Computer keeps disconnecting from WiFi – How To Fix

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Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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Having WiFi continuously or repeatedly dropping has got to be one of the most annoying computer problems. You sit there happily watching a movie, chatting or browsing the web and the connection drops and you are left hanging.

If you're using Windows 10, you'll probably have experienced this at some point. If you are experiencing it right now, there are things you can do if your computer keeps disconnecting from WiFi.



Although I'm using Windows 10 as an example, some of these fixes will also work on a MacBook. I assume you have tested your network with other devices and think your computer is the problem rather than your router. If other devices connect successfully, it's probably your computer.

What to do when your computer keeps dropping WiFi

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why your computer keeps disconnecting from WiFi, so this process is a case of trial and error. Go through each of these fixes and move on to the next one if your wireless connection is not stable.

Restart your computer

A restart is always the first thing to try whenever a computer is running. Whether it's WiFi, driver, OS, hardware, or something else, a reboot is a system refresh and can fix about 90% of computer problems.

If that doesn't work, restart your router.

Restart your router

An occasional reboot is also good for your router. It forces it to delete its IP tables and rebuild them, it loads all updates and refreshes the firmware in memory. If a restart of the computer did not resolve your WiFi problem, a restart of the router might.



Disable energy saving

Windows 10 continues Microsoft's power management feature by allowing the computer to turn off hardware when not in use. When operating, it provides modest power saving which reduces consumption. When it's not working as well, it can disable hardware when you need it.

Disabling your network card will save microscopic amounts of power, so let's disable it.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select Gestionnaire de périphériques.
  2. Now right click on your wireless card, it is under Network adapters, and select Properties.
  3. Now select the Power management tongue.
  4. Uncheck the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
  5. Select Okay to save the change.

This is a common cause of WiFi disconnections and should therefore hopefully fix the problem.

Make the WiFi network private

There is some sort of security bug in Windows 10 that will restrict wireless if you have WiFi set to public. If you're at home and your computer keeps disconnecting from WiFi, try this. If you're using hotspots or a public Wi-Fi network, ignore this one.

  1. Select the WiFi icon from the Windows taskbar.
  2. Select the WiFi network then Properties.
  3. Turn the slider under Make this PC discoverable à Au.
  4. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select Network connections.
  5. Now select Network and sharing center of the middle pane.
  6. Next, check if your WiFi connection is listed as a private connection.

This is another common problem with wireless and can hinder the use of the connection. Even though there is only a small difference between a public and private network, it is something to check if you are on your home network.



Disable Wi-Fi Sense

WiFi Sense is a smart app in Windows 10 that tries to make it easier to connect to available networks. Sometimes it does the opposite, which is worth investigating. Note that this option is only available on Windows 10 version 1709 or earlier, so you can skip it with version 1803 or later.


  1. Open the Windows Start menu and select Parameters.
  2. Now select Network and Internet.
  3. Then select Wi-Fi from the left menu.
  4. Now click on Manage known networks.
  5. From there turn Wi-Fi direction à disabled.

Disabling WiFi Sense does not affect your computer in any other way, but might stop this problem.

Update network driver

Network drivers are not as up-to-date as audio or graphics drivers. Often they are at least two years old and that's fine. If your Wi-Fi connection continues to drop and you've completed all the steps so far, updating or reinstalling your network driver is worth a try as it only takes a few minutes.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select Gestionnaire de périphériques.
  2. Again right click on your wireless card but select Update the driver this time.
  3. Select Automatically search for updated driver software from the pop-up window.
  4. Let Windows search for and install any new drivers.

If that doesn't find new drivers, search online for your network hardware. You should see the manufacturer in Device Manager and a quick internet search should locate the latest driver for the WiFi chipset. Download the latest driver, perform the above steps to Step 3 but select Let me choose from a list of device drivers instead of searching automatically. Point the installer to your downloaded driver file and install it.


Computer networks

As you can see, there are several steps you can take to fix your WiFi issues. If you have done all the fixes mentioned above and your computer keeps disconnecting from WiFi, you may need to consider changing your WiFi card.

Do you know of any other fixes? Tell us about them below if you do!

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