How to Fix an Android phone when it’s Wi-Fi won’t turn on

Is the Wi-Fi stuck in the off position on your Android smartphone? When you try to switch the Wi-Fi on does it turn itself off all by itself? When you try to activate your Wi-Fi does it freeze, get stuck, or show “Turning On” but never actually turns on? Have you tried to switch the Wi-Fi from your Android device on only to find that the phone won’t let you for some reason? Here are some things that you can do to fix a phone when its Wi-Fi refuses to turn on.

There can be a few things that can cause these issues to happen on an Android cell phone. Sometimes it can be a hardware related problem but this issue is often a software related problem that can creep up on your device after upgrading the phones software. This is a good thing as software issues can usually be fixed with just a little bit of troubleshooting, hardware issues on the other hand can be a little harder to fix.

So let’s start with the basics and go from there…

Power cycle the phone

Start out by power cycling your device. This is often the first step in troubleshooting an Android smartphone and believe it or not, simply power cycling your phone can solve minor software related issues that can occur on Android devices.

So power the phone off for 15-60 seconds, if your phone has a removable battery then briefly pulling out the phones battery is one of the best things to do as it assures the phone is completely powered off. If you cannot remove the battery from your phone then don’t worry, just power the phone off wait for 30 seconds to a minute and then power the phone back on.

When your cell phone fully powers on, try turning the Wi-Fi on to see if power cycling fixed it. If it’s working then enjoy your Wi-Fi if it’s still being stubborn and the Wi-Fi won’t switch on then keep reading.

Hardware

If the Wi-Fi wont power on at all, then there is a possibility that its due to an actual piece of the phone being disconnected, loose, or malfunctioning. If a flex cable has come undone or the Wi-Fi antenna is not connected properly then the phone is certainly going to have problems connecting to a wireless network.

If your phone is less than a year old and has no signs of physical or liquid damage then chances are good that your phone is still covered under the manufactures warranty and you DO NOT want to take the phone apart as it will be considered tampering and will void your cell phones warranty, which you don’t want to do.

So here is what I recommend doing first before trying any software troubleshooting or filing a warranty or insurance claim.

*~DISCLAIMER — BE GENTLE and USE CAUTION when trying this next suggestion, you do NOT want to cause any damage to your phone and make your current situation worse~* –I will not be held accountable for any damage done to the phone when trying my next suggestion–.

Gently, and carefully give your phone a good shake, don’t let it slip out of your hand, fall to the floor and cause its screen to shatter. You can also give it a few gentle love taps on the back of the phone, (don’t hit and break the screen, I recommend tapping the back of the phone).

After tapping or shaking the phone, test the Wi-Fi and see if it started functioning properly. It may take a few attempts to get a lose cable or piece of hardware back into its proper place. So if at first you don’t succeed you may need to try a few more times.

If it starts working again, then you have narrowed it down to a hardware issue and you’re now faced with a few options…

  • You can keep using the phone as the piece of hardware may stay where it’s supposed to and you can keep enjoying your working Wi-Fi.
  • You can keep using the phone and if the Wi-Fi acts up again you can give it another shake or tap to get it to work properly again. Just be careful as this might get frustrating if it starts happening frequently and you don’t want to accidently damage your phone by hitting or not so gently tapping it against a hard surface out of frustration.
  • You can keep using the phone until the Wi-Fi acts up again and then file a warranty claim. If you are no longer under warranty you can consider taking the phone apart to locate and try to fix the problematic hardware, which may be as simple as pressing a wire or cable back into place, in which case you will have a more permanent solution to your Wi-Fi problem.

Software

If it doesn’t seem to work after a little shaking or tapping then this could be a software related issue.

Check your applications

Try to think back to when this issue first started happening on your phone. Do you remember downloading or installing any applications around that time? Often when software issues start happening on an Android phone it’s because of an application causing problems. If this is the case then uninstall any apps that you might have installed around that time, test the Wi-Fi and see if the app was the cause. If it was an app then you can try installing the app again to see if a fresh install helps or consider using the phone without that app until its app developer releases a more up-to-date or friendly version of that application.

Hard reset

If you go through your apps and do some cleaning on your phone then there is still the chance of a software problem on the device and the BEST way to resolve software related issues is to completely backup and reset your Android phone. This puts the phone back to its factory default settings and wipes everything from the phone. So any software bugs, glitches, viruses, etc are wiped off the phone and the phone is set back to the way it was when it was first purchased.

A hard reset is usually a last resort but it’s a very powerful tool when trying to resolve software issues.

Conclusion

After performing the suggestions listed above your Wi-Fi should be working properly once again. So enjoy the working Wi-Fi on your cell phone.

If the Wi-Fi on your mobile phone still refuses to turn on then there is little more that you can do to try and resolve the issue yourself. If this is the case and your Wi-Fi still isn’t switching on then you might want to consider some of these options. If the Wi-Fi on your Android is turning on but is having problems scanning, connecting, or staying connected with a wireless network or establishing an internet connection then you might consider reading how to fix an Android smartphone when it won’t connect to Wi-Fi.

I hope that you found this article beneficial, and I hope that it has helped you fix the Wi-Fi on your Android smartphone, otherwise make sure to check out those other articles and enjoy.

Oh and if this article was helpful and did aid you in resolving the Wi-Fi issue on your cell phone and you would like to show your appreciation then you can do so by leaving a friendly remark in the comments section or you can show me you liked it by simply pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + button shown below.

Thanks again for reading, and enjoy the functioning Wi-Fi on your Android smartphone.

119 thoughts on “How to Fix an Android phone when it’s Wi-Fi won’t turn on”

  1. Fix Wifi toggle
    You can also install a Root Explorer (phone must be rooted), go to datamiscwifiwpa_supplicant.conf and rename that wpa_supplicant.conf to wpa_supplicant.bak, Restart the phone and see your Wifi Toggle work again.

    1. Thanks for the tip

      An interesting suggestion… I have yet to try that Wi-Fi fix myself but I am sure another reader may find that tip very helpful.

      Thank you for contributing to the site Tebogo. Keep up the good work.

      1. Wifi Toggle
        I’m glad that you responded. I am thankful for that. I have actually done that fix and it worked.

    2. Thanks to Tebogo A FIX for my Note one wifi
      Here is the wifi fix people : Thanks to Mr. Tebogo , I upgraded my Samsung Note 1 with a fast slim ROM 4.4.4 Android with kernel 3.0.80+ everything was going smooth except for the wifi was not working, the toggle wifi button was just going back to off whenever I pressed it, I tried everything and checked allot of websites with no answer! Made me pull my hair out until I saw your comment Mr. Tebogo :), thank you.

      I installed root explorer and went to datamiscwifi and there was no file by the name of “wpa_supplicant.conf” instead the file I saw was “softab.conf” so I changed the extension to .bak as you suggested (renamed it to softab.bak), restarted my phone and voila! My wifi worked like a charm! Later I went back to the same file location to check and what I saw was a real surprise! I saw more files in there including softap.conf and also the wpa_supplicant.conf that you mentioned!

      1. Okay so I try to rename the file…
        Okay so I try to rename the file but it pops up saying that I cant rename it. How do I fix this??

    3. Worked with no problem
      This is the first thing that I tried and it worked with no problem. Thanks a lot.

    4. I didn’t find datamisc…
      I didn’t find datamiscwifiwpa_supplicant.conf on my accer phone z500 any suggestion sir?

    5. You are a genius…
      Bro… you are a genius… thanks a lot… keep posting and thank you sooooo much.

    6. fix please my problem

      Please help me…
      Please help me. I opened es rootexplorer and I went to data/mics/wifi/
      but I couldn’t find that supplicant.

    7. wifi turn on problem
      .conf file rename worked for me.
      But the location of the file was somewhere else, I searched “wifi” at the root of my phone and found that file.

    8. WIFI WON’T TURN ON (always greyed out)
      Hi man, I followed all of your instructions above but my Samsung S3 is still not working. What should I do? Please help me… I renamed that wpa_supplicant.conf to wpa_supplicant.bak then restarted and its still the same. My WiFi will still not turn on.

    9. Thanks a lot man
      You really saved my butt from having to buy another phone… thanks a hundred times.

  2. Thanks for the tip..
    Done everything like a hard reset, wifi test, factory reset but still my phone (mmx hd) wifi didnt work. It started working after a little shake / flip to my phone..

  3. blogger muntok

    very helpful
    voila… thanks for the help
    without you i didn’t know what i should do

  4. problem occur
    Hi ,can you help me .I’ve already follow your tips like turning off the phone and taken out the battery and yes its working .But on the 2nd day it happen again and this time it won’t work anymore .What should i do ??? recently i’ve installed this app call apps manager but i already uninstall it in in case it was the major problem to why there’s no internet connection even my wifi is on .But when i’m using another wifi at my work place its work well but not in my home .My other device like samsung galaxy tab can connect ,only my phone weren’t able to properly connected .

  5. awesom tips
    thank u soooooooooo much …..u save my 5000rs …service center say that mother board will be changd and it cost 2000 and because of ur suggestions my 5000rs will save …thank u soo much and keep posting the post … again thank u admin

  6. Muhammd Ashfaq Younas

    thanks, thanks a lot
    thanks, thanks a lot, I was so worried, my phone’s wifi was not turning on, after going through your page I am NOW able to do so 🙂

  7. Samsung Galaxy S4 WiFi locks “Turning on…”
    There appears to be a much bigger problem with the Galaxy S4 that Samsung is hiding. I ordered 2 NEW S4 phones and 1 of them worked A-OK but the second had the WiFi lock problem. The vendor shipped me 2 more NEW replacement phones (yes, I have 4 phones simultaneously). It appears that the latest S4 production has the problem but not the older phones! I can send you the Serial Number labels from all 4 phones and you can see the pattern. If the label has a “Circle BC” stamp and a S/N starting with “RV1” (and a suffix of “A8”), the problem is present. I do not know if it is a revision or simply a lot code difference and Samsung denies ALL. From testing all 4, I can verify that the problem starts as soon as Android 4.3 is loaded and is not corrected by 4.4. ONLY a Factory Reset will clear this issue – verified by the Samsung rep at Best Buy who just said “send it in for repair”.

  8. IT WORKS!!
    Omg thank you so much, I didn’t realise it would be as easy at tapping the back of the phone haha.

    1. karatefestival

      Holy moly
      Holy moly, I didn’t think that would work either!!!!! I tried so many other things first that I figured I would try that too and that’s what did it 🙂 Thank you, article writer!

    1. Re: It worked
      When the phone is powered off, there are some capacitors inside that stay on so if you reboot it quickly it turns on faster. When you turn it off and remove the battery, there’s nothing to charge the capacitors and they drain. Once they’re drained, it pretty much resets the whole phone.

      Hope that explains it some for you!

  9. problems with wifi
    the whole taking the battery out and putting back in worked, don’t know why i didn’t think of that in the first place, u have some usual things here thank you!!!

  10. My smartphone has to be rebooted…
    My smartphone has to be rebooted when switched on after being off for a couple or few hours before it will connect to the Wifi like before.

  11. FIXED!!!
    Thank you so much for posting this! I was going to have to go wait in line and troubleshoot with Verizon for hours to get this fixed on my phone, but just turning it off and tap tapping it worked! I had tried restarting it several times, but hadn’t turned it off and waited for a bit! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! ♥♥♥

  12. Wifi still not working
    Tried all the comments above …
    i recently updated to 4.3 … and i think this is the problem!
    No issues on 4.2 … so will try flash back to that!

  13. wifi not turning on
    I did the first tip and it worked I am very happy now :-). Thanks to these tips I was a bit dubious but it does work!

  14. Worth noting, as I just had this issue…
    Worth noting, as I just had this issue: If your phone has the fast boot option in Settings > Power, be sure to disable it before power-cycling.

  15. wifi problem with my phone
    I couldn’t turn the wifi on with my smartphone and I was thinking of exchanging it. I did a search on the internet for wifi problem and thanks to you my problem is solved. Thanks a lot!!!!!!

  16. Thank you, power cycle fixed it
    Thank you, power cycle fixed it, Galaxy S4 awesome thanks again.

  17. Thanks a lot… a power cycle fixed my problem
    Thanks a lot… switching my phone off and then turning it back on worked perfectly for me.

  18. Really helpful
    Thanks… this article was indeed helpful…
    Its working all right now…
    Thanks a lot… helped me a lot.

  19. WIFI issues
    Hi

    Is there any way you could provide details on how to manually configure root wifi settings?
    I am running a custom rom on a rooted galaxy mega i9205.
    My guess is that this is something to do with the kernel or maybe some of the root files need changing as mentioned above.
    I tried your wifi toggle fix but wifi still won’t switch on.
    I know nothing is broken as it works fine on stock rom but I really don’t like the stock rom and don’t want to go back.
    There must be a way to manually configure all wifi settings to get them working again?

    1. Configuring Root Wi-Fi Settings on your Android

      Hi Karl,

      Rooting and giving yourself SuperUser permissions on your cell phone can certainly give you a lot more control over your Android smartphone. Unfortunately, I myself do not tinker with my Androids software enough to feel comfortable giving advice when it comes to configuring root settings or concerning software customization and or software manipulation on an Android smartphone.

      That being said, having the ability to edit any file or folder in the Linux based operating system (which Android is built on) can be a powerful but dangerous ability so tread cautiously. One minor mistake can cause some seriously annoying ramifications later. For your particular inquiry I suggest that you visit some forums online where rooting is one of the primary topics of interest. There you will find people with a lot more experience when it comes to this type of question who will be more qualified to answer your questions then I could.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help Karl but I wish you luck and hope that you can find out what adjustment you can make on your cell phone to get its Wi-Fi to connect and work properly.

  20. WiFi won’t turn on sometimes
    Sometimes the WiFi of my “Samsung Galaxy TabPro SM-T320, Android 4.2.2” can’t be turned on by the WiFi switch at the Settings screen. The WiFi switch then becomes light-green, instead of normal green.
    However, the WiFi can always be revived by switching the airplane mode on and then off again!
    I believe that this behavior might have started after the installation of the Philips MyRemote app. So the trouble looks to me very much like a software problem. I am still testing, after having removed the MyRemote app.

    1. Today suddenly WiFi turned off again
      Today the WiFi was turned off suddenly and could not be switched on in the normal way.
      Turning the Air plane mode On and Off brought the WiFi back again.
      I installed WiFi FTP (WiFi File Transfer) recently, but have removed it again for the time being.

  21. Uninstalling some apps worked perfectly!!!
    Uninstalling some apps worked perfectly!!! Happy me 😀 Thanks a lot man !

  22. Thanks a lot
    This worked for me… Thanks… this article was indeed helpful…
    Its all working correctly now…
    Thanks a lot… helped me a lot.

  23. SD card
    The only thing that worked for me was to remove the micro sd card from my Tegra Note tablet. I saw in another forum that unbranded memory cards (my card is from ebay with no brand) can cause several problems in android phone/tablets. One of the problems is related to this “turning on wi-fi…”.

    1. Removing the SD Card Solution

      Thank you Tito for taking the time to contribute to the site! I am sure that other site visitors will be able to find your post helpful and can use your advice to help fix this Wi-Fi issue on their cell phone.

      So thank you Tito. Keep up the great work.

  24. Thanks a bunch!
    Thanks a bunch! Saved a trip to the Verizon store or a dreaded phone call!

  25. Ares_Unknown11

    THANKS A LOT!!!
    THANKS A LOT!!! My wifi’s working properly now and its all thanks to you. I don’t know what really happened on my phone but its already okay now… I’m really thankful that somebody knows how to fix it. Hope those tips could help a lot of people too. ^_^

  26. Tayyab Haroon

    I bought a new Samsung Galaxy S4…
    I bought a new Samsung Galaxy S4 15 days ago…
    Suddenly my WiFi switch stopped switching on! Very much tensed!
    I’ve tried every tip in this thread but cannot use the WiFi on my mobile! Please someone help me :'(

    1. Act fast my friend

      Hi Tayyab,

      First of all you chose a great smartphone. I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 myself and it’s a good quality phone. From your description though it sounds like your particular smartphone might be experiencing a hardware issue and since your phone is so new you should try to return it as soon as possible.

      Since it’s so new you may still be able to return it to where you purchased it from. Sometimes you can return a phone up to 30 days after you have purchased it, sometimes it’s only up to 15… So give it a try. Take your phone back to where you bought it from and let them know its malfunctioning and you would like to replace it for a working unit.

      If you cannot exchange it at wherever you bought it from (which I recommend you try to do as you can likely get a new phone as a replacement as opposed to a refurbished unit) then you can look into your warranty options instead. Either way you should be able to get it repaired or replaced for little or no money out of your own pocket.

  27. Turning off my phone works, except…
    I have to do it almost every day. Phone reverts to a 3G signal when I get out of WiFi range and won’t go back to WiFi unless I turn it off/on again. Urrggg. How annoying.

  28. Excellent suggestion. I swear…
    Excellent suggestion. I swear after I went through the suggestions posted by you I have been able to resolve my wifi issue. you are a genius man or in other words a gadget master. Thank you so much.

  29. Suchitra Malvankar

    Thank you so much!
    I was having wifi issues. It used to show scanning but would never connect to wifi. Sometimes it would connect for some time and then automatically disappear. I am so grateful to find your article. Previously I used to shut down (Power off) without removing the battery only for 5-10 secs but that never worked. So when I did what you suggested and power cycled the phone by removing the battery for 1 min… IT WORKED. Thanks again.

  30. Wifi fix
    Enable and then disable the Tethering option and then enable the Wifi. It worked for me. Possibly a software bug?

  31. WiFi Turned ON!!! – Thank you
    Thank you so much for this article. Following your first instruction – powered off phone for a couple of minutes, then powered it on. My WiFi turned ON. I was worried for the last couple of days and tried different things, but nothing worked for me, now I am happy… Thank you so much!!!

  32. Tab 4 7.0 (230NU) Wifi & Bluetooth do not turn on
    I did all that was suggested as remedies in all the ANDROID Forums. Nothing worked. I don’t suspect the hardware, neither any loose flat cable connections. The tab was purchased in May 2015 and it developed this problem in the month of July. I did a soft reset to start with and then did a hard reset. I used (did not root) Samsung’s Smart Switch & Kies 3 to flash it but no improvement. I used odin and flashed the Stock ROM and this also did not help. I understand that I am not the only one that is facing this problem. I have come across 20 cases in the recent past (past 15 days). Contacted SAMSUNG and they want me to get it repaired in SAN JOSE (I bought it from the US) but I live in a remote corner of MALAYSIA, Bintulu SARAWAK. Big story with no solutions.

  33. WiFi problem

    My WiFi was not working so I dismantled and reassembled my mobile (a micromax turbo a250) and now its working.

  34. Frustration over!
    I had to hit my phone on my palm hard enough and it connected straight back to wifi!!! It had fallen down many times so I’m guessing exactly what you’ve explained had happened. Thank you sooooo much. Phew! 🙂

  35. Wi-Fi is on but doesn’t connect

    I’ve seen some suggestions to solve the Wi-Fi issue and powering down does work but if you want to save some time just turn on and off airplane mode.  No specific amount of time, just on and off.  Worked for me.

  36. wifi turn back off fixed
    – root ur HH/Android
    – install root explorer
    – go to system/etc/firmware
    – find file WMT_SOC.cfg and select option.
    – open in text editor and change co_clock_flag=1 menjadi co_clock_flag=0

  37. Serious problem, simple fixing tips
    Okay I did follow your instruction that shake gently the phone, and it’s working like a charm! Really helpful, simple and understandable tips! Thank you so much!!

  38. Android wifi wont turn on
    I was also having the same problem with my Samsung Galaxy S4 and this article resolved my issue. Thanks for sharing it.

  39. 894HN
    Thanks so much for all the tips. I think the problem with my wifi is slightly different and I cant seem to find a solution online. My wifi scans but cannot find any wifi at all.. Usually it will show other wifi connections (ones I have connected to in the past) even if it can’t find the available connections. It just keeps scanning. The wifi works on other devices so the problem isn’t the router. In the advanced settings it says the MAC and IP address are unavailable. Any ideas?

    1. Cell phone continues to scan for Wi-Fi networks

      Hello Misstrange,

      Sorry to hear that your having problems with the Wi-Fi on your smartphone.

      From your description it might be a hardware issue. The Wi-Fi antenna on your smartphone might be malfunctioning and as a result cannot see or pickup any available networks that should be well in range and should be showing up as available. Your phone might not be aware that it’s malfunctioning so it can still communicate with the antenna but the antenna is for a better word blind so the phone continues to scan to no avail.

      Have you done any other troubleshooting to try and rule out possible software problems; such as a hard reset?

      From your well written description its sounding more like an issue with your phone as opposed to an issue with the wireless network(s) and if I were to guess I would lean more towards a hardware problem. If that does turn out to be the case then you would likely need to have the phone serviced or that piece of hardware replaced in order for your phone to find and connect to available Wi-Fi networks.

  40. Really helpful!
    Really helpful! My problem got solved on the first step (removing battery) 🙂
    .
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  41. Thanks. Worked well…
    Thanks. Worked well after following first suggestion, cant believe how simple thanks again.

  42. Android phone access to wifi
    Thanks for the tip. Just turning phone off and then back on sorted the problem.

  43. Thanks Tebogo for your advice
    My Wifi is normal again… Thanks to Mr.Tebogo and the admin off course.. cheers.

    Please share more Android tips n tricks. I hope all good things to you Mr.Tebogo and Admin.

  44. wifi dropped
    OH my GOSH!!! It works PERFECTLY… your my ANGEL… Woohoo… GOD bless you… Thank you so much…

  45. Thanks so much!
    Thanks so much! Distinguishing between hardware vs software problems really helped. The gentle love tap worked like magic since the wifi stopped turning on after I dropped the phone. I’m so glad there are people like you who take the time to write up articles like this. Helps out those of us who rely entirely on research to make up for our lack of tech savvy!

  46. WOW! I could not turn on my wifi…
    WOW! I could not turn on my wifi but I did what you suggested. I gave my phone a shake and a tapping. Thank you so much.

  47. Thanks very much
    Thanks very much. Pulling the battery worked, hopefully that will be the end of it.

    1. Taking out the sim and then putting it back worked for me too
      I traveled to Italy from London. When I arrived, I had this issue.

      I tried various things, but none worked. Then I took the sim card out and reinserted it. Problem immediately solved.

      My guess is that this is an issue with the current build of Android. Why it happens I have no idea. But at least the solution was simple.

      Good luck to all others.

  48. Wifi connection on android
    Thanks, I was happy to see it wasn’t just me! Working properly now.

  49. THANKS
    Thanks a lot, it worked!! This is the best website to repair your phone at home.

  50. Marcelo Curado Correa

    I tried many things…
    I tried many things, but what worked for me was turning on the airplane mode and then turning it off. 🙂

  51. James Karanja

    Hitting it worked!!!!!!!!
    Hitting it worked!!!!!!!!

    This is interesting, wish I read your post before factory resetting it.

  52. Thanks. It worked perfectly.
    Thanks. It worked perfectly. It also helped me with my earphone jack problem. I guess that I use my phone 24/7 and I never turn it off. Shared this post with my friends. Cant thank you enough. (power cycling my phone that is).

  53. It worked
    Power cycle worked. I waited for around five minutes then powered my Infinix on.

  54. Thanks. Worked for my LG G2.
    Thanks. Worked for my LG G2. Now I have wifi. This was a great fix.

  55. Thank you
    No lie, I spent at least 12 hours on the phone with tech support to learn exactly what you explained here in about 3 minutes of reading. Except they didn’t suggest the tapping, lol, which I’ll try now. Much appreciated, Marie.

Comments are closed.