The “Windows 10 Can’t Connect to This Network” error disrupts these activities, causing inconvenience and frustration. Resolving this issue is important to regain productivity, maintain seamless communication, and ensure uninterrupted access to online resources. By providing a step-by-step guide to troubleshoot and resolve the problem, users can overcome this issue and get back to using their Windows 10 devices seamlessly on their preferred networks. 

This frustrating problem prevents users from connecting to their desired Wi-Fi network, hindering their ability to browse the internet, access shared resources, or perform online tasks. The error can occur due to various reasons, such as incorrect network settings, driver conflicts, or router issues. Understanding the underlying causes and troubleshooting steps is essential for resolving this issue and restoring network connectivity.

Understanding the Problem: Can’t Connect to This Network

A. Possible causes of the issue “Can’t Connect to This Network”:

  1. Incorrect network settings: Misconfigured network settings can prevent Windows 10 from connecting to a network. This can include incorrect Wi-Fi credentials, IP address settings, or network encryption settings.
  2. Driver or software conflicts: Outdated, incompatible, or corrupted network drivers or conflicting software can disrupt the network connection in Windows 10. These conflicts can arise from recent driver updates, incompatible third-party software, or system changes.
  3. Router or modem issues: Problems with the router or modem can also lead to connectivity issues. This can include hardware malfunctions, firmware issues, or improper configuration of the network devices.

B. Identifying the specific error message:

The error message “Windows 10 Can’t Connect to This Network” serves as a generic indication of a network connectivity problem. However, the specific error message may provide more detailed information about the issue at hand. Some possible error messages include:

  • “Can’t connect to this network”: This message suggests that Windows 10 is unable to establish a connection with the specified Wi-Fi network.
  • “The network security key isn’t correct”: This error message indicates that the entered Wi-Fi password or security key is incorrect.
  • “Limited or no connectivity”: This message suggests that the network connection is restricted or unavailable, possibly due to network settings or router issues.
  • “No internet access”: This error message indicates that the network connection is established, but there is no internet connectivity.
  • “Network adapter not found”: This message suggests that Windows 10 is unable to detect the network adapter or it is experiencing driver-related issues.
  • “DNS server not responding”: This error message indicates a problem with the DNS (Domain Name System) server, which translates domain names into IP addresses, affecting the ability to access websites.

Initial Troubleshooting Steps To Resolve “Can’t Connect to This Network”

A. Restarting the computer and the network devices:

  • Restart the Windows 10 computer.
  • Power off the router and modem.
  • Wait few seconds and then proceed to power them on again to resolve the error “Can’t Connect to This Network”.

B. Checking the physical connections:

  • Ensure that the Ethernet cable (if applicable) is securely connected to the computer and the router/modem.
  • For wireless connections, check if the Wi-Fi adapter is properly inserted and seated in the computer.

C. Verifying network availability on other devices:

  • Check if other devices, such as smartphones or tablets, can connect to the network.
  • If other devices can connect successfully, it indicates that the issue might be specific to the Windows 10 computer.

Basic Network Configuration

A. Accessing the network settings in Windows 10:

  • Open the “Settings” application on the device by clicking the Start menu at bottom and then selecting the gear icon.
  • Select herein “Network & Internet” from settings menu .

B. Verifying Wi-Fi settings:

  • In the given “Network & Internet” settings, find “Wi-Fi” on the left hand menu.
  • Ensure that Wi-Fi is turned on.
  • Check if the correct Wi-Fi network is selected and if the password is entered correctly.

C. Checking the network adapter status and properties:

  • In the given “Network & Internet” settings, find to click “Change adapter options” that you’ll see at bottom.
  • Locate the network adapter corresponding to your Wi-Fi connection.
  • Right-click on the adapter and select “Status” to check its connection status.
  • In the adapter properties, ensure that necessary protocols (e.g., IPv4, IPv6) are enabled.

D. Renewing IP address and flushing DNS cache:

  • Open the Command Prompt like administrator.
  • To renew now the IP address, type “ipconfig /renew” and proceed with Enter.
  • To flush the DNS cache now, type “ipconfig /flushdns” and proceed with Enter.

Updating Network Drivers

A. Identifying the network adapter model:

  • Open tab of Device Manager by going to Start menu and selecting the option.
  • Expand the “Network adapters” category to view the installed network adapters.
  • Note down the model name or number of the network adapter.

B. Checking for driver updates:

  • Visit the manufacturer’s website of the network adapter or the computer/laptop manufacturer’s support page.
  • Go and find “Support” or “Downloads” options.
  • Enter the model name or number of the network adapter and search for driver updates.
  • Check for the latest version of the network driver compatible with Windows 10.

C. Installing the latest network drivers:

  • Download the latest network driver from the manufacturer’s website.
  • Run the downloaded driver installer file.
  • Follow whatever instructions appear for completing the installation.
  • Restart the computer if prompted.

Adjusting Network Settings

A. Disabling and re-enabling the network adapter:

  • Open the Device Manager on the Start menu by right-clicking and therein go to “Device Manager.”
  • Expand the “Network adapters” category.
  • Right-click on the network adapter and select “Disable.”
  • Wait for a few seconds and right-click on the adapter again, then select “Enable.”

B. Resetting TCP/IP stack and Winsock:

  • Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • To reset TCP/IP stack, type “netsh int ip reset” and press Enter.
  • For resetting the Winsock, type “netsh winsock reset” and proceed with Enter.
  • Restart the computer to apply the changes.

C. Adjusting power management settings:

  • Open the Device Manager and expand the “Network adapters” category.
  • Right-click on the network adapter and select “Properties.”
  • Go to the “Power Management” tab.
  • Uncheck the option “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”
  • Click “OK” to save the changes.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps

A. Using Windows Network Troubleshooter:

  • Open the “Settings” app by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the gear icon.
  • Select “Network & Internet” from the settings menu.
  • Click on “Network troubleshooter” and follow the on-screen instructions to diagnose and fix network issues.

B. Disabling antivirus or firewall temporarily:

  • Temporarily disable the antivirus software or firewall installed on the Windows 10 computer.
  • Refer to the antivirus or firewall documentation for instructions on how to disable them temporarily.
  • Attempt to connect to the network and check if the issue is resolved.
  • Remember to re-enable the antivirus software or firewall after troubleshooting.

C. Changing wireless channel or frequency:

  • Access the router’s administration panel by entering the router’s IP address in a web browser.
  • Look for the wireless settings or advanced settings section.
  • Change the wireless channel or frequency to a different one and save the settings.
  • Restart the router and try connecting to the network again.

D. Disabling IPv6 or IPv4 protocols temporarily:

  • Open the “Network & Internet” settings in Windows 10.
  • Select “Change adapter options” and locate the network adapter.
  • Right-click on the adapter and select “Properties.”
  • Uncheck the box for either IPv6 or IPv4 protocol, depending on the network configuration.
  • Click “OK” to save the changes and attempt to connect to the network

Additional Tips and Recommendations

A. Checking for Windows updates:

  • Regularly check for Windows updates by going to the “Settings” app and selecting “Windows Update.”
  • Install any available updates as they may include bug fixes and improvements related to network connectivity.

B.Using network troubleshooting tools (e.g., ping, tracert):

  • Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Use the “ping” command followed by an IP address or domain name to check if there is a response from the network.
  • Use the “tracert” command followed by an IP address or domain name to trace the network route and identify potential issues.

C. Seeking help from the Internet Service Provider (ISP):

  • Contact your Internet Service Provider’s customer support if the issue persists and affects multiple devices.
  • Explain the problem and provide details of the troubleshooting steps you have already taken.
  • The ISP can perform diagnostics on their end and help resolve any network-related issues.

D. Contacting Microsoft support:

  • If all else fails, consider reaching out to Microsoft support for assistance.
  • Visit the Microsoft support website and choose the appropriate support option for your region.
  • Explain the issue and provide details of the troubleshooting steps you have already attempted.
  • Microsoft support can provide specialized guidance and help resolve complex network connectivity problems.

The Bottom Line

The “Windows 10 Can’t Connect to This Network” issue can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, it can be resolved. By understanding the possible causes of the problem, identifying the specific error message, and following a step-by-step guide, users can tackle the issue effectively. 

From basic troubleshooting steps such as restarting the computer and checking physical connections to more advanced techniques like updating network drivers and adjusting network settings, users have a range of options to overcome the problem. 

Additionally, seeking help from the ISP or Microsoft support, and keeping the system up-to-date with Windows updates, can further aid in resolving network connectivity issues with error message “Can’t Connect to This Network”. With perseverance and the right approach, users can regain network connectivity and enjoy a seamless Windows 10 experience.