It’s a typical day, and you’re ready to get some work done or watch your favorite online show, but your computer flashes the dreaded “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error. Panic sets in. What now? This guide aims to help you understand and fix this error, turning that moment of panic into a sigh of relief.

Understand the Error

Before attempting to fix the “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error, it is imperative to grasp the nature of this error and the reasons it may manifest. This understanding can guide the troubleshooting process and help in selecting the most appropriate solution.

Types of Network Errors

  1. Connection Time-Out: Occurs when the connection request takes too long to respond, possibly due to distance from the router or network congestion.
  2. IP Conflict: Happens when multiple devices are assigned the same IP address.
  3. DNS Issues: Issues with DNS servers can impede the conversion of URLs into IP addresses, thus obstructing connectivity.
  4. Network Driver Errors: Outdated or incompatible network drivers can lead to connection issues.

Common Causes

  1. Outdated Network Drivers: Old drivers might not be compatible with newer network protocols.
  2. Incorrect Network Settings: Incorrect configuration of IP settings or network properties can lead to this error.
  3. Faulty Hardware: Damaged cables or malfunctioning network devices can prevent a successful connection.
  4. Interference from Security Software: Some antivirus or firewall software may mistakenly block the network.

By identifying the root of the problem, you can apply the most relevant solutions, whether basic, advanced, or manual, to restore your connection effectively.

Basic Troubleshooting

Understanding and addressing the “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error begins with basic troubleshooting. These are straightforward actions that you can take to potentially resolve the issue without diving into more technical territory.

1: Restarting the Router

  1. Unplug the Router: Disconnect the router’s power cable from the outlet or the back of the device.
  2. Wait for 30 Seconds: Allow the router to remain off for at least 30 seconds. This helps to clear any cached data that may be causing the issue.
  3. Plug It Back In: Reestablish the power connection either to the electrical outlet or the router.
  4. Wait for Reconnection: Permit the router to undergo a full restart. This process may require a minute or two to complete. You should see the usual lights appear on the router.
  5. Check Your Connection: Try reconnecting to the network from your Windows computer.

2: Checking Connections

  1. Inspect Ethernet Cables: If using a wired connection, make sure the Ethernet cable connecting your computer to the modem or router is securely plugged in at both ends.
  2. Examine Wi-Fi Signal: For wireless connections, ensure that Wi-Fi is enabled on your computer, and you are within range of the router.
  3. Restart Network Adapter:
    • Right-Click the Network Icon: You’ll find this in the system tray.
  • Choose ‘Troubleshoot problems’: Follow the prompts that Windows provides.
  • Allow the Troubleshooter to Run: This may automatically fix any connection issues.
  1. Reconnect to the Network: If you experienced a disconnection, attempt to reconnect by choosing the network from the list of available networks and, if necessary, inputting the password.

These basic troubleshooting steps are often effective in resolving common connectivity issues. If the problem persists after following these instructions, you may need to explore more advanced solutions or seek professional assistance.

Advanced Solutions

If basic troubleshooting didn’t solve the “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error, it’s time to try some advanced solutions. These steps require a bit more technical knowledge but can often address more complex underlying issues.

1: Network Troubleshooter

  1. Open Settings: Press Windows Key + I together, then click on ‘Update & Security.’
  1. Select Troubleshoot: On the left side, click ‘Troubleshoot, and Additional troubleshooters on the window. 
  1. Run the Network Troubleshooter: Click on ‘Internet Connections’ and then ‘Run the troubleshooter.’ Follow the on-screen instructions.

2: Updating Network Drivers

  1. Open Device Manager: Right-click the Start button, select ‘Device Manager.’
  1. Find Network Adapters: Expand the ‘Network adapters’ section.
  1. Right-Click Your Network Adapter: Choose ‘Update driver.’
  1. Search Automatically: Select ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ and follow the prompts.

3: Modifying Network Properties

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center: Right-click the network icon in the system tray, select ‘Open Network & Sharing Center.’
  1. Click on Your Connection: Under ‘View your active networks,’ click your current connection.
  1. Select Properties: In the window that appears, click ‘Properties.’
  1. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4): Highlight this option, then click ‘Properties.’
  1. Choose ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’: If these are not selected, choose them and click ‘OK.’

These advanced solutions can be effective in resolving the “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error. If you continue to experience problems, consult with a professional or refer to specific resources related to your network hardware or operating system.

Manual Fixes

If both basic troubleshooting and advanced solutions fail to solve the “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error, manual fixes might be necessary. These solutions may require a more in-depth understanding of network configurations and computer settings.

1: Reset TCP/IP Stack

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator: Press Windows Key + X and select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’ or ‘Windows PowerShell (Admin).’
  1. Type the Command: Enter netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
  1. Restart Your Computer: A reboot is required to complete the reset.

2: Configure Correct IP Settings

  1. Access Network Connections: Press Windows Key + R, type ncpa.cpl, and press Enter.
  1. Right-Click Your Connection: Choose ‘Properties.’
  2. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4): Click ‘Properties.’
  1. Enter the Correct IP Details: If you know the specific IP settings for your network, enter them here. If not, ensure ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ are selected.
  1. Click ‘OK’: Apply the settings.

These manual fixes can be highly effective in resolving the “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error. However, they require more caution and understanding of network configurations.


The “Windows Can’t Connect To This Network” error can be a frustrating and complex issue to resolve. Understanding the error, applying basic troubleshooting, exploring advanced solutions, and implementing manual fixes are all part of a layered approach to solving this problem. By systematically exploring these solutions, most users can reconnect to their network.