5 ways to fix Wi-Fi authentication problems on an Android when your device won't connect to the internet

  • A quick fix to Wi-Fi authentication problems on Android is to toggle airplane mode on and off, or "forget" the Wi-Fi network and reconnect to it. 
  • You might sometimes encounter an authentication error while trying to connect to Wi-Fi with your Android device even if it's a network you have used before and your password is correct. 
  • Here are the most common ways to fix Wi-Fi authentication problems on an Android device.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Occasionally, you might have trouble connecting to a Wi-Fi network even though it's a network you routinely use and all your settings should be correct, including the password. This Wi-Fi authentication error is frustrating because it's not always clear why it's happening. 

How to fix Wi-Fi authentication problems on Android

The next time a Wi-Fi authentication issue happens to you, here are the most common ways to troubleshoot and solve the error. 

Toggle Airplane mode

As with all kinds of troubleshooting, you should start with the easiest possible solutions and, if they don't work, make your way through progressively more complex solutions. The easiest thing you can try is to put your Android phone in airplane mode, which disables most or all of the radios on your device. It's akin to rebooting your Wi-Fi radio.

To do that, swipe down from the top of your phone to see the quick access icons, and tap "Airplane mode." (The icon will be shaped like an airplane.) Wait several seconds and tap the icon a second time to turn it off. Check your Wi-Fi and see if it now connects properly. 

Forget and reconnect to the Wi-Fi network

If the Wi-Fi settings for this network have become corrupted, you might be able to get up and running by "forgetting" the network and then reconnecting to it. You'll need to know the Wi-Fi password before you begin. 

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Go to your Wi-Fi settings. Where to find this depends on which Android phone and OS version you are using, but generally it will be found in "Wireless & networks" or "Connections."

3. Tap and hold the Wi-Fi network you are trying to connect to or tap the gear-shaped settings icon. Then choose "Forget this network."

4. After a moment, the network will appear in the list of available networks. Tap it and enter the password to reconnect. 

Reboot your Wi-Fi router

If you are unsuccessful in trying to connect to your own home Wi-Fi network, you have another option: You can reboot the router. Simply unplug the router and leave it unpowered for about two minutes. Then plug it back in again and check your connection. 

Change the network from DHCP to Static

If you still can't authenticate, you can try forcing your Android phone to use a static IP address instead of dynamically choosing one when you connect, which is the default and much more common. 

1. Open your Wi-Fi settings in the Settings app, like you did when forgetting the network, tap and hold the network or choose the settings icon.

2. Choose "Modify this network" or "Advanced" depending upon your Android phone and look for "DHCP." 

3. Tap "DHCP" and, in the dropdown menu, choose "Static."

4. Tap "Save."

Now that your phone is using a static IP address to reach your Wi-Fi network, try again. 

Reset your network settings

If none of those options work, you have one last option: You can try to reset all your network settings. 

1. Start the Settings app. 

2. In the search box at the top of the Settings page, type "Reset." In the search results, find and tap "Reset network settings." This will wipe out all your Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth settings, so you will need to reconfigure those networks.

If all else fails, you can reset your entire set of network settings, but you’ll need to rejoin Wi-Fi networks and re-pair Bluetooth devices.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

3. Tap "Reset network."

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