If you use WiFi a lot, you would understand how convenient it is to have a functional WiFi on your Android phone. Best of all, you can create a mobile hotspot for friends to access the net using data from your Android phone.
Many take it for granted that WiFi on Android phones works all the time. But from time to time, you would come across an Android phone with a defective WiFi. Of course, you would only find out if you try to use it.
Which is exactly what happened when a friend tried to update a few apps using my data. I created a mobile hotspot by switching on the data. The next step should be easy, go to his WiFi and search for available networks.
This part went smoothly. We found my WiFi and tapped ‘connect’. Since I did not secure my wireless, it should connect immediately.
Well, it did. But his wireless went off after a few seconds. This was strange. We tried it again. The same thing happened. We spent over 1 hour trying to find the solution but nothing worked.
Finally, we went online to search for a solution. It turned out this problem is common to many Android users. Many people around the world went to different tech forums seeking for the solution.
So if you have a similar problem with yours, this could just be the solution to it. Remember, these issues come in all shapes and sizes, the bottom line is, it has stopped working.
This is how to fix the problem. Hopefully, what you read here can help you solve yours or a friend’s now or in the future.
Causes of WiFi not coming on in Android phones.
Before we take on the solutions, let’s do a quick run down of the likely reasons your WiFi is acting up. Most times, the solution to Android issues can be found if you know the cause.
1. If the WiFi Android package kit (apk) file is destroyed or corrupted, it would not work. APK is the file protocol used by Android OS to install and exchange apps.
2. Some apps from third-party sources downloaded and installed in the Android phone might be interfering with the operation of the WiFi. That is why it is always advisable to download files from trusted sources.
3. The problem might be from WiFi settings; specifically, the timeout setting. Normally, it takes a while for WiFi to search and connect to an available network. If the connection timeout is set too low, the it would switch off automatically after a short time.
4. The system might be shutting down the WiFi because it is programmed to deny access to certain apps; and unfortunately, one of the affected apps is the WiFi.
5. The operating system might be experiencing a temporary operational glitch. In some instances, the solution is to reboot the phone.
6. Problems with the phone’s hardware – The main culprit is the motherboard or an IC controlling the WiFi. Let’s hope it is not this because buying a new phone is the only way to start enjoying WiFi again.
Simple hardware diagnostic check
If the problem from the hardware, all the solutions to help solve the problem would not work. So it is best to eliminate hardware as the cause before proceeding.
Fortunately, testing for hardware as the cause of WiFi malfunctioning is very easy. This can be done by simply running on the Android’s FM Radio.
There are two scenarios here. The FM Radio comes on or it doesn’t. If it comes on, then the hardware is okay and you can now proceed. But if the radio doesn’t come on or the radio app closes automatically, then you have a hardware issue to deal with.
There would be no need to try out the solutions in the next section.
Possible solutions to WiFi issues in Android phones
The following are the possible solutions if your Android phone is experiencing WiFi problems. They are arranged according to the difficulty level. Thus, the first two are the easiest to try out. This makes sense.
1. Rebooting the phone
Simply switch off your phone. Then after a few seconds, switch it on again. Rebooting the phone works well if the problem is caused by temporary system errors. Rebooting clears the error(s).
2. Hard Reset
This simply means removing the battery without switching off the phone. Then slot it back in and switch it on.
However, if your phone comes with a non-removable battery, then you have to switch it off and leave it for about 60 seconds before powering it on again.
Again, this serves to clear temporary system errors.
3. Enable the Android phones GPS/Location access
Head to Settings > Location access and toggle the switch on and off. Doing that might reactivate the WiFi; since the GPS and WiFi work with the same protocol in Android phones
4. Uninstall third-party apps
This might be a bit of a problem for you. This is because some of your best apps might be the offending third-party apps. And besides, you might not know the exact app interfering with your WiFi.
The best way to do this is to first of all backup all your third party apps in an external storage device. Then factory-reset the phone to remove all the third party apps.
Then re-install them one by one. Make sure to check if the WiFi works after each re-installation. That way you would know the exact app causing the problem.
To reset your phone, go to Settings > Backup/Reset and follow the instructions.
Note that resetting would take the phone to the state it was when you bought it. That is, assuming you bought it new.
5. Reset app preferences/permissions
To disable the OS from force-closing certain apps due to insufficient permissions granted to some apps including WiFi, go to Settings > Apps. In Apps, press the menu/options button and then tap ‘Reset app preferences/permissions.‘
6. Flash the phone with stock ROM
If all of the above fail to solve the issue, then your best bet is to replace the operating system of your phone with a new one. Known as flashing of stock ROM, it replaces the old stock ROM with a new one.
Flashing is a bit complicated. If you are not the technical type, just head to a technician who deals with Android software issues. They would do it for you in no time at all.
Depending on the cause of the WiFi problem, any one of the above solutions (or a combination of solutions) can resolve the issue. Apart from the last one, they are also easy and you can do them yourself.