Ultimate Windows 8 / Windows 8 WiFi Troubleshooting Guide

If you are running Windows 8 or have recently upgraded, you may have encountered some annoying WiFi issues. Windows 8 is inherently a different beast from previous versions of Windows and with it comes a whole new set of problems. I’ve never had too many wireless problems in Windows 7, but have run into some with Windows 8.

In this article, we will tackle a few of the most common problems with WiFi connection in Windows 8 and how to fix them. Most of the problems happen with computers that are upgraded from Windows XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8. Drivers are out of date or adapters are disabled or something weird like that. Where to start.

Notification of limited connection

If you get that annoying limited connection message in your taskbar in Windows 8, it’s hard to tell what the problem is. Basically, you just have to try a few things and hope for a job. The cause could be anything from a network adapter to a wireless router to a bad network cable. I’ll just cover a few of the main reasons here, but scroll down to More Troubleshooting Tips if none of that fixes your problem.

Method 1 – Troubleshooter

The first thing you can try is to run some of the network troubleshooters built into Windows 8. A lot of the time, it can solve your wireless or Internet problems. To open the troubleshooter, open the search charm and type resovle problem. Then click on Troubleshooting, the first option.

Now you want to click Network and Internet.

Finally, you will see different troubleshooters available to fix wireless and Internet problems. The ones you will want to run are Network connections and Adapters.

Method 2 – Reset TCP/IP in Windows 8

You may also receive a message like this when running the troubleshooter:

WiFi does not have a valid ip configuration

In this case you can reset the TCP/IP and Winsock stack and see if that works. To do this, again open the search charm and type in command prompt. On the first list, right click and select Run as administrator.

At the command prompt, type the following two commands, one at a time, and make sure to press Enter after each:

Danh mục thiết lập lại Netsh winock
thiết lập lại mạng int int c:  resetlog.txt

Hopefully, your wireless connection is working at this point. If not, skip to the bottom which has more troubleshooting tips.

WiFi is disabled or removed

in a weird case i had a Surface tablet where wireless was disabled and i couldn’t even enable it. For some weird reason the on/off switch for Wireless Devices is greyed out like below:

The first thing you can do is try to diagnose the connection. To do this, open the Network and Sharing Center. You can simply right click on the network icon in the taskbar and select it, or you can open the search charm and type it in there.

Now find the wireless connection at the top and click on the blue link:

A new dialog box will pop up and here you will see a Diagnose knot. Go ahead and click that and let Windows try to fix it for you.

Next thing you can try is to reboot in Safe Mode, Network Enabled and try enabling Wireless there. For some reason on certain computers the option is not greyed out in safe mode so you can enable it there and then reboot normally. Read my previous post on how to boot Windows 8 into safe mode.

Another thing you can try is disabling and then re-enabling the wireless network adapter. Again, open the Network and Sharing Center and then click the Change adapter settings link on the left. You can see it in the second screenshot above this paragraph.

Right click on the wireless network adapter (not Ethernet as shown above) and then click Disable. Once it is disabled, go ahead and right click again and then select Enable. Now try going to Wireless in PC Settings and see if you can enable WiFi.

If this doesn’t work, again drop down to the last section with more WiFi troubleshooting tips.

WiFi not connecting from sleep or hibernate

If your Windows 8 machine disconnects from the wireless network whenever you come back from sleep or hibernate or any other standby state, your problem is probably with the saver option power is placed on the network card. To fix this, you need to open the search charm and type Energy options.

Here, click on the selected plan and then click on Change package settings.

Then click Change advanced power settings link.

Now scroll down Install the wireless adapter and make sure Energy saving mode is set to Maximum performance.

More troubleshooting tips

Check the network card at the Compatibility Center

You can check if your wireless network card is compatible with Windows 8 by visiting the Capability Center. Go ahead and enter the name of your wireless card and you’ll get a little report like this:

It will have a small blue logo if it is compatible or not. You can also test Windows RT in addition to Windows 8. So this is a great site to check if you have problems with your WiFi network, especially if it doesn’t show up at all in Windows 8 or there is a yellow exclamation mark in Device Manager.

Check network adapter settings

Open the Network and Sharing Center, click Change adapter configuration and then right click on the wireless network adapter and select Nature.

Now scroll down in the listbox until you see Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click Nature knot.

Finally, make sure Automatically get IP address and Automatically get DNS server address radio button is selected.

Check the wireless switch

On most laptops, there is a button or wireless button that can be toggled from on to off. Make sure you have that button set to On, or press FN+F8 to enable the wireless card. The switch can be anywhere (sides, front, back, etc.), but usually has an indicator light so you can tell when it’s on.

Uninstall in Device Manager

Another quick tip is to go to Device Manager, right click on your wireless network card and select Uninstall. Then restart your computer and it will automatically be detected and reinstalled. If it still doesn’t work after trying this, then read the next tip, which is to update the driver.

Update BIOS & Drivers

As always, it is recommended to download and install the latest drivers for your network card. This is especially important if you’re running Windows 8. As for the BIOS, I’m always the one to suggest not updating the BIOS unless absolutely necessary. However, if you’ve upgraded your computer from Windows XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8 and you’ve tried everything above and updated the drivers, updating the BIOS might be worth it. 99% of the time a BIOS update is fine, but there are times when it fails and then leaves you with a computer that you can’t boot. Only try this as a last resort and make a backup of your computer first just in case.

Reset router

If you get Limited Connections message, then you can try resetting the router. You can restart it by unplugging it, waiting for about a minute and then plugging it back in. If that doesn’t work and you’ve tried all of the above, go ahead and reset your router. This will reset to default settings and will wipe out any security or configuration you made before, so be careful and be ready to do it all over again. It’s a last resort, but it might fix your problem.

Read my previous post on how to reset your router.

Remove Anti-Virus or Internet Security Suites

If you have something like AVG Internet Security or Avast or similar software installed on your PC or tablet, then go ahead and uninstall it and see if your Internet connection works. does not start working. Many times Internet Security software is the culprit and you can pull your hair out trying to figure out what’s causing the problem, so it’s worth a shot.

So that’s a lot to try and practically everything healthy you can try. If none of this works, then you may have a hardware problem with your wireless card. If you have questions, post a comment. Enjoy!

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