Certain Wi-Fi Networks Not Appearing in Wi-Fi Scanning list (Network and Internet Settings)





If your system with an Intel® Wi-Fi adapter is not detecting certain Wi-Fi access points, try the following:

  • Update to the latest version of drivers, which can be found on Download Center.
  • Try to install the driver recommended by your equipment's manufacturer (OEM).
  • If you are in Europe and the access point might be on the 2.4 GHz band, it may be using channels 12 or 13. If you have access to the settings on this access point, try changing the channel to 1, 6, or 11.
  • Your router or modem may be using a DFS channel. DFS channels are 5 GHz channels that can be used by the public, but public devices receive a “leave the channel” command if official use is necessary. If your laptop has been used in an area where the DFS channel is used in an official capacity (such as an airport), it may have received the signal to stay off of that channel. For example, in the United States and some parts of Europe, DFS channels are 5 GHz channels 50-144. When troubleshooting a wireless network that does not appear for a specific device, these channels should be avoided in these areas. You can use the chart available on this Wiki page to quickly see which channels are available in your area of the world.
  • Your router or modem may need to be power cycled. All routers and modems rely on a minimal amount of physical resources and, may need to be restarted from time to time. The fastest and most straightforward way to do this is to unplug the device for ten seconds, then plug it back in – this can help even if only one device is having problems with the access point.
  • Your computer may need to be restarted. Restart your computer by clicking the Start button > Power > Restart. Note that pressing the power button on your computer can activate hibernation and sleep mode instead of shutting down your computer. For your computer to reboot, you need to either click Shut Down or Restart.
  • You may be too far away from the wireless access point. Wireless signals rely on line of sight and, as such, each solid object between your device and the access point diminishes the signal. A single wall may contain multiple solid objects. The flooring between floors in a building includes concrete subflooring, wood framing, piping, and various other solid objects. If at all possible, make sure you can connect to this network with another device before assuming any one device is faulty.
  • There may be interference. 2.4 GHz routers in crowded apartment complexes or office spaces are especially susceptible to this. You can use the Wi-Fi Analyzer to see how many people are sharing your current channel. If too many people are on the same channel as you, it may not be possible to connect to your access point from too far away. Setting your sideband, or side channel, to 20 MHz can help mitigate this, as the smaller the sideband, the stronger the signal.
  • Your wireless profile may have become corrupted. If you have connected to this access point before, but it is no longer visible, you may need to delete the connection’s profile and reconnect. Here are the steps:
    • Click the rectangular Connect button, where you would usually click to connect to a wireless network, on the bottom right-hand side of your screen.
    • Click Network and Internet Settings.
    • Click Wi-Fi on the left, if it is not already selected.
    • Click Manage Known Networks
    • Click the network that you are not able to connect to.
    • Click the Forget button.
    • Close the Settings window, and connect like normal. If the access point still does not appear, try restarting your machine by clicking Start > Power > Restart.

If you are still unable to connect to a specific wireless access point, click the Contact support link in the blue banner below.