fun, and getting things done. But sometimes, they get a bit quirky and don’t work as expected.

In this guide, we’ll uncover why this happens and show you how to fix it. Whether it’s a sneaky setting you missed, a glitch in the system, or something needing a bit more digging, we’re here to help.

Why isn't my phone detecting WiFi while other devices can

Common reasons your phone won’t detect WiFi and their fixes

Some issues are quick fixes, while others might need a bit more work. Let’s start with the basics.

1. Software glitches

Sometimes, our phones just hiccup. It happens.

Solution: Try restarting your phone. Press and hold the power button and choose “Restart” or “Power Off and On”. This can give your phone the nudge it needs to get back to normal.

Restart Android Phone

2. Airplane mode is enabled

Ever accidentally turned on Airplane mode? It cuts off all your wireless connections.

Solution: Check in “Settings” under “Network & Internet” (might vary by phone) to make sure Airplane mode is off.

Android phone Airplane Mode

3. WiFi is turned off

Make sure your WiFi is actually on.

Solution: Pull down the quick settings from the top of your screen and check the WiFi icon. Or, head to “Settings” and then “Network & Internet” to see if it’s on.

Android phone can't detect any WiFi network

4. Outdated software

Old software can get glitchy or not play nice with new WiFi tech.

Solution: Look for updates in “Settings”, then “System”, and hit “Software Updates”. Download any available updates.

Check for OS updates on Android phone

5. Physical obstructions or interference

Your phone might be in a spot with bad reception or interference.

Solution: Move closer to your WiFi router or clear the way of obstacles. Keep other gadgets like cordless phones or microwaves away, as they can mess with your signal.

Phone won't detect WiFi Network

Linked issue: “Can’t connect to this network” WiFi or Hotspot Issue

Advanced troubleshooting for persistent phone WiFi detection issues

If the easy fixes didn’t work, let’s dig a bit deeper for the trickier issues.

6. WiFi network limitations

Some routers or networks can only handle so many devices at once.

My phone cannot detect WiFi but other devices can

Solution: Check your router settings or manual for a device limit. If you’ve hit the max, try disconnecting a few devices to make room for your phone.

Useful tip: How to Share Files Between Android and PC Wirelessly

7. Incorrect date and time

Wrong date and time can mess with WiFi, especially if it needs a login.

Solution: Adjust the date and time in “Settings” under “System” or “General”. Turning on automatic updates for this can help too.

Set Android phone date and time

8. Saved network issues

Sometimes saved network info gets outdated or corrupted.

Solution: In “Settings” > “Network & Internet” > “WiFi”, find the problematic network and forget or remove it. Then, reconnect with the right details.

Forget a WiFi network on Android Phone

9. Faulty hardware

It’s rare, but the WiFi part of your phone might be broken.

Solution: If your phone had a rough time (like a drop), it might be worth getting it checked by a pro or at a service center.

10. Router compatibility

Old phones might not like new router signals, and new phones might not like old ones.

Solution: Check what WiFi signals your phone can use. Peek into your router settings to match the frequency. If it’s a dual-band router, try flipping between 2.4GHz and 5GHz to see what works.

Switching between 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels

Some final thoughts

Connecting to WiFi should be easy, but sometimes tech has its moments. Knowing what might go wrong helps you fix it fast and stay online. If you’ve tried everything and still have issues, it might be time for some expert help or to think about a phone issue. But don’t worry, you’ve got this!

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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