Mobile hotspots can be lifesavers when you're away from home and need an internet connection to do schoolwork or run your business. But if your Windows™ laptop isn't connecting, there's not a lot of work you can get done.
Don't panic. When your tech breaks, we fix it—whether your laptop has a virus or the battery isn't charging, our experts at Asurion are here to help. Here's their guide on how to fix a computer that won't connect to a hotspot so you can get back up and running.
Quick fixes if your computer won't connect to a hotspot
Try these steps first if your laptop isn't connecting to the hotspot on your mobile device or cellphone:
How to fix a PC that won't connect to a hotspot
If your computer still won't connect to a hotspot, try these steps for PCs running Windows 10 version 20H2. If you're unsure of which version of Windows you have or how to update it, check out the Update your operating system section below.
Forget your mobile hotspot network, then reconnect your device
This should resolve any signal issues if your computer won't connect to a hotspot.
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Update your operating system
Your operating system is responsible for managing the software and hardware on your computer. But if it's outdated, your PC can experience a lot of issues—like being unable to connect to a hotspot. Here's how to update it:
Update your network adapter driver
The network adapter driver is also a critical component of your internet connection, and if it's outdated, it can cause your computer to be unable to connect to a hotspot. Here's how to update it:
Roll back your network adapter driver
If updating your network adapter driver doesn't help your hotspot issues and causes other problems with your computer, Windows gives you the option to undo the update using the rollback feature. Here's how:
Troubleshoot your network adapter
This could help if there are issues outside of driver updates that are causing your network adapter to malfunction:
Run the internet connections troubleshooter
Like troubleshooting your network adapter, this will ensure there are no general connectivity issues that are causing your computer to be unable connect to hotspot:
Check the storage space on your PC
If your PC is out of storage space, your computer can experience major performance issues, including hotspot problems. Here's how to check your storage:
Turn off antivirus protection software and Microsoft Defender Firewall
Occasionally, antivirus and firewall software can prevent your laptop from being able to connect to a hotspot. Here's how to disable it:
Note: If you choose to disable your antivirus software or Microsoft Defender Firewall, this could leave your PC vulnerable to cyberattacks. So be careful while browsing certain websites.
Reset the network settings on your PC
If none of the above steps resolves the issue, you can try this step as a last resort—resetting your network settings will remove and reinstall all your network adapters and wipe all of your password presets. Here's how to do it:
Nothing ruins productivity like a laptop breakdown
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Why is my hotspot not showing up on my PC?
Quick fixes if your computer won't connect to a hotspot Restart your mobile hotspot device. Restart your PC. Turn Bluetooth® off on your PC. Turn your PC's Wi-Fi off and on.
Why is my mobile hotspot not showing up?
Verify that the Mobile Hotspot or Smartphone Mobile Hotspot feature is turned on. Check that the connecting device's Wi-Fi is turned on. Update to the latest firmware version for all devices. Restart the Hotspot device or phone.